Film "back" for smartphones...

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Felinik, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. Felinik

    Felinik Member

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    I just got an idea...

    It looks like cellphone cameras are here to stay, at the same time all hipster-kids are using holga and lomo cameras, but also instagram and other photo-apps.

    What if there was a film back for the smartphones? Kind of like with large format plates, together with an app that both snaps the photo and saves it as a digital file, as well as exposes the area where the "plate" is attached to a correct photo, or even polariod, choice for the user, film, polariod... etc.

    Now wouldn't that be hip or what?

    (I don't even have a smartphone myself, and shoot 97% analog, but this could maybe be something that'd be able to help increase the sales of film?)


    :tongue:

    J.F. Felinik
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2012
  2. thomas l

    thomas l Member

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    You are not the first who has this idea, some months ago someone else told me a similar idea ;-) It would be good to make this, it shouldn't be too difficult to make a plate for paper and to make an app to create the right negativ. But how to develop it?
     
  3. Felinik

    Felinik Member

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    I have a few buddies who are in to both photography, and programming, and have experience in iPhone apps. Though better of would be if Fuji or someone would just grab the idea and use it in order to keep film alive. I have no royalty claims, just make sure there's film for another lifetime..

    :smile:
     
  4. batwister

    batwister Member

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    I've actually put my iPhone inside my enlarger resting on the negative stage and printed an image from the screen onto Ilford Multigrade RC - lots of pixelation, very flat image - even with highest contrast filters. This was using the 3G with the smaller resolution screen. Now have the 4S, but I think the problem would be the same, even making 3 inch prints at the native 960 x 640. I did have an idea to make a larger 'mosaic' with thumbnail sized prints from the screen, but just wasn't happy with the results.

    We don't see the pixels when we're looking at the phone display because our eyes tend to concentrate on the surface of the retina display, which actually softens the image and acts as a filter, but when focusing on the screen as a 'film plane' with the enlarger or film back, the pixels themselves (below the retina display) need to be in focus for the image to appear sharp.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2012
  5. Felinik

    Felinik Member

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    Interesting!! And yeah, I guess there would need to be quite a bit of testing done in order to find out how the exposure has to be presented on the screen.
     
  6. batwister

    batwister Member

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    In short, the retina display tricks our eyes into believing the image on screen is better than it is, but it doesn't trick optics which have to see through the screen to focus on the image/pixels. You'll notice iPhone images look fantastic on the iPhone, but on your computer screen the artifacts become very apparent. The magic of the retina display. But if you don't mind pixelation it's definitely worth experimenting with.
     
  7. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Interesting idea. I've started a thread on DPUG.org about it--

    http://www.dpug.org/forums/f21/smartphone-your-enlarger-3012/#post22050
     
  9. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    There is no trick or magic about the retina displays - it's just that the pixels on the display are small enough that the eye can't resolve the individual pixels. Blow the image up to a larger size (with an enlarger or whatever), and the eye is able to resolve the individual pixels.
     
  10. batwister

    batwister Member

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    I'll have to read into how exactly the display works, but from what I understand, it essentially puts the pixels slightly out of focus. Which is why the anti-aliasing effect of the iPhone camera processing isn't as apparent as it is on a computer screen.
     
  11. batwister

    batwister Member

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  12. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    It sounds like a hybrid process, so DPUG.
     
  13. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    'Size is everything'. With a given number of pixels, the pixel density is much higher on a small screen than on a large screen.
     
  14. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Many hybrid processes end up with a traditional print, and they are appropriately discussed on DPUG.
     
  15. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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  16. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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  17. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    What about a smartphone back for my film camera ?.
     
  18. Felinik

    Felinik Member

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    Glue + your choice of cellphone.

    :D
     
  19. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    There are still a few available - of course, you realize they come with a cord and must be plugged into an analog phone outlet.