When I received my D300, my trusty D100 was hardly ever used again. As I watched the prices continue to drop on used D100’s I decided to have the body converted to infrared by Digital Silver Imaging . I had done a lot of research before I decided to commit as once the camera is converted, that’s in, there’s no going back. I went with the 715 nano meter set up as it allows some color and also can be converted fairly easily to B/W.
I took a class on infrared photography at the Photographic Center North West in Seattle some years ago and was absolutely fascinated by the capabilities. I was using the D100 and in order to gain infrared capabilities, I purchased a 70nm red filter for use on my “standard” mid-range lens (43-86 mm). With filters you have to get the size that fits the lens and as expensive as the single filter was, I used only the 43-86mm for the class.
The filter was a deep, deep, deep red, almost black looking. Needless to say, once you placed the filter on the lens you completely lost any ability to focus. Period! The problem was that the 43-86 mm lens was a twist focus which made accurate focusing once you put the filter on neigh impossible. I would focus, carefully hold the barrel, placed the filter on as gently as possible, took a deep breath and took the shot. The complexity of putting the filter on invariably shifted the focus a bit. As you can imagine, the images were a little soft as you can see below:
The other problem with using the 70nm infrared filter was the light loss. The light difference when I put the filter on was a full 10 stops. Yes, 10! How do I know this…one of our assignment was to do a step test on a fixed subject using an insane number of plus and minus adjustments. Once the proof was printed, it was a simple matter of figuring out the light stop difference. Needless to say, the camera was always on a tripod.
The infrared bug had bit so I began doing the research for the time when I could swing the conversion, both from having camera body to be converted and the best price for a quality conversion, hence, Digital Silver Imaging. After the D300 was in my hands, I checked their website and, to my surprise, they were offering a sale on the conversion. I sent the camera in and about two weeks later it was in my hands, complete with a custom profile. No more filters to worry about and I had full control through the view finder. After a few test shots, I was hooked. Here they are:
Tools: D100 with 70nm infrared filter; All other images with the converted D100; Nikon Capture NX2; NIK Silver FX Pro 2