“I’m Back MF” Medium Format Digital Back is Now in Production

December 19th, 2019
“I’m Back MF” Medium Format Digital Back is Now in Production

I’m Back is back, indeed. With this handy accessory, you can breathe new life into old SLR cameras. I’m Back MF is a digital back for analogue medium format cameras, so you can kind of digitize your father’s tech with it. I’m Back MF is now in its final design and the production has begun.

I'm Back MF

credit: I’m Back

Granted, we reported about this device before (read about the original version for analogue 35mm SLR cameras here and read this article about the Kickstarter campaign of the first design iteration of I’m Back MF). We even presented the man behind all this, Samuel Mello Medeiros, a cinema5D award at Photokina 2018. So… we’re fans!

I’m Back MF

Digital backs for old(ish) analogue medium format SLR cameras are not a new thing. But they tend to be very expensive. Not so the I’m Back MF: It’s obviously not as good as these professional high-end backs but, and that might the unique selling point here, it doesn’t have to. If you want the latest and greatest in tech, why bother with a giant analogue camera in the first place? This device is for passionate photographers who aim for that special medium format look without breaking the bank.

I'm Back MF

the finalized design (with the screen still missing). credit: I’m Back

And it’s suitable for shooting video, too. Again, you won’t get a high-end video monster but a device that delivers a very unique look.

Specifications

Here are the specs but be advised that these can change until the final units ship around June 2020 (However, Samuel told us that the specs below will be at least the same or better):

  • Sensor: 16MP CMOS Sensor Panasonic MN34112
  • Processor: Sumplus v50M
  • Picture System: Focusing screen
  • Video Resolution: 6K 5760 x 3240 / 12fps  // 4K 3840 x 2160/30 fps // 1920 x 1080p/ 60 fps  // 1280 x 720p / 120 fps
  • Video aspect: Focusing screen/Vintage
  • Picture Size: (interpolate 20M, 24mp) real:16M 12M 10M 8M 5M 3M VGA
  • Video Format: MOV
  • Picture Format: JPG Color/Sepia/B&W & RAW
  • Storage Capacity: Micro SD Max 128Gb
  • USB Interface: USB TYPE-C
  • Display: 2.0″capacitive touch screen
  • ISO: 100 – 3200
  • Auto White: yes
  • Balance: yes
  • Auto Eve: yes
  • Picture ip: yes
  • WIFI: yes
  • Remote: yes (via mobile phone)
  • Language EN FR ES PT DE IT CN RU JP
  • Battery: F 750 7,8 v  – lithium battery
  • System requirements: Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Windows7, Mac os 10.3.6 and above
I'M Back MF

credit: I’m Back

A Sony NP-F style battery powers the whole thing and even wifi is onboard. With it you can connect your smartphone and control the I’m Back MF. Several adapters for attaching the back to a given medium format SLR are available, cameras such as

  • Rolleiflex Automat
  • Mamiya RB67 / Mamiya 645 / Mamiya C330
  • Kiev 88
  • Hasselblad 500 / SWC / 1000
  • Bronica S /Bronica ETSsi

are being supported. The actual image is projected onto a ground glass and the built-in camera of the I’m Back MF then captures the resulting image (or video).

Pricing

The I’m Back MF is now in production and will be ready for shipping in June 2020. You can head over to Indiegogo for pre-ordering (caution: it’s still a crowdfunding platform with all its risks, so not a proper pre-order). Pricing is 409€ through Indiegogo (that’s 10% off the regular price). An additional adapter for another medium format SLR make and model clocks in at 118€.

I'm Back MF

credit: I’m Back

The finalized I’m Back MF will be shown at Photokina 2020 along with a possible updated design of the original 35mm version. Let’s wait and see what Samuel has on offer then!

Demo Photos

Here are some test shots Samuel sent us which were shot with the new I’m Back MF. They were shot with a Hasselblad 500cm and the first prototype of the focusing screen which according to Samuel wasn’t very good – he says the new one is better and has a finer structure.

Shot with I’M BACK MF on a Hasselblad 500cm and the first prototype focusing screen. Image Credit: Samuel Mello Madeiros

 

Shot with I’M BACK MF on a Hasselblad 500cm and the first prototype focusing screen. Image Credit: Samuel Mello Madeiros

 

Shot with I’M BACK MF on a Hasselblad 500cm and the first prototype focusing screen. Image Credit: Samuel Mello Madeiros

 

Here’s a music video shot with I’M BACK 35mm and Zenith 122 and Helios 58mm f2,0 M6:

links: Homepage | Indiegogo campaign

What do you think? Might this be your tech gadget of 2020? Let us know in the comments below!

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Sean Conley
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December 26th, 2019

Wish they were able to get 24p instead of 30p.

bin4ry
bin4ry
Guest
December 20th, 2019

For that price and image quality, you might as well keep shooting film with your classic MF cameras.

Ted Ramasola
Ted Ramasola
Guest
December 19th, 2019

As someone who made several 35mm and even a medium format spinning GG adapter for video back then, I can appreciate this. However for video, this is one of those tech that is already too late. There might be those that argue about the look but that too can now be “approximated” digitally in post. Perhaps those that just want to lug around “expensive” analog bodies might like this but the “shooting the ground glass with a small, low rez camera”concept simply cant give justice to the beautiful optics of these mf cameras.

Kostas Petsas
Guest
December 26th, 2019
Reply to  Ted Ramasola

The ground glass dof adapter look in 2020 feels definitely outdated. The heavy vignetting and static “dirt” on the video image destroyed all the feels for me. If at least the ground glass was spinning :D

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