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09-19-2008, 03:26 PM   #1
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IR Conversion question

I was looking on the web for conversions to IR for my K100D and I came across this place Spencer's Camera - Digital Camera Infrared IR Conversions, Modifications & IR Photography - Home Has anyone heard about them or can anyone find any information regarding them?

09-20-2008, 09:01 AM   #2
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I haven't done mine yet, but when I do, I intend to use Spencers. I have read good things about their work.

Maybe someone who has used them will chime in.

Gut feeling, you won't be disappointed.
01-08-2009, 03:12 PM   #3
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Spencers IR Conversion

I just dropped off a *istDS for the 720 conversion. I should have it back next week and after some test shoots, I'll post my results/thoughts.
03-11-2009, 04:36 PM   #4
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Spencer's Cameras Infrared Conversion Notes

As promised, for those that may be interested in getting their DSLRs converted by Spencer's Cameras, here are some brief notes.

First, the conversion was completed in less than 4 days. Others have stated a much longer turn-around time from Spencer's, so your mileage may vary.

I opted for the internal 720nm cut-off filter and have found that generally I need to shoot about EC+1. At any rate it would make sense to bracket around this EC value and that is in fact what I do. I have uploaded 3 images with no post-processing other than a PS conversion to jpeg from raw. The first image is shot EC=0, the 2nd at EC=+1 and the 3rd at EC=+2. All shot aperture priority at f6.7. You don't need to view the histograms to see that the mid shot is the most well balanced from light to dark. I have also uploaded a B&W conversion of the mid image. The conversion was a simple one using Photoshop's Black & White Conversion with no preset and then applying an auto-level.

The 5th image shows you one problem you will likely encounter shooting IR: Hotspots. A known phenomena and commented on by many (just check via Google). Hotspots vary by 4 parameters: camera, lens (and focal length), aperture, exposure. Re the camera factor, I have not read whether one Pentax DSLR is more susceptible to this than another, but I do know that my converted *istDS is much less prone to hotspots than my Fuji IS-1, which is inherently sensitive to IR wavelengths. However, this could also be partially due to the fact that the Fuji has a non-removable 28-300 zoom. That brings me to the second point: lenses. I don't have much to say at this stage as I have not performed any comparisons and generally stick to either my Sigma 18-50 f2.8 or Sigma 28-70 f2.8, both of which seem to exhibit hotspots at about the same aperture. Aperture is one element you can really control. I shot a series of images from f2.8 up to f22 and did not begin to see any hotspots until f16 and then only at EC=+2. The problem is exacerbated with excessive exposure compensation, as seen in the image I uploaded which was shot at f22, EC=+2. What I found with the converted Pentax is that the hotspots are much easier to clean up than with my Fuji. With the latter the spot is well-defined with hard lines and for some shots near impossible to entirely mitigate (not at least without a lot of work). With the *istDS, if I have a hotspot I convert to B&W and usually in "disappears." If it doesn't, a bit of burning-in takes care of it.

The bottom line is that I am quite happy with my converted Pentax and have no problem recommending Spencer's for this conversion. My next step is to take my K100 or *istD and have it converted with the deep IR filter of 830nm. More on that at another time.

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