Huh? Pentax announces a new daguerreotype camera!

Huh? Pentax announces a new daguerreotype camera!

Ricoh/Pentax announced a daguerreotype camera, catching the film industry off guard. “It’s 1830s specs, but with some modern touches,” designer Takeo Suzuki stated via Instagram.

While the video doesn’t reveal many details or a launch date, Suzuki stated that the camera is in development. “We have wanted to embrace analog technology. The Film Camera Project was just stretching a bit and warming up. Pentax is now seriously throwing down.”

A just-revealed artist’s rendering of a possible Pentax daguerreotype camera in development. This might be the first daguerreotype camera that can be charged via USB-C.

Following the design of inventor Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre

A just-revealed artist's rendering of a possible Pentax daguerrotype camera in development.
Another just-revealed artist’s rendering of a possible Pentax daguerreotype camera in development.

Pentax went on to say that their daguerreotype uses the same process as the original 1830s design. “Young people have increasingly shown interest in these kinds of cameras, and we want them to experience the joy that the early pioneering photographers felt.”

With traditional daguerreotype cameras, the photographer polished a silver-plated copper sheet until it was like a mirror. Then they zapped it with iodine and bromine vapors to make it light sensitive. After that, they inserted the sheet into the camera, where the exposure was made. The photographer then placed the exposed plate over heated mercury fumes until the image appeared. This produced a surprisingly detailed, one-of-a-kind image.

What are some of the updates to the original daguerreotype design?

A just-revealed artist's rendering of a possible Pentax daguerrotype camera in development.
Even one more just-revealed artist’s rendering of a possible Pentax daguerreotype camera in development.

Since the daguerreotype camera is still in development, Ricoh/Pentax offered few other details. However, they did state that they were exploring various materials. “The original wooden housings were often very large and cumbersome,” Suzuki stated, “so we are exploring other materials, including innovative inflatable housings.”

The company also noted that they were looking into using heated fumes “other than mercury,” noting that customers shouldn’t breathe toxic fumes.

Ricoh/Pentax is also looking at creating silver-plated copper sheets with wifi and Bluetooth connectivity so the photographer can upload their daguerreotype prints to social media easily.

Is this news an absurd head-scratcher? Yep, we got you! Happy April Fools’ Day!