Will we be looking through a 3RDi soon?

Plenty of iPhone-related projects crop up on Kickstarter, and some of the more interesting ones relate to iPhone photography. The latest one to catch our attention is the 3RDi Kit from Knight Vision Studio which bills itself as the “first high end camera kit for an iPhone 4/4S”. You can read all about it at the 3RDi Kit page on Kickstarter.

It first caught my eye via a post by Marty Yawnick on his excellent Life in LoFi blog. However, I’d barely finished reading through the details when a message arrived in my e-mail from Ethan Knight, co-founder of Knight Vision Studio. In it, he mentioned that the Kickstarter page recommends our 645 PRO as an app, and that most of the shots on the page were taken with the app (which is nice). Getting such a mail also gave me the chance to ask a few questions about the future of the 3RDi kit (assuming it reaches its funding target).

In essence, however well-engineered a product such as this is, I only seeing it having real utility over time if it can grow, develop into a platform for more that two lenses with two filters. Will there be more lenses, more filters? Will it be possible to use the filters without any additional lens having been mounted? Will the specs for the lens mount be made readily available to third parties (via commercial license or even through open-sourcing) to encourage a broader ecosystem to develop?

The answers I got were encouraging, and suggested that there’s some joined-up thinking going on at Knight Vision Studio. Clearly, nobody with an early-stage, as-yet unfunded project is going to make any hard promises about the long-term future, but it is equally clear that Ethan and his team are thinking in ways that I, for one, really like.

There are lots of camera cases and add-on lenses for iPhone available already, some of which are really good (though some are, it must be said, utterly appalling). However, this project looks different. It could be well worth keeping an eye on—and, yes, supporting—it.

(As an aside, fans of documentary photography really should check out Ethan’s portfolio!)

Mike Hardaker
Founder, Jag.gr