A universal digital back for almost any 35mm camera?

Is it the right way to give a new life to old film cameras? Or is it a solution in search of a problem? The images below were published on Kickstarter  – and as of Oct 4th, 100 people had actually subscribed.

What it looks like  from the outside:

The “I’m back”  – Kickstarter project – the prototype mounted on an Olympus OM-10 – “I’m Back is a “Multi-System” that can be adapted to various cameras from the 50s until the 90s!”

How it works

The simplest thing to do is to check the Kickstarter page of the project. A few interesting points: it’s a  small sensor, paired with a small lens, capturing a picture of the image projected by the camera’s lens on a mat screen placed where the film would normally have been – the camera has to be set with the  exposure in “B” (Bulb), and the shutter button has to be pressed for 2-3 seconds.

I’m back – “The picture is created on the focusing screen which is then captured by I’m Back’s camera module”

How it looks behind the curtain

I’m back – Kickstarter project – final product  – “We’re working together to create a high quality product with an Italian Design!” or so they say.

The new and improved version

The newest version – using a smartphone as the viewfinder.

My take on it?

If you need a smartphone anyway, why not take the picture with the smartphone? And use the film camera for what it does best: shoot film.

It reminds me of previous attempts of marrying technologies which had nothing to do with each other…

A horse on a treadmill on a railroad.


Helicron propelled car – France – 1932 – Source: https://io9.gizmodo.com/is-there-anything-cooler-than-a-car-with-a-giant-propel-1220328894

The Leica Digital-Modul-R

The idea is not new. Leica even made a very serious and very expensive digital back for its R8 and R9 35mm SLRs.  It was actually selling (probably in very small numbers) in 2003, for 4,500 Euros (in addition to the cost of the camera body, or course).

Leica Digital Modul-R – it added a 10Megapixel APS-C sensor at the back of a Leica R8 or R9. The best part of it: it worked.

As almost any dSLR of the early years of this century, it did not capture the images full frame, but on a 10 Megapixel APS-C sensor. It was kludgy (if I remember the reviews of the time), but it worked. Look at the pictures taken by a Danish photographer: Thorsten Overgaard.