Do all digital backs fit any medium format camera?

nickzou

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I'm a little confused on the issue. I was thinking about renting a digital back for a weekend and playing with it. I have a friend who has his dad's old Mamiya 645E he's not using and willing to lend to me. I've always wondered about digital backs but had no real reason to check them out until now. There's not as much info on it online as there are for DSLR's. There's a plethora of guides to introduction to photography, using DSLRs, how to buy and what to buy, but not much I can find for digital backs.
 

Helen B

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All digital backs do not fit all medium format cameras, not even all cameras with interchangeable backs. The 645E doesn't have an interchangeable back anyway.
 
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nickzou

nickzou

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Okay, that clears things up a lot. So I have to find a camera with an interchangeable back.
 
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nickzou

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Is there an online resource that could help me with this? Like a list of cameras and their corresponding backs? I've been trying to Google it without much luck.
 

Josh66

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Digital Backs| B&H Photo Video

Find the back you're thinking of renting, then find it on there - the product description will say which cameras it is compatible with. (I would expect the rental place to also provide this information...)

Not really a good 'resource', but it works, lol.
 

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You say you are going to rent a digital back. If a place is going to rent medium format digital backs one would think that would also rent cameras that they work with.
 
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nickzou

nickzou

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They do. But I was wondering what other choices were out there. There's only two bodies available for rent but quite a few backs that they have. Also, I'm only now understanding how digital backs relate to the cameras.
 

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Generally any lens with any sort of real mount will only fit that company's lens DIRECTLY.

Or if you are wondering which lenses can be ADAPTED (with professional adapters), see this page and the table therein: Flange focal distance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Any lens from a company with a longer flange to focal distance can usually be adapted to a back from a company with a shorter one, provided that the difference is more than a couple of millimeters (the difference = the physical room you have available to build an adapter in, so 1-2 millimeters requires extremely precise and expensive machining). Unless it's a really obscure brand, an adapter probably exists if the math works out.

^ In fact, this has nothing to do with whether it is 35mm or medium format or whatever. As long as the flange to focal distance works out, you can probably adapt a medium format lens to work with a crop frame APS-C sensor if you felt like it (though no commercial adapter will exist).

The only thing you might not be able to do is use a lens designed for a smaller sensor/film on a back with a larger sensor/film, as there will be extreme vignetting (lenses are only designed to cover their intended sensor and no more). But usually smaller sensors correlate with shorter flange focal distances, so this rarely comes up.
 

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