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12-23-2009, 10:04 AM   #1
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Pentax DSLR modification

Has anyone done or know some one that will modify an older Pentax DSLR for astrophotography? Like a K10D, K100D or K200D or similar. I am speaking specifically of replacing the IR/UV filter in front of the sensor with glass or a filter that will except the 656nm range of h-alpha light.


Basically:

Can it be done?
Is it easy or hard like on the Canon's?
How is it done or who does it?

William

12-23-2009, 01:38 PM   #2
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I am interested what you find out about this.

Pentax has noisy chips, and (with the K20d) forced dark-frame subtraction in bulb mode, which has me looking to other bodies for astro-photos.
12-23-2009, 02:42 PM   #3
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If you do a SEARCH for IR photography, you find not only several discussions, but also several links to people doing that conversion. If the IR filter is removed, the spectral response will go well beyond 656nm and you can use the usual Halpha filters (Lumicon or whatever).

The K100 seems to be the best bet for this.

Ben
12-23-2009, 07:03 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by DavidWasch Quote
I am interested what you find out about this.

Pentax has noisy chips, and (with the K20d) forced dark-frame subtraction in bulb mode, which has me looking to other bodies for astro-photos.
Your answer is the K-x.

12-24-2009, 04:49 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by netrex Quote
Your answer is the K-x.
All current Pentax bodies including the KX forces DFS after every exposure. If you make a 10 minute exposure you get a 10 minute dark frame. That makes it totally useless for multiple long exposures. Unless you talking about a k10, k100 or whatever instead of a KX. I am thinking about buying a K10D despite that it might be a little noisy compared to newer cameras. The K10D would also have the feature of being able to control it by computer which is what I would like. But it would need to be modified for IR work. I have tried specific astro cameras but had too many problems and went back to film (Pentax Super Program & Praktica FX3). The old FX3 is a great camera for winter exposures. With no batteries I have no problem with cold. It's worked for hours in -20 degrees and still taken pictures. I got cold and gave up before the camera. If you go to the Cloudy Nights forum and look in the NEO section I posted several asteroid pictures that were taken with the Super Program camera, 10-15 minute exposures.

I am know of at three places that do DSLR camera modifications but none of them work on Pentax. They only work on Canon, Nikon or a few others. If some one knows of a place that will work on the Pentax cameras please post it. So far I have not found on despite hours and hours or searching.

William
12-25-2009, 05:28 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by WillCarney Quote
I am know of at three places that do DSLR camera modifications but none of them work on Pentax. They only work on Canon, Nikon or a few others. If some one knows of a place that will work on the Pentax cameras please post it. So far I have not found on despite hours and hours or searching.

William
William,

our forum member "Frank" has a source for such conversions, he has posted about these several times. You could contact him directly:
PentaxForums.com - View Profile: frank

some experiences with such a mod, here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/31747-updated-info...imaging-2.html

Another option in the UK is: Advanced Camera Services
futher info here: Pentax *ist D IR Mod (Enzo's Home)

This thread might also be of interest: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/33215-k100d-infrared-converted.html

This seems to be a good place, to get the camera modified in the US: Spencer's Camera - Digital Camera Infrared IR Conversions, Modifications & IR Photography - Home

I hope this helps,
Ben
12-25-2009, 12:28 PM   #7
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I was thinking about a camera with less noise, which the K-x certainly is I haven't recieved my white K-x yet, so I didn't know about the forced dark frame for long exposures. It's very strange you can't turn this off :/ I didn't have it on my K10D, so didn't think about it for the K-x.
12-25-2009, 06:35 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
If you do a SEARCH for IR photography,...
Ben
The problem with that suggestion is this forum can't search on two letters. Whenever I post on an IR discussion I always slip in infrared which you can search for.

Ben_Edict mentioned Spencers who will modify Pentax DSLRs. Curiously they charge $25 more for clear glass than IR pass. I removed my own filter, then paid Pentax to fix my K110D. The improvement on red nebulas was quite good. The improvement on IR with Hoya 72 external filter was astounding.

For astro I use a good IR blocking filter, I have a 2 in Baader. Unfortunately it is over $100. That is why all camera companies use a lousy IR blocker that knocks out visible deep red.

The advantage to a proper clear filter vs no internal filter like I have is I can't focus some lenses at infinity. I presume Spencers glass filter restores the focus point.

The advantage to a K110D is they are usually cheap and you don't need shake reduction for astro.

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