F.A.Q.

Here is a page of questions and answers you might find useful, if you have any questions that aren’t here shoot me an email and let me know.

Where did you get the filter from?

I bought it from Amazon.  As I live in Japan I bought it though the Japanese site, although it is available on the US site at he following link.

Order your filter here

It is more expensive than the japanese site but comparable to other filters that I could find.

Why did you use a Nikon1 J1?

Basically I used a Nikon J1 as it was the cheapest camera I could find. There are many cameras that make good candidates for IR conversion, but as I was buying second hand, this was simply the cheapest I could find.   I have another J1 and also a V1 (they are fantastic cameras) so I was familiar with their operation.   I had some lenses, and the FT-1 etc..

How much was the conversion in total?

I got a second hand J1 for ¥9850 (around $100) and the filter for about ¥1300 ($13) for a total cost of about $115.   A conversion at another company would have cost me at least $200 not including the camera or postage.

Why did you choose a 72nm filter?

It seemed like a popular choice.  You still have a small fraction of the visible red spectrum without being too aggressive.   It does the job well.

How thin is the filter? NEW
It is very thin, similar to a piece of paper. 0.05mm or something..I haven’t measured it as I don’t have any tools to do so. It is just a thin film, similar to exposed camera film.

Was it difficult?

While not being amazingly simple, it is not too hard either.  Just take it slowly and step-by-step and you will be fine.

Can I take IR photos without converting my camera?

Yes, absolutely, there are lens filters available that you can just pop over your lens.  They will cut out all (or most) of the light that is not IR.  This will however result in significantly longer shutter times (of the order 10-50s in daylight.)

The most popular filters are from Hoya and can be bought here.

Hoya 77mm R-72 Infrared Filter

Converting your camera means you don’t need to keep taking the filter on and off.

Can I convert the camera back?

Not really no.  Well, maybe you could, but it would not be so straight forward.  Look at this conversion as being permanent.

Will it void my warrantee?

Yes, yes and yes.

Do you do conversions?

I live in Japan so the postage to would likely be significant.   To be honest you can probably do it yourself.  Just follow this guide.

Are there other companies that can do the conversion for me?

Yes, there are;

If you are in the US try

http://www.lifepixel.com

If you are in the UK try http://www.advancedcameraservices.co.uk

If you are in Japan try

http://sekigaicamera.cart.fc2.com

This is not a recommendation..just for information.

All of them charge around 200 dollars. (not including camera)

Why are my photos red?

This is because you need to set a custom white balance.  Easy to change, and consult the manual if you are unsure.

What lenses are good?

To be honest, I am not entirely sure.  Lenses IR qualities are often very different from their performance in visible light.  Sometimes those cheap kit lenses turn out to be spectacular.

From my initial testing the Nikon1 10mm/2.8 works about as well as it does in the visible spectrum.

Are there any focusing issues?

One of the reasons I chose to convert a J1 is that there are no focussing issues. On a DSLR you may need to adjust the focusing to compensate for the shorter IR wavelengths (not so difficult to do), on a Nikon1 camera the focusing is done on the sensor and it is independent of everything in front of it.

Does the camera work ok?

Everything works just the same as with an unmodified camera, including the gimmick modes and video.  (IR video is pretty cool!)

Can you see through clothes?

Err…no you can’t.   You might want to try these Amazing X-ray Vision! a great(!) product.

If you have any more questions please leave me a comment and let me know.

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A Step by Step guide to convert your camera to infrared.