Hello dear friends and readers.
The road leading to this announcement has truly been unpaved, and while there are still many challenges yet we are elated to announce we will resume taking limited sales orders for the 6x17 model M617 once again this weekend. We are working to eliminate the old write-in process of ordering lens cones and expanding the configuration options. All cameras will still be manufactured-to-order, just as before, and we do anticipate perhaps a slightly longer lead time for some orders depending on initial sales volume.
Undoubtedly there are many questions, and we'd like to address some of the ones we have received thus far:
Q: What will the price be?
A: The 6x17 base price will start at $249 USD, depending on configuration, shipping and tax not included.
Q: Will you ship internationally?
A: We will announce international shipping options, and process at a later time. -- Please be aware that international shipping from the United States is generally more expensive compared to other countries, and this is before taxes (VAT) or import duties are levied on consumers. We will continue to explore available options for our customers, and we understand this is important to many of you.
Q: How long will it take to get my camera?
A: Please remember all orders are manufactured-to-order. We do not sell cameras from inventory, and make only what is ordered. That said, we are working to reduce lead time and production times as much as possible, and we still expect cameras to take 2-3 weeks for production and delivery. We anticipate some initial orders may take up to an additional week depending on sales volume. In all cases we will ship orders first come, first served, and strive to complete orders as promptly as possible.
Q: What about viewfinder or sports finder?
A: We will not provide a finder at this time. -- The tooling, molds, and machinery for making the finders previously sold were not acquired by Steden Works. In addition, the finders were engineered to a single focal length making them inaccurate on all other lens geometries. We recommend utilizing a phone app, or used finder of equivalent FOV (field of view, not focal length) to your lens which can generally be obtained for near to or less than the cost of the legacy Malefic finders. More on this to come.
Q: Can I purchase additional lens cones? Will they work with my previously purchased (617 / Triplet) camera?
A: Yes! We will resume sales of 6x17 and Triplet compatible lens cones along with the M617. These cones are fully backward compatible with previous camera bodies.
Q: What is the price of lens cones?
A: M617 / Triplet compatible lens cones will cost $59 USD individually.
Q: What mounts / lenses are supported?
A: Our lens cones are designed for large format lenses utilizing pancake style shutters. We do not make bayonet style mounts popular on SLR cameras, nor do our cameras use interchangeable lens boards. Each lens must be mounted to its cone. Please also note lens coverage is usually given at a specific f-stop such as f/22 by manufacturers, and does not indicate full coverage at all stops. Generally coverage will decrease as the lens is opened up (f-stop reduced). A common resource for lens coverage data has been compiled by Michael K Davis of the Large Format Photography form: https://www.largeformatphotography.info/lenses/LF5x7in.html
Q: Why doesn't X lens work with the M617?
A: Each lens must have an accurately engineered lens cone created based on its specific optical geometry in order to achieve proper focus. Not all lenses have the appropriate film coverage (image circle) to expose the full 6x17 frame, while others have exceptionally large rear lens cells which do not fit our lens cones (anything greater than ∅ 60mm). In both cases these lenses will not work with our cameras. Most manufacturers of 6x17 cameras solved this problem by selling pre-configured lens & cone assemblies in only a few variations, often with no focus control. We have chosen to support a wider range of lenses, with focus helical, however the end result is the same in that each cone must be engineered individually.
Q: How do you focus?
A: M617 cameras use zone focusing. Each lens cone is engineered to focus at infinity for its respective lens geometry by default, and a zone focusing scale is provided on the helical. We also have a guide for calibrating individual lenses at infinity in the rare case where necessary: https://www.maleficcameras.com/post/how-to-improve-focus-at-infinity
Q: When can I get X camera?
A: We will announce other models as we finish updating their engineering and validate production on our equipment.
This is the first step only, and we will be phasing in other models as quickly as possible! Unfortunately we are unable to respond to inquiries about when each model will be re-launched, as so many of you have inquired. Announcements will follow when we are able to confirm re-release details.
We will continue to focus on helping to keep film photography accessible and affordable, and greatly appreciate all the enthusiasm, support, and interest in Malefic Cameras.
The Malefic Team