Latest in digital conversions of film cameras?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
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Default Latest in digital conversions of film cameras?

I found a link that ultimately led to these offerings from B&H Photo/Video/Pro Audio. I have no 35 mm equipment of my own that could be converted with this equipment, but I have a couple of friends whom I know have some forgotten equipment in a closet somewhere that could be so converted. Probably another case of too little and way too late, but who knows? Perhaps someone who misses the better optical viewfinders and long throw of old-fashioned manual-focus lenses might be interested in something like this. Backs also available for Leica M series and R series models.

I'm Back PRO Digital Back and covers for popular legacy SLR cameras and Leica models

Would like to hear your comments.

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #2
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Default Re: Latest in digital conversions of film cameras?

About 20 years too late.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #3
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Default Re: Latest in digital conversions of film cameras?

and far too awkward to use.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #4
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Default Re: Latest in digital conversions of film cameras?

Too late for the mainstream market, to be sure. Most of the market has long ago converted to digital, but there may still be a niche market for something like this. In my opinion, this might be particularly interesting for ex-Leica rangefinder version, for which an affordable digital rangefinder version has yet to be marketed.

Rejecting the idea out of hand is easy and expected, but I was hoping to hear from someone a bit more sympathetic to the idea.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #5
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Default Re: Latest in digital conversions of film cameras?

Leicas may not capture significantly better images than many other cameras. Based on many decades of using them, their strongest points are in their rangefinder and in how they handle. That huge protuberance on the back of this new digital converter would ruin that. Also, image quality using a relay lens in an inexpensive camera can't be very good. Long ago Nikon made a polaroid attachment for the Nikon F1. It used an El-Nikkor as a relay lens. Even so, that polaroid attachment never became popular. Perhaps that was more due to its bulk. Adapting a 35mm camera to 3x4 inch Polaroid film isn't graceful.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #6
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Default Re: Latest in digital conversions of film cameras?

Well, they're not outrageously priced (before clicking on the link I was wondering what the cost of something so specialized would be) but I tend to agree with the view that digital cameras are so thoroughly established by now that this would tend to appeal to and perhaps be used only by those who have had the appropriate model of film camera, possibly for many years, along with a (sentimental?) wish to continue taking photos with it while simultaneously enjoying the admitted benefits of digital photography. How many such folks would there be? Are their numbers sufficient for this item to be marketable for long? B&H (a very good company) seems to think so, since they're selling them.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #7
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Default Re: Latest in digital conversions of film cameras?

After watching some of the videos, I can see what you mean by that blocky projection on the back. Not sure if it would actually make the optical viewfinder unusable, but it does look like it would interfere with the viewfonder's ergonomics.

If you want the image quality you would expect from a 10 megapixel (or so) camera or even from a traditional 35 mm film image, you will be disappointed. I saw some images in the petapixel website and was reminded of images from some of the consumer- and semi-pro level cameras that were around shortly before the introduction of the Nikon 1 and Canon D30 (not to be confused with the more-modern 30D) dSLR models. The mindset is more like buying models of really old lenses or putting a Lensbaby on your existing dSLR.

That said, one of the attractive features of this camera conversion is that you can easily reverse the modifications and get your old film camera back intact and even reinstall the digital back if you want some more digital pics from your film camera. The digital back also has a video feature. And the back, with custom adapter for your camera model, will run you somewhere in the neighborhood of USD400.


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