Jump to content


Photo

Converting a 35mm still camera into a high end video camera?


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 Joshua Rheaume

Joshua Rheaume
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 19 posts
  • Student
  • 2328 appaleousa way west linn oregon (portland)

Posted 16 September 2006 - 07:39 PM

Hey I'm wondering if anybody has ever converted a still camera with a really nice lense into a video camera using a laptop (sorta like a really high end webcam)? Nomatter if you have or if you haven't done this, could you tell me if you think it can be done, and if so how?


-Joshua.
  • 0

#2 Jason Debus

Jason Debus
  • Sustaining Members
  • 311 posts
  • Student
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 16 September 2006 - 08:42 PM

Out of the box the fps isn't good enough, something like 8 fps max on the best cameras to the best of my knowledge. You could do it but your footage would look like Chungking Express. It might be possible to tap into the sensor somehow but that's a job for an engineer.
  • 0

#3 Nick Mulder

Nick Mulder
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1023 posts
  • Other
  • Auckland, New Zealand

Posted 16 September 2006 - 08:54 PM

Hey I'm wondering if anybody has ever converted a still camera with a really nice lense into a video camera using a laptop (sorta like a really high end webcam)? Nomatter if you have or if you haven't done this, could you tell me if you think it can be done, and if so how?
-Joshua.

a bit off topic but I am always intruiged with the camera on the top of this page:

http://www.design.ar...erasystems.html

Its a Mamiya RZ67 camera (nice lenses) - which usually takes 6x7cm roll film (120) backs - its been hacked to have a 65mm film back - the shutters in these cameras are of the leaf variety (ie. in the lens) and would get no where near a motion film speed, so either they have a focal plane shutter (an engineering feat!) or they only use it for time lapse, animation etc...

I should really email them about it - I own an RZ system myself...
  • 0

#4 Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 791 posts
  • Other

Posted 17 September 2006 - 12:02 PM

I've never seen any film stills camera reach that fps. Even with digital, there lies the problem that even on the same shutter speed and f-stop, there will be differences in brightness between each and every shot. (Some technical reason with the CCD, can't remember what, someone around here will be able to tell you about it)

Bare in mind a motion picture film camera shutter is like a half disc that spins around whilst the film is continuously moving. 35mm stills cameras have to open the shutter, close the shutter, shift the film along and repeat that process.

Edited by Daniel Ashley-Smith, 17 September 2006 - 12:05 PM.

  • 0

#5 Stepan Sivko

Stepan Sivko
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 37 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Posted 17 September 2006 - 12:17 PM

I dont think still 35mm camera is the easy way, but I will consider following SLR's as a interesting choice.....
Canon 1D MARK IIN 8.5fps for up to 48fps or Nikon D70s 3fps up to 144fps (jpeg)
Stepan
  • 0

#6 Matthew Buick

Matthew Buick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2345 posts
  • Student
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Posted 18 September 2006 - 01:17 PM

Egad no, just buy a 'really high end webcam', it'll be easier, cheaper, and possible. :D
  • 0

#7 Jonathan Benny

Jonathan Benny
  • Sustaining Members
  • 166 posts
  • Other
  • Vancouver, Canada / Paris, France

Posted 18 September 2006 - 01:37 PM

Bare in mind a motion picture film camera shutter is like a half disc that spins around whilst the film is continuously moving. 35mm stills cameras have to open the shutter, close the shutter, shift the film along and repeat that process.


The film in most motion picture cameras does not continuously move. The camera stops the film in place and holds it there until the frame is exposed, then moves it along to the next frame (much like what one does manually with an SLR - except for the shutter system).

AJB
  • 0

#8 cruz

cruz
  • Guests

Posted 18 September 2006 - 03:21 PM

Few years ago I heard that one of Rollingstones video( in those days they shot videos on film)was shot on two nikon cameras one was F3 the other I reckon was F4 with special mags that could hold 250 frames. I checked my F4s at 1/60 the mirror frequency seems to be more or less 12 fps. So i think it's possible but you wouldn't invent anything new, same format 24x36 was in cinerama. The film moved horizontally just like in 35mm photographic cameras. My two cents.

Carlos CRUZ
  • 0

#9 Rik Andino

Rik Andino
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 783 posts
  • Electrician
  • New York City

Posted 18 September 2006 - 03:38 PM

Hey I'm wondering if anybody has ever converted a still camera with a really nice lense into a video camera using a laptop (sorta like a really high end webcam)? Nomatter if you have or if you haven't done this, could you tell me if you think it can be done, and if so how?
-Joshua.


I think your idea confused everyone else because they're talking about FPS...
You're talking about using the lens system of a still camera and connecting it to a laptop
So you can use your laptop as the recording device.

How are you going to connect the still camera to your lap-top?
If it's not a Digital Still camera, it'll can be near-impossible.

If you have a digital still camera then you might accomplish something interesting.

Still it'll be cumbersome and capturing the footage will be very time consuming...
As well as figuring out a decent workflow and storage process....
And you'll probably be able to do it better some other way.

Nevertheless you should try the experiment...
Because it's that creative spirit of inventiveness that can someday payoff
When you discover something truly unique and interesting and worthwhile.

Good Luck
  • 0

#10 Matthew W. Phillips

Matthew W. Phillips
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1792 posts
  • Other

Posted 18 September 2006 - 06:42 PM

The film in most motion picture cameras does not continuously move. The camera stops the film in place and holds it there until the frame is exposed, then moves it along to the next frame (much like what one does manually with an SLR - except for the shutter system).

AJB


With all due respect, I doubt your eye is going to detect the 1/24th- 1/48th of a second that your film is static.
  • 0

#11 Igor Trajkovski

Igor Trajkovski
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 289 posts
  • Other
  • Macedonia

Posted 18 September 2006 - 07:51 PM

You may be thinking of this:

http://www.marlathem...s/justfacts.pdf

It's from the http://www.marlathemovie.com/ web site,
under the bonus section.

How to make your own shooting machine (read 35mm adapter) using a Nikon F2 (3,4) and XM2.
Simple and weird.
:)

Just take a look.


Best

Igor Trajkovski
  • 0

#12 Nick Mulder

Nick Mulder
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1023 posts
  • Other
  • Auckland, New Zealand

Posted 19 September 2006 - 02:39 AM

With all due respect, I doubt your eye is going to detect the 1/24th- 1/48th of a second that your film is static.



???

If film is not static you will get a vertical ghosting effect - especially noticeable at 1/48 of a second (24fps at 180deg)

or do you mean if you were simply looking at the film running through the gate (ie. exposed film) - like a projector ??
  • 0

#13 Matthew W. Phillips

Matthew W. Phillips
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1792 posts
  • Other

Posted 19 September 2006 - 04:00 AM

???

If film is not static you will get a vertical ghosting effect - especially noticeable at 1/48 of a second (24fps at 180deg)

or do you mean if you were simply looking at the film running through the gate (ie. exposed film) - like a projector ??


I was referring to eyeing it.
  • 0

#14 Michael Collier

Michael Collier
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1262 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 19 September 2006 - 06:05 AM

Look into something called camera link. The cards are a bit expensive, the cameras are not cheap, but its possible to get something resembling an HD camera (with uncompressed capture) cheaper than any other method. They are used for machine vision I believe. Should send you in the right direction, for whatever your looking for. They can accept C-mount lenses, which should open up a list of quality glass with appropriate adaptor
  • 0

#15 Nick Mulder

Nick Mulder
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1023 posts
  • Other
  • Auckland, New Zealand

Posted 27 September 2006 - 04:57 AM

I was referring to eyeing it.


Sorry, I still dont quite get your point here though -
  • 0

#16 Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 791 posts
  • Other

Posted 27 September 2006 - 05:15 PM

I stand corrected.

(Hey you learn something new every day... and ever wish the ground would just swallow you up?)

Edited by Daniel Ashley-Smith, 27 September 2006 - 05:18 PM.

  • 0

#17 Jonathan Benny

Jonathan Benny
  • Sustaining Members
  • 166 posts
  • Other
  • Vancouver, Canada / Paris, France

Posted 27 September 2006 - 05:32 PM

With all due respect, I doubt your eye is going to detect the 1/24th- 1/48th of a second that your film is static.


Its not about what "your eye" sees. Its about what the film is doing.

I think when it comes to film and/or digital technology, we should strive not to round corners when it comes to explaining how the technologies function. That "your eye" isn't going to detect the stopping of the film doesn't really address the problem with stating that it is continuous through the camera. The fact is the film does stop in place for exposure. Perhaps to you, that information is either obvious or useless. But to others, there might be value to the information.

The very fact that "your eye" cannot see that the film is static at the point of exposure is the very reason why it needs to be explained to someone who refers to the movement of the film in a camera as continuous.


We should place equal value on what the eye sees and what the film is actually doing/behaving. I believe its the basis of taking good pictures.

AJB
  • 0

#18 Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 791 posts
  • Other

Posted 27 September 2006 - 05:53 PM

Its not about what "your eye" sees. Its about what the film is doing.

I think when it comes to film and/or digital technology, we should strive not to round corners when it comes to explaining how the technologies function. The fact that "your eye" isn't going to detect the stopping of the film does not have have anything to do with the reality that in fact the film does stop in place for exposure. Perhaps to you, that information is either obvious or useless. But to others, there might be value to the information.

The very fact that "your eye" cannot see that the film is static at the point of exposure is the very reason why it needs to be explained to someone who refers to the movement of the film in a camera as continuous.

We should place equal value on what the eye sees and what the film is actually doing/behaving. I believe its the basis of taking good pictures.

AJB

I think what Matthew might be saying is that it's a common mistake for amateurs to make.

Out of interest, what happened with the older, hand operated cameras? The only thing I can think of is if the hand crank was connected to a series of cogs in a system which stopped the film and shutter perfectly in synch, as opposed to being connected directly to the reel of film and shutter (which would keep the film running continuously).

Edited by Daniel Ashley-Smith, 27 September 2006 - 05:55 PM.

  • 0

#19 Jonathan Benny

Jonathan Benny
  • Sustaining Members
  • 166 posts
  • Other
  • Vancouver, Canada / Paris, France

Posted 27 September 2006 - 06:10 PM

I think what Matthew might be saying is that it's a common mistake for amateurs to make.


No, I think it was a statement on the necessity (or apparent lack of) of correcting the mistake.

Out of interest, what happened with the older, hand operated cameras? The only thing I can think of is if the hand crank was connected to a series of cogs in a system which stopped the film and shutter perfectly in synch, as opposed to being connected directly to the reel of film and shutter (which would keep the film running continuously).


Intermittent movement, the stopping of the film in place for exposure (x) times a second is part of what made the motion picture on film possible. So yes, those old hand-cranked cameras also had intermittent movements that stopped the film in place (x) times a second.

AJB
  • 0


Opal

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

CineTape

Metropolis Post

Ritter Battery

The Slider

Technodolly

Glidecam

Wooden Camera

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineLab

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine

FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

Rig Wheels Passport

Paralinx LLC

Visual Products

CineTape

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Wooden Camera

Willys Widgets

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

The Slider

Opal

FJS International, LLC

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery