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Konost behind schedule but still committed to producing a full-frame rangefinder

Create: 12/26/2016 - 10:29
Konost full-frame rangefinder

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Konost is still developing a full-fame digital rangefinder using the Leica M lens mount
  • Konost hopes to begin beta testing in the first half of 2017
  • Pre-orders are not yet being taken

Konost has finally provided an update on the current status of its full-frame digital rangefinder project.

In the two years since announcing its intent to build a full-frame digital rangefinder, there have been sporadic updates.

The update posted just before Christmas 2016 by Bob Lian, Konost’s founder, is the most comprehensive to date and provides insight into what has taken place.

The Konost arrived on the photography scene in December 2014 with great promise of offering a full-frame digital rangefinder body using the Leica M lens mount and to be made available at an affordable price. The target price was never mentioned.

In the ensuing months since the original announcement, Konost has provide a handful of updates to let everyone know that the Konost hadn’t descended into “vaporware.”

The latest announcement reveals what has been occurring behind the scenes. The Konost FF project was self-funded through 2015, and Konost sought external funding but said the popularity of smartphone cameras worked against it.

Konost also worked closely with Duke University, where Lian said the camera became part of a class project. Several Duke professors also lent their knowledge, Lian said.

Konost hasn’t ruled out seeking “crowdsourced” funding, according to the website FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). Konost also has undergone some changes to the team, although most of the principle players remain.

The other issue was what it would charge for the Konost FF. Lian said developing a “reasonably priced” body has proved to be very difficult, although it hasn’t abandoned that goal.

The Konost will use a custom-designed full-frame 20-MP CMOS sensor, which Lian said should help the company to price it “competitively” without providing more details. It will continue to be based on the Leica M mount.

TARGETS FOR 2017

The company hopes to meet certain goals in the coming year:

  • Start production by the third or fourth quarter of 2017.
  • Begin beta testing of the Konost FF in the first half of 2017

Although Konost is not yet accepting pre-orders for the camera, its site now includes it as a linkable page, as well as a form to sign up for a newsletter.

 

About the Author

Mike Elek is a longtime journalist and was one of the original editors for The Wall Street Journal Online. He also has worked as a reporter and editor in Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Vineland, N.J.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; New York City; and Hong Kong. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He shoots with film and digital cameras.