Sony a7R Infrared Conversion: Bora Bora in Black & White

Bora Bora Infrared
Sony a7R 830NM IR Conversion | Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS | 1/60 | F9 | ISO 200

Looking for a way to give an old camera new life and refresh your vision in the process? I always suggest pushing your photographic vision outside the box. While preparing for a trip to the crystal clear aqua waters of Bora Bora, I envisioned how they’d look in high contrast Infrared black and white.

I’d considered an IR conversion ever since upgrading to a pair of a7R II cameras. My Sony a7Rs were relegated to back-up duty, so I decided this was the perfect time to send one of my a7R cameras to Precision Camera for Infrared Conversion to give it a new lease on life.

Precision Camera offers Infrared Conversions in 590NM, 665NM, 715NM, 830NM and Full Spectrum Conversion. I chose the 830NM because it produces high contrast images closest to the classic look of black & white infrared film. After conversion, the camera is capable of producing images within 830NM-1300NM. Almost no visible light penetrates through filter, therefore, very low saturation and high contrast false color images may be produced.

Bora Bora Infrared
Sony a7R 830NM IR Conversion | Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS | 1/160 | F7.1 | ISO 200

IR Conversion Options:


590NM IR Conversion:

Code Name: “Goldie”. After conversion, the camera is capable of producing images within 590-1300NM. Visible light still penetrates through the filter, therefore the most saturation false color images may be produced and has a golden hue.

665NM IR Conversion:

After conversion, the camera is capable of producing images within 665NM-1300NM. Some visible light still penetrates through filter, therefore, higher saturation false color images may be produced.

715NM IR Conversion:

After conversion, the camera is capable of producing images within 715NM-1300NM. Very little visible light penetrates through filter, therefore, low saturation false color images may be produced. This conversion is best suited for B&W IR photography.

830NM IR Conversion:

After conversion, the camera is capable of producing images within 830NM-1300NM. Almost no visible light penetrates through filter, therefore, very low saturation and high contrast false color images may be produced. This conversion is for B&W IR photography.

Full Spectrum Conversion:

After conversion, the camera is capable of exposing all spectrums of light. This is the favorite conversion for forensic photography but requires IR filters over the lens.


Sony a7R 830NM IR Conversion | RAW & DESATURATED | Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS

All IR Conversions produce color images that varies depending on the NM Bandwidth. The 830NM Conversion produces a reddish monochromatic image, so I recommend setting the Creative Style to B&W so you can pre-visualize the final look in Live View.

Menu > Camera Settings > Creative Style > Black & White

Creative Styles are only applied to Jpeg, so if you shoot RAW (and I suggest you do) the previews will begin to change back to color once you import the RAWs in third-party image processing software. Therefore once I import all the images into Lightroom, I batch adjust Saturation to -100%.

IR Conversion Price:

Point-and-Shoots: $149 + Shipping & Handling
APS-C Cameras: $229 + Shipping & Handling
Fullframe Cameras: $299 + Shipping & Handling

Sony Pro Support USA members get free return shipping
• Conversion Price includes calibration of one lens. Precision Camera recommends calibrating the conversion to the WIDEST lens you plan to use with the camera after conversion.

IR Conversion Turnaround Time:

Turnaround time is approximately 1 week for standard sensors and 2 weeks for cameras with In Body Image Stabilization because of the complexity of the IBIS mechanism holding the sensor. (There is no additional charge for IR Conversion of IBIS cameras.)

Before sending your camera For IR Conversion, contact Precision Camera at 1-866-449-7287 or email [email protected] for instructions on how to send your camera in for conversion.

Bora Bora Infrared
Sony a7R 830NM IR Conversion | Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS | 1/160 | F6.4 | ISO 200

Bora Bora Infrared
Sony a7R 830NM IR Conversion | Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS | 1/40 | F8 | ISO 200

Bora Bora Infrared
Sony a7R 830NM IR Conversion | Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS | 1/125 | F8 | ISO 200

Bora Bora Infrared
Sony a7R 830NM IR Conversion | FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS | 1/250 | F5.6 | ISO 200


Sony a7R 830NM IR Conversion | Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS | 1/60 | F5.6 | ISO 400


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25 thoughts on “Sony a7R Infrared Conversion: Bora Bora in Black & White”

      1. That would be true if you simply removed the UV-IR Cut filter protecting the sensor and replaced it with clear glass, however IR Conversion replaces that with an IR-spectrum filter, which means no takesy-backsy without sending the camera back in to remove the IR-spectrum filter glass over the sensor.

  1. David A Greenberg

    I’m considering converting my A7Riii to full-spectrum, which, as you say, replaces the UV/IR filter with optically clear glass. I’m reading (on LifePixel.com) that if you mount what’s called a “Hot Mirror” filter on the front of the lens, only visible light passes. When you want IR, you replace that with your choice of IR filters (590nm, 720nm, etc.), in which case only those ranges of IR light pass.

  2. I’m curious to how people are treated in IR B&W photography.
    I’ve seen some say that it creates “alien eyes” on people. Is it true?

    1. Sharpness is excellent just as you’d expect from a great lens. I don’t believe there’s such a thing as “hotspots” – it’s just lens vignetting which simply looks different infrared.

  3. Brian,
    I’m currently using a cheap Sony Nex 3N full spectrum converted camera but really would like to use my main camera (A7RII) for infrared.
    I heard the mark II A7 series is not suitable because there are internal light sources in the camera that bleed IR onto the sensor making them unsuitable for IR photography.
    Is that correct? And if so, how about the mark III series?

    1. I have no idea where you heard that, but the company I used has converted many a7 series I, II & III cameras without any issues.

      I’ll probably eventually convert an a7R III just to have IBIS and the newer battery

      1. Already found it:
        Like David says, it only shows up with long exposures.
        From the Kolarivision website:

        † These cameras contains an internal diagnostic IR Led. This can cause light leaks when using very long exposures and high ISOs in the H-alpha and IR enabled conversions, in the range of 30 second exposures at 6,400 ISO. The A7RII additionally can have fine horizontal artifacts across the frame in highlighted areas in the IR enabled conversions due to the different sensitivity of some rows of pixels.

          1. Not IR
            But it’s my main camera and I occasionally do very long exposures for night time photography. So I guess I’m better off using a dedicated camera for IR. Perhaps a second hand A7R.

    2. David A Greenberg

      I believe I read about a warning on this too, but if memory serves, it referred only to very long exposures. I have converted my A7Riii to full spectrum and use it happily.

  4. David A Greenberg

    John, I too thought these would be the panacea, having purchased and tried several from a different supplier. That is, until I witnessed the beautiful vignetting (I think it was mainly for longer focal lengths) and until I put a lovely smudge on my sensor in the act of installing it in the field – actually removing it. I returned them. The best method I’ve found is to put the visible spectrum filter in front of the lens. Then the camera is acting like its old self.

    1. David is correct. While the idea of full spectrum conversion + Clip filter would give you a both an IR and normal functioning camera – the reality is less appealing bear the following in mind.

      1. Sensors are designed to have a single piece of highest quality glass covering them – not two layers.
      2. Removing the sensor glass and going bare is probably the dumbest thing you can do.
      3. Sensor glass covers should only be installed in a clean room – not at your kitchen table.
      4. You could in theory use an IR cutoff filter in front of your lens when you wanted to achieve a normal look, however…quality IR cutoff filters aren’t cheap and this plan is more hassle than it’s worth just to achieve a normal look.

  5. After conversion, do you need to use any type of red filter to take IR photos? My only reference point is b&w IR film photography.

  6. ‘@ Jordan Beard
    It depends on what type of conversion you choose.
    You can choose from several wavelengths IR to full spectrum.
    If you choose a low wavelength (650nm for example) you can take IR pictures without any filter and, if you wish, use higher wavelength filters for a stronger IR effect.
    However, if you choose the full spectrum conversion you will always need to use filters in front of your lens to take IR pictures. While choosing an IR filter conversion may seem to be the easiest way to go, it’ll also be less versatile than having a full spectrum conversion since it gives you all the freedom to experiment with different filters. For example, the new IR Chrome filter from Kolari Vision will only work on a full spectrum camera.

  7. Hello Brian,

    quote from your article :

    715NM IR Conversion: This conversion is best suited for B&W IR photography.
    830NM IR Conversion: This conversion is for B&W IR photography.

    Which option do you consider the best choice for B&W IR photography ?
    (you display 830nm nice IR images while you mention that 715nm is best suited for IR B&W)

    thanks,

    1. Either can be used for black & white IR, but the 830NM IR Conversion best resembles the look of B&W Infrared film, so that’s the one I used for the photos in this post.

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