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09-01-2008, 02:41 AM   #1
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Which Pentax DSLR for IR Conversion?

I am want to get a second body for Infrared, and have found that Spencer's Camera - Digital Camera Infrared IR Conversions, Modifications & IR Photography - Home will convert Pentax bodies. While I'd like to purchase a camera already converted, they seem rarer than hen's teeth. So I will have to get a second body and have it converted. Any suggestions for which body to use? I'm not familiar with the *ist bodies and looking on dpreviews.com, the differences seem quite minor.

09-01-2008, 04:37 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jfsavage Quote
I am want to get a second body for Infrared, and have found that Spencer's Camera - Digital Camera Infrared IR Conversions, Modifications & IR Photography - Home will convert Pentax bodies. While I'd like to purchase a camera already converted, they seem rarer than hen's teeth. So I will have to get a second body and have it converted. Any suggestions for which body to use? I'm not familiar with the *ist bodies and looking on dpreviews.com, the differences seem quite minor.
Get a used istD. I use mine for IR with the Hoya R72 filter. Works well, and you don't need the 30" shots like a K10D will give.
I also have a converted Canon G3. Its great.

Dave
09-01-2008, 07:30 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentkon52 Quote
Get a used istD. Dave
I think Dave got the right answer, perhaps for the wrong reason. An istD is a good choice if you are going to use it UNMODIFIED. The older cameras like the istD and K1x0D have a "weaker" internal infrared filter thus are better for IR.

The Original Poster was asking about modified cameras, and I suspect the newer cameras are just as sensitive to IR with the internal filter removed. Spencer's web site says they will modify most all Pentax models. The decision comes down to cost and convenience. My wife's istD is easier to handle, has two dials, and would cost less on the used market (it cost me over a grand new). You may pay more for the conversion than the body!

If you have intentions of using a filterless camera for normal color (with the proper external IR/deep red blocking filter) than you might want a newer model for all the features. Myself, I use my filterless K110D solely for IR and Astro. If I was desperate (eg. my K100D broke down) I could use my Baader astro IR/UV filter and with a lot of color correction get close to normal color.

P.S. I just looked over Spencer's site and realize they add an IR filter making the camera dedicated to one function. Perhaps they would return a filterless camera if asked. Spencer's mentions sending all future repairs to them so the IR feature would not be disturbed. This may be wise, but I had no problem with Pentax repairing my K110D after I broke it removing the internal filter. I sent them a note, stuck a "filter removed" label on the body, and they fixed it without putting a filter back in. I was afraid they would balk at returning a camera that obviously failed many calibrations. The cost of the repair was under the cost of Spencer's conversion. Since my main objective was astrophotography an internal visible light blocking filter was not desirable.

Last edited by LeoTaylor; 09-01-2008 at 07:48 AM. Reason: Added P.S.
09-01-2008, 01:41 PM   #4
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Yes i know he asked for a camera for modifying, but it seems there is not alot to chose from out there for Pentax modifications, so i gave him something to consider.

BTW the modified G3 was only $200.00, again something to consider.



Dave

09-01-2008, 02:59 PM   #5
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My friend has been doing similar modification for Pentax dSLR (and Nikon ones too), he's modified D, Ds, DL, DL2, K100D, K10D, the procedure is pretty much the same: open up the camera, take out the IR mask (IR block), put in a proper IR filter (720nm, 760nm, 830nm and etc) and there you go, a dedicated IR camera. Since all these cameras can do AF adjustment in debug mode, you still can get sharp results w/ AF. I'm sure he can do conversion for K200D and K20D as well, but these cameras are too new, most users only want to convert those old cameras which they don't use much after upgrading to these new cameras


https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographers-marketplace/33483-ir-only-k...ir-filter.html
01-08-2009, 03:31 PM   #6
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All Should Work Fine, Once Modified...

...having said that, I've opted to have my *istDS IR-converted with the 720 filter and once that is successfully completed (meaning that I like the image results) then I'll have my K100D converted with the 830 filter. Why? The 830 being a deeper IR filter, it will require more exposure compensation and the K100D has Image Stabilization, which would be a bonus for lower light situations.
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