Turning film cameras into digital cameras

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by aniramca, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. The consumer never had to "worry about the magic that makes it
    possible", however the designers did - and it was the impossibility of
    that "magic" which meant the final product target too restricted a
    market (ie. too few consumers) with far too little capability compared
    to alternate solutions (eg. specifically designed dSLRs) at lower cost.
    Kennedy McEwen, Apr 27, 2007
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  2. That doesn't make any sense. Kodak produced an large collection of backs
    for standard Nikon and Canon cameras. As far as I know, the Kodak backs
    were quite popular. They also had to put any protective covers/filters
    between the film plane and the shutter (though it is possible that Kodak
    restricted themselves to camera with enough space).
    Philip Homburg, Apr 28, 2007
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  3. aniramca

    Bill Funk Guest

    It makes sense as a "back" is different from an insert to take the
    place of the film.
    Backs can be made to fit a particular model (or line of similar
    models), but that's just not the same thing.


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    O'Donnell, even after she agreed to stop
    talking about George Bush. The president
    has no leverage over ABC. Disney is not a
    defense contractor, unless you count the
    war rationales we buy from Fantasyland.
    Bill Funk, Apr 28, 2007
  4. Having a product is better than having no product. If there is a large
    class of cameras that do have enough space and a few cameras don't, then
    it makes sense to focus on the products you can sell.

    It is like Leica where it is better to sell cameras with a weak IR filter,
    than not selling any digital M. (However, Leica should have warned people
    in advance about this problem).
    Philip Homburg, Apr 28, 2007
  5. aniramca

    dj_nme Guest

    I'm not sure if that is realy true, a good example I can think of in the
    digital SLR marketplace is Pentax Vs Contax (Kyocera using the Zeiss
    Both companies developed a DSLR body to put around a Dalsa 6.1mp 24x36mm
    sized sensor.
    Pentax realised during the development phase that the IQ from the chip
    wasn't up to snuff (Dalsa also put the price up) and canned the project
    before going beyond (what software develpoers call) "alpha testing" of a
    few finished prototype camera.
    The Contax version of the story is different and they pushed it out the
    door, even though it had "issues" with noise at anything other than it's
    base ISO setting.
    The cost of manufacture and the bad press (and the hit to sales of an
    already "niche" product) that came off the back of the noisy sensor is
    what killed off Contax as a digicam brand.
    Leica is the only game in town for using their M lenses on a digital
    body, Epson stopped making their RD-1 or RD-1s about a year ago.
    dj_nme, Apr 29, 2007
  6. The Kodak backs only fitted very specific Nikon and Canon bodies and
    certainly weren't interchangeable across the Nikon & Canon range.
    Precisely. Many film cameras have the shutter blind very close to the
    film plane and would compete with the sensor filter for space.

    A generic "one size fits all" digital sensor to replace film is
    impossible for this reason, and others that I mentioned. That was
    eventually accepted by Imagek/SiliconFilm who announce that their
    product would be specific to only one Nikon body type shortly before
    they ceased trading.
    Kennedy McEwen, Apr 29, 2007
  7. Obviously, there no point in making a product that nobody wants to buy.

    But suppose that you can make a 'digital film' that fits lots of Nikon and
    Canon bodies.

    Are you just going going to wait until can make something that fits all
    35mm cameras ever produced? Or are you just going to ship when the
    market is big enough to support the product you can make?
    Even then, the image quality has to be reasonable. Otherwise, there is
    no point in using it.
    Philip Homburg, May 1, 2007
  8. aniramca

    dj_nme Guest

    Philip Homburg wrote:
    The problem with this now is that all of the major SLR makers now make
    their own DSLR cameras and it is possible to buy a DSLR which you can
    use their lenses on for even less than the projected cost of the
    Imagek/Silicon Film product.
    I believe that history has passed them (Imagek/Silicon Film) by.
    Unless you're talking about the constantly shrinking pool of users (most
    I would guess would have moved on to DSLR cameras made by Nikon, Pentax
    or Canon) for manual focus Minolta (MD/MC) and Canon (FD) cameras and
    The IR contamination problem seems to have been squashed with two
    methods by Leica, giving M8 users 2 free IR block lens filters and
    offering a firmware upgrade that corrects it for in-camera jpeg files.
    dj_nme, May 1, 2007
  9. I think I would pay something like $1000 for a good 1.3x (maybe also for 1.5x)
    sensor that works well in a Nikon F/F2/F3/F4.
    You left out the third method: convert the image to B/W.

    Using filters is good way to turn an excellent lens in an average one.

    I don't believe for one moment that either IR or aliasing issues can be solved
    in software.
    Philip Homburg, May 1, 2007
  10. aniramca

    Bill Funk Guest

    Let's suppose you could solve the problem of actually fitting a sensor
    between the current camera's back and shutter.
    You will still need to do some modifications to the camera to allow
    communication between the camera and the insert.
    Then, there's the problems of where to put the battery, how to get rid
    of heat, and storage/retrieval of the images.

    How would one determine the size of the market? I don't think there
    are enough owners of cameras who would seriously want to spend for the
    insert plus the mods needed, when DSLRs that are much more capable
    already exist at what may well be the same or lower cost. (But I could
    be wrong.)


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    Bill Funk, May 1, 2007
  11. aniramca

    Jerry Guest

    I'd think another problem would be a variance in the distance between
    the film cannister and the centre of the sensor, which would likely vary
    between cameras. With film this isn't critical, with a digital insert
    it would need to be precise.
    Jerry, May 1, 2007
  12. aniramca

    Jim Guest

    And also, it wasn't just the back, the body was modified as well.
    Kodak made two series one out of Nikon bodies and the other with a
    Canon body.
    Jim, May 2, 2007
  13. Not with all of them - the early Kodak backs fitted specific UNMODIFIED
    Nikon and Canon camera bodies and could be used interchangeably with
    film backs. The only "modification" was the special focus screen, which
    was an interchangeable item on the cameras in any case.

    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/Kodak/index.htm shows an
    early Kodak back that fitted on a standard Nikon F3.

    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/Kodak/index1.htm shows
    the DCS-4xx series which fitted standard Nikon F90/N90 series cameras -
    check the note near the top of the page, interchangeable with a standard
    film back.

    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/Kodak/index2.htm shows
    the DCS-1c 3c and 5c series designed for unmodified Canon EOS cameras.

    The Kodak manuals (downloadable from the pages) also state these backs
    are compatible with unmodified cameras.

    These cameras all had electronic shutter controls accessible through the
    motor drive interfaces and, importantly, a space of several millimetres
    between the film plane and the shutter blind.

    Later Kodak backs used modified cameras.
    Kennedy McEwen, May 2, 2007
  14. aniramca

    Rich Guest

    This is like how digital image files measure as larger the more noise
    they contain. Recording every little grain on the film probably takes
    a huge amount of memory, yet the pictures contain (likely) no more
    visible resolution than a high megapixel DSLR.
    Rich, May 7, 2007
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