Would a thing like this ever be possible?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by bbse, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. bbse

    bbse TPF Noob!

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    I just had a thought the other day that if some company could ever produce a digital sensor and power/memory storage unit that would fit into a 35mm film camera can you think of the possibilities. We could all drag those 35mm bodies out of the closet and put them to use. I know, I am probably pipe dreaming, but considering the size of some of todays cameras(small) and the increase in technology, it seems like if it were possible somebody would try it. Might even be able to use a wireless connection to a viewer and a ultra thin/flat wire to a external power source.
     
  2. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Your not alone, ive thought about this before also. Maybe one day....

    haha
     
  3. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I was thinking something more along the lines of an affordable medium format digital back. Business idea?
     
  4. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Way back at the end of the last century a company called Imagek, then Silicon Film, promised the 'Electronic Film System'. It was exactly what you suggest - a drop-in replacement for a 35 mm cassette, with a sensor to replace the film. It created a real buzz - but never materialized.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  5. bbse

    bbse TPF Noob!

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    I like the digital back idea also but it would have to at least be brand specific. If electronics continue to shrink I think there is hope, however, I do not know much about photo cells and how that could be made to work on the 35mm film plane or with the mechanical shutter timing. One can dream...and hope.
     
  6. saltface

    saltface TPF Noob!

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    1) If you wanted to build your own, unscrew the film door and you have a wide open area to mount it. (As far as rerouting the shutter button, you're on your own).

    2) I bet it will never happen commercially as it's not cost effective.

    3) I had the crazy idea of making a CCD that mounts in a gun's chamber for when you want to shoot but not worry about butchering...
     
  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    IIRC, Silicon Film actually had a working prototype.... but as with many startups during that time... funding went dry and no angel investor to pick it up. I think they got pulled around 2002 time frame. If they did deliver...I'd be one of the first in line... if it was well executed, I would have probably never actually purchased a "dedicated" digital camera. I enjoy the feel of the old cameras (still shoot film on many occasions).

    The closest incarnation would be the digital backs from Hassy and Leica R8/R9. I guess it is difficult to make it cost effective... between the low cost digital SLRs and film scanners. My feeling is it will not happen (at least not anytime soon).

    There have been some really cool tinker projects on the internet. One japanese page showed a digital camera grafted to the back of a contax rangefinder. He actually had a few photos captured with it on the website. Another individual on rangefinderforums started a similar project with an M2 (or M3?). Again neat projects but years and years away from being bona-fide products.

    As for rerouting the shutter button... no need... the japanese tinkerer tapped the flash sync to trip the "digital back".
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This isn't really viable. Why would anyone want to use their old bodies? I mean yeah my Nikon FE is a metal beast that is endlessly reliable, but in terms of features the latest digital bodies are ergonomically and technically superior to the old bodies in every way.

    Except for the focusing screen, and that is very easy to change.
     
  9. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A 2008 GT500 is probably ergonomically and technically superior to that of a 1967/8 GT500. Please explain why the 60s GT500 in restored condition fetches a $200K+?

    Please explain how Leica was able to sell a $5000+ M8 rangefinder that has its roots and basic technology tied to a camera designed in the 50s?

    How about watches? By your standards the basic Casio digital watch is superior to that of a Tag, Rolex, etc... hell many are still windups. The most expensive watch in the world, Vacheron Constantin, has a "low-tech" analog face.

    There are 100s of reasons why one would want to use their old mechanical bodies..... the simplicity.. the reliability of the mechanical clock-like movements... the pure enjoyment. Yeh.. they are technically ahead of the game with the fancy CCDs and CMOS sensors but "superior".. by who's definition? There are some of us that don't equate updates to ergonomics and technology to the enjoyment of photography.

    I think if someone produced a 6mpix digital version of the student K1000 with the same build and simply controls for under the cost of a P&S, it would sell like hotcakes.... The used K1000s are still being fetched up on ebay even now. I know i would buy one... I even splurged on a Samsung 6mp Pentax copy from a pawn shop just so that I can have a digital companion to my K-mounts and screwmounts.


    In the end... though.. I agree. between scanners and low cost DSLRs... it really isn't cost effective..
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Retro style and coolness. You can tell yourself any other reason you want but ultimately it all comes down to wanting to use something from that era.

    Cars etc I can understand. Yes people deal with those old cars a lot, but how often do you see a car from the 60s share the racetrack with the modern Mustangs in any kind of serious rally?

    It looks good but (and this would be based on my view of what a camera is) using the camera as a tool professional or otherwise id rather keep my original film body for film, and have a digital body fit for purpose.

    Afterall how many times have you seen a 60s GT500 go for $200k+ After the advertiser wrote "new engine" instead of "restored engine" in it. Old cars often lose a bit of their appeal when you modify them.
     
  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    But what you are saying is totally different... Owning and driving an old car for enjoyment is completely different from running one on a race track. The same difference from owning an older manual camera for enjoyment and using one for work/professional. Two different things. Of course, the newer wiz bang high end DSLRs are better for work... doesn't make them superior for a person looking to enjoy photography.

    I bet that the majority of the sales of DSLRs in the market are to people shooting for enjoyment... thus it is safe to conclude that there is at least some portion of that market that would fine enjoyment out of shooting a "retro" or old camera.

    in the end... you definition of "superior" is simply too general. I'd rather have an old mustang just like an old manual camera for enjoyment.... after all I don't do this for a living just like millions of other photographers out there. (My canon doesn't get much use ever since I moved on to other means of a living and photography as a pure hobby/enjoyment)

    Absolutely wrong.. uniqueperformance did exactly that and had a customer list paying out $200k to $300k per vehicle restored and modified. The collectors world is strange in that way. There are collectors to show (number matchers) and collectors to drive.... two different types of people just like there are different types of photographers.

    Formula F1 racers will only drive a F1 for work.. I doubt they drive an F1 for enjoyment off the track.

    In the end... we are lucky to have such a diverse seelction of equipment for all those different types of photographers. That diversity would be even nicer if there was a way to bring the old "retro" cameras into the digital era.
     
  12. dinodan

    dinodan TPF Noob!

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    Is it not true that even the most expensive full-frame, 20+ MP DSLRs cannot match the resolution of 50 ASA 35mm film?
     

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