The Flapoflex Beowulf

The Flapoflex Beowulf

A recent article in DP Review says it all…and you’ll be a staunch photographer if you can read it all – the topic is the alphabetical and numerical mess that manufacturers have made of camera names.

I vaguely remember writing something on this earlier in this column, but then at my age I remember most things vaguely. Don’t be sad – you get to forget sad things as well as good ones. Suffice it to say I thoroughly agree with the the writer – the complexity of adding X’s and Mark numbers as well as little dodges into “S” or “R” to differentiate new cameras is making it very difficult to tell which one is which.

I placed this problem before the decision makers of the Flapoflex Company in Wakkanai, Japan and asked if they had any solution. One of their older designers remembered that at one time Japanese aircraft designations became nearly as complex – A Kawanishi fighter was officially an N1K2-J Shidenkai. It was difficult to remember and to say over a radio, so the plane was given the name of ” George “. And there were Peggy’s, Nell’s, Ann’s, Kates, etc. Even an Emily which sounds rather sweet but looked like big green whale.

Flapoflex have agreed to eschew model numbers and long strings of letters and numbers and to apply human names to their cameras. The re-naming ceremony will take place in 2021, but right now they are compiling lists of names and trying to fit them culturally onto the product range.

Obviously they will be sensitive about this – they are not touching Donald, Vladimir, or Boris at this stage of the game and they also accepted my suggestion that the name Justin be reserved for cameras that don’t actually do anything.

You can participate too – just send your suggestions to this column and well pass them on to Flapoflex. You could be immortalised on a mirror-less.

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