Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > Cameras / Gear / Photography > Gearhead Delights > DIYS Modifications

DIYS Modifications DIYS aka Do It Yourself Projects - mostly gear modifications

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

Digital Modul M on Leica M4
Old 09-26-2014   #1
varjag
Eugene Zaikonnikov
 
varjag's Avatar
 
varjag is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bergen, Norway
Age: 42
Posts: 2,963
Digital Modul M on Leica M4

One of slow-paced projects of mine, started over a year ago. This is a digital back for older Leica Ms not requiring body modification. The donor was 350D, as this was what I had at hand.


Digital Modul M by varjagg, on Flickr



Digital Modul M by varjagg, on Flickr


Digital Modul M by varjagg, on Flickr

I reused Leica Winder chassis for battery and control circuit housing.


Digital Modul M by varjagg, on Flickr

The sensor assembly and the original Canon's PCB sits in the housing made from a discarded ISDN adapter, some sheet steel and a donor Leica backdoor:


Digital Modul M by varjagg, on Flickr

The sensor didn't readily fit onto the rails: the enclosure had to be ground down to get the right register. The operations were controlled with DTI and a set of gauge blocks.


Ground down CCD by varjagg, on Flickr

Just to put to the rest the old discussion of what the flange to film rail distance is, it is 27.60mm:


Leica Register Distance by varjagg, on Flickr

17.60mm on the depth gauge + 10.000mm gauge block.

I had to simulate the missing shutter and mirror box sensorics for the 350D circuitry. The original Rebel function was first analyzed with 8-channel logic probe:


Canon 350D actuation cycle by varjagg, on Flickr

Then the software was written to simulate it on Arduino MiniPro. The Arduino was mounted on a custom control PCB.

Source code and schematics, as well as some random photos along the build are available at the project's page:

https://github.com/varjagg/digital-modul-m

If you want to repeat that, have my blessing

Shutter synch is done via the bulb flash socket. Unfortunately, the 350D is laggy as hell and the advance time of bulb flash was not sufficient. So the back functions now only up to 1/8 speeds.

The second limitation is the IR cut-off filter from the sensor had to be removed, as it otherwise obstructed the shutter. Thus the photos leave the M8's IR issues in the dust I however ordered IVUR cut-off filters which I hope would eliminate the problem.


Digital Modul M test by varjagg, on Flickr


Digital Modul M by varjagg, on Flickr
__________________
Eugene

My Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-26-2014   #2
gerikson
Registered User
 
gerikson is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 58
That's an epic project!
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-26-2014   #3
Pioneer
Registered User
 
Pioneer's Avatar
 
Pioneer is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Age: 65
Posts: 3,107
Great stuff Eugene.

You should contact Oliver.
__________________
You gotta love a fast lens;

It is almost as good as a fast horse!
Dan
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-29-2014   #4
varjag
Eugene Zaikonnikov
 
varjag's Avatar
 
varjag is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bergen, Norway
Age: 42
Posts: 2,963
Thanks guys!

I've seen Oliver's Konica conversion, very cool.
__________________
Eugene

My Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-29-2014   #5
f16sunshine
Moderator
 
f16sunshine's Avatar
 
f16sunshine is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Seattle
Age: 51
Posts: 6,258
Cool! You did it
__________________
Andy
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-29-2014   #6
shadowfox
Darkroom printing lives
 
shadowfox's Avatar
 
shadowfox is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 8,801
Super cool accomplishment!
__________________
Have a good light,
Will


  Reply With Quote

Old 09-29-2014   #7
Nzed
Registered User
 
Nzed is offline
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Kelowna, BC
Posts: 3
Definitely contact Oliver. He started a kickstarted project to do one with an M3. You made one with an M4!

Very very cool!
__________________
Marty: Wait a minute, Doc. Are you telling me that you built a time machine, out of a DeLorean?

Nikon FE2
Canon 7D
Lubitel 166B
Olympus mju II
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-29-2014   #8
MikeDimit
Registered User
 
MikeDimit's Avatar
 
MikeDimit is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Sofia,Bulgaria
Posts: 161
Some people in Leica will loose their sleep as this D.I.Y. project costs some 500 USD in parts :-)
Great job!
М-о-л-о-д-е-ц!
__________________
Life is too serious to be taken seriously.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikedimit/
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-29-2014   #9
varjag
Eugene Zaikonnikov
 
varjag's Avatar
 
varjag is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bergen, Norway
Age: 42
Posts: 2,963
Thanks!

Mike, I assure you if I take my labor at Norwegian engineer's hourly rate into account the cost of this quickly approaches the S2

Nzed, me & Oliver communicated last week. My project is really a one-off hack which takes some metalworking skills to complete, while he has more kit-making approach in mind. Perhaps I can provide a few hints along the way which could save from a lot of pain, but I think he has what it takes.
__________________
Eugene

My Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-29-2014   #10
lam
Dave
 
lam's Avatar
 
lam is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 943
I commend you on your efforts! Think an A7 chip would fit directly on the film rails OK without grinding (the rails)?
__________________
website twitter
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-30-2014   #11
varjag
Eugene Zaikonnikov
 
varjag's Avatar
 
varjag is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bergen, Norway
Age: 42
Posts: 2,963
Dave, I haven't seen the chip but I doubt that, as it's bigger yet than APS-C. It's not just active frame size we are talking about, but also the enclosure and the pins/pads/cables which are unavoidably larger.

There's not that much space in Leica film gate either. If you open your Leica and see, the pressure plate upper rail is already nearly recessed into the housing.

So basically we are left with three approaches:

a) grind down the chip as I did
b) find an aps-c chip that fits entirely into film gate and manufacture our own positioning surface on the custom back
c) order a custom shape enclosure for the sensor.

Option a) is what I did. Option b) is by far the easiest and is suitable for mass production, but you have to find a chip tiny enough. Option c) is available only for volume manufacturers.
__________________
Eugene

My Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-30-2014   #12
maddoc
... likes film.
 
maddoc's Avatar
 
maddoc is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: 名古屋
Age: 53
Posts: 7,292
A big thumps-up for your efforts and results. Awesome!

Sent from my iPhone using Forum Runner
__________________
- Gabor

flickr
pBase
  Reply With Quote

Old 09-30-2014   #13
Monz
Monz
 
Monz's Avatar
 
Monz is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 1,065
Hats off to you varjag, for your amazing ingenuity.
__________________
RFF Gallery

My Top 10

Flickr Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2014   #14
varjag
Eugene Zaikonnikov
 
varjag's Avatar
 
varjag is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bergen, Norway
Age: 42
Posts: 2,963
Ok, when converted to BW it's almost passable:


Hetlevikåsen by varjagg, on Flickr

Still I hope to get color in check once I have a chance to try UVIR filters.
__________________
Eugene

My Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2014   #15
mfogiel
Registered User
 
mfogiel's Avatar
 
mfogiel is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Monaco
Posts: 4,658
I am waiting to see the first conversion of an M9 to M7.
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2014   #16
maddoc
... likes film.
 
maddoc's Avatar
 
maddoc is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: 名古屋
Age: 53
Posts: 7,292
Quote:
Originally Posted by varjag View Post
Ok, when converted to BW it's almost passable: Hetlevikåsen by varjagg, on Flickr Still I hope to get color in check once I have a chance to try UVIR filters.
Looks not bad to me! Keen to see the color shots!

Sent from my iPhone using Forum Runner
__________________
- Gabor

flickr
pBase
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2014   #17
varjag
Eugene Zaikonnikov
 
varjag's Avatar
 
varjag is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bergen, Norway
Age: 42
Posts: 2,963
Sure Gabor, would be great to pull it from the pink hell!

BTW, anyone remembers what the Rebel's battery life originally was? I'm getting a few hundred actuations on one charge, but since the flash, shutter, mirrorbox motor, AV circuit and LCD are amputated I expected a longer battery life.

The battery is old though, and there's a room for another in the winder's battery housing.


Digital Modul M Battery Pack by varjagg, on Flickr
__________________
Eugene

My Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-20-2014   #18
varjag
Eugene Zaikonnikov
 
varjag's Avatar
 
varjag is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bergen, Norway
Age: 42
Posts: 2,963
So got around to testing an UVIR cut off filter.


Digital Modul M by varjagg, on Flickr

A couple unprocessed JPEGs out of the camera. White balance is permanently set to daylight.


Digital Modul M / UVIR by varjagg, on Flickr

Some pinkish cast visible here. This was shot through the window, I wonder if that has to do with interior lights reflecting off the glass:


Digital Modul M / UVIR by varjagg, on Flickr
__________________
Eugene

My Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-20-2014   #19
B-9
Devin Bro
 
B-9's Avatar
 
B-9 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,102
Great progress! Thanks for the update!
__________________
Made in Michigan

RangefinderGuy @ Instagram
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-16-2014   #20
varjag
Eugene Zaikonnikov
 
varjag's Avatar
 
varjag is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bergen, Norway
Age: 42
Posts: 2,963
Haven't been working much on it, aside from using it for intended purpose (testing the lenses I convert).

However, the other day I bumped the back and it developed a fascinating glitch, a bit of a surreal look. Not sure if I should even fix it!


Still Life / DMM by varjagg, on Flickr

The lens on camera was a French beauty, Som Berthiot Paris Flor 50/3.5 collapsible, without IRUV cut-off filter.
__________________
Eugene

My Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-16-2014   #21
raid
Dad Photographer
 
raid's Avatar
 
raid is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 30,243
This is an accomplishment indeed. Its usefulness may get questioned, but it definitely takes guts and engineering skills to get it done.
__________________
- Raid

________________
Top 12 Images;

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/rffg...n.php?cid=7007

http://raid.smugmug.com/
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-16-2014   #22
benmacphoto
Registered User
 
benmacphoto's Avatar
 
benmacphoto is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Philadelphia
Age: 31
Posts: 898
This is a really great project.
And I like the look of the glitch.
I would keep shooting it to see how other things look.

Quote:
Originally Posted by varjag View Post
Haven't been working much on it, aside from using it for intended purpose (testing the lenses I convert).

However, the other day I bumped the back and it developed a fascinating glitch, a bit of a surreal look. Not sure if I should even fix it!


Still Life / DMM by varjagg, on Flickr

The lens on camera was a French beauty, Som Berthiot Paris Flor 50/3.5 collapsible, without IRUV cut-off filter.
__________________
Instagram

Website
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-16-2014   #23
varjag
Eugene Zaikonnikov
 
varjag's Avatar
 
varjag is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bergen, Norway
Age: 42
Posts: 2,963
Thanks, perhaps I should take it outside for a spin and find out what it sees in gloomy Bergen weather!

Raid, thanks. I do embedded systems for a living, so the reverse engineering part and getting the first images out was fairly straightforward. The bulk of effort went into mechanics and assembly: adapting the design intended for something else, and getting around all too short cabling and wrong geometry of sensor enclosure. But well, another thing chalked off now!
__________________
Eugene

My Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 03-03-2015   #24
varjag
Eugene Zaikonnikov
 
varjag's Avatar
 
varjag is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bergen, Norway
Age: 42
Posts: 2,963
Bit of an update.

A digital back is only so much fun when your top speed is 1/8. Still was able to grab a shot now and then.. but had to carry a film P&S as a back-up!


New sofa by varjagg, on Flickr


Loddefjord skole by varjagg, on Flickr

So yesterday I decided enough is enough.. cracked open the M4, and ran a wire in the flash bulb sync system to make it fire as soon as button is fully depressed:


Digital Modul M shutter sync by varjagg, on Flickr

It's a cheat, but so far it was the only "hard" intervention into the camera, and I figured I'd unlikely ever use flash bulbs with it. The electronic flash capabilities are unhindered.

But finally, the full range of speeds up to 1/1000!
__________________
Eugene

My Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 03-09-2015   #25
apostasiometritis
Registered User
 
apostasiometritis's Avatar
 
apostasiometritis is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 91
Not a cheat really, I'm surprised you didn't do it from the start!
  Reply With Quote

Old 03-09-2015   #26
Monochrom
Registered User
 
Monochrom's Avatar
 
Monochrom is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,039
Really great project!

Great results!!!
__________________
M9 Vc 28/3.5 Ltm 5/3.5
Leica IIIF Black Paint
Fuji Gf670
  Reply With Quote

Old 03-09-2015   #27
B-9
Devin Bro
 
B-9's Avatar
 
B-9 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,102
Nice! Now we need some updated photos youve taken
__________________
Made in Michigan

RangefinderGuy @ Instagram
  Reply With Quote

Old 03-09-2015   #28
Liam Maloney
Registered User
 
Liam Maloney is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 15
This is so cool. Amazing work.
  Reply With Quote

Old 03-11-2015   #29
Kate-the-Great
Registered User
 
Kate-the-Great's Avatar
 
Kate-the-Great is offline
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Denver
Posts: 224
Great project! Very inspiring
  Reply With Quote

Old 03-12-2015   #30
varjag
Eugene Zaikonnikov
 
varjag's Avatar
 
varjag is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bergen, Norway
Age: 42
Posts: 2,963
Thanks people!

And yeah a couple shots. At infinity, 1/125:


Fantoft by varjagg, on Flickr


And close-up, 1/15 or 1/30:


Stranges hus by varjagg, on Flickr
__________________
Eugene

My Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 03-13-2015   #31
varjag
Eugene Zaikonnikov
 
varjag's Avatar
 
varjag is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bergen, Norway
Age: 42
Posts: 2,963
Shot at 1/250:


Fantoft by varjagg, on Flickr

The back is pre-set to shoot at ISO 200. The control PCB has an output for ISO control by simulating button presses, and there was a support for that in software at some point. However I dropped that as running another cable between the modules was getting problematic.

If anyone would think of repeating it, I'd suggest doing all communications via SERDES on a thinner cable.
__________________
Eugene

My Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 03-13-2015   #32
apostasiometritis
Registered User
 
apostasiometritis's Avatar
 
apostasiometritis is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by varjag View Post

If anyone would think of repeating it, I'd suggest doing all communications via SERDES on a thinner cable.
Yes, I'm sure everyone will be rushing to do it!

At some point I toyed around with the idea of gutting a Zorki of the shutter mechanism and putting inside a fuji X-A1 or similar, but I could not quite get myself to pull the trigger on the components. Way too ambitious for my limited free time...

I got another summicron instead, hehe.
  Reply With Quote

Old 03-13-2015   #33
varjag
Eugene Zaikonnikov
 
varjag's Avatar
 
varjag is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bergen, Norway
Age: 42
Posts: 2,963
Well there been attempts at Leica digital backs for as long as consumer digital is around, and people would likely try that in the future.

The hardest and most tedious part by far is grinding down the ceramic sensor enclosure to fit camera film rail at correct working distance. If one is content at gutting a camera it can be done much easier; however I wanted to keep the back optional and retain the original functionality.
__________________
Eugene

My Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 03-13-2015   #34
apostasiometritis
Registered User
 
apostasiometritis's Avatar
 
apostasiometritis is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by varjag View Post
Well there been attempts at Leica digital backs for as long as consumer digital is around, and people would likely try that in the future.

The hardest and most tedious part by far is grinding down the ceramic sensor enclosure to fit camera film rail at correct working distance. If one is content at gutting a camera it can be done much easier; however I wanted to keep the back optional and retain the original functionality.
That's why I was considering a Zorki/Fed. The removable back you see...

Anyways, may come back I suppose.
  Reply With Quote

Old 03-13-2015   #35
varjag
Eugene Zaikonnikov
 
varjag's Avatar
 
varjag is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bergen, Norway
Age: 42
Posts: 2,963
I think you misunderstand. You would have to do that with any camera. If you place an unmodified sensor against film rail you would not get infinity, as the chip sits about 0.6mm deep in the enclosure and there's 0.55mm thick glass on top.
__________________
Eugene

My Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 03-13-2015   #36
apostasiometritis
Registered User
 
apostasiometritis's Avatar
 
apostasiometritis is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 91
I understood that part and my reply is all wrong and confusing - apologies for that!

In a Zorki I would get rid of the film crate completely, the only thing that would stay within the lower body would be the rangefinder arm sticking out.

Different approach altogether, I suppose I know that personally I would never be able to work any magic to make the digital part utilise the Zorki shutter.
  Reply With Quote

Old 03-13-2015   #37
varjag
Eugene Zaikonnikov
 
varjag's Avatar
 
varjag is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Bergen, Norway
Age: 42
Posts: 2,963
Oh in that sense, sorry. Yes, you either have to mill into the camera chassis or grind the chip enclosure.

It's also unfortunate there are no off-the shelf large sensor development kits available to private customers. This whole thing could be made much smaller and simpler if one didn't have to cram a "foreign" deisgn in.
__________________
Eugene

My Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 03-13-2015   #38
apostasiometritis
Registered User
 
apostasiometritis's Avatar
 
apostasiometritis is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 91
Not necessarily a bad thing, as long as there are cheap APS-C bodies around.
Though to be fair yes, it would be great to have a developer kit with an APS-C sensor with a reasonable price tag.

With what I had in mind I would be essentially bolting the sensor/shutter assy on a set of four spacers mounted behind the mount throat, inside the chassis in order to achieve the required 27.60mm offset.
Then I'd have to figure out something about how the back would look like, but with Zorkys I'm fairly confident I could get something going.
From whatever USSR cameras I had (lots) the Z4 is possibly the tallest and roomiest body with a removable back.

But I digress - your project is coming along *very* nicely. It is a cool project as well, so little disruption to the original body.
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-15-2016   #39
alanchin
Registered User
 
alanchin's Avatar
 
alanchin is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Baltimore, Brooklyn, Detroit
Posts: 7
You wrote,
Quote:
Originally Posted by varjag View Post
So basically we are left with three approaches:

a) grind down the chip as I did
b) find an aps-c chip that fits entirely into film gate and manufacture our own positioning surface on the custom back
c) order a custom shape enclosure for the sensor.

Option a) is what I did. Option b) is by far the easiest and is suitable for mass production, but you have to find a chip tiny enough. Option c) is available only for volume manufacturers.
But with 3-D printing isn't it fairly easy to do option C, custom design what you need? And use a full-frame sensor? Canon 5D original is around $350-400 used, the 5D Mk 2 is $700-900. And for body, has nobody thought of the Nikon F? Like the Zorkis it has completely removable back. Thanks!
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 21:37.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.