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best of the used bodies for IR conversion?

Discussion in 'Night, InfraRed, and UltraViolet Photography' started by dCap, Aug 5, 2007.

  1. Okay, this seems like the logical place to ask this Q, I looked at the last five pages of thread titles expecting to see one called. Which cameras! But alas, no! So here goes.

    If I wanted to get a used dSLR body and have it convereted to be a dedicated IR body. Which is the one to get? Are Nikon happy to do the conversion? Is it expensive? Do we even need to have it converted or will just an R72 or Lee 87 do the job on a non-converted body? Any ghosting issues with particular lenses? Are the older manual focus lenses better? Ideally I'd use a 18-70 zoom for the job.

    I have a D200. But I'm thinking ... do I grab a used D70 or D70s (some good deals on refurb bodies locally) or D100 ... or one of the bottom bodies, a D50?

    its been YEARS since I did IR, the hard way with Kodak HIE and 3-5 frames shot of each view, and then the hope/wait.

    I've tried it with a R72 on a Dynax 7D and ghosting is a killer. http://vividoptic.com/Articles/r72.htm (clearly image would require too much PP to get rid of the ghost, and therefore not converted to B&W)
  2. Any of the cameras you mentioned will work fine if you have them converted. If you do not convert and use a filter, then the D100 or D50 will be your better choice.

    Nikon will not do it. LifePixel will, that is their business. http://www.lifepixel.com/digital-infrared/instructions.html The link here will give the prices they charge. There are a lot of folks on here that have used them with excellent results. I do not want to convert so I use a filter.

    A R72 filter will work fine, but you will have to use longer exposure times and a tripod, where if you shoot with a converted camera, you shoot just like you normally do.

    Some lens work better than others, the 18-70mm will do you fine. Bjorn has good information on lens shot with IR. He gives them a IR rateing in his reviews. http://www.naturfotograf.com/index2.html

    With a filter, yes, you may get some ghosting due to the longer exposure times. EDIT: If you tried the R72 with your D200, your exposure times will be even longer than with a D100 or a D50 due to the strong IR blocking filter that Nikon has built into the D200. The D80 will be similar to the D200.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2007
  3. For obvious reasons I do not have experience with multiple bodies using IR but I do have experience with the D100. This body can be picked up rather inexpensively and does a great job with IR. Lifepixel has lots of experience converting this camera and all the members on this site that have had one converted seem to be very pleased with it.

    Here is an image taken with the D100:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  4. alaskahutch


    Jun 22, 2006
    D70 converted by Lifepixel.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  5. randyr5


    Jan 14, 2006
    The D70/D70s are the easiest to convert if you plan on trying it yourself - no soldering involved. Lifepixel's site has excellent DIY instructions. Their conversion prices have gone up recently, from $250 to $300. Even though, your best (and safest) bet is to have them do it.
  6. wow people. What a great set of responses ... the first one was plenty, thank you GeoKost

    Yep, last time I did IR properly was in film days with an R72, so I'm happy to do the same. Although, for speed getting a body converted looks like the best idea.

    So, given the used price of the D100 ... its a firm probable - I missed a few recently but they seem to be regular on the UK used market, so I'll wiat and grab the next good deal. I sort of already want a D100 for the ISO 6400 ... then I can get the 50/1.2 and go dark! Also use the 18-70 with an R72 for IR shooting. Then if I get hooked I can get the body converted to IR without the filter. And then get another D100 for the low light work. Good plan hey!

    Well, its D100 used or snap up the good deals on refirb D70/D70s. Used D100 is cheaper ... and gives me ISO 6400 so that is the fav option.

    Thanks again people. Esp the link and the samples. Being in the UK I'm going to have to add a double set of postage to that if I want a conversion ... the conversion itself is nearly the used D100 price. So, lower outlay is to go with a filter first ... dual use it as a low light special. Then see if I'm hooked.

    I'm not planning to use a 50/1.2 for IR, ghosting issues.

    Just need to decide if I get a used 50/1.2 mf or a new 50/1.4 AF ... latter is cheaper and has AF. Shame though, my 50/1.8 is only weeks old already. Captain Sensible would of course just use the 50/1.8 and be happy at f2 ... but but but. Consider Sig 30/1.4 ... consider used 50/1.4 mf (seen some deals!)

    I like my recent move to Nikon (13-Jul), just soooooooo much choice!

    Thanks again IR people. I'm on the watch for a used D100 in my local (UK) on-line stores. And still thinking about the refirb deals on the D70s
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