Sam here, I hope everyone is doing well over Christmas and most importantly staying safe.
2020… a year to forget for most of us, but not for Adaptalux as we have continued to grow and improve. None of us could have predicted that Coronavirus would dominate the year for all of us and it still is doing so with fresh lockdowns coming into force in the UK over the weekend.
Your health is the most important thing this year
First and foremost, the team at Adaptalux would like to encourage everybody to continue being safe, keep wearing masks, and ensure you keep a safe distance from others. Coronavirus is not a joke, I had it in early November and it was a tough illness to deal with, luckily I was OK after 7 days, but others have not been so fortunate. It is important to keep your distance and be mindful of others, especially when in the shops doing last-minute Christmas food shopping and alike.
The vaccine is very promising and looks to make a big difference next year with getting over this dreadful illness, let’s hope for better things and we really hope everyone in the Adaptalux community is ok!
An ever-growing community that supports each other
One thing people turn to in worrying times is other people. Our community has continued to grow this year and we have supported each other through our photography work in many ways. Ben continues to demonstrate excellent new photography and lighting techniques to our audience, providing well-needed inspiration throughout the year to capture something wonderful.
Our Facebook Photography Community page is also growing, with more photos being shared each day than ever before. These also provide a great source of inspiration and it’s a thrill for us and hopefully, you as well! It’s very motivating to our team to see all of the amazing work people capture with their Adaptalux Studios.
It was really touching to see the Adaptalux community support each other during the hard times of this year. It’s one of the reasons I made Adaptalux, not only to create great products but also to educate and inspire the macro photography community as a whole. All levels of photographer are welcome in our groups.
Flash is coming to the Adaptalux Studio in
Coronavirus has had a tough impact on product development this year on many manufacturers, through not only the photography industry but all industries. Producing products and complex parts depends on a reliable supply chain, and if one cog in that supply chain becomes disrupted it leads to delays. As you can imagine, this has been ever so apparent this year across the world. Unfortunately, it meant a lot of our development for the Flash slowed down to a halt throughout much of the first half of the year. Making new prototypes became very challenging and much of the work we had left to do relied on testing prototypes and manufactured parts from production trial runs.
Nevertheless, although much slower than anticipated the Flash has continued to be developed. During the lapses brought by Coronavirus, I focused on improving the product, making it more reliable and versatile than before. I do believe that although Coronavirus has led to several delays to the Flash, it has made for an opportunity to make an even better product.
2021 marks the start of a stream of updates regarding the flash product line. We now finally have all of our prototype parts and the latest PCB boards are being produced ready to be delivered for the new year. Our suppliers are also on standby ready to start producing more tooling for the more complicated parts. In January, we will have final prototypes built using final prototype parts and PCB boards. From here we will be doing extensive testing, CE and FCC marking and of course, many new updates, videos, and images of the products in action.
None of us saw Coronavirus coming and for a small business like Adaptalux, development projects like the Flash, we had no choice but to work on what we could instead of pressing on with the full project plan. I am super excited for the Flash next year and I know from my own testing and development the product is going to be well worth the wait. We cannot wait to show you more early next year. Stay tuned!
More Product Improvements
Throughout coronavirus, my attention turned to working on more product improvements based on user feedback. I pride myself on continuously improving our product range to make it even more awesome for our customers. I thank everyone for their feedback and comments over the year. I am still very humbled by just how far Adaptalux Studio has come since it’s conception in 2014. Here are just some of the improvements we have integrated into our products this year:
- Assembly methods for various products have been improved to further enhance quality and efficiency.
- Lighting Arm connectors have been vastly improved. The material has also been changed based on research and testing to a much more robust polymer. This is incredibly strong when joined to our metal counterparts.
- We continue to minimize the use of adhesives in all assemblies where appropriate.
- Further quality control checkpoints have been added to our production, assembly and packing lines.
- Starter and Combo Pack packaging has been completely re-designed to now suit our new website store and to also accommodate Adaptalux Flash products.
I have already worked on new products this year, which will be launched next year and further improvements continue to be rolled out all of the time. 2021 is going to advance the Adaptalux product range even further and again, I cannot wait to show you some of the new products and developments later next year.
Despite Coronavirus, Adaptalux has continued to grow and build on its success in 2019. Many photographers turned to indoor photography over the lockdown months earlier in the year and we saw our user base and community grow immensely.
This leaves us on a very secure foundation for next year to continue to innovate and bring great macro photography products to you. It also shows just how resilient we are as a small company, having been able to adapt to uncertain and unprecedented times.
Better and faster shipping….. again!
At the beginning of this year, I decided to move our shipping supplier over to DHL, and wow they have been amazing. DHL provides super fast delivery all over the world from the UK and we have also worked on improving shipment tracking throughout the website and emails.
Billie continues to brilliantly manage the shipping of our products. Everything is thoroughly checked and well packaged to ensure the goods get from our door to your door in excellent condition. Billie not only checks once, but twice, and three times in true Christmas spirit.
Some of you may be wondering, what happens to Adaptalux after Brexit. Well, there is no need to worry, you can still buy our products from all over the world and we will still ship and deliver your products internationally. In the scenario of a no-deal Brexit, the following will happen:
- We will STILL be able to sell and ship to the EU. Prices will become Ex-VAT on the store for EU shoppers as import charges will be incurred upon import instead.
- We will STILL be able to ship worldwide, not much will change here as DHL will take care of all of the Brexit requirements and paperwork. Some country’s import tax and duty rates may change slightly for imports from the UK.
- And of course, we will STILL be able to ship to the UK. There will be no change to this.
- We do expect some disruption in January because of Brexit as companies adapt and couriers may have longer shipping times. I do think any disruption will be quickly overcome as the year goes on.
Overall, I am not worried about Brexit and its impacts on Adaptalux.
Bye-bye 2020, Bring on 2021!
I think everyone this year cannot wait to see the back of 2020. Although it has marked continued success for us, we are also looking forward to 2021 and the world starting to become more normal again (hopefully). Ben and I miss the pub!
Together, our Team and you, our community, can continue to push macro photography forwards. We have seen this year how much macro photography means to everyone, it’s always a place to turn to when you are feeling down. You can forget about the worries in the world and start exploring a new one.
Please keep continuing to share your images taken with Adaptalux studio on our Facebook group page, we love seeing your work and your creativity.
I would like to thank you for your continued support over the last 5 years and I hope you have a very merry Christmas and New Year. See you next year!