The folks over at Galaxy aren’t at all the largest company in the photo industry; but the products that they make are pretty well regarded. A while back both The Phoblographer and Petapixel helped them launch their large format direct positive paper with our massive combined reach–and they put our logos on the boxes as a thank you. Since then they’ve done two other projects, one on Glass plates and another on direct positive paper designed and cut for 120 film cameras. But unfortunately, Kickstarter backers haven’t heard anything from the company for a while. Despite the fact that I’m going to be reviewing the Hyper Speed 120 paper and I’ll most likely be getting some for free as a result, I personally backed the project simply because the analog photography world is something I believe in strongly. And like many of you, I was incredibly angry at their lack of responses and updates.
As of October of this year, the company still hasn’t offered any sort of update. In addition to that, comments on the Kickstarter state that even B&H Photo hasn’t received any sort of update from them. So what gives exactly?
Considering that I don’t back a lot of Kickstarter projects for ethical reasons of running one of the world’s largest photography blogs, I’m partially writing this post because I’ve been in touch with Galaxy for the past year. I was supposed to receive products for review before the units went out to backers. And so to ensure that I’ve got time in our editorial schedule, I check in with Galaxy around once a quarter or so. On August 25th, they stated that they were planning to provide an update, but hadn’t. But at this point, I really don’t want to see something that has happened before repeat itself in the photo industry.
Here’s what Galaxy wrote me:
We have already chosen the backing paper.
Unfortunately, we are moving not at the speed we would like to due to some other issues.
Our representative just left for the factory to deal with the production, cutting etc.
That response came to me on April 14th. So, being the tenacious journalist that I usually am, I continued to follow up. On August 22nd, they replied again:
First of all, thank you for supporting Galaxy during all times.
We think of you as a friend so here is unfiltered and off the record information I received from the boss:
– We are about to start shipping pledges for the Glass plates project (most likely at the end of September).
– Hyperspeed 120 project hit several bumps on the road. We were able to solve the issue with thickness of the backing paper but there is another manufacturing issue – we need to build a new custom cutter for the papermaking machine. Papermaking machine has been produced in early 80s and although we are working with mechanical engineers it may take a few more months before we’ll be able to resolve the problem.
We understand that some people are upset about the situation but we are trying to fix it as soon as we can. Unfortunately, this situation was unpredictable for us. We absolutely intend to deliver everything that we’ve promised to all our supporters and even go an extra mile to reward those who were patient and helpful.
According to the Glass Plates Kickstarter page, there is no update and apparently they weren’t shipped out in September. This is evident in the fact that backers of that project are still asking for updates. Since then I haven’t heard anything and I’ve even delayed this blog post since August. But a company that promised something fantastic for the analog photography world still hasn’t delivered. We’ve reached out multiple times for commentary and still haven’t received any.