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Canon for infrared conversion?

Henriette Wolfswinkel , Aug 26, 2010; 01:05 p.m.

I am planning to buy a secondhand camera to convert to infrared - but which one do I buy? It has to be canon as I already am invested in canon lenses and accessories but I also don't want to spend my entire salary. Was thinking about 350d - 500d, but hope someone can give me more info of what I need to look out for?


Jon Ess , Aug 26, 2010; 01:30 p.m.

I would go with a camera that has live view; with that feature you can see what the sensor sees and focus appropriately. Infrared wavelengths focus differently than visible, so without live view your autofocus will typically be off. This can be compensated for when the conversion is done, but different lenses will still behave differently...with live view you will be able to get accurate focus with any lens.

I think the first Rebel with live view was the 450d/xsi...so I would go for one of those or a newer model.

Robin Smith , Aug 26, 2010; 04:36 p.m.

I think any kind of visual focussing will not work with IR so live view will be no better than regular AF. In both types a manual alteration will surely be necessary to achieve accurate IR focus.

Yakim Peled , Aug 26, 2010; 06:22 p.m.

Why not buy a camera that has already been converted?

Happy shooting,


Joseph Wisniewski , Aug 26, 2010; 08:00 p.m.

I think any kind of visual focussing will not work with IR so live view will be no better than regular AF.

Robin, liveview is the view from the main imaging sensor, and shows exactly what you will get. Exact focus with infrared, you can even magnify focus to check out critical areas. It is indispensable.

David Littleboy (Tokyo, Japan) , Aug 26, 2010; 11:21 p.m.

I just had my 5D converted by maxmax. They claim to adjust AF for IR, and, surprise, the AF actually works.

One thing to watch out for is that _some_ lenses don't work well with IR; they have a center "hot spot" and dark corners. Google around for pages on Canon IR and lenses.

Mathew Hargreaves , Aug 28, 2010; 12:39 a.m.

A couple years ago I bought off of Ebay a Canon 10D converted to IR. The hotspot issue is when you are pointing in the general direction fo the sun or a bright area of sky above a dark subject. Both my 24-70 F2.8 and 50mm Prime have this issue. It can make for an interesting issue when stitching them together with hotspots. It will come down to what you can afford and how much use you might make of the body.

The Canon I have was converted by Maxmax and focuses fine. The camera wants a lot of light to be effective with image capture. Stepping down the exposure a couple times will usually bring out a more detailed image. If I shoot in auto-jpg the images are totally in the red band. If I shoot raw then I get the usual cyans and yellow-green cast. I rarely shoot jpg and almost always in raw. My goal is to convert to B&W.


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