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Old Feb 26, 2006, 5:33 PM   #1
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My dad passed away about ten years ago. He had two Leicas and a Pentax. Are there any devices that replace the back of a 35mm camera with the guts of a digital camera? When digital cameras first came out I remeber seeing something liek a "digital pack" that fit where the film went in old SLRs. Did they ever take off? I have a Minolta that I bought in 1986 for $700, is there one of these for that?

What about digital SLRs that take old lenses? What brands can take a Leica, Pentax, or Minolta lens?

THanks for any info!
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Old Feb 26, 2006, 6:31 PM   #2
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There was a company that was going to design a digital back for 35mm cameras a few years back. But, it never made it to market.

The engineering complexity is just too much to tackle, in order to design a generic back to replace film.
You can use your Pentax lenses on Pentax DSLR models.

You can use Minolta Autofocus Lenses (a.k.a., Minolta AF, Maxxum, Dynax, Minolta A-Mount) on Konica Minolta DSLR models. Minolta introduced this mount 21 years ago in 1985 (replacing the old Minolta MC/MD Mount).

Is your Minolta a Maxxum or Dynax series camera? If so, the lenses will work on newer Konica Minolta DSLR models.

I've got a Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D that can use all Maxxum lenses. So far, I've got the Minolta 28mm f/2, 50mm f/1.7, 100mm f/2, 135mm f/2.8, 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5, 35-70mm f/4 Macro, and 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6; as well as two Tamron lenses in Minolta AF mount for it (Tamron 20-40mm f/2.7-3.5, 35-105mm f/2.8 ).

BTW, the Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D and Maxxum 7D will be the last DSLR models bearing the Minolta name. Sony has purchased some of Konica Minoltas assets, and will be marketing Sony branded DSLR models that can use Maxxum lenses.

As for your Leica lenses, you'd need an adapter to use them on a DSLR model (and adapters can have some drawbacks), unless you have a Leica R8 or R9 and want to purchase a Digital Back for it (not available yet AFAIK).

Leica has announced a Digital Back for the Leica R8 and R9 (actually, it's been in the works for quite a while now). This is the only back you'll be able to find for a 35mm film camera. It will be known as the Leica Digital Module R (and it will probably be very pricey when it hits the market).


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Old Feb 28, 2006, 2:38 PM   #3
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The nice thing about the Pentax *ist cameras is that they can use any of the Pentax lenses - I'm using 20-25 year old manual everything lenses and they work great. It's saved me lots of money, though I may break down and buy a new lens - I sometimes forget to stop down the lens to set the shutter speed, and my eyes aren't quite as good as they used to be for focusing.
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