Hacking a digital camera onto a medium format camera

The Tinkerer

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Having modded a Fuji Instax mini onto a Bronica ETRS, I was wondering if anyone has given any thought to grafting a digital camera to a medium format body.
 

Soocom1

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I grafted a Fuji X-M1 onto the back of a busch Pressman 2-1/4x 3 1/4.

I also grafted a 1Ds onto a Calumet. this is common.

But even older used Med. Format digital rigs will take you well over $1500.
 

limr

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So, I'm guessing based on your user name, the point is not necessarily having a digital MF camera, but rather the process of modifying the Bronica - not the destination but the journey?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but digital backs for Bronicas already exist. Is there something else you are trying to accomplish by grafting a dedicated digital camera to the Bronica? Is there something that this will achieve that an existing digital back won't? Or is it just to see if you can do it?
 
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Yes, I do have digital slrs. And yes, there are digital backs for medium format film cameras - Bronicas seem to be treated as the red headed stepchild. $675.00 for a used adapter plate just rubs me the wrong way. Those other "go fund me" or whatever they're called backs using fingernail sized sensors just don't interest me. I saw a Nikon FE (or F2 ) modded to take a 20 MP Sony NEX which looked like something that would work for the Bronica. I'm hoping to do it for less than $150.00.
 

mjcmt

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Yes, I do have digital slrs. And yes, there are digital backs for medium format film cameras - Bronicas seem to be treated as the red headed stepchild. $675.00 for a used adapter plate just rubs me the wrong way. Those other "go fund me" or whatever they're called backs using fingernail sized sensors just don't interest me. I saw a Nikon FE (or F2 ) modded to take a 20 MP Sony NEX which looked like something that would work for the Bronica. I'm hoping to do it for less than $150.00.
Can we see photos of your conversion journey. That would interest me.
 

limr

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Yes, I do have digital slrs. And yes, there are digital backs for medium format film cameras - Bronicas seem to be treated as the red headed stepchild. $675.00 for a used adapter plate just rubs me the wrong way. Those other "go fund me" or whatever they're called backs using fingernail sized sensors just don't interest me. I saw a Nikon FE (or F2 ) modded to take a 20 MP Sony NEX which looked like something that would work for the Bronica. I'm hoping to do it for less than $150.00.

Got it. Makes sense. I'd also like to see photos of the conversion journey. I also think you should do a thread about the Instax conversion and show us some pictures. I am a bit biased because I've got a thing for instant film :) but I also think it would be of interest to others on the site.
 
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The Tinkerer

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I grafted a Fuji X-M1 onto the back of a busch Pressman 2-1/4x 3 1/4.

I also grafted a 1Ds onto a Calumet. this is common.

But even older used Med. Format digital rigs will take you well over $1500.
Do you use the flash sync to trigger the shutter on the conversions?
 
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The Tinkerer

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Yes, I do have digital slrs. And yes, there are digital backs for medium format film cameras - Bronicas seem to be treated as the red headed stepchild. $675.00 for a used adapter plate just rubs me the wrong way. Those other "go fund me" or whatever they're called backs using fingernail sized sensors just don't interest me. I saw a Nikon FE (or F2 ) modded to take a 20 MP Sony NEX which looked like something that would work for the Bronica. I'm hoping to do it for less than $150.00.
Can we see photos of your conversion journey. That would interest me.
I didn't document the conversion because I wasn't sure it would be successful. The reason I had a camera available in the first place was because I had been buying derelict instax mini cameras to repair and one was too far gone (circuit board problems). It isn't the most elegant thing to look at, but it has a dark slide and a switch to power it up when the slide is removed. The film plane offset was a problem until I shimmed the focus screen 1.6mm. Now infinity focus is correct.
 

Soocom1

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I grafted a Fuji X-M1 onto the back of a busch Pressman 2-1/4x 3 1/4.

I also grafted a 1Ds onto a Calumet. this is common.

But even older used Med. Format digital rigs will take you well over $1500.
Do you use the flash sync to trigger the shutter on the conversions?


No need. The Busch uses a Graphlex type focal plane lens. So I simply set it to time, set the aperture and shoot the Fuji as normal. Remember, if the camera has live view, it acts like a glass plate and you get your focus perfectly.

I showed this hack on a previous thread about a year and a half ago: here is Fuji on the Calumet:
But the Wildcat EOS adapter photos apparently were deleted by Imgur somehow.

I did a thread on Wildcating the EOS.


It works way better with a live view capable camera.
 

petrochemist

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I didn't document the conversion because I wasn't sure it would be successful. The reason I had a camera available in the first place was because I had been buying derelict instax mini cameras to repair and one was too far gone (circuit board problems). It isn't the most elegant thing to look at, but it has a dark slide and a switch to power it up when the slide is removed. The film plane offset was a problem until I shimmed the focus screen 1.6mm. Now infinity focus is correct.

Given the negligible cost of taking images while doing the mod. This seems a flawed reason. I sometimes find reviewing/sharing shots on how I tried to do something like this can help find solutions when it doesn't work. I freely admit I don't document such efforts as often as I should, possibly in part because I can't stand camera phones.

Even without documentation of the conversion itself I'd love to see shots of the finished system.

I must try to document my own (very slow) progress on a digital camera - large format combination. After years thinking about options I actually spent a few hours starting construction - at the current rate of progress I'll need another 10 years to get it usable :dejection:
 
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Some shots taken with the Instax Mini back on a Bronica ETRSi
 

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