Hello film fans and welcome back to this, the most centenary of editions of the Sunbeams Analogue Photography News.
It’s been a busy few weeks since last we corresponded, and I’m sure many of the thousands of you, our devoted readers were devastated by the absence of an article last week. For this I can only apologise, as the old saying goes – To err is human, to really f##k things up you’ll need a computer.
First on the news slate this week is a follow up to something we mentioned in the last instalment. Rolleiflex have launched a kickstarter for a new Instant camera, based on MiNT Cameras TL70. The camera, called snappily the Rolleiflex Instant Kamera is a TLR, and uses Fujifilms Instax Mini format film, available in both colour and monochrome. The camera is an upgraded and refined version of the TL70 version 2, notable in particular for it’s bright viewfinder.
You can hear more about the Rolleiflex Instant Kamera, and about MiNT Cameras in general by listening to episode 99 of the podcast when we were joined by Gary Ho, founder and CEO of MiNT. At the time of writing the Kickstarter still has 12 days left to go, and has raised a whopping £231,000 from and initial target of just over £18,000.
Whilst we’re talking Instax, Fujifilm announced the release of a new fully analogue camera for Instax Square film this week. The Instax SQ6 follows the SQ10, their hybrid camera (the SQ10 captures a digital image, allows you to manipulate it, and then prints it out). The SQ6 will have a suite of functions familiar to anyone who’s shot with an analogue Fujifilm Instax camera before, so don’t expect a great deal in the way of control. The model design is fairly sleek and compact, and offers an alternative to the Lomo Instant Square. The camera is hitting shelves at the end of May, and costs around £125.
In other news, Ilford revealed the new packaging for their films last week. Not a dramatic change by any measure, but a nice update to the classic look, the prominence of the social media info a clear sign of Ilfords community building endeavours. It’s notable that the “Harman Technology” name (the company which owns the Ilford brand) is also more prominent. This is a precursor to the forthcoming, and far more drastic (and overdue) repackaging of the Kentmere range of budget films, also owned and produced by Harman Technology, and hopefully other film related products to come in the future.
The Sunny 16 team, or at least part of it, actually had the fantastic opportunity to visit the Ilford site and meet the lovely people who work there. We put together a series of three shows from Ilford to mark our 100th episode. The first is an interview, discussing what Ilford is up to at the moment both with their products and their communications, and what they’re looking to in the near future. The second show is a tour of their commercial black and white processing lab, and the third a grand tour of the production facility, from emulsion manufacturing, through coating, to finishing. If you’ve ever wanted a real insight into what it’s like in a film production facility, these are the shows for you!
It’s one thing Ilford making all these films, but you need somewhere to buy them from. Today saw the launch of a new online store which aims to be the one-stop-shop for all your film needs. Analogue Wonderland is a UK based store which has set itself the unenviable task of trying to have every film stock currently available for sale. This means that alongside Ilford, Kodak and Fuji you’ll find Cinestill, Ferrania, Dubble, Kono, JCH StreetPan, Kosmofoto and many, many more. 170 at launch in fact! We spoke to the main man behind Analogue Wonderland, Paul Mckay, on show 101 to find out what prompted him to start this business, what he hopes to achieve with it, and what he was doing in North Korea with a Lomo LC-A.
Greater and easier availability of the “boutique” films can only be a good thing for us and for the manufacturers and should make experimentation with new brands much simpler.
Paul also very kindly offered to donate a prize for the current round of the Cheap Shots Challenge! The topic is Food, and you have until the 2nd of June to get your sub-£20 camera out, grab some shots and email us your two favourites. Two lucky winners will get a £25 Analogue Wonderland gift voucher!
That’ll do it for this hot blast of news, if you want to hear more from us all at the Sunny 16 Podcast then you’re in luck, because there’s been no shortage of podcasts over the last week. Not only that, but we now have a website over at sunny16podcast.com where you can find all our show notes, info on the Cheap Shots Challenge and more! We’d like to thank everyone who wished us well on reaching our 100th episode, everyone at Ilford for making our day with them an utter delight, and of course Hamish, for having us here and for defending our honour.
Until next time, shoot some film and be nice, especially on social media – those are actual humans on the other end you know.