PetaPixel

Photographer Makes His Own 8×10 Digital Back for the Price of a House

Photographer Mitchell Feinberg wanted to continue shooting 8×10 large format once his Polaroid stockpile runs out, so he decided to create his own 8×10 digital back. He spent over a year looking for a manufacturer and designing the back, and shelled out enough money to buy a good-sized house:

The development and production of two backs (I wanted to have a spare) was equal to the cost of a good size house – before the housing crash. I know it sounds insane, but the financials on it are not so bad: I used to shoot on average 7.5 Polaroids per photo, and I shoot between 400 to 500 images a year. That’s at least 3000 Polaroids. At 15 bucks a pop. Or about 50K per year, minimum. Polaroid was at one point my highest single cost.

Now he’s the owner of the world’s largest color capture back (two of them, in fact), which shoots 10MP photos. He uses it to shoot test shots before using film for the final captures.

Mitchell Feinberg’s 8×10 Digital Capture Back [A Photo Editor]


Image credit: Photograph by Mitchell Feinberg and used with permission


 
 
  • David

    what is the dynamic range on that??

  • Man with a camera

    His photos are very nice. Dedicated photographer. Have fun, Sir!

  • http://profiles.google.com/slimspidey Spider- Man

    So, beautiful, should have sent a poet…

  • Anonymous

    I’m impressed.  It’s unfortunate that he chose not to market it, but I understand his stated reasoning.

  • Anonymous

    20 stops?

    That would be killer.

  • http://blog.wingtangwong.com/ Wing Wong

    Kudos to Mitchell for the dedication and finding a creative… albeit pricey way to extend his stock of 8×10 polaroid film.For those going on about 4×5 digital back should be brought to market… should really check out http://www.luminous-landscape.com/ which has been covering digital backs for medium format photography for a number of years now. If you want to go MF, it’s here and available now. Just need to fork out the $$.I can appreciate the benefit of a 8×10 back: VERY selective depth of field and VERY wide angles possible. I cannot help but wonder, however, whether or not there could have been another way to do this in a more cost effective manner.All the same, hats off for a great project.

  • http://blog.wingtangwong.com/ Wing Wong

    Kudos to Mitchell for the dedication and finding a creative… albeit pricey way to extend his stock of 8×10 polaroid film.For those going on about 4×5 digital back should be brought to market… should really check out http://www.luminous-landscape.com/ which has been covering digital backs for medium format photography for a number of years now. If you want to go MF, it’s here and available now. Just need to fork out the $$.I can appreciate the benefit of a 8×10 back: VERY selective depth of field and VERY wide angles possible. I cannot help but wonder, however, whether or not there could have been another way to do this in a more cost effective manner.All the same, hats off for a great project.

  • http://blog.wingtangwong.com/ Wing Wong

    Kudos to Mitchell for the dedication and finding a creative… albeit pricey way to extend his stock of 8×10 polaroid film.For those going on about 4×5 digital back should be brought to market… should really check out http://www.luminous-landscape.com/ which has been covering digital backs for medium format photography for a number of years now. If you want to go MF, it’s here and available now. Just need to fork out the $$.I can appreciate the benefit of a 8×10 back: VERY selective depth of field and VERY wide angles possible. I cannot help but wonder, however, whether or not there could have been another way to do this in a more cost effective manner.All the same, hats off for a great project.

  • http://blog.wingtangwong.com/ Wing Wong

    Kudos to Mitchell for the dedication and finding a creative… albeit pricey way to extend his stock of 8×10 polaroid film.For those going on about 4×5 digital back should be brought to market… should really check out http://www.luminous-landscape.com/ which has been covering digital backs for medium format photography for a number of years now. If you want to go MF, it’s here and available now. Just need to fork out the $$.I can appreciate the benefit of a 8×10 back: VERY selective depth of field and VERY wide angles possible. I cannot help but wonder, however, whether or not there could have been another way to do this in a more cost effective manner.All the same, hats off for a great project.

  • http://twitter.com/whitehotphoenix White Hot Phoenix

    I totally understand why he did this.

  • Anonymous

    What about the lenses?

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t others do something similar before by hacking flatbed scanners to the backs of view cameras?

  • Vladislav Kern

    Amazing project, but pardon me for saying so, spending so much on this huge sensor and ONLY ending up with 10MP? Doesn’t strike me as a good substitute for 8×10 Polaroid film.. but kudos for the effort!