Professional photographer Mitchell Feinberg wanted a nice digital back for his fancy Sinar 8 x 10 view camera, but nobody makes a digital imager remotely that big. His solution? Convince a manufacturer to build him one, at a cost that's deep into six figures.
Photographers who shoot on film with a view camera, will typically use a Polaroid back to take a few test shots so they can check their shot composition and focus. The problem is Polaroid stopped making their film a couple of years back, leaving photographers scrambling to buy up existing stocks. Feinberg needed a permanent solution.
Most digital cameras have an imager the size of your pinky nail, and we've already seen how the price of a camera with a big high-rez imager can quickly get out of control. The catch is, even those fancy Hasselblads use an imager that's only a couple of inches across, while Feinberg wanted a full eight inches by ten.
He says that at first he had a tough time convincing the manufacturers that he was serious, but finally earlier this year, he got a pair of his huge Maxback digital camera backs (one as a spare). When asked about the price, his said it was "equal to the cost of a good size house - before the housing crash."
Feinberg says that at $15 a pop, he was spending about $50,000 a year on Polaroids. Now with the Maxback, he expects to eventually break even on costs. His work involves fancy art shots mostly of high-end luxury products, and you can check out some of his work here. I should note that these images were captured on film, the digital back is used only for setting up the shot.
Despite it's huge size, the Maxback's resolution is only about 10-Megapixels. Heck, that's less than my own Canon point and shoot.