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Spin Doctor
10-12-2005, 02:11 PM
Question for all of the people a lot more knowledgable about photography than me. Does any one know of a kit to convert older 35mm SLRs to a digital format. Specifically Canon's. I've got a AE-1 that is about 25 years old and it would be nice to be able to convert it if possible. Hate to think of all the money tied up in filters & lenses. Seems there would be a market for such a kit

Paul F
10-12-2005, 02:16 PM
Only "conversion" kits I'm aware of, and I'm not even sure they ever left the prototype stage, cost a couple thousand $$$.

Apparently, there is more to making a good film camera into a digital camera than putting a "back" on it with a CCD. But I know so little about the stuff that you coulda fooled me.

However, if you look at some newer Canon digitals, some, I beleive, can take older Canon film camera lenses.
You might be able to save a sizeable investment in lenses if you have one.
Again, I don't know very much on that score... my digital is a "mid-range" Fuji, and I'm not real bright when it comes to film camera's.

Hope this helps!
Paul F.

BillH
10-12-2005, 02:31 PM
Your AE1, is that the FD mount or the EF mount?
If it is EF mount, use those lenses with a new canon Digital SLR.
I ebayed my Canon FTb with 1:1.4 lense, it was an FD mount.
There really is so much more than just a digital back. The digital slr's, theres lots of interfacing with the lense and flash system that really makes things convenient where you just wouldnt have that with just a digital back. Now if you had a Mamiya medium format camera, they make nice digital backs for them but costs thousands.
As for the filters you have, are they 77mm? A lot of nice Canon lenses use 77mm. If they are bigger which I doubt, you could use a step up ring.
My photo 2 teacher is making me use my film camera still, but for color photo I am 100% digital now. There is no going back, I find it cruel and unusual punishment to use my film camera now. Reminds me, I have to take some more pics, entire freaking week has been nothing but rain, looks like it wont stop til Monday!

Spin Doctor
10-12-2005, 02:34 PM
Its actually an AE-1 Program so I really don't know the lens mount designation.

BillH
10-12-2005, 02:42 PM
ITs an FD mount.
You see, long time ago Canon made the decision to go with a different lense mount, one that had a larger opening, allowed more room for the lense to have the auto focus motor in the lense, and to use faster lenses. Nikon on the other hand decided to stick with the same lense mount to keep the user base. Canon didnt want to compromise. So thats what I've been told anyhow. You should go to a camera store and hold a Canon 20d.

Mcgyver
10-12-2005, 02:48 PM
there was a company i think called Silicon Film. they were a spin off from a firm with military sat contracts - ie they had some great low power high res analogue to digital image technology. as Paul says, they may be gone - seemed like a neat idea.

snowman
10-12-2005, 02:55 PM
Canon A1, AE1 and AE1P are all FD mount lenses.

You can get a converter for the newer rebel 8MP digital camera, but in my opinion, it's pointless. You have to operate the digital camera in pure manual mode.

Can you convert your AE1? Yes...Post it on Ebay with all the accessories, and you are about 1/4 of the way to a new digital assuming everything is in mint condition and you have a heck of a lot of lenses to sell with it. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif Personally, I am a camera freak, I have three A1's, two AE1's and gobs of lenses ranging from fisheye to telephoto to really close up macro....I just can't seem to part with the stuff, mostly because I know what I paid, and I know what it's selling for....it seems to be worth more sitting in my closet unused???

-Jacob

Spin Doctor
10-12-2005, 03:21 PM
Its not that I dislike film. A lot of the time I prefer it. It's just the option of only printing what you want with digital that is so damn attractive.

Leigh
10-12-2005, 04:57 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Spin Doctor:
...It's just the option of only printing what you want with digital that is so damn attractive. </font>

Shoot slides (Fuji Provia 100). If you want a digital image just scan the slide at 4000 DPI (that's 24 Megapixels @ 36 bits per pixel = 864 Megabits or 108 Megabytes per slide). That's what I'm doing for a current series of magazine articles. Comes out great.

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Leigh W3NLB

[This message has been edited by Leigh (edited 10-12-2005).]

MikeG
10-12-2005, 05:24 PM
"Can you convert your AE1? Yes...Post it on Ebay with all the accessories, and you are about 1/4 of the way to a new digital assuming everything is in mint condition and you have a heck of a lot of lenses to sell with it. Personally, I am a camera freak, I have three A1's, two AE1's and gobs of lenses ranging from fisheye to telephoto to really close up macro....I just can't seem to part with the stuff, mostly because I know what I paid, and I know what it's selling for....it seems to be worth more sitting in my closet unused???

-Jacob "

Jacob is right - I'm sitting here on the "film - digital fence" with three EOS-630's, a T90 and an A1, a load of FD lenses and too many EF lenses to think about up to 600mm/F4. What to do, what to do???????????? Digital would give instant gradifaction and Iv'e read that digital (with the proper glass (read expensive)) is as good as film. Hmmmmmm. Selling the old on E-Bay would make me cry, maybe I'll just line them up on a shelf and start a museum.

Regards

MikeG

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BillH
10-12-2005, 09:15 PM
Digital even with cheap glass is better than film in my oppinion. Scanning those slides, you ever wonder just how much of that data is just reporting grain?
In photoshop CS2, use smart sharpen, 2 pixels, 100%, you'll be amazed.
Up until I got my digital, I was using Fuji Provia 100f, good stuff, for film. I was just working on an assignment, doing low light stuff, painting the target with a little hand held LED. Thank god im using DIgital, would of never gotten it right with the first roll of film.

Too_Many_Tools
10-12-2005, 10:45 PM
So if one goes with digital, what do you do with all the exotic lenses that you have that have NO replacement in the digital realm?

I am thinking of the extreme micro/macro/telephoto stuff.

TMT

BillH
10-12-2005, 11:00 PM
If your exotic lenses fit a canon EF mount, they will work on a Canon digital SLR. Same with Nikon.

Spin Doctor
10-13-2005, 09:45 AM
Thanks guys. Just decided to bite the bullet abd keep the 35MM for film work. The slide option is a very good idea. I do have a HP scanner with the slide scanner. For digital I'll just get a new camera to replace the one my daughter appropriated

Doc Nickel
10-13-2005, 03:32 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">So if one goes with digital, what do you do with all the exotic lenses that you have that have NO replacement in the digital realm?

I am thinking of the extreme micro/macro/telephoto stuff.</font>

-As above, if it fits the camera's mount, it'll work just fine. Canon EF mount is Canon EF mount.

Some, of course, won't have "autofocus" drives, but in many oddball cases, you'd not be using such a thing anyway. Fine macro work almost always relies on manual focusing, and I can't see a reason to have autofocus on, say, a "tilt and shift" lens...

As far as Canon goes, they have everything from 10mm wide angle to 600mm telephoto, with lots of zooms, wides, standards, macros and other oddballs in between.

Looking at Canon's line, I have a hard time imagining a lens that isn't available for my 350D.

Doc.

snowman
10-13-2005, 03:59 PM
I thought I said it above, I might have...too lazy to reread.

You can buy a FD-EF converter, but it's a pain, and you are forced into the entirely manual realm. When I say entirely manual, you are going to have to choose your shutter speed, then adjust your aperature.

I think you can probably do it either Aperature priority or shutter priority in the settings of the Canon camera, I'm not sure.

So yes, you CAN use all those old lenses...you just aren't going to have the speed and efficiency of a "point and shoot" camera. But if you want a point and shoot camera, why are you spending a grand on a 8megapixel digital camera???

I love film, but I love the speed of digital. I love film for the darkroom only...I wont even take pictures to "one hour photo" places. If I shoot film it's either Black and white or E6, NO C41...C41 is good for one use, disposable cameras.

-Jacob