Nons SL66 tease shot

Nons Teasing the SL660 – A New Instax Square SLR

In the last few weeks Nons have been teasing a new instant SLR based around the Instax Square format. The initial shots suggest that the SL660 has some relation on their prior SL42 models but in some ways very different. But if they can pull this off would be a major advance.

As I said before the Nons SL42 is one of the most important analogue camera of recent years. It shows not just a willingness to create a new concept but that someone can actually make an analogue SLR for profit in 2021. The cameras are not without their flaws but are still very important. The models use the Canon EF mount to allow folks to add almost whatever 35mm SLR lens they wanted to via adapters.

Nons SL42
The original Nons SL42 and it’s later revision use Instax Mini

Upping the Format

But one issue was the frame size.
The SL42 used instax mini. This makes sense as even the mini format is considerably bigger than the 35mm frame size. The original had marked vignetting and the later Mk II model introduced an optical extender which reduced that.

Nons SL660 tease shot
Nons SL660 tease shot by Nons

Now Nons are teasing a newer camera called the SL660. information is limited to three bits of media – a short video showing a film back/holder ejecting a Instax square and more importantly 2 partial shots of the camera

Nons promotional video of the Eject mechanism.

Nons have now confirmed that the SL66 is a Instax Square SLR that uses 35mm SLR lenses and has a built in extender. But that’s all they have confirmed to date.

NONS SL660. promotional Image by Nons
Lens mount and side of camera. The second lever is ? the re-cocking lever. promotional Teaser image by Nons

But there are a few clues

The name is interesting. There are only 2 cameras i can think of with 660 in their title one a forgettable fixed focus Premier PC-660 (weirdly I have one of those).

Another 660 instant camera but by Polaroid. The Sun 660 variant shown here image by Bryan Debus (click here to seen huis Flickr Stream). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License.

The other perhaps is a more important nod the Polaroid 660.
Not a SLR but a widely sold instant camera of another generation

A picture says a Thousand words

The newest image although limited tells us a few things

Labelled image of corner of SL660

There has been some notable style changes on this prototype model. The two most obvious are the wooden grip (1) a nice touch that I hope carries on to production and what looks like the shutter button being moved to the front (2). I personally prefer a downwards shutter button but this may make more sense depending on the camera’s overall dimensions.

The shutter speed dial remains on the same side (3). Some restyling is evident on the pentaprism hood (4) and the non TLR metering cell has move slightly (5). Likely the metering will be the same as the SL42 series as the lens cannot be coupled and you can’t get a TLR stop down reading. With the SL42 the meter gives a suggested aperture value matched to the shutter speed.

The mount (6) is again a passive Canon EF one, It matches the flanges on the SL42 (seen here in MkII guise with the NFE)

Nons SL42 MkII
Nons SL42 Mk II with NFE frame extender

And that makes sense. The EF mount has the widest flange distance and allows for more lenses being mounted via adaptors. As the the original suffered from marked vignetting using the Instax mini format. The presence of optical extension (7) is no surprise. Nons did a good job with their removable extender the NFE and I’m hoping this built in one lives up to it’s predecessor but it doe have a lot more work to do,

Lamp. Nons SL42 2021
Image taken on Nons SL42 with NFE and a Pentacon 50/1,8 with monochrome Instax mini film 2021

We know there is a motorised instax eject system from the video.

The Second shot shows the other side of the mount.

SL660, Nons promotional image
Lens mount and side of camera. The second lever is ? the re-cocking lever. promotional Teaser image by Nons

Again we have stylistic revisions but what is striking is just how narrow the body is lengthwise. Again the optics in the field extender are visible and the lens mount again looks like a passive EF one. Behind the release is a another lever – I’m guessing for re-cocking à la SL42. But it could drive the film eject system.

And what else ?

And that’s all we know or can deduce.

The Biggest is unknown is what this camera will look like. If you told me about this without those images I’d have gone for a SL42 on Steroids about the size of a Kiev 6c. I’d have assumed same leaf and sliding mirror arrangement but maybe just bigger.

But that’s not the story the camera image suggest. we have body much narrower than a SL42 !. We have no idea how deep the body goes either but I suspect probably not much more than the SL42 excluding the bult in Extension bezel.

I’m guessing this will be more like a dSLR or late 35mm SLR in proportions just much bigger.

Power is likely via a lithium cell like the SL42 MkII

3 wish list thinks I’d like to see improved on with the SL660. First if possible a faster shutter – that may not be possible if using same leaf set up. But 800ISO and top speed of 1/250 is a pain in bright light and forces you to use ND filters. Second I hope there is an option for cable point (the shutter button may well unscrew to allow this). Support for older simple flash units would be nice. The last models work well with modern units but not older ones for some reason

When & Where will the SL660 be launched ?

Given form I’d assume a launch on Kickstarter for this later in 2022. I’m guessing the earliest February but more likely 2-4 months later

More info on the SL660

It doesn’t feature at all on Nons’s main site. But these images feature on Nons’s Instagram and Facebook feeds

3 thoughts on “Nons Teasing the SL660 – A New Instax Square SLR”

  1. This is exciting news!!! I have SL42 MkII and love it … old Pentax glass with an M42 to EF adapter allows me to use some fun glass!!!

  2. Nons is such a groundbreaking company, working actually innovative, instant cameras. But my frustration with them is that they’re constantly crippling the performance of their products with extenders. One of, if not the biggest reason to use vintage glass rather than the plastic instax lenses. But if you add an extender, the IQ indisputably suffers. I get it though, since vintage FF lenses are everywhere, and medium format lenses are relatively rare. The larger shutters that Medium format coverage requires are also more specialized and difficult to make. So financially it makes sense, it just leads to a very sad missed opportunity to make something truly next-level magnificent.

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