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.
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.
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.
For more tips and tricks about getting the most out of your Sony a7 series camera, check out my book ‘Sony a7-Series: From Snapshots to Great Shots’. It’s your guide to all of the Sony a7 Series I & II cameras. While the camera manual explains what the camera can do, it doesn’t show how to use the camera to create great images! Starting with the Top Ten things users need to know about the cameras, author Brian Smith, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and Sony Artisan of Imagery, carefully guides you through the operating features of Sony a7, a7R, a7S, a7II and a7RII and how to use them. Get practical advice from a pro on which settings to use when, great shooting tips, and assignments at end of chapter to practice what you’ve just learned.
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