An instant camera from NONS which is now funding on Kickstarter will allow photographers to create sharpness and bokeh on Instax Square film with Canon EF, M42, Nikon F, Pentax K, and Contax/Yashica mount lenses.
The NONS SL660, as it is named, is an interchangeable-lens SLR instant film camera that works with Fujifilm instax Square Film and allows photographers creative control that’s lacking in all Fujifilm-made and Polaroid-made instant cameras today.
It’s natively fitted with a Canon EF lens mount (passive) and is fully compatible with EF lens. By using adapters it’s also possible to use lenses of M42, Nikon F, Pentax K, Contax/Yashica, and even medium format mount.
In addition to this lens versatility, the NONS SL660 offers full manual control of the lens aperture and shutter speed, as well as bulb mode for long exposures, multiple exposures, and a hot shoe for flash photography (synch at 1/250th). The NONS SL660 also has a light meter to ensure accurate exposures for people who aren’t perfectly comfortable shooting in full manual mode (metering by eye).
The camera is a true SLR with a big bright viewfinder, making manual focus and precise focus possible (again, something that’s lacking in all of the current instant cameras from the major manufacturers). The viewfinder has been formulated to offer complete coverage of the image area, and the camera itself has optical elements built into the camera to ensure that vignetting on the final image is kept to a minimum (this was a problem on NONS first interchangeable lens SLR, the Instax Mini format NONS SL42). These elements ensure that lenses made for 35mm film cameras will expose all or most of the larger image area of Instax Square film.
It’s made out of aluminum (at least the front plate is – the film processing part is plastic), and it’s got a wooden handle. Premium!
Full Specifications of the NONS SL660
- Passive EF mount (no electronic signal to auto-focus or adjust electric control aperture)
- Shutter Speed (10 modes): 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30, 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1 second and Bulb mode
- Recommended F/# based on current shutter speed
- Counter up to 999 seconds when using bulb mode
- Film counter and battery status display
- Standard hot shoe, flash sync to 1/250
- Power supply: 3200mAh internal Li-ion battery. Input: DC 5V, 1A
- Film: Fujifilm instax square film
- Film size: 72 x 86 mm (width x height)
- Picture size: 62 x 62 mm (width x height)
- Mechanical dimension: 135 x 131 x 92 mm (width x height x depth)
- Weight: 850 g
- Package: Camera body, USB Type-A to Type-C cable, Manual
I wrote an article introducing the NONS SL42 many years ago, when that camera was Kickstarter. It was a similar device to the new SL660, but I wasn’t totally sold on it mostly because of the vignetting and the limitations inherent in the Instax Mini format (that film is too small to care about image quality). The SL660, however, addresses both of these complaints.
Instax Square is the best instant film available today, as I mentioned in this review. I think it strikes the best balance between image quality, physical dimensions, and importantly, price. It’s cheaper than Polaroid film and better looking, even if it is physically slightly smaller. And the fact that the new SL660 will not vignette in most situations is a big plus.
If I can make images as nice as the sample images provided to me by NONS, I will indeed be buying this camera. It seems to finally offer everything I need – the right format, the creative control, a decent price (at approximately $445 USD this is all relative – this is about as “professional” as an instant camera gets in 2022). And I think it would be great fun to experiment with all sorts of lenses produced in the past sixty-odd years.
Why am I so excited to use a tilt-shift lens on this thing?
I should mention the usual Kickstarter caveat. I’ve backed about ten projects on Kickstarter over the years and I believe six of them have delivered on their promise. NONS has a track record of success in this area, and the project is funded already. This, and their experience with the SL42, leads me to suggest that anyone interested in backing the project need not worry that it become vaporware. If you want a NONS SL660 and back it, you’ll get it.
NONS has told me that I’ll get a hands on with the SL660 closer to launch and I’ll be sure to provide granular detail of my use and results. You can wait and see until then or you can back the project on Kickstarter now.
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