OzBok

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Original poster
Mar 15, 2016
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Melbourne, Australia
So on the last day of my holiday, my trusty D810 took a rather severe water hit and putting it in for service has come back with camera is working but pretty much the full insides have some degree of corrosion starting. And the phrase, uneconomical to repair. So I’ll be replacing that with the insurance with either another 810 or an 850.

My question is though, is the old camera suitable for an infrared conversion? Not sure what it entails whether certain parts are replaced in the process or whether it’s a waste of time if the camera is going to degrade over time and it still requires everything functioning as normal.
 

Apple fanboy

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Feb 21, 2012
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Behind the Lens, UK
So on the last day of my holiday, my trusty D810 took a rather severe water hit and putting it in for service has come back with camera is working but pretty much the full insides have some degree of corrosion starting. And the phrase, uneconomical to repair. So I’ll be replacing that with the insurance with either another 810 or an 850.

My question is though, is the old camera suitable for an infrared conversion? Not sure what it entails whether certain parts are replaced in the process or whether it’s a waste of time if the camera is going to degrade over time and it still requires everything functioning as normal.
Pretty sure they just change the sensor. But if all the other electronics took a dunk, then it might not be worth the investment.

Should be able to pick up a cheap second hand D80 or the like if your interested in infrared.
 

OzBok

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 15, 2016
155
540
Melbourne, Australia
Thanks @Apple fanboy. Will be interesting to see if anything salvageable once I get the report in it.

Either way still have the dilemma of what to replace it with. Have loved the 810, and the 850 is enticing.. or maybe I should get an M10 and post daily pics of it for @kenoh sorry couldn’t resist
 
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Hughmac

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Feb 4, 2012
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The IR filter over the sensor, which blocks all infrared light, is replaced with a filter allowing a specific IR range of light to pass.
Different ranges of conversion will give different photographic results.

This is one of the biggest sites to cover all aspects of IR conversion - https://www.lifepixel.com/

Cheers :)

Hugh
 
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themumu

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Feb 13, 2011
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I did IR conversion on two cameras, D60 and D80. You don’t replace the sensor, just the filter over it. If the camera is already somewhat busted, it may be a good candidate for a DIY conversion since if you mess it up, is no big loss. The IR filter itself would be reusable if you decide to put it in another body.

If you were going to send it in to get converted professionally, I would not waste my money on a camera that may not last.
 

ChrisA

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Jan 5, 2006
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My question is though, is the old camera suitable for an infrared conversion? Not sure what it entails

To do the conversion you would remove the filter over the sensor. The sensor itself is not changed only the filter stack that covers it. It is possible to go this yourself if you do a bunch on-line searches to lean how. Maybe not worth paying for the conversion if you think that camera will not last long.
 

kallisti

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Apr 22, 2003
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I would second all of the above replies. The conversion only involves changing the filter covering the sensor to change which wavelengths can pass through. It does nothing to anything else in the camera.

I have had good luck with Lifepixel. They do a nice job. The other major player is Maxmax (https://www.maxmax.com). I've had conversions from both.

Having converted several cameras I would suggest the Lifepixel Super Blue IR conversion (https://www.lifepixel.com/infrared-filters-choices). And then buy an IR filter (with the cutoff of your choice) to place on the lens.

Lenses are finicky when it comes to their use in IR. Many, many have "hot spots" near the center that can ruin an image. There are various sites on the web with lists of which lenses are suitable and which aren't. The advantage of the Super Blue IR conversion is that it lets in enough blue light to hide the hot spots. You don't get the same effect as a pure IR conversion, but it is still an interesting IR effect. And you can always add an IR lens filter to block out the blue end of the spectrum. It makes the converted camera more versatile with the lenses you own.

The other suggestion I would offer is to use a camera with Live View (and better yet one with an EVF). Traditional AF does not work well with IR, even if you have the conversion service calibrate a specific lens as part of the conversion. For optimal results, you will only be using LV (or an EVF if the camera has one).

Standard external flashes work fine in IR, though TTL metering tends to greatly overexpose. You will need to manually adjust exposures with flash. The only advantage of using dedicated IR flashes is that they block out most of the visible spectrum (except on the red end) so you can be much more discreet while still using a flash.

The other advantage of the Super Blue IR conversion is that you can purchase UV pass filters to attach to your lens which block out everything but UV light. Since this conversion allows blue (and UV) light to hit the sensor, it gives you the option to also shoot UV images. The downside is that most modern lenses incorporate some degree of UV blocking into their lens coatings, but I've had some success with this.

The ultimate lens for either IR or UV shooting is one of the Jenoptik lenses (https://www.jenoptik-inc.com/product/uv-vis-105mm-slr-uv-vis-ir-60mm-apo-macro-lenses/). Very hard to justify the cost unless you *really* get into IR or UV.

The final plug I would make is for the diglloyd website (https://diglloyd.com/idx-dip.html). It's subscription only, but he has a very nice discussion of IR photography (ranging from gear to technique to post processing). I think the best on the web. He also has excellent areas on Leica, mirrorless, Canon, Nikon, etc. As well as detailed how-tos on technique (both at time of capture and working in post). Imagine Ken Rockwell's site but by someone who is extremely knowledgeable, actually tests the gear, writes reviews based on real world usage, and doesn't just make stuff up. He is also extremely responsive via email. My recent foray into focus stacking has been guided by the information on his site.
 
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Hughmac

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Feb 4, 2012
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I should add to @kallisti 's extremely informative post above that hot spots can be mostly avoided by using f/8 or smaller apertures.
This has worked out OK for me, as contrary to normal photography, infrared works well in brightest conditions - the more sunlight, the better the effect after post processing.

Cheers :)

Hugh
 
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Apple fanboy

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Feb 21, 2012
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I should add to @kallisti 's extremely informative post above that hot spots can be mostly avoided by using f/8 or smaller apertures.
This has worked out OK for me, as contrary to normal photography, infrared works well in brighest conditions - the more sunlight, the better the effect after post processing.

Cheers :)

Hugh
So not a good idea for the UK then!
 
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bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
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One solution to the IR focus issue is to use older lenses that have an IR focusing index mark. You'll find it on virtually all MF lenses and many older(AF and AF-D) primes.

In the old days when we shot IR film, we would compose, focus, read the distance off the distance scale, move the distance mark to the IR index mark(a red line a little to the left of the black line on the milled aluminum ring on Nikon MF lenses), put the IR filter over the lens, and then make the exposure.

Granted, shooting at EI ~6 through an R72 filter, we were often using fast lenses at large apertures. CCDs and CMOSs are both significantly more sensitive to near-IR than film, which requires special treatment and actually special handling in the case of some film to get IR sensitivity. That's why they have an IR-blocking filter as part of the filter stack. Fortunately, with an IR converted camera, the sensitivity is such that you can use relatively small apertures to mask the focus difference for IR.

I have a D80 that was converted by a poster in this thread, and it's a ton of fun to use. As much as I still enjoy shooting film, there's no contest on digital IR being pretty much in every way better.
 

kallisti

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Apr 22, 2003
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Very true that stopping down can either mitigate or in some cases eliminate hot spots. But it varies from lens to lens. Some lenses still have hot spots when stopped down.

Older lenses often do better in IR than newer lenses. As stated in a post above, they have an IR focus dot on the barrel for manual focus adjustment when shooting IR. It's not perfect, though, and even some of my older Nikon lenses still have hot spot issues.

One other thing I forgot to mention is the importance of setting a manual WB in camera (usually with the frame filled with a well-lit green plant). I think both Lifepixel and Maxmax set this for you as part of the conversion. The reason this is so important is that the WB is going to be completely off if not manually set. LR isn't capable of adjusting the WB adequately in post--even if shooting RAW (which you should always do with a converted camera). The normal mantra is that you don't have to worry about WB when shooting RAW--just fix it in post. This doesn't hold true for IR--at least if using LR for your editing. For optimal results you need to have manually set the WB in camera before you take the shot.

Sharing 2 pics from a D500 converted to Super Blue IR. The first was taken outside on a sunny day (and as noted in a post above, IR works really well in bright and harsh outdoor light where one wouldn't normally shoot). The second is of a flower using a standard flash shot through an umbrella to soften the light.

24899509608_7850e1401d_c.jpg


37885889255_8596982052_c.jpg
 
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OzBok

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 15, 2016
155
540
Melbourne, Australia
Never ceases to amaze me the things you learn in here from everybody. Ask a question for a little advice ... and you get questions answered that you never even knew to think of. Thanks everybody for the input.

I think I’ll focus on replacing the body for now (insurance company is paying out 100%). And will probably then look out for another body to convert to IR. I don’t know the extent of the corrosion or the lifespan effects of it. It might last another 100k shots it might last 1k. But would hate to find that out on a holiday when I can replace it with something new and would hate to convert and have it fail suddenly.

Thanks again everyone.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Westmere
Feb 21, 2012
44,642
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Behind the Lens, UK
Never ceases to amaze me the things you learn in here from everybody. Ask a question for a little advice ... and you get questions answered that you never even knew to think of. Thanks everybody for the input.

I think I’ll focus on replacing the body for now (insurance company is paying out 100%). And will probably then look out for another body to convert to IR. I don’t know the extent of the corrosion or the lifespan effects of it. It might last another 100k shots it might last 1k. But would hate to find that out on a holiday when I can replace it with something new and would hate to convert and have it fail suddenly.

Thanks again everyone.
You could always practice converting it knowing it's already paid for.
 
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