The expertise in analog camera maintenance is dwindling, as is the supply of spare parts. This comes at a crucial time in photography where the demand for analog products is on the rise again. In order to, at least, save the camera maintenance expertise Ricoh has started a project with veteran camera repairmen and young, new, film photographers. They have named this endeavor the ‘Film Camera Project’.
Ricoh has initiated a two-pronged initiative. Firstly, they are researching the viability of a new film camera. If a new film camera is viable, Ricoh want to develop the camera alongside photographers. Through online meetings and forums, the development team want to work together with the consumer in order to make a camera that fits the needs of the photographers. The development and sale of the camera will be done under the Pentax brand name. Pentax already has some amazing analog cameras under its belt as we all know. Think about the legendary Pentax K1000, ME and the 6×7 medium format cameras.
Recognition of the growth in film photography is the reason for the start of the project. According to Ricoh’s research many photographers already have and use analog photography alongside their digital work. Furthermore, a spike in film prices due to popularity makes the move back to analog cameras very justified. There is nothing concrete yet, apart from the fact there is a project. I hope dearly that the production of this new camera will take off soon.