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Is it possible to convert an old twin lens camera into a digital camera? Answered

Would it be possible to take an old twin-lens reflex into a digital camera? My idea would be to take an old TLR and gut it then take a pocket sized digital camera and stick it inside. I would probably take apart the digital camera so I can position the LCD where the view finder would be. Anymore ideas? 

I really like the look of the older TLRs and wish there were digital ones. There's a 5mp miniature one, but that's not the same "/.

And I know the second lens wouldn't be used, but I still like the look.



3 years ago

Well, here's my approach ... using a Kodak Brownie Starflex (or just about any TLR camera) as a waist level finder for a compact digital camera. If the TLR has a tripod mount socket, then this is non-destructive for both cameras. Just connect a short "mending bar" between the two camera's tripod sockets.

Starflex with Digital.JPG

Not sure how this would work of course I am not very handy?

Hi. Found your post here. Check this one out here: https://www.instructables.com/id/The-Steampunkers-Zenobiaflex-One

If you're working with a broken camera, or one that just ain't worth much anyway, then I could see disassembling a webcam to mount behind the lens-hole, maybe even up top, leaving the 'taking' lens intact.
A small lcd monitor in place of the ground glass... I'd think a clever fella could even do it without actually damaging the camera, setting aside the removed parts for possible later use (resale, etc.)
Obviously, the image quality can very widely depending on what donor cam you use, but some of them are little more than a sensor on a small board, with a lens focusing the image on the sensor.


6 years ago

Before you think about destroying a classic camera you might want to check on what its worth. Some of these are selling on eBay for $700 to $1200

I am trying to figure out just what model it is, but I can't tell. It appears to be in good condition. I just went to the next eBay search page found some listed for $2400.

Maybe I should just offer to buy it from you.

These camera's are very good film camera's although you might not be able to get the film anymore. The negative size is more than twice that of the standard 35 mm.
I wonder if they make a digital film back for it.

It looks like it might be this one, for $999


Lol, this was just a randomly selected example, I do not own one of these. My plan is to buy one off of ebay. Some are going as low as $60.

OK then, you find it funny, I find it really annoying. The implication was that you had this camera. If you did not then you should have said so and I would not have wasted my time looking it up for you.

For what it's worth, I've taken to always assuming that a high-quality photo posted with a question is a stock photo unless the poster says otherwise. Reduces stress.

Not once in my question did I say "THIS old TLR" each time I mentioned the camera I used the word "an" which does not refer to a specific object or thing. In no way did I imply I own the model in the picture. Were I asking about that model specifically I most definitely would've asked "Would it be possible to convert THIS old twin-lens into a digital Camera?"

The fact that you made an assumption is not my fault, it's yours.

Also, even if I DID own it, I would not sell it. I'd do what I've said I intend to do with it.

I will sell it for you for a 30% commission fee.

In essence No. This has been asked before being twin lens reflex isn't an advantage.

Although I have never tried or thought about this before perhaps there is room in there to install a cheap digital camera or a good quality web cam.

See past questions about converting film SLRs to digital. The answer, alas, is "Not at all easily."

And I would think long and hard before gutting a TLR. It may have collector value, and in general it's just too nice a piece of machinery to sacrifice unless it's already unrepairable.