Here's a thought for the 2nd day of Xmas: adapting a d*g*tal camera to take film

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by medform-norm, Dec 25, 2005.

  1. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    Reverse engineering is a technique that shouldn't wholly be left to the Chinese nor to meaning only one thing. I'll introduce another meaning here: viz. to modify a digital camera in such a way that it can take pics on ordinary film. It's just a thought experiment.

    Suppose you end up in a time and place where digital cams are of no use since you can't reload the batteries or you have no access to electricity and computers or whatever. But you do have a top of the bill digi-gizmo. Plus endless rolls of 35mm film. How much effort would it be to 'reverse engineer' the camera to take roll film?

    My question was triggered by yet another brochure of a new 6x9 monorail fit for the digital era. A lot of companies abondon the regular LF gear and start focussing exclusively on catering to the digi market. Is that a wise decision? What happens if the digi market crumbles? What can be done with the left overs? Has anyone ever done a hack like this before? What will the resulting cameras of pictures taken with them look like?

    All ramblings welcome. (I am aware that monorails adapt a lot easier than DSLR's, so let's stick to the harder to modify models for fun's sake!)

    Have a nice day, Norm
     
  2. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    If you can't use the batteries, how is the modified digicam going to work, even with film?

    Now, assuming that you want all the electronic gizmos (sans image sensor) in a film camera, well maybe, but we have those. In fact, in 35mm, we have little else ...

    I could be wrong, but this would probably be more trouble than it's worth.

    Cheers,

    David
     
  3. eumenius

    eumenius Member

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    Oh, we can rip away all the electronic crap and plastic lenses from inside, and make an excellent pinhole camera... the only trouble is that the camera doesn't have a back cove, so we can split a back with a saw and make some hinge... maybe from black artificial leather from digicam's case :smile:
     
  4. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    That's the spirit, Zhenya!
     
  5. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    David, of course, with things being the way they are right now it wouldn't be worth it. My question was a highly hypothetical one, placed in a hopefully distant future.

    But to make things a little easier, I'll allow battery power, or some form of electricity.
     
  6. argus

    argus Member

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    I think th epinhole idea is the way to go. Image quality will be a zillion times better compared to the plastic lens :surprised:)

    G
     
  7. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I think the easiest way to make a film camera from a digital camera would be to take something like the Epson RD1, take the back off the lens, throw it in the bin, then put the lens on a Leica mount 35mm camera, and voila! One film camera! :smile:
     
  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Although it may be hard for us to do, it would be possible for a camera manufacturer to make a dual purpose digital/conventional body. Just remove the backs as you do in a MF camera and replace the back with the other one depending on use.

    But why? The conventional one is soooo much better.

    BTW, news here in Rochester is that Kodak has perfected its new MF 38M pixel back and will be selling it through leaf. No details yet, but this is a serious step upwards in digital pixel capability. If they had put that much work into conventional, imagine where we would be.

    PE