Instant cameras such as Fujifilm Instax and Polaroids are intended for simple and straightforward photography. A Hong Kong company called NONS, on the other hand, plans to take it up a notch by introducing an instant camera with the ability to swap lenses.
Currently an ongoing Kickstarter project, the NONS SL42 claims to be the world’s first M42 mount SLR instant camera. Besides allowing users to switch between different M42 lenses for a customisable photography experience, the camera uses Fujifilm Instax Mini film to develop photos immediately after capture.
However, M42 lenses from brands such as Takumar, Pentax and Helios are made for 35mm film, rather than the larger frame found on the Instax Mini. Therefore, resulting photos taken by the NONS SL42 to have a circular vignette of varying size and intensity – depending on the lens used.
Referring to the samples provided by the company, photos appear in a vintage-like look with slightly faded saturation and high contrast. The circular vignette might not sit well with some users, but it does give a bit of character to the photos.
As mentioned earlier, the NONS SL42 uses an SLR structure and a prism based viewfinder for framing and accurate focusing. Additionally, it runs off 2 AA batteries rather than a battery pack which are found in modern DSLRs or digital cameras.
It goes without saying that this camera is not practical for professional photography, but instead a novelty item for collectors or hobbyists alike. It does seems like a fun device to have if you’re looking for an instant camera that allows for varying visual results.
The Kickstarter campaign is offering the camera to backers in a variety of pledge options. Specifically, HK$1,550 (~RM835) for just the body only, HK$1,700 (~RM915) for the camera plus two packs of Instax Mini film, or HK$1,800 (~RM970) for the NONS SL42 with a 50mm f/1.8 M42 lens. Once its goal is reached, NONS will be shipping the camera to its backers worldwide by August 2020.