RICOH Imaging just gave film photographers more reasons to celebrate. The company yesterday announced that research and development of new PENTAX brand film camera products. This move, they said, was motivated by a “rebirth in interest in film cameras recently.” The two-tier project aims to develop new film camera products and work together with camera enthusiasts.
“We want to use the film camera skills and technologies developed over the years by RICOH Imaging/PENTAX (the PENTAX Division of RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD.) and provide camera enthusiasts around the world with new film camera products. We will be developing and launching new products and providing aftercare services so that experienced film camera users and younger photographers who want to try these cameras for the first time can fully enjoy the experience of film photography,” Ricoh said in their announcement.
RICOH also released the “Film Project Story” short film above, featuring TKO (Takeo Suzuki), the Product Planning/Designer for the project. In the video, he talks about his passion and thoughts on this new challenge. “We’ve decided to develop a film camera, one that everyone can enjoy using without any of the worries. We want to support the film camera culture young users are trying to create by providing a brand new product — one marketed by a dependable manufacturer and accompanied by a solid warranty, and one that comes at a price affordable for young users,” he said.
However, according to Noboru Akahane, President and CEO of RICOH Imaging Company, Ltd., the announcement doesn’t necessarily mean the company will be releasing new cameras.
“Instead, it’s an ongoing project based on the assumption that, as long as photographers remain obsessed with the ambiance of light and environment, there will also be some who will want to use film cameras as their tool of choice in capturing unique images. But we also know how difficult it will be to restart the production of film cameras long after production was terminated. In fact, we’re only at the starting line right now.”
Based on these statements, RICOH will either be rebooting the production of previous or notable PENTAX film cameras, or design and produce a new film camera altogether. Or maybe even both! In any case, the fact that the company wants to explore this path is a win for modern-day film photographers.
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