« Key Thoughts and The Zen of Fishing | Main | Archiving FAIL and Other Thoughts »

Wednesday, 27 April 2016


Sadly, no EXIF info on the snowflake waterhouse stop. This will have to be a manual affair I guess...

Does anyone else think it's a little weird that "the internet" just gifted close to $800k to a for-profit company? Sure they're getting a cheap Russian made special effect lens but I think there is a real ethical question here, which has more than a few layers. First layer being, should Kickstarter be for biggish international photo/lifestyle brands too? I'm not so sure. Should Zeiss ask for donations so they can make their next Batis lens? Should Leica?

Also, the Zeiss 50mm Planar in ZF/ZE mount goes for about $450 used, and has all the character you need. I'll stick with that.

I had originally thought that Kickstarter was for moneyless first timers looking to do something new. But it turns out that it's really a place for established companies, with lots of money, to sucker people into financing their next project.

Lomo has 1,748, and counting, people who have pre-pre-ordered a pre-pre-anounced lens — or should I say Magic Bullet.

Back in the 19th century someone, once said "There's a sucker born every minute." Here in the 21st century, I'm reasonably sure it's more like one every second, thanks to the 'net.

There does seem to be something in the "drawing" of Elsa's face in Anna Rakhvalova's photo. On the other hand, that particular stop pattern creates a distracting and somehow "cheap" background. Still, the first is an inherent lens characteristic, and the second is an artistic choice made available to the photographer and can't really be blamed on the lens.

No doubt people will be buying this as a magic bullet, and no doubt those buyers mostly be disappointed). But there are lots of people who have strong lens preferences that don't run towards modern designs, and some of them will probably benefit considerably from this, either in saving money or in convenience of use.

Anyway, they say pretty precisely what they're doing, and the worst complaint I can see is that part of their market is people making mistakes (and that's just my guess; I don't actually know it's true). That's not enough bad for me to take against the whole enterprise, personally.

Why not? Especially for niche projects that might otherwise be orphaned. Could Apple do a Kickstarter to develop a new version of Aperture?

@Mark: Check this out. Famed director Spike Lee financed a movie using Kickstarter https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/spikelee/the-newest-hottest-spike-lee-joint

Spike Lee defends himself on CBS This Morning http://www.cbsnews.com/news/spike-lee-defends-14m-kickstarter-film-funds-campaign/

Here's what The Economist had to say http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2014/08/spike-lee-and-kickstarter

It's A Wrap: Spike Lee's Kickstarter Project, 'Da Blood of Jesus' Finishes Shooting http://www.indiewire.com/article/its-a-wrap-spike-lees-kickstarter-project-da-blood-of-jesus-finishes-shooting

See "Da Sweet Blood of Jesus" on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/ondemand/dasweetbloodofjesus

Ahhhh, stop bein' such a bunch of sour pusses. Anyone here want to put their time and effort into making something new photographically and bringing it to the world? Sheeesh. Didn't think so.

Folks spend money in much more useless ways for their entertainment. Thanks to the Internet you can find likeminded folks and pool your resources in a remarkably short time to make stuff happen. This is a bad thing? No, it is a good thing.

To quote Sargeant Hulka, "Lighten up Francis."

If nothing else, there is a path demonstrated here for folks to "bring back" any classic design of the past that they can develop a constituency for. You think Sony is going to make you that Petzval you always wanted? Smile, folks, it is all good.

Soon thousands of people will be able to be unique and original!

Here is another Mike


I'll pass on this one. I bought their earlier one, the Petzval design. Yes, Ned, it is a manual affair and the 'in focus' indication on my 7D doesn't even light up to show that you have hit the focus. It is well made though, Russian or not. The packaging is impressive but the leather lens case they designed for it is awkward at best and they didn't send all the special effect stops plates they said they would or the bonus tote bag. I gave up writing them about it. Customer service-wise I give Lomography an F. They didn't even acknowledge my correspondence.

It's the intertubes, Baby. Youse pays youse money and youse takes da risks.

Caveat emptor just about covers it, I think.

Perhaps someone will do this to manufacture a square format sensor digital camera with at least 24 megapixels as a start.

Of the two, the lens and the book, I know which one is the more valuable, impressive and unique.

Something about this makes me very uneasy. Not the likely outsize profit on the lenses, the production of which has likely been outsourced to a low cost producer in China for a single batch of lenses, but the pretense that this is a charitable endeavor to help start an ongoing self-sustaining manufacturing enterprise. I strongly suspect the production run begins and ends with the kickstarter commitments with some spare stock left over. Even a Ginsu knife one-time offer on TV feels more authentic.

recently, I came across this campaign because the lens was used in a video for a favorite band named Tindersticks. the video is here:
it is beautiful in, and for every, sense.

NB: the band also did a wonderful cover of Hazelwood's «My Autumn Done Come», which is worthwhile to check out— included in the tribute album.

Free shipping on that book though..

Being aware of Kickstarter but never having backed a project, I was surprised to see that if the project reaches its funding goal but isn’t completed, the backers are out of luck. They are left to plead with the project creator to finish the project.

Backers are (presumably) adults who can spend their money as they wish but I agree with other comments above: it's unseemly for an established company to use this approach to finance development of a new product. The customers (backers) assume the risk and the creator gets the cash without any enforceable obligation to finish the project. And of course Kickstarter gets its cut.

Why not make it a "T" mount? Then offer several adapters for the various mounts. That way even discontinued mounts such as Olympus OM and Pen F and M42 could be used. It would expand the amount of bodies this could be used on. By the way, the prices for a cemented two element lens in a helical mount seen to be 'all the profit the market will support', oh well, can't really blame them I guess. Quite a few old camera companies have gone belly up due to a cut throat market.

Huh, just thought of an interesting possibility. Do you think one of those ubiquitous 3D printers could print usable stop plates for this lens (If there's an issue, it's whether they'd be strong enough, I think, and that doesn't seem that likely to be a problem). Because making your own truly custom aperture patterns is considerably more interesting than picking from a set of 6 or whatever provided ones. (I had previously considered taking a blank plate, which they don't actually offer, and trying to hand-cut a pattern in it, but I think they might be a bit thick for that.)

I experimented some, a bit over a year ago, with custom plates to go in front of the lens to control the OOF highlight shapes, but I believe changing the actual aperture plate works a lot better.

Having “the most perfect imperfections” in my photographs is about is interesting to me as getting the prettiest dirt on my clothes. I didn’t grow up in a sterile, padded, expensive bubble though. I think this lens is for people who are interested in what is on the other side of their bubble, but can’t quite bring themselves to break out.

@David Dyer-Bennet:
Yes you can! See here for the Lomo 85 Petzval:

Yeah, if a project fails, the backers are out of luck. You're not ordering merchandise, you're backing a speculative project.

It's not that weird; even if it was a merchandise pre-order, if the project and the company failed, all you'd have left is a place in the queue at the bankruptcy court.

Of course if just the one project failed but the company survived, you'd have a claim against them. But then, if an established company that stays in business defaults on Kickstarter rewards for some projects, they can accumulate an awful lot of bad publicity awfully quickly.

I know it's not unusual for people to pre-order merchandise and I understand the risks involved. I was just a little surprised, perhaps naively, to see that Kickstarter takes its cut and tells the backers if the creator doesn't complete the project, too bad, not our problem.

The comments to this entry are closed.