Is it possible that you can get some digital use out of your old 35mm film camera? There is a KickStarter campaign that claims exactly that: a digital back for 35mm. I’ve been seeing product teasers for this kind of thing since around 2000, but so far, every one of them has vaporized before it hit the market. And certainly, KickStarter is no stranger to projects that fizzle before launch or simply are well-orchestrated scams. But here’s to hoping that this one is the real deal.
Digital Back for 35mm
The product is called “I’m Back!” and it claims to bring digital image capture to certain 35mm film cameras, including many Nikon F bodies. This digital back sits in place of the camera’s original back and positions an 16MP sensor exactly where film would have gone. The positioning of the sensor is user-adjustable to allow for the right fit on a variety of cameras.
In addition to still photos, the I’m Back will also add video capture capabilities to your vintage analog camera. The promised resolutions are 2160p (UHD) @ 24 FPS and 1080p @ 60 FPS. Not too shabby, especially for a bolt-on digital back for 35mm.
Is the Cost Worth it?
The price to get a fully assembled version, including shipping to a US address (the project is based in Italy), is approximately $235 USD. If you already have a few quality 35mm cameras with removable backs, bulb setting, the ability to flash sync, and some nice lenses, then it may be worth it. Otherwise, the money might be better spent upgrading your digital gear.