Full Time Infrared Conversion

Richard Crowe

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Years ago, I converted a Canon D60 (not a 60D) to full time Infrared and liked the results quite a bit...
There were several problems with this camera: 1. it was quite heavy and I seldom brought it anywhere because of that weight... 2. it could not mount EFS lenses and many of my Canon lenses were for APSC... 3. Many lenses caused hot spots and focusing could be chancy...
However, since I have embraced Sony APSC cameras (I own the A6400 and A6500); I am seriously contemplating getting a used A6000 and converting it to full time IR work or buying an A6000 that has already been converted. The Sony mirrorless cameras are said to be great platforms for IR conversion and I have a plethora of e-mount lenses that I could use. An APSC camera would add less than a pound to my kit which is well within reason...
The A6000 might be my choice because of the price but, I would certainly not turn my nose down at an A6300 or later models if the price were right...
Is anyone shooting with a Sony APSC A6xxx camera converted to I.R... If so, where did you get the conversion and what are some of the pros and cons of that setup?
I was not satisfied with my Canon conversion and the company is no longer in business...
 
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Petrochemist

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Not an APSC model, I got my A7ii converted. Mine was done by Alan Burch on the Isle of wight, excellent service but I guess wouldn't be convenient for you (based on the time of your post you're not in the UK).
E-mount cameras are great for conversion, with a full spectrum conversion you can still see the image despite any filters added to the system (effectively giving you any type of conversion you wish), you have a huge range of older lenses that can easily be used with the camera (Old lenses are typically less prone to hot spots)...
With some models you can even get clip in filters that mount behind the lens & restore it to normal visual only use.

I came across a useful global listing of conversion companies which might be of use.
Infrared Camera Conversion Service: The Complete Provider Overview
 
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bdbits

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I've not done it myself, but the two vendors I see mentioned most often are Kolari and Life Pixel. I cannot recall who Ted used for his conversions, maybe he will chime in at some point.
 

TedG954

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My A6000 was converted to Hyper Color IR by LifePixel. I'm very pleased with the results.

I have a NEX5T converted by KolariVision to 720nm. Works great, but I suggest a camera with a viewfinder.

I also have a Nikon D3200 converted to 590nm done by another company that also works well.

Infrared is a lot of fun and opens an entirely new and interesting venue. I wholeheartedly suggest it.


I tried to upload some examples, but I get error messages and can't post.
 
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Richard Crowe

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I want a small form factor camera that accepts Sony E-mount lenses. The IR converted Canon D60 (not 60D) I have never got enough use because of its size and weight.
I was thinking about buying a used Sony 6000 for conversion but, with price being a factor (I'd really like to have a Sony E-mount APSC camera at the smallest price and form factor) I thought of an NEX-5 but, I agree with Ted. I want an eye level viewfinder.
So the two least expensive cameras that will suit my purpose are the NEX-6 and NEX-7. Either one would be O.K. for me. I don't really think that fast AF will be a consideration for my IR photography and I think that the slightly larger 24mp of the NEX-7 might sway me to that camera over the smaller 16mp of the NEX-6. OTOH, price and camera availability might be the deciding factor.
I really want the IR only for B&W images. I love the dark skies and white foliage of either an 830nm or 720nm capture and I don't really want color IR capture. An IR conversion of a Sony APSC mirrorless camera will run between $200 and $275 while the NEX-6 or NEX-7 will run between $125 and $225. So between a total of $400 and $450, I would be able to have an IR configured camera.
I am selling a lot of Canon gear and have the funds available for an IR configured camera.
 
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Petrochemist

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It's definitely worth looking for pre-converted models, it's not unusual for these to be sold for less than the conversion fee.
Even if the conversion available isn't exactly what you want this won't necessarily be a problem a high colour/full spectrum/superblue conversion will give the same results with a R72 filter as a 720nm conversion alone.
 
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Richard Crowe

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I agree that it can be best to find a preconverted camera. I had been looking for a preconverted Sony E-mount camera and the lowest price I could find was an A6000 for seven hundred bucks. My NEX-6 will only cost me about 54% of that...
 

Richard Crowe

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I received the NEX-6 but returned it because the condition was pretty rugged and I did not want to spend the money to convert a camera in that bad of a shape. I already received my refund and for less than a hundred dollars extra, I purchased an NEX-7 which is "supposed" to be in pristine shape.
If it checks out O.K. I will get it converted...
 

Richard Crowe

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I just received my converted IR NEX-7 and I am quite happy with it. I opted for an 830nm conversion because I wanted the contrasty B&W image with the very dark skies and white foliage indicative of B&W IR work.

There are absolutely no clouds in the sky night now. Clouds against a dark sky really make IR pop. These are a few quickie tests SOC using the NEX-7 B&W mode...

Infrared Test_4214.jpg
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Infrared Test_4215.jpg
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Infrared Test_4216.jpg
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Infrared Test_4218.jpg
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I am happy with the camera and I know that, at about 12-ounces in weight and compatibility with all my e-mount lenses (these were done with the Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS lens), I will be carrying the camera on shoots a lot more often than I carried my clunky, big and heavy, Canon D60 (not 60D), which could only use EF lenses, that I was previously using for infrared photography.
 

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