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Leica IIIc question (possibly stupid)


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Hello, 

I am interested to know if a digital conversion is possible for a 1949 Leica IIIc. 
I just love using this camera and am finding difficult and expensive to still use 35 film.
Apologies if the question was already answered.

 

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4 hours ago, Oldie Louie said:

Hello, 

I am interested to know if a digital conversion is possible for a 1949 Leica IIIc. 
I just love using this camera and am finding difficult and expensive to still use 35 film.
Apologies if the question was already answered.

 

 

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I suppose that, if you love to use your IIIc, you use it with some Leitz lens (Elmar and/or others LTMs) ,,, well, whatever effort at whatever cost, you cannot convert a IIIc in the sense of keeping its body and its lenses : it's physically impossible to position whatever sensor on the focus plane of a Barnack, keeping original body's thickness.

 

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Many years ago, in pre-M8 days, on another forum (Leica User Group?), I recall one member was converting a Barnack camera into a digital camera. What became of his project, I don't remember.

Alan

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, nf3996 said:

Many years ago, in pre-M8 days, on another forum (Leica User Group?), I recall one member was converting a Barnack camera into a digital camera. What became of his project, I don't remember.

Alan

There was a guy at the Leica User forum (which later fusioned with photo.net). It was a gentleman from the UK named Huw Finney and he got pretty far with an M2 (https://www.photo.net/discuss/threads/m2ad-project-it-lives.237829/#post-2490223)

Unfortunately the very old threads on photo.net are often broken when they exceed 1 page.

I think the removable back of the M was instrumental to the progression of the project. A Barnarck would need a lot of surgery.

I donated an old beaten rigid Summicron 50 for one of his projects.

Edited by nitroplait
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3 hours ago, nitroplait said:

 

I think the removable back of the M was instrumental to the progression of the project. A Barnarck would need a lot of surgery.

 

Yes... by principle, it's all about the back.... and that's the issue with LTM... some years ago, when I played with the idea of "modify for digital - is it possible ?" I concluded (provisionally... 😉) that my Contarex in theory could be... for the reason that its interchangable back has an abnormal thickness (one of the many abnormities of that camera... 🙄) and maybe global volumetrics could be suffcient for sensor + battery + circuitry ,,,

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, pedaes said:

Leica did it and called it the M10.

Yes, 12 years later - and the digital M didn’t even exist when Huw made his working sample.

We were all very depressed at the time because Leica claimed that the digital future was with the R system and a digital M couldn’t be made.

Great time to buy used film Leica M equipment:)

Edited by nitroplait
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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, spydrxx said:

I think I remember reading long ago that Huw left his project uncompleted when he got some sort of paying assignment.

Well, when is completed? It would never have been a commercial product for sure.
He did manage to make something that could produce a digital photo through an M2 which was quite extraordinary and admirable at the time. Especially considering Leica claimed it couldn’t be done.

Edited by nitroplait
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58 minutes ago, nitroplait said:

Well, when is completed? It would never have been a commercial product for sure.
He did manage to make something that could produce a digital photo through an M2 which was quite extraordinary and admirable at the time. Especially considering Leica claimed it couldn’t be done.

My recollection is that what he last showed was a still disassembled body with a sensor and viewing screen showing an image. I don't think he ever got the working contraption fully assembled...which is what I would be tempted to call completed.

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4 hours ago, nitroplait said:

 

We were all very depressed at the time because Leica claimed that the digital future was with the R system and a digital M couldn’t be made.

Great time to buy used film Leica M equipment:)

Absolutely right !

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, jankap said:

http://www.re35.net

and how it is used:

Please look at the date, this was published.

Good luck stuffing that into a IIIC 😉

That looks like Silicon Film just 25 years later: http://cultureandcommunication.org/deadmedia/index.php/Silicon_Film

That was already dead and buried when Huw was doing his M2aD project, but certainly something the advance in technology may justify reviving.

Edited by nitroplait
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On 7/6/2022 at 7:58 AM, 250swb said:

Of course there will always somebody to demonstrate that the impossible is possible

https://youtu.be/UJDtmcWiaVM

for a video of the finished camera (ok it's a Zorki) and a link in the text to the web site for how to do it. 

 

The story of converting the camera seems to take rather a strange turn at the end. Reminds me of this.

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