Old 18-01-2011, 08:13 AM
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Carl is offline
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Modded camera for everyday use

I have a canon 500d that i am considering modding.
I have heard via the grape vine that you can use a camera that has had the IR filter removed for normal everyday photography providing you set the correct custom white balance. Is this so?
Is there website out there with confirmed information. I don't want to mod my camera and not be able to use it for general photography.

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Old 18-01-2011, 09:14 AM
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troypiggo (Troy)
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You certainly can still use it for normal photography. There's a couple of different types of mods. One is to replace the stock UV/IR filter with a wider spectrum one that allows more IR wavelengths through, another is to just replace the stock filter with clear glass (I have this mod), and the final one I've heard of it to just remove the stock filter and not replace it at all.

I wasn't comfortable with having no filter on my sensor. Helps protect it from dust/damage and also the replacement filters should be the same thickness as the stock one and (supposedly) don't affect autofocus. I think if you remove the filter altogether you'll lose autofocus or at the very least the autofocus will be out.

I got my camera body recalibrated after modding anyway because it was front focusing.

There will be a shift towards red in your shots after modding. There's a couple of options to correct this. One is to get a filter that either screws on to the front of your lenses, or you can get one that clips into the body of your camera behind the lenses (only for crop cameras). These filters (supposedly) do the same job as the filter that was removed. My experience was that they just weren't quite right and colours still seemed a little off.

The other option is just to do a custom white balance for all your shots. Sounds painful but after doing it for a while you get used to what settings you need to tweak to get the colours right.

Hope that helps. There are some websites around, but will have to check for them later if someone doesn't post them in the meantime.
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Old 18-01-2011, 09:19 AM
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cookie8 (Vincent)
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Hi Carl
After removing the IR filter, you need to replace it with a clear one of exactly the same thickness. Otherwise Auto Focusing will become useless. Once modified you have to customise white balance by either a grey card or a piece of white paper or even just shoot something grey. From my experience it can be clumpsy and although you can get away with it most of the time I found the colour balance is still off a bit. Bright red always looks brownish. Eventually I bought another 40d for day time use.
I had my 400d modified by Eric 2 years ago but he is not doing it anymore.
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Old 11-02-2011, 04:23 PM
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Hi Carl,

I had a modded 30D (had - someone stole it...). It had the internal filter replaced with a clear filter, so it was also very sensitive to IR and UV. If you want to do 'normal' photography and want accurate colour, you need to not only do a custom white balance, but also use a UV/IR blocking filter. I used B+W 486 and 489 filters - but they are stupidly expensive.


You can also use insert filters, which means that you only need one filter, not one for each lens. But you can only use these filters with EF lenses, not EF-S lenses.


Somewhere I have a post with a lot of test images showing the effects of no filter, filter and various white balance settings.

If you are only going to use the camera for astro and/or IR or UV, then you don't need any colour-correcting filter. If you are only doing astro, then you don't even need the internal (clear) filter - but you'll have to focus manually and be careful of dust on the sensor.
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