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07-17-2010, 01:46 AM   #1
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Digital Back For Film Cameras

Digital Backs for older Film Cameras can easily be manufactured, but vested interests do not want this history making technology to be released for obvious reasons.
I make this observation as an Inventor and a Master Mechanic. Here is how it can be easily and cheaply done:-
a) a good 10 MP thin profile Digital Camera is easily available today for less than US $ 100.
b) knock of the lens with the front plate and you have a digital back with the Sensor, CPU, and all other controls.
c) attach clips and hinges to this digital back after some modification to fit an old Film Camera - 35 mm, TLR, or any other format. Many of the older cameras have removable backs.
d) you now have a converted Digital Camera.
Not to say that this is easy, but CAN be done at a low cost. let us see the cost: $ 100 less lens and the front plate = $ 60. Add a larger Sensor, electronics, shutter interface with the digital back, hinges / clips, etc $ 180. You now have a Digital Back for $ 240. OK $ 300 for the profiteer.
If given R&D funding by a camera manufacturer I think I can do it - Pentax, Nikon, Cannon, Fuji, Sony ... are you listening.
Can we Photographers lobby for this great cause. Look how many great film cameras can come alive.

07-17-2010, 03:56 AM   #2
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I do not think it is as simple as you make it out to be. The effort is as good as designing a new body.
And then who will want this?
Time is not far when you could buy a basic digital body for a lesser amount than what you have mentioned.
It would be prudent to ascertain the market. I am quite sure the present lot of photographers using film would not like their camera bodies to be retrofitted, but would prefer to buy new digital bodies.
Anyways, all the best in your ventures.
Regards
07-17-2010, 08:24 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by nanhi Quote
I make this observation as an Inventor and a Master Mechanic. Here is how it can be easily and cheaply done:-
a) a good 10 MP thin profile Digital Camera is easily available today for less than US $ 100.
With a sensor the size of a child's fingernail. The "crop factor" of a camera built this way would be such that even the widest angle lens available for an SLR would end up still being telephoto. You'd need to cannibalize an actual DSLR to do what you're describing. And then good luck figuring out way to get this mounted with the sensor the correct distance from the film camera's flange - and oh, by the way, find room for the batteries and the controls you had to knock off in order to get the sensor in place. Then make the whole thing lightproof.

There's basically no way you could pull this off successfully. A digital back *could* be designed, but it would pretty have to be from the ground up - you're not going to jury-rig a system like this and end up with anything even remotely usable.
07-17-2010, 08:34 AM   #4
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May I ask:

Why?

07-17-2010, 08:35 AM   #5
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An old idea that resurfaces every now and then.
In 2001, Silicon film released what turned out to be little more than vapourware at PMA.

PMA 2001 show report: Section four: Digital Photography Review

Scroll down a little bit.
07-17-2010, 08:42 AM   #6
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I was trying to find the link to that digital insert but you beat me to it
07-17-2010, 08:45 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
An old idea that resurfaces every now and then.
In 2001, Silicon film released what turned out to be little more than vapourware at PMA.

PMA 2001 show report: Section four: Digital Photography Review

Scroll down a little bit.
There are still however several limitations, first of all the unit itself has a built-in capacity for 24 images (64MB) after which time it must be inserted into the E-Box and its contents either transferred to a computer or CompactFlash card. The second limitation is that the relatively small 1.3 megapixel CMOS sensor uses only about 30% of the center of the frame, this means that when looking through the viewfinder you have a small field of view (marked out by a supplied rub-on transfer) which equates to a 2.58x focal length multiplier, thus a 28mm lens becomes 72mm. Lastly it only currently supports certain camera models: Nikon F5, F3, N60/N90 and Canon EOS-1N, EOS-A2, EOS-5.

GROUNDBREAKING!!!
07-17-2010, 10:51 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by nanhi Quote
Digital Backs for older Film Cameras can easily be manufactured, but vested interests do not want this history making technology to be released for obvious reasons.
I make this observation as an Inventor and a Master Mechanic. Here is how it can be easily and cheaply done:-
a) a good 10 MP thin profile Digital Camera is easily available today for less than US $ 100.
b) knock of the lens with the front plate and you have a digital back with the Sensor, CPU, and all other controls.
c) attach clips and hinges to this digital back after some modification to fit an old Film Camera - 35 mm, TLR, or any other format. Many of the older cameras have removable backs.
d) you now have a converted Digital Camera.
Not to say that this is easy, but CAN be done at a low cost. let us see the cost: $ 100 less lens and the front plate = $ 60. Add a larger Sensor, electronics, shutter interface with the digital back, hinges / clips, etc $ 180. You now have a Digital Back for $ 240. OK $ 300 for the profiteer.
If given R&D funding by a camera manufacturer I think I can do it - Pentax, Nikon, Cannon, Fuji, Sony ... are you listening.
Can we Photographers lobby for this great cause. Look how many great film cameras can come alive.
If it's that easy, go ahead and do it. Prove them all wrong. I'll be waiting here in the corner, holding my breath. Please hurry, I'm counting on you.

07-17-2010, 11:04 AM   #9
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I hope he does it so it has digital filters!
07-17-2010, 06:33 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
There are still however several limitations, first of all the unit itself has a built-in capacity for 24 images (64MB) after which time it must be inserted into the E-Box and its contents either transferred to a computer or CompactFlash card. The second limitation is that the relatively small 1.3 megapixel CMOS sensor uses only about 30% of the center of the frame, this means that when looking through the viewfinder you have a small field of view (marked out by a supplied rub-on transfer) which equates to a 2.58x focal length multiplier, thus a 28mm lens becomes 72mm. Lastly it only currently supports certain camera models: Nikon F5, F3, N60/N90 and Canon EOS-1N, EOS-A2, EOS-5.

GROUNDBREAKING!!!
It actually was a pretty groundbreaking concept for 2001. The problem was that it turned out to be DOA.
07-17-2010, 08:27 PM   #11
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as a member of film - analog camera section .. i wont allow you to break and mutilated all those beauty from the past. :ugh: its a sin to do something like that to an art product
07-17-2010, 08:47 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by fearview Quote
as a member of film - analog camera section .. i wont allow you to break and mutilated all those beauty from the past. :ugh: its a sin to do something like that to an art product
The backs are easily removable from most film cameras, so little risk to the cam.


Steve
07-17-2010, 08:59 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by fearview Quote
as a member of film - analog camera section .. i wont allow you to break and mutilated all those beauty from the past. :ugh: its a sin to do something like that to an art product
I have a couple K1000s that I'm willing to part with for the sake of experimentation. Iconic yes, beautiful they aren't.
07-17-2010, 09:17 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The backs are easily removable from most film cameras, so little risk to the cam.


Steve
but still it will look like a frankenstein camera to me ..

QuoteOriginally posted by alohadave Quote
I have a couple K1000s that I'm willing to part with for the sake of experimentation. Iconic yes, beautiful they aren't.
really.. to me k1000 is beautiful because its plain simple. no fuss no hassle.. my only objection with k1000 is its bulky size..
07-17-2010, 11:38 PM   #15
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Digital camera backs exist for some high end models especially the larger formats (like Hasselblad).

Digital camera back - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

a listing of sorts -

Digital Camera Backs Reviews

Some of the early dSLRs were film SLRs with digital camera backs -
the early Kodak dSLRs comes to mind - they were based on existing Nikon and Canon film SLRs at the time.
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