Changing Sensors in an Old Camera

Step 1. Choose a new sensor.

In the example shown below, four different types of sensors are shown in addition to an old rangefinder camera; Black and White, Color, and two types of Transparency. All of the pictured sensors will produce “full frame” 35mm photographs. There is a great deal of flexibility when using this type of long sensor, because numerous types allow the photographer to “adjust” color and monochrome attributes, contrast, saturation, grain, sharpness, and sensitivity to light by simply changing the sensor. Further adjustments like exposure compensation may also be made with the camera, of course.

In this series of instructions, the black and white will be used for demonstration purposes. All of the sensors shown are rated at 100 ISO, and all will produce 36 to 38 photographic frames, depending on the camera used, before the sensor needs to be changed again. 

Step 2. Install the sensor.

Open the back of the camera. In this case, the old camera is a Yashica Electro 35 GSN. Insert the sensor cartridge and thread the sensor into the take-up spool. Note that this particular camera winds the sensor in the opposite direction of most cameras. Wind the sensor, then press the shutter button a couple times until the sensor material is tight.


Step 3. Close the camera back.