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Anyone know about Spencer’s conversions?

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14 replies to this topic

#1 Andy Perrin

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Posted 10 February 2021 - 16:25

Has anyone heard of this camera conversion company? They have some nifty options for increased heat transfer from the sensor to lower noise, and they also can add dust reduction and plug light leaks(!). They will convert the Sony A7SIII (which normally can’t be converted due to shutter LED). Too good to be true??

https://www.spencers..._Category_ID=19

#2 Andrea B.

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Posted 10 February 2021 - 19:17

I don't know about the advertised options.

Here's my Spencer's experience from a few years ago. I bought a D700 full spectrum conversion from Spencer's some years ago which was done with a plastic replacement filter. I was not pleased. Also at that time Spencer's had no idea about the D700 IR-Led shutter monitor problem. To be fair, at that time neither did the other retail conversion shops know about that, LifePixel or Kolari Vision. (I wrote to everyone about the IR-Led shuter monitor problem and LifePixel and Kolari Vision quickly added warnings aobut it to their websites. Spencer's did not. I have not checked Spencer's website in a long time, so don't know about any of their current warnings.)

We can only hope that Spencer's has improved over the years.

So make sure that Spencer's is forthcoming about the materials they use. And offers to explain how they do things. Like for the Sony A7SIII -- do they replace the IR-Led or what??
Andrea G. Blum
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#3 Andy Perrin

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Posted 10 February 2021 - 19:48

I saw them mentioned from an astrophotographer I follow on Instagram, and that guy seemed extremely pleased with his conversion. I don't know if he is as demanding of his camera as we usually are, though!

#4 Andrea B.

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Posted 10 February 2021 - 19:54

They have probably improved over the years. At least I hope so. :grin:

I don't think everyone knew the best ways to do some of this conversion stuff when it all started. A lot has been learned over the years.
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#5 dabateman

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Posted 10 February 2021 - 21:08

My first E510 full spectrum converted camera was purchased from them in July 2009. I got it used super cheap. It didn't focus to infinity, but didn't realize that for a couple years. Took me a long time to solve some of the quirks with that camera.
They were unresponsive to email questions after my purchase. But that was a long time ago.
I since learned after taking it apart, no filter was placed on the sensor, but the dust shaker was left in place.
The camera would not autofocus.

Edited by dabateman, 10 February 2021 - 21:09.


#6 Andy Perrin

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Posted 10 February 2021 - 21:17

Yep! I’m quite interested in them — I really love my A7S, so if they can do the conversion and deal with the LED then I would be very interested in one day getting an A7SIII or future one.

Purchase is not imminent.

Edited by Andy Perrin, 10 February 2021 - 21:19.


#7 Andrea B.

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Posted 10 February 2021 - 21:21

There was another guy who converted Sonys and knew about the IR thing. Daniel Morrison. But I see that his website has expired. Maybe Google around for him?
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#8 dabateman

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Posted 10 February 2021 - 21:53

Andy that link is not for a full spectrum converted camera, its for an H alpha conversion. Very different, also doesn't mention fixing the internal IT shutter monitor.
I am surprised the USA places don't fix the Sony led with a swir one like the UK conversions.

#9 Andy Perrin

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Posted 10 February 2021 - 22:02

Dabateman, it's not JUST for H-alpha, there is a full spectrum conversion in the dropdown menu.

Quote

Very different, also doesn't mention fixing the internal IT shutter monitor.
He doesn't mention it, but astrophotographers are even more demanding with long shutter times than we usually are. If that problem isn't taken care of, they would be in hot water pretty quickly in that community! I just emailed them about it though.

Edited by Andy Perrin, 10 February 2021 - 22:13.


#10 Andy Perrin

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 20:26

I got some answers back from Spencer about their conversions. It seems they DO replace the shutter LEDs with SWIR (or something)!

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From: "Andrew Perrin"
Sent: Wednesday, February 10, 2021 3:10 PM
To: info@spencerscamera.com
Subject: Do astro conversions deal with the IR shutter LED

Hi, certain camera models like the Sony A7SIII contain infrared shutter LEDs that will contaminate images at long exposures.

When you do the astro conversion, do you deal with this issue?


Andy Perrin

-----------------------------------------------------
Hello Andy,

Thanks for reaching out to us. Yes we are able to fix the infrared shutter LED's. Here is a link to our website with our recommended list of camera's: https://www.spencers...meras-astro.cfm


Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Thank you,

Stephanie
Spencer's Camera & Photo
720 Grove Drive
Alpine, UT 84004
Phone: 801-367-7569
info@spencerscamera.com
www.spencerscamera.com


Followup question:

Quote

From: "Andrew Perrin"
Sent: Thursday, February 11, 2021 11:43 AM
To: info@spencerscamera.com
Subject: Re: Do astro conversions deal with the IR shutter LED


Thank you - what is the material (or equivalently, what is the transmission spectrum) of the glass you use for Full Spectrum conversions?
Andy
--------------
Hello Andy,

We use a Quartz material. With The Full Spectrum will have 95 or greater transmission across the entire sensor sensitively range.


Thanks
Stephanie

They sure sound awesome on paper!

Edited by Andy Perrin, 11 February 2021 - 20:27.


#11 Andrea B.

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 20:42

Well, this is good to hear.
We always like to see companies improve over time. :smile:
Andrea G. Blum
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#12 dabateman

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 20:58

That's excellent to hear. That puts Sony camera's and Spensor back into my fleeting brain cells. Now an A7R2 converted to full spectrum would be doable.


#13 Andy Perrin

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Posted 12 February 2021 - 05:08

Then again, there are relatively recent (last 3 years) Better Business Bureau complaints:
https://www.bbb.org/...5135/complaints

#14 Cadmium

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Posted 14 February 2021 - 05:14

Yeah, back when I was getting my first conversion, looked around, Spencer's was tempting because of the prices, but too many complaints floating around out there, so I opted for LifePixel, was closer, looked better,
but not with my last LifePixel conversion which doesn't focus correctly, and Andy's LifePixel problem a year or two back, I am at a loss as to who to get my full frame cameras converted by. Been wanting to do that for a couple years,
don't know who.

But I write to ask for someone in Lebanon, who asked who is the best place to get a full spectrum from for Lebanon?
Any ideas?

#15 Andy Perrin

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Posted 14 February 2021 - 06:22

You said to me MaxMax or Kolari, and those are certainly the options I've considered lately, but they won't do the LEDs. I may ask the MaxMax guy when I'm ready just to see what he says. I think eventually they will be forced to deal with the LEDs because there won't be any cameras left without them. And it just doesn't sound like that hard to do even! I mean, that MaxMax guy can make MONOCHROME sensors by removing the Bayer and stuff, but he won't replace an NIR LED with a SWIR one? Gimme a break.

I did not want to use MaxMax originally because he used to market his IR filters for seeing through clothes, which I thought (and still think) presents the whole hobby of IR photography in a bad light (so to speak). But that section of the store seems to have vanished when I checked just now. I'm glad Dan grew up finally.

I don't know what you mean about Lebanon, I think you should not post that in this thread?

Edited by Andy Perrin, 14 February 2021 - 06:23.