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03-23-2019, 06:37 AM - 1 Like   #1
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K-1 MK2 Full Spectrum conversion for IR stuff

Anyone did this before? I am about to send my K-1 MK2 to Kolarivision for full spectrum conversion as it seems to be impossible to sell it locally. So I decided to keep it for all eternity until it fails completely.

Any experiences? Did it still work properly afterwards?

03-23-2019, 06:43 AM   #2
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Would also be interested in hearing from anyone who has done a conversion, ditto for K-1 or K-3 ii. I had contacted LifePixel about a conversion last year but he replied that he does not convert Pentax cameras.
03-23-2019, 07:04 AM   #3
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It is the IBIS mechanism that puzzles me. It took quite a long for Kolarivision to solve the IBIS dilemma for Sony.
03-23-2019, 07:47 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I had a K-01 converted by Isaac Szabo. Although I haven't tried UV, the infrared works great and the K-01 has the advantage that it's mirrorless and doesn't have an optical viewfinder (which won't work for UV or IR). Autofocus works fine in IR and it can still be used for visible if a UV/IR cutoff filter is placed on the lens. Some lenses work better than others for IR but that is a lens issue not related to the camera.

I would suggest you contact Issac and get his advice on converting your K-1. He would know of any pitfalls. Personally, I would be a bit reluctant to do a K-1since the K-1 is almost overkill for a conversion and is a great camera as is (I also have a K-1 but chose the K-01 instead after communicating with Isaac). You would be limited to Liveview when shooting UV or IR with the K-1.

If you do choose to go ahead, I can recommend Issac. He guarantees his work and is a wealth of knowledge for conversions (not related to him in any way other than having him do my K-01).

Isaac Szabo


Last edited by Bob 256; 03-23-2019 at 07:56 AM.
03-23-2019, 12:38 PM   #5
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I was also considering sending my K1 for B&W conversion (and use my K1 II for color), but I didn't do it yet because I believe the conversion to be risky with regards to IBIS and pixel shift, I'm afraid and scratching the sensor CFA might also apply mechanical stress on the IBIS block so pixel shift may not work correctly. The big question is how the conversion is done...

---------- Post added 23-03-19 at 20:43 ----------

Edit: I'd much prefer that Ricoh Imaging offer the service to convert the K1 to B&W only, either via sending the K1 to a repair center, or placing an order to factory for a customized K1. I'm surprised that Ricoh was able to convert K1 into K1II as a service, and also offered a K1 Silver, but haven't offering the monochrome version of the K1 or K1 II, the market would be bigger for monochrome K1 compared to silver edition.
03-23-2019, 12:57 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
I was also considering sending my K1 for B&W conversion (and use my K1 II for color), but I didn't do it yet because I believe the conversion to be risky with regards to IBIS and pixel shift, I'm afraid and scratching the sensor CFA might also apply mechanical stress on the IBIS block so pixel shift may not work correctly. The big question is how the conversion is done...

---------- Post added 23-03-19 at 20:43 ----------

Edit: I'd much prefer that Ricoh Imaging offer the service to convert the K1 to B&W only, either via sending the K1 to a repair center, or placing an order to factory for a customized K1. I'm surprised that Ricoh was able to convert K1 into K1II as a service, and also offered a K1 Silver, but haven't offering the monochrome version of the K1 or K1 II, the market would be bigger for monochrome K1 compared to silver edition.
The monochrome conversion strips off both the CFA and the microlenses. Although removing the color filters increases the sensitivity of each pixel, removing the microlenses reduces it, especially in the corners.

Also, there's almost no point is doing pixel shift if you've done the monochrome conversion. Moreover, if you can use pixel shift, then there's almost no point to the monochrome conversion (the full RGB data of a PS image lets you do full-resolution B&W).
03-23-2019, 01:04 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
Moreover, if you can use pixel shift, then there's almost no point to the monochrome conversion (the full RGB data of a PS image lets you do full-resolution B&W
PS require 4 image captures with approx 1/4 sec. between frames, with monochrome sensor there is not risk a PS artifacts.

QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
The monochrome conversion strips off both the CFA and the microlenses. Although removing the color filters increases the sensitivity of each pixel, removing the microlenses reduces it, especially in the corners.
Agreed. I'd prefer a true monochrome version of the K1 for customers interested, instead of improper removal of the CFA array.


The use of CFA is very very convenient for color filtering prior to render B&W images, no need of using color filters in front of the lens. I guess that's why most manufacturers don't offer monochromes cameras.

---------- Post added 23-03-19 at 21:11 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by MJKoski Quote
K-1 MK2 Full Spectrum conversion for IR stuff
You could try to get a K1 for part (cheap) and use it to learn the tear down process. Once you are comfortable with the process, you can apply it to your working K1 and DIY B&W conversion (you'll be sole responsible in case of damage).

Last edited by biz-engineer; 03-23-2019 at 01:33 PM.
03-23-2019, 03:47 PM   #8
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Don't think the OP is talking about B&W conversion - just IR/UV conversion in which the IR/UV cutoff filter is removed and replaced with a compensating plate (so auto focus isn't affected). Color filters remain and the imager is untouched. Still it seems like over kill using a K-1 unless the full-frame resolution for IR and UV are desired.

03-23-2019, 05:17 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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I have a FS K-1 done by Kolari and a FS K-01 done by Isaac Szabo. The work by both people was very well done and both were very helpful in information and answering questions before I took the jump. I love using these two cameras, so much so that I rarely take out my non converted K-1 unless I'm shooting a special event or project. Both perform much like my non converted K-1; AF, SR, metering, etc. with the exception of having to use Live View with the external IR or UV filters. Also, auto white balance seems to be a touch cooler if using the external hot mirror filter. Not bad or unusable, just similar to the difference between a sigma and the smc coated lenses. Manual white balance off of a grey card seems to produce a near equal image.

I know Kolari offers an anti-reflective filter for their conversions but they talked me out of it when they found out most of the lenses I use don't suffer from hotspots. Might be something for you to consider depending on what lenses you have.
Don't know which type of IR you like, I prefer the 87 & 87c but have had good results with the R72 - plus Kolari just came out with a areochrome filter that I'm waiting to arrive and give it a try. The plus side of full spectrum is the ability to switch to which ever filter you choose at the time.

I was very hesitant about converting my expensive K-1, so bought the K-01 and had it converted first to see if digital IR was worth it to me. Liked it so much I bought the second used K-1 from Kolari and have never regretted it. Also, digital IR is much easier than IR was in the film days, making it so enjoyable I find myself doing it more than color or PP to monochrome.
03-23-2019, 10:33 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob 256 Quote
Don't think the OP is talking about B&W conversion - just IR/UV conversion in which the IR/UV cutoff filter is removed and replaced with a compensating plate (so auto focus isn't affected).
I thought for DSLRs autofocus isn't affected by changes of filtering on the image sensor. Wouldn't the replacement of IR filter only partially work due to CFA filter blocking on light having wavelength outside of the CFA bandwidth?
03-24-2019, 04:30 AM   #11
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pcrichmond, thank you! And others as well for input. R72 and 87 intrest me the most right now. If K-1 worked I see no reason why mk2 would not.
03-24-2019, 07:11 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
I thought for DSLRs autofocus isn't affected by changes of filtering on the image sensor. Wouldn't the replacement of IR filter only partially work due to CFA filter blocking on light having wavelength outside of the CFA bandwidth?
Each millimeter of glass between the lens and sensor shifts the plane of focus further from the lens by about 1/3 mm. If you remove any of the glass that's in front of the sensor, the image will focus in front of the sensor by some corresponding distance. That has two downsides: 1) neither the OVF focus screen nor the AF sensor will give accurate focus (although live-view will); 2) some lenses will be unable to achieve infinity focus.
03-26-2019, 01:39 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
I thought for DSLRs autofocus isn't affected by changes of filtering on the image sensor. Wouldn't the replacement of IR filter only partially work due to CFA filter blocking on light having wavelength outside of the CFA bandwidth?
I think photoptimist answered your first question.

The Bayer color filter mask on the sensor is transparent to IR (don't know about UV) for the most part, which is the main reason for the IR reject filter (so IR won't affect color rendition since the sensor will see it). I know on my converted K-01 that the images come out reddish which means the red filters transmit more than the green or blue, but all pixels are exposed so IR does pass through the green and blue filters pretty well.

I know most dye based filters are IR transparent which led to some problems with Kodachrome printing. Kodachrome had one layer (I believe the cyan) which didn't pass IR all that well but Ektachrome print material was red sensitive to IR so color shifts could happen if the enlarger light source contained IR (most did). That required an IR cut filter in the enlarger light path to address the issue, one similar to digital cameras with IR sensitive sensors.
03-27-2019, 03:43 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
Each millimeter of glass between the lens and sensor shifts the plane of focus further from the lens by about 1/3 mm. If you remove any of the glass that's in front of the sensor, the image will focus in front of the sensor by some corresponding distance. That has two downsides: 1) neither the OVF focus screen nor the AF sensor will give accurate focus (although live-view will); 2) some lenses will be unable to achieve infinity focus.
The sensor block is mounted inside the camera using 3 springs, it means that whole sensor block can be pushed a little (about 1 mm) by 3 screws. If the user wants the IR converted camera to be usable with all focal lenghts, calibration should be done for the lens with smalest focal lenght. The PDAF could be wrong using other focal lenghts, but infinity is possible.
BTW, I use converted K5, it is optimised for 14 mm focal lenght. But DFA* 50/1.4 focuses ideally via OVF The lens is sharp even wide open (no iris adjustment is possible using K5)
04-01-2019, 03:23 PM - 1 Like   #15
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No pain no gain. I have decided to go with Kolarivision conversion to full spectrum. Now it is time to purchase the service and get the stuff overseas approximately in one piece. Can't wait to get this done.
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