If you’ve ever wanted to turn your old Leica M rangefinder film camera into a digital camera, then this might be the solution for you. Youtuber Michael Suguitan has added a Raspberry Pi High Quality camera module and Raspberry Pi (a small computer) to his Leica M2, calling it the Leica MPi.
Best of all, this adaptation is entirely reversible. On his website, Suguitan explains that his system is non-destructive as the digital back swaps in place of the existing film door and pressure plate. And in the case that anyone wanted to modify their Leica M2 in a similar way, he estimates the total cost of doing so would sum up to less than $100, or around less than 1% the cost of the newest digital Leica.
The Raspberry Pi High Quality camera module Suguitan used for his MPi is based on the Sony IMX477 1/2.3” sensor, and yields a 5.5x crop factor. Notably, the sensor position of its rangefinder focusing system matches the original film plane and the digital sensor has been mounted in spring-adjusted screws to ensure correct calibration.
Suguitan has said that he created the MPi to critique the unsustainability of both film and digital photography and that he plans on continuing his project by open-sourcing the design ‘for the collaborative preservation of analog cameras through (post-) digital technologies.’
Watch the video below:
The MPi has already been tested by Suguitan, who took it with him on a trip to Japan in April, using the Voigtlander 12mm f5.6 lens.
See some of the images taken with the Leica MPi below:
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