New Ihagee Elbaflex film SLR with Nikon F-mount coming to Kickstarter next week

A new Ihagee Elbaflex film SLR with Nikon F-mount will be launched next week on Kickstarter. Ihagee is an old German brand and somebody is trying to bring it back to life on Kickstarter (just like the recent YashicaOprema Jena, Meyer Optik, Emil Busch crowdfunding projects). Here are the details:

Update: additional information on this Kickstarter project can be found here.

  • Fully mechanical shutter
  • Flash sync speed of 1/60
  • Eye-level SLR pentaprism viewfinder
  • Weight: 690g
  • Manual shutter dial with 1/2, 1/4, 1/8/, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500 and B

Here is a better view of the camera:

From Ihagee website:

"The inside of the camera is based on Ukrainian camera technology design manufactured in the Ukrainian Arsenal factory up to the late 1980s. This inside of the camera has been improved by carefully reengineering some of its key components, especially some of its mechanical elements. These parts include elements of the mechanical shutter, the usage of different sealing materials of the highest quality and a new, soft stop of the mirror on a specially designed foam pad.

Besides these technical changes on the inside, the team has designed a beautiful body along the line of the famous German Ihagee ELBAFLEX camera. It is possible to personalize the camera with a choice of leather coating and associated straps."

The Reflex manual film SLR camera that started on Kickstarter 3 days ago will also be available with Nikon F-mount:

The Reflex manual film SLR camera is now on Kickstarter

Via Thephoblographer

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  • ninpou_kobanashi

    Flash sync speed of 1/60? Seems kinda poo poo – I guess it’s because the shutter doesn’t go faster than 1/500?

  • Сергій Козер

    it’s fake. original is Kiev 19M.

    • Roger S

      Yes, the prototype certainly looks to be based more on the Kiev 19M than on old Elbaflex models. What are they thinking?

    • What is fake?

    • Mistral75

      Fake no, but this camera built in co-operation between the German net SE group and former employees of the Arsenal factory very much looks lihe a Kiev 19M in disguise with a wooden grip instead of a plastic one, à la Hasselblad Lunar.

      Kiev 19M

      Ihagee Elbaflex

    • Mistral75

      Besides, Ihagee don’t even hide it:

      The inside of the camera is based on Ukrainian camera technology design manufactured in the Ukrainian Arsenal factory up to the late 1980s


      They further state “This inside of the camera has been improved by carefully reengineering some of its key components, especially some of its mechanical elements. These parts include elements of the mechanical shutter, the usage of different sealing materials of the highest quality and a new, soft stop of the mirror on a specially designed foam pad

      What follows is more tendentious: “Besides these technical changes on the inside, the team has designed a beautiful body along the line of the famous German Ihagee ELBAFLEX camera” since this Ihagee Elbaflex is very much looking like a Kiev 19M with a wooden grip replacing the original, plastic one.

      Let us not forget the essentials: “It is possible to personalize the camera with a choice of leather coating and associated straps.” 🙂

      • thanks, will add this to my post

  • Doug-e-fresh

    Ehhhhhhhhh really… whats the point??

  • Jin Gin

    get a F5 for $300 and you are all set.

    • Ralf Jannke

      Just easier: I would use my F2/F3… But I prefer my 350 $/€ D2Xs…

    • ZoetMB

      It doesn’t even have to be an F5. Get a Nikon N80 for under $100, some even with lenses. That was a great Nikon mid-range camera that was very much like the digital D70 that followed four years later. There’s also an F3 for sale, claims to be in working condition, looks clean, just a little brassing, currently at $23 with two days to go. If one wants to shoot film, there are plenty of bargains as few want these cameras anymore and there’s plenty around that were hardly used in any case.

    • shpigunov

      Well, I can kind of see where all these guys are aiming. Eventually, the stores of older cameras are finally going to run out and if the analogue trend continues until then, the prices for used equipment in reasonable condition will creep up. This is where their new and redesigned product comes in.

  • Jeremy Allen

    I bought a FM with 50mm f2 AI lens for $50 that out classes this camera with room to spare. Why would I buy this inferior body?

  • animalsbybarry

    Why not just use an old Nikon film camera
    There’s a ton of Nikon F cameras around…. they are dirt cheap….and they last forever

    • That absolutely correct. That “reflex” slr makes quite a sense though in terms of features and uniqueness. Lets you use other brands’ lenses and different films on the fly.

      • Yes, I like the film changing concept.

  • T.I.M

    I hope in 20 years we could say the same about cars that run on gas.

    • JoCarpenter

      I hope it’s much sooner than that. 2025?

  • Ryan

    Why??? If you’re going to bring back an oldie, you need to make it at least different in some way and appealing. Just buy an FM2 or similar and it will surpass this Ihagee. Even a Zenit + Helios will do and that’s only £30 or less!

  • Mike

    Film is undergoing a resurgence as a specialty niche – even among those of us that made the transition from film and wet darkroom to DSLRs 18+ years ago. Film has its pros and cons, and its not going to ever make a mainstream comeback – it requires too much time and skill to do at a pro level, but I’m enjoying my Pentax 67II 6×7 again and might add an 8×10 view camera to the mix along with my D8xx. Last year I picked up a Nikon Coolscan LS9000, set up my medium format LPL 6700MXL color enlarger, picked up a dry-to-dry Fujimoto CP-32 print processor, enjoy using a Jobo CPP2, and am now upgrading a completely automatic multi-real film processor (a PhotoTherm Super Sidekick 8). I enjoy shooting both digital and film; I get to and pick and choose whether I want to use an all-digital workflow, a hybrid analog-digital workflow, or an all-analog workflow. I don’t expect those that have never done film and analog darkroom film developing and traditional enlarging to understand, and many will likely feel like they need to point out all the reasons why digital is better than film (and most of them, but not all of them, correct), but I’m having a blast like I did 45 years ago. I might even shoot my Nikon F2as a bit – life is good!

    • ZoetMB

      Yeah, but niche is right. A very small niche. And I congratulate you because you obviously have far more patience than I do. When I was young, the smell of hypo sulfate rice crystals used to close my throat, so I don’t miss the darkroom. Back then, I’d go through medium format negative and paper like it was nothing, but today it’s gotten quite expensive. 10 sheets of T-Max 400 8×10 negative costs $104. Printing paper costs over $1 per sheet.

  • RC Jenkins

    Curious: How many here still shoot 135 / 35 film? And why?

    I hope that doesn’t sound judge-y…I’m actually just curious. Is it a technical thing, experience thing, results thing, unexplainable, etc.?

    Personally, I stopped years ago. For me, I like the digital workflow and time to results in particular.

    • FromTheNorth

      I shoot personal projects on both 135 and 120 because I simply enjoy the process much more. For paid gigs its digital all the way.

    • Roger S

      I shoot 35mm fairly infrequently, may a dozen rolls a year. I’m moved to do it in part for the actual experience (handling the film, winding it through the camera), in part to recall how much I enjoyed using my various film cameras in the past, and in part for the results (e.g., using Tri-X, Velvia, Portria). One of these days I’m likely to go on a brief Ilford B/W film binge since I’ve always wondered how I would like those films. I used to print on Ilford paper (discovered after getting some from an uncle) but, for some reason, haven’t used Ilford film. Shameful, I think.

      I also have dreams of setting up a wet darkroom again. I remember the wonderful smell of the B/W darkroom I had years ago. I’m much more committed to digital now, though, and enjoy all of its different elements.

    • I am thinking of starting anew with B/W film shooting and processing for that very same enjoyment of old times. Difference will be that I will be scanning the negatives. Shooting colour is not the same thing though. Not interested in that.

    • TurtleCat

      I did for fun until earlier this year. Part of it was nostalgia and part to see how well I cloud do. But it’s just too expensive with no real benefit.

    • Michiel953

      I do, regularly (as in a roll a month, maybe slightly more on average). 400 ISO b&w only, choosing from four different ones, sometimes pushig to 800. Cameras FM2n, FM3a, F2AS, F Apollo, and a slew of Ai/AiS primes.
      I have a great lab doing the developing and occasional wet prints.

      I do it, still do it, will keep doing it, because it gives me more (tactile etc) satisfaction than my D8xx does, and because manual centreweighted exposure metering keeps my eyes locked to the light.
      And because (b&w in this case) film will always give a look (different, not better nor worse) I will never be able to achieve with digital.

    • I shoot a few rolls a month with various cameras (Nikon FE2, F, Olympus 35RC, Canon Snappy, Holga 120, etc.)

  • Ed Hassell

    While I appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit of those who dream up these retro camera projects, I fear most will never see fruition and many who do invest will loose their stakes. There are just too many really good mechanical cameras still available, used and new.

    There are several I’ve purchased over the years with which I would never part, e.g., my F2AS body (and all its many accessories), a couple of FM2n bodies, and a dozen or so mechanical AiS lenses to go with them.

    Every now and then, the B&W urge hits me. As good as digital is, Tri-X and a darkroom are a lot more fun.

  • Spy Black

    Take all the worst aspects of a Sony-re-branded Hasselblad camera, and put them on a hipster camera…

  • BdV

    I like the picture of the lipstick girl.

  • Mistral75

    This is known territory.

    The Ihagee trademark belongs to SEMI Verwaltung GmbH, a company based in Koblenz.

    Other trademarks owned by SEMI Verwaltung include Lydith, Makroplasmat, Nocturnus, Oreston, ,Primagon and Telemegor.

    Those are some of the names used by Meyer-Optik Görlitz, also based in Koblenz, for their lenses.

    This Ihagee project involves therefore the same clique (net SE group, also based in Koblenz, Dr Stefan Immes as CEO and more) as Meyer-Optik Görlitz, Oprema Jena and Emil Busch.

    They use the Ihagee trademark because the Exakta trademark still belongs to Jos. Schneider Optische Werke GmbH a.k.a. Schneider Kreuznach.

    Curiously, Elbaflex doesn’t seem to be a registered trademark.

    • Jeffry De Meyer

      Any relation to idris

      • Mistral75

        > Any relation to idris

        Who / what is Idris?

      • Mistral75

        If you mean Irix, the answer is no.

        The Irix trademark belongs to a company called TH Swiss AG. The founder and CEO of TH Swiss AG is Mr Hubert Grzegorz Adamczyk. Mr Adamczyk is also the founder and CEO of a Polish company named Delta, which was the exclusive distributor of Samyang in Poland and the owner of the e-retailer foto-tip.

    • MB

      Although there was an Exakta Elbaflex but it was DDR brand I think

      • Mistral75

        The Ihagee Elbaflex VX 1000 was the export version of the Ihagee Exakta VX 1000. Indeed, a court judgement had decided that the trademark Exakta belonged to Exakta-West (set up by Johan Steenbergen in 1959 when he came back to Germany) and not to Pentacon Ihagee for all territories but the GDR (German Democratic Republic, East Germany).

        From 1969 onwards all exported Ihagee cameras had therefore to be rebranded (Exa or Elbaflex).

        So there is no such thing as an “Exakta Elbaflex”, only Elbaflex clones of Exakta cameras.

        • MB

          Your Exakta knowledge is so exact 🙂

  • Sebako

    People who have any interest in Ihagee/Exakta/Elbaflex are probably looking for a camera that at least sort of looks like an Exakta, handles like an Exakta (film advance lever and shutter button on the left), and, most importantly, allows them to shoot with their old Exakta-mount glass. It does not look like this project will do any of those. It’s maybe worth pointing out that old Exakta cameras, which do all of those, are available for “very affordable prices” all the time on eBay, at least here in Germany.

  • Mike

    LOL, Actually, I would like to retract all the good things I said about film. Analog film photography is an AWFUL experience – don’t do it, not if you did it before or just thinking about trying your hand at it. Really. You see, with all of this resurgence and interest the availability of great analog gear is quite limited – manufacturers, for the most part, are not making new film gear (especially not new darkroom gear), or making new gear in any kind of volume if they are, and although analog/film is continuing a worldwide resurgence specialty, more people getting into it means more bidding up the cost of the very limited stock really good analog gear that remains. For example, I snagged an incredible automatic color/b&w Fujimoto 14″ wide CP-32 dry-to-dry print processor for a few hundred bucks. New, that unit used to cost many thousands – it was the best you could get for a personal darkroom if you had very deep pockets back then. I restored mine to new condition, and I maintain my gear like new. I can’t imaging what it would be worth now or in the future. I could have snagged a 24″ CP51 in great condition recently for $200 plus $700 self-shipping – I regret backing off and did as it requires US 220v, much larger and a lot more chemistry volume for which I don’t do enough volume to justify it over using my Jobo CPP2 for the occasional 16×20 – but I should have snagged it as an investment – they’ll resell soon for $10K. Same with my Sidekick 8 – a completely automatic film processor (any film, C41, E6, B&W, back to back, no water hookup needed, no wait, no mess, custom programming). I spent $1200 on mine – used to be able to get them for $500. New ones that don’t have the same reel capacity, recovery, replenishment, or custom control, now cost $7,000. Mine was rebuilt my the manufacturer to the latest tech and turned into s Super Sidekick 8 which the manufacturer doesn’t even make and sell anymore – but they service them all. Even old Jobo CPPs in good condition are going for $1200+, while new ones with a lift cost north of $4,000! As for cameras, a few years ago, great MF cameras and great glass were a dime a dozen – try getting one in top condition now – like my mind 67II, or some of the really good glass. I could sell my near mint condition F2AS on eBay for over $500 easily, but those of us that have them will never part with ’em. Same with enlargers, especially the really good LPLs for MF and 4×5 – new they cost $5,000 – and soon you won’t be able to get one in great shape for much less. Want a Peek Model 1? A vacuum easel? A really good APO enlarger lens? A good programmable digital timer? Yah, still somewhat reasonable now but all quickly appreciating like houses did in the housing boom. No, please don’t consider analog film – it will just bid up the cost of the best rare analog gear for the rest of us! 😛

    • Roger S


  • Kriss_De_Valnor

    Well i hope no one will try to bring Nikon back to life on Kickstarter…

  • Michiel953

    This could be something for people new to analog photography, but I fail to see how this would improve over a used FM/FM2 for 200 USD.

  • Basilisk

    If I bought a camera to use with my 50mm f1.2 AIS lens then it is going to have to have a faster than 1/500 shutter speed

  • Mistral75
  • Mistral75
  • Wojciech Sawicki

    I hope Arsenal is actually getting some profit out of this… As in, an actual new production run. I hope it’s not just some guy buying ‘old stock’ Kiev 19Ms on Ebay and rebranding them in his basement. The camera in their demo video looks well used.

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