A British student who converted a Konica Auto S3 film camera into a digital model, featuring an imaging sensor plucked from a Sony NEX-5, now plans to carry out a similar transformation on the legendary Leica M3 film camera.
After taking apart the NEX-5, the Brighton-based student used a 3D printing company to create a new back for the Konica analogue camera to replace the original.
Ollie Baker says he has developed a digital camera that allows manual focusing through a working rangefinder.
‘I designed it in two parts, the bottom part holding the SD card slot, the sensor, the motor, cogs and battery. The top part holds the screen and buttons, and the main circuit board is held together between the two parts.’
Ollie, who recently completed his A-levels, now hopes to apply his film-to-digital skills to the iconic Leica M3, using a crowd-sourcing campaign to raise funds.
He has launched a fundraising project on Kickstarter, with the aim of creating a ‘reversible digital conversion kit’ for the iconic camera – with a view to starting ‘batch production’.
The DIY engineering enthusiast adds: ‘I will be placing a digital sensor in the M3 with all the circuitry and electronics it requires to work.
‘The sensor will probably be from the Sony NEX-5, but if I can get enough funding, I will try to use the full-frame Sony Alpha 7.’
Ollie plans to make two models, one featuring an ISO dial instead of an LCD screen.
So far, he has raised almost half of the £3,000 he says he needs before the 31 October deadline.
‘Your funding support will allow me to buy the necessary cameras, spend the time designing… and order the necessary prototypes.’