So recently, I've become somewhat obsessive about making a hackinfinder from random bits from here and there. I have no idea why I want one, but it's got up to the point that it's bugging me, so I need some opinions.

My dream consists of capturing the essence of rangefinders from the 1960-70s when they were the budget compact cameras of the era and still managed to match and in some cases beat it's larger sibling, the SLR, in terms of portability, discreteness and pure focusing speed .

What I'm planning is this:

  • Use an old Sony NEX as a "digital back" (still have't decided between the F3 or the 5N)
  • Scavenge the rangefinder componentry from a Canonet or a HiMatic
  • Repackage a Fujian CCTV 35mm f1.7 (gives a focal length of roughly 52.5mm and it's bloody cheap) and add a rangefinder linkage to the focusing system of the rangefinder. Also, redesign the aperture system so that there's at least 5 blades.
  • Fit it all inside an alumide 3D printed casing from Shapeways. (if I finish my 3D printer on time, I can do prototyping first)

Then profit? Or is this a totally stupid idea? Or should I just digital back a Canonet or something?

Also, have the first and most awesome digital rangefinder for your time.