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11-02-2010, 09:58 AM   #16
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damn, I was looking into a service that would convert my K-X into a astrophotography camera. Well, I guess i have to keep looking

11-02-2010, 05:31 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by lowspark86 Quote
There are some bad reviews for this company that I found quickly with google. Caveat emptor.
What really stinks is that when I researched the service I somehow only saw the shining moments for certain photographers.

As I mentioned before I saw multiple references to Spencer's on Alpha Mount World. The writer of an article apparently used Spencer's for several conversions. I have found plenty of people touting great service from this place, but when you type in "Spencer's Camera" and "review" into the Googles you get plenty of negative feedback.
11-02-2010, 05:51 PM   #18
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I forgot to mention in my previous posts that over the summer PF site supporter Eccentricphotography was selling a K-x converted to IR by Spencer's Camera. I private-messaged him simply to inquire whether or not it was the same for him to experience lousy communication from Spencer's. He confirmed that they are quite bad at replying to direct email, but for him they did a good job with the K-x. He was only selling because he needed to fund some kind of movie project, if I remember correctly. I'm sorry to say I can't find the original listing for the item in the archives, though.

One other item: Whenever I call Spencer's it sounds like I'm talking to Clarence either over speaker-phone or like he's wearing one of those hands-free headsets for phone calls. Many years ago I had to take a ZX-50 to a local repair shop because the mirror needed to be replaced (major cleaning error on my part, don't use alcohol!). The proprietor of this repair center also used one of these headsets I mentioned. I received good service at this location, but I should mention the experience of talking to somebody over speaker phone or some other device that, well, isn't a regular phone is rather unpleasant. It's hard to be forceful or sound like you mean business over the phone when there's a constant echo or weird feedback in your ear. In fact, it really makes you want to end the conversation as quickly as possible.
11-02-2010, 06:13 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by melander Quote
damn, I was looking into a service that would convert my K-X into a astrophotography camera. Well, I guess i have to keep looking
Here is a link to a post by a fellow PF member who used Spencer's for a K-7 conversion. No mention of a run-around.

There are a few pre-converted Pentax IR cameras on eBay, you just need to search for them. It seems I may have made out better price-wise if I had just done this in the first place.

Some more searching on PF yielded hints that Pro Camera Repair in San Diego can do infrared conversion, but their site says nothing about it outwardly. I suggest a phone call/email. You would probably need to specify the type or wavelength for the filter needed for astro-photography. Spencer's Camera refers to this as a Full Spectrum/Clear Conversion which I suspect means there is no filter in front of the sensor apart from some kind of clear-glass filter with the appropriate thickness to facilitate proper focusing. There are also suggestions that one needs a cooling system to keep the sensor from producing extra noise. I haven't done any research on this, so take this with a grain of salt.

EDIT: I did a quick search on Pro Camera Repair in San Diego. Lot's of negative/mixed reviews. Another Spencer's, as far as I'm concerned.


Last edited by LowVoltage; 11-02-2010 at 06:28 PM. Reason: new details
11-02-2010, 06:21 PM   #20
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K200D has shipped - No really, it really shipped!

While I was writing my last few replies my email informed me that UPS is providing me with a tracking number. To my surprise, the package has actually been received and scanned in Orem, Utah.

Also, I keep forgetting to mention: I could swear I saw somewhere on PF that an individual (forum member?) in Singapore (?) can do IR conversions for Pentaxes. I remember very few details as it was some time ago, and I don't even remember if the guy was residing in Singapore or perhaps Taiwan... Other members seemed to respect the guy's skills. I discounted it as an option, however, because it meant sending the camera overseas. Maybe it would have been a better option!

Anyway, I'm sorry to say I can't find any reference to this individual no matter what I type into the search options, but if you're serious about doing IR conversion that is NOT from Spencer's Camera then maybe with some tenacity you will have better luck.
11-05-2010, 06:14 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
In the interest of fairness - as I have no other agenda here that to report on my experience like LV - I'm going to try to recall what specifically I was told about the need for software from Pentax.

What the person said was that the work (conversion) had been completed 3 weeks ago but in testing they found that my K100ds would not focus to infinity (that would be clearly something I would not want). The person said that they then had to go to Pentax (no idea where) and order a CD for software to upgrade the EPROM on the k100ds. He indicated that it (the CD) had finely come in and that the conversion would be finished very soon now.

To be continued when it actually shows up...
And what they should have told you is that they would be putting a clear piece of glass on the sensor to restore infinity focus. There is no software needed to do this.

And realistically, do you think that Pentax (or any other camera manufacturer) would send a third party company proprietary software that re-writes chips on a camera? The warranty is voided when anything is done modify the camera, and that ends any support that Pentax would provide.
11-05-2010, 06:22 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by LowVoltage Quote
While I was writing my last few replies my email informed me that UPS is providing me with a tracking number. To my surprise, the package has actually been received and scanned in Orem, Utah.

Also, I keep forgetting to mention: I could swear I saw somewhere on PF that an individual (forum member?) in Singapore (?) can do IR conversions for Pentaxes. I remember very few details as it was some time ago, and I don't even remember if the guy was residing in Singapore or perhaps Taiwan... Other members seemed to respect the guy's skills. I discounted it as an option, however, because it meant sending the camera overseas. Maybe it would have been a better option!

Anyway, I'm sorry to say I can't find any reference to this individual no matter what I type into the search options, but if you're serious about doing IR conversion that is NOT from Spencer's Camera then maybe with some tenacity you will have better luck.
Hopefully it is working as it should when you get it.

You might consider notifying the Attorney General in his state of the problems that you had. They may not be able to do anything now, but it may help them take action.
11-05-2010, 06:35 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by LowVoltage Quote
While I was writing my last few replies my email informed me that UPS is providing me with a tracking number. To my surprise, the package has actually been received and scanned in Orem, Utah.
I wouldn't count your chickens before they are hatched.... or in this case delivered and capable of producing beautiful IR eggs. After everything you have gone thru with these guys I would not be surprised if you didn't just get someone elses converted Canon Rebel...

Mike

11-06-2010, 11:44 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by LowVoltage Quote
Turning on the camera starts it's standard dust-reduction routine. What should have been a near imperceptible vibration of the camera was replaced by a violent shuttering of the camera that was very audible.
I wouldn't call the K200D dust-reduction "near imperceptible". Mine does a very distinct "ca-clack-clack-clack". And I also feel the sensor shaking from side to side. On my new K-r it's almost the same but maybe a tad quieter. Still very audible though.

I'm not saying there nothing wrong with you camera, far from it. But that "near imperceptible" just didn't sound like a K200D I know. I hope you finally get your IR cam up and running.
11-12-2010, 09:49 AM   #25
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Brief Update: Good news

I don't have a lot of time, and I've been neglecting this thread a bit, but the short version of the update is this: I received my camera within the normal time based on shipping estimates. Upon initial testing everything seems to be in good working order. No alignment issues, no strange movements of the sensor during exposure. There does appear to be some dust spots in my test shots, but they are nothing alarming and I believe they can be taken care of with a few shots with a Rocket Blower.

I will post some test shots in the next day or two.

QuoteOriginally posted by ovim Quote
I wouldn't call the K200D dust-reduction "near imperceptible". Mine does a very distinct "ca-clack-clack-clack". And I also feel the sensor shaking from side to side. On my new K-r it's almost the same but maybe a tad quieter. Still very audible though.

I'm not saying there nothing wrong with you camera, far from it. But that "near imperceptible" just didn't sound like a K200D I know. I hope you finally get your IR cam up and running.
Indeed, it seems that during the time waiting for the camera to be returned to me I forgot just how the camera sounded when using the dust reduction mechanism. I think this just goes to show how long I was waiting for results from Spencer's Camera!

As it turns out, a co-worker of mine who owns the K-x brought his camera to work and it's behavior allayed my fears about the dust reduction feature in my camera as it has been returned to me. The mechanism is, in fact, rather loud and can be felt moving about inside the chassis.

I also own a K-7 which is much quieter in it's DR operation and can't be felt operating nearly as much as the K200D; I suppose the K-7 has spoiled me a bit!
11-12-2010, 10:03 AM   #26
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I'm glad to hear things are working out for you.
11-12-2010, 10:22 AM   #27
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I can only report that I'm still waiting for my K100 to return. I emailed them this week to request an update on status and have received no reply yet...I am about 2.5 months and waiting.
11-19-2010, 10:32 AM   #28
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Hi all, I had my camera converted by Precision Camera in Conneticut. Very satisfied wit the work done, the cost and the quality. Have been using it for 9 months with no problems.
11-23-2010, 11:07 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by diggo Quote
Hi all, I had my camera converted by Precision Camera in Conneticut. Very satisfied wit the work done, the cost and the quality. Have been using it for 9 months with no problems.
I was under the impression Precision Camera did not do Pentax cameras; I guess I should have done more research. Good to know somebody on the Easter seaboard can do it instead of having to send a camera off into the wild, wild West.
11-23-2010, 11:22 PM   #30
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When I checked a year ago, I don't believe they did Pentax. [sigh] Still waiting for my camera back from Spencers...
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