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Thread: The Mercury, a universal camera

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    The Mercury, a universal camera

    Dear LF community,

    I am very pleased to announce a camera system that has been two years in the making: The Mercury: the world's first universal camera. It is a fully modular, open system that can accept nearly any lens (view camera lenses, obviously, but also medium format system lenses for those of that persuasion). The back adapter can be swapped to shoot medium format (especially Graflok 23), large format (currently 4x5, but hopefully larger formats as well in the future). Modular front lens spacers, tubes, and helical focusing units allow many different sorts of lenses to be adapted. A modular focus scale and DOF scale system allows any lens to have these features, for handheld shooting (rangefinder or zone focusing). Focus scales are available in both feet and meters. The LF configuration utilizes a Graflok 45 back adapter, so it can accept any compatible 4x5 accessory, including Grafmatics, 6x12 roll film holders, Polaroid backs of all stripes, etc. We're also going to release a Belair Instax Wide Graflok back. I designed this to be the most versatile hand-held large format camera ever made, while still being compact, very light, and inexpensive. This is a camera that can travel with you, and accept most of your large format gear easily. Only a few truly light and portable large format cameras have ever been made, and they have all (to the best of my knowledge) been plagued by "special purpose" status: designed only for a single lens, a certain type of film holder, etc. The Mercury can be extended and adapted to do just about anything. I'm hoping to generate a large user community that will continue to innovate new uses and components for the system, so that it will grow far into the future.

    I launched the Kickstarter today. The idea is to raise the capital necessary to create the molds we need for high-quality and high-volume main body parts. Small specialty parts will be 3D printed. This system is only made possible through a combination of the the two manufacturing processes.

    This community is particularly important to me, and I welcome any and all thoughts that you may have. Please check out the Kickstarter campaign here:

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...iversal-camera

    www.mercurycamera.com

    Please consider backing. Thank you!

    Regards,
    Zach

  2. #2
    rich815's Avatar
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    May 2011
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    Albany, CA (near San Francisco)
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    The Mercury, a universal camera

    Neat Kickstarter. Good luck.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Massachusetts USA
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    Re: The Mercury, a universal camera

    Tilt/shift/swing/rise/fall ?

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
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    10,314

    Re: The Mercury, a universal camera

    Gee, a second Mercury camera. Do you have any relationship to the original Mercury cameras in the 50s?

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2016
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    281

    Re: The Mercury, a universal camera

    Although very interested in the concept, bad fuzzy pictures of the camera p...ed me off almost immediately. Sorry.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    8,195

    Re: The Mercury, a universal camera

    Spent a lot of time studying the offer. Can you make an offer for only the Mercury Grafloc 2x3 Instax wide back?

    Your promo movie is very well done!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    281

    Re: The Mercury, a universal camera

    A very disappointing video! Care to say about the front and back spacers necessary to accommodate different focal length lenses? Is it psychiatry or a camera concept you wanted to present in the video? Sorry but p...ed of for a 2nd time.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    6,429

    Re: The Mercury, a universal camera

    Would you please show us the thing with a 4x5 back?

    Until I see that, what I see is a knockoff of an Alpa 12. Or of a Mamiya Press/Super 23/Universal or Graflex XL with no RF. 2x3, not LF. And, oh yeah, hype.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    52

    Re: The Mercury, a universal camera

    Go for it Zach. However.
    Review carefully the Wanderlust Travelwide KS campaign of recient memory.
    When the delays and unexpected problems come, and they will, do you promise to communicate fully and honestly and promptly with the backers? Not just the good news, but the bad news too? The backers will have basically two types of questions. Technical and engineering questions and timeline to delivery questions. It is important to be prepared to spend the time necessary to keep ahead of this aspect of your KS campaign. That, much more than any technical expertise or cute introduction videos will inform the success or failure of your campaign.

  10. #10

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    Jul 2015
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    Santa Barbara, CA
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    Re: The Mercury, a universal camera

    Hi Pfsor, I thought the photos were clear enough, but perhaps the resolution that Kickstarter displays them at is a bit inadequate. There are many more photos on the official site (still in beta here). But I've now added a full gallery on Flickr that you can view at much higher resolution, here.

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