Check out this beautiful hack of a Sigma DP Merrill to take Leica lenses
posted Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 6:39 PM EDT
It's pretty common to see third-party and older lenses attached to CSC cameras, thanks to the ready availability of mount converters. But it takes a special kind of person to take the fixed-lens Sigma DP Merrill line of cameras, and completely convert them to take Leica lenses. That's the incredible modification being offered by a Chinese seller on Taobao, and it's one of the more extreme pieces of camera hacking we've seen.
Unfortunately, both the sales page and the background information are in Chinese, so we're relying on patchy Google translations to figure out exactly what is going on here. It looks like the camera hackers take off the lens, and then machine a completely new front — grip and all — with an M-mount for the Leica glass. It appears that they may even have built a new shutter system to control the older lenses.
The result is a gorgeous, one-way modification that radically alters the Sigma DP, turning it into what amounts to a mirrorless camera. You won't be able to come back from getting your camera altered this way, but you will be able to take advantage of that Foveon X3 sensor with interchangeable lenses. In addition, the modified Sigma now boasts Leica's widely used M-mount, which still lays claim to some of the finest lenses ever produced.
The same seller offers a number of other Sigma repairs and modifications, too, including an M42 mount conversion. And it looks like the conversion costs a relatively low 1880 yuan, around $300. Of course, you have to be trusting enough to send off your Merrill and have someone rip it apart and then re-assemble it in a significantly modified way.
See more photos of the hack job here.