What’s The PONF Configurator Tool, Anyway?

By Katherine Phipps

BONUS: More Tech Specs Revealed!

We’ve said time and time again that the PONF Camera is completely customizable, and perhaps you wondered at some point what that meant. It’s an interesting concept, and perhaps one that doesn’t exist in cameras so much as it does in computers. Actually, that we can think of, there has not been a fully customizable camera so far.

For example, say you (or more specifically, me, a freelance creative working on all types of projects) need a super fast processor and great screen resolution for image processing, but you could cut a bit of cost by choosing a slightly smaller SSD in your laptop. Each component of the laptop is selected according to one’s personal needs. Of course, there are “popular setups” which could be a combination of features and settings that a broad group of people would get a lot of use from. We plan to have something like that too.

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So now, returning to the conversation about cameras, imagine the things that you do and don’t like about cameras that you do and don’t like. If you’ve used a lot of different gear (especially older cameras, and larger ones) you might have a few more preferences than someone who has less tactile experience. One of the most important decisions you’ll make is which lens mount your camera will have. From there, you will also be able to choose the size, body shape, weight, material finish, location of strap lugs, and more. And that’s just for the physical appearance!

Lens Mounts Canon (FL/FD, EF/EF-S), Pentax K, Nikon F, Sony A, M42 Sony E, Micro 4/3 M39 / LSM
Format/ Body Size Reflex: 35mm body with grip (long flange focal distance)  Mirrorless: 35mm small body (i.e. with flange focal distance shorter than rangefinder)  Rangefinder: 35mm mid body (flange focal distance shorter than SLRs)

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The digital back will be much more fully customizable for those who have greater technology needs, starting with the size of the sensor. For those unfamiliar, the larger the size of the sensor, the greater the area resolution of the photograph in its uncompressed form, which ultimately leads to a photograph of greater detail. It’s exactly the same as the difference between 35mm and medium format film. One isn’t superior, but does have objectively greater resolution.

Sensor Options: SONY APS-C SONY Full Frame Medium format 50MP (coming 2019!) Medium format 100MP (coming 2019!)

Along with resolution one will be able to determine the processing speed of their camera. A range of frames per second (FPS) will serve more professional and high speed shooters if one desires to use their camera this way.

FPS: APS-C Entry level 1 FPS Top Tier 3 FPS
FPS: Full Frame Entry level 1.5 FPS Top Tier 5 FPS

For other particular use cases, the custom functions might come from the software side rather than hardware. Say you plan to use your PONF digital back to digitize (scan) your negatives using a lightbox. We could create a program within the digital back to make sure an action easy, correcting exposure and perhaps even creating color profiles from within the digital back itself. Maybe you need your digital back (with its wifi capabilities) to be able to operate a drone. We can do this. Imagine the possibilities!

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So, no matter what you’ll use the camera for, we can help make it the best camera for the job, and something that’s built to last. What will you use your camera for? Comment below!

7 thoughts on “What’s The PONF Configurator Tool, Anyway?”

  1. There are no such things as M42 and L42 rangefinder mounts.

    The M42 mount is a reflex mount (that of the Asahi Pentax Spotmatic cameras for instance) with a 45.46mm distance between the flange and the sensor / film plane (register). The register of 24×36 rangefinder cameras is typically comprised between 27.95mm (Leica M) and 34.85mm (Contax C / Nikon S).

    The L42 mount doesn’t even exist. This might be a typo for L39 a.k.a. LTM (Leica Thread Mount), the thread mount of the Leica rangefinder cameras and lenses before the M series.

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      1. If I may be nitpicky about your edition of the table and add a further comment:

        1/ M39 is not a rangefinder mount but a reflex mount, that of the first Zenit Soviet cameras before they adopted the M42 mount. M39 = metric thread (one thread per millimeter), diameter = 39mm, register = 45.2mm.

        2/ LSM mount doesn’t exist.

        3/ By “M39 / LSM” I therefore think you mean L39 / LTM (with an L as in Leitz or Leica and a T as in thread): As indicated above, this is the mount of the Leica cameras before the M series, which adopted a bayonet mount. LTM/L39 = Whitworth thread (26 threads per inch, common for microscopes -being a big microscope manufacturer, Leitz had all the necessary tooling), diameter = 39mm, register = 28.8mm.

        4/ I would strongly advise you to adopt the Leica M mount instead of the LTM/L39 for your “35mm mid body” since LTM/L39 lenses can be used on an M-mount camera whilst the contrary is not possible. The M mount is in the public domain.

        5/ Subsidiarily, you might envisage to add the Minolta SR (MC / MD / Rokkor lenses) and Olympus OM to the lens mounts of your “35mm body with grip”. There is plenty of good glass in these two mounts out there.

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  2. Another set of considerations, these ones about focusing and focusing aids.

    I take it that the “35mm body with grip (long flange focal distance)” will be an SLR with a mirror and pentaprism/pentamirror. In addition, its viewfinder could include such focusing aids as a split prism and a microprism ring.

    What about the “35mm mid body (flange focal distance shorter than SLRs)” and “35mm small body (i.e. with flange focal distance shorter than rangefinder)”, in particular when used with a film back? There won’t be room enough to put a mirror box between the mount flange and the film/sensor plane and an electronic viewfinder won’t work with a film back. How will people correctly focus the lens attached to such a camera body?

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