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Astrophotography Digital Cameras, Modifications & Conversions

(Ultra Violet, Visible and Infrared Cameras, Modifications and Conversion services.)

Pre-converted Astrophotography cameras:

Canon
Nikon
Olympus
Panasonic
Pentax
Sony

 

 

 



Spencer's Camera & Photo, the leading provider of Digital Camera Infrared Conversion Services, now provides a unique conversion service specifically for astrophotography. The extreme demands of astrophotography will stretch the performance of any camera on the market today. Spencer's Camera & Photo has solved the problems for you.

Astro vs. Normal: For the most part digital SLR cameras are designed mainly for daytime or shorter exposure imaging. The long exposures and sometimes extreme cold winter conditions required for the best astrophotography will stress even the best cameras on the market today. At Spencer's Camera & Photo we have tested all major digital SLR models and found their "weaknesses", (no camera is perfect) allowing us to modify and improve the cameras for the best performance under the stresses of very cold temperatures and super long exposures. In short, an Astro Converted camera is not the same as the usual IR or Full Spectrum converted camera.

During the past year we had the honor and privilege to work closely with NASA specifically converting and modifying two Nikon digital SLR's for use on the international space station (ISS). During this prolonged testing and modification process we developed many improvements for digital SLR imaging specifically for astrophotography and survival of extreme environments including space flight. Many of the developed improvements are used in our standard astro-conversion service. (More Information - NASA Conversions)

Images of Nebulae, Galaxies, Star Clusters and other deep sky objects are sharper, more visible and more brilliant when using an astro-converted camera. We calibrate your camera for precise focus at all focal lengths with special attention to infinity focus. Also, we can install our specially designed and patented heat transfer/cooling system in your digital camera, drawing heat from the imaging sensor which reduces digital noise effects due to long exposures. We can install the heat reduction system in an unconverted camera as well. If you shoot long exposures and would like less digital noise in your images please contact us for more details. (More details below)

 

Direct Comparison Images - Normal vs. Astro-Converted

spencerscamera.com Unconverted Canon EOS 50D (No Heat Reduction System Installed) spencerscamera.com 	AstroConverted Canon EOS 50D (Heat Reduction System Installed) 30 Second Exposure, ISO 2000, F:4.5 Canon EF-S 10-22mm Straight From Camera, No Post Processing!

Normal - Unconverted Canon EOS 50D
(No Heat Reduction System Installed)
30 Second Exposure, ISO 2000, F:4.5
Canon EF-S 10-22mm
Straight From Camera, No Post Processing!

Astro-Converted/Full Spectrum Canon EOS 50D
(Heat Reduction System Installed)
30 Second Exposure, ISO 2000, F:4.5
Canon EF-S 10-22mm
Straight From Camera, No Post Processing!

Astrophotography Conversions: All Astro-Conversions performed by Spencer's Camera & Photo include modifications and improvements specific to each camera model. These improvements have been developed after many hours of testing with each camera model in the field and the controlled environment of our conversion shop. Some of the modifications and improvements made during an Astro-Conversion include increased static control, dampening of many moving parts and added light absorbing material for control of unwanted reflective light. Also, you have the added option of our patented imaging sensor heat reduction system that can be installed in most camera models. (More Information on our Heat Reduction System Page - Heat Reduction System) Our heat reduction system was developed well before performing the astroconversion for NASA but was significantly improved during the NASA conversion testing phases. None of the improvements mentioned above will negatively affect the performance or power usage of the camera in any way. After the conversion has been completed your camera will look just like a normal camera but with improved performance including lower digital noise due to longer exposures. (An Astro Converted camera is not the same as our full spectrum converted camera.) Most of these improvements were developed while converting and testing two Nikon digital SLR's for NASA to be used on the international space station (ISS). The astro-conversions performed for NASA had to survive launch to ISS and perform flawlessly while in orbit for many hundreds of thousands of exposures.

 

(21 Jan. 2012 --- NASA astronaut Dan Burbank, Expedition 30 Commander, uses still cameras to photograph the topography of a point on Earth from a window in the Cupola of the International Space Station. One camera is an infrared modified still camera, modified by Spencer's Camera & Photo of Alpine, Utah. Photo Credit: NASA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Image taken from onboard the International Space Station using an infrared modified Nikon D3s camera modified by Spencer's Camera & Photo of Alpine, Utah, USA- Credit NASA. For more details click here: NASA Conversions)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Filter Options:

Full Spectrum(Clear) Filter Option: Our most versatile filter. The Full Spectrum filter option is optically clear, allowing your camera to capture all ranges of the EM spectrum. The only transmission limitations will be the limits of your camera, not our filter. This allows the camera to capture images of deep space objects that are invisible to the human eye and allowing you to limit the sensitivity of your camera by using external filters of your choosing. This filter is manufactured from the highest quality polished and coated material. All our filters our polished to scientific microscopic image quality standards insuring flawless imaging under extreme magnifications.

Visible + H-Alpha Filter (420nm - 680nm): Not only do we offer a Full Spectrum/Clear filter installation we now offer a UV/IR blocking filter option.(Not all filters are alike.) Our UV/IR blocking filter will allow your camera to capture true color images with more transmission of the H-Alpha range than an unconverted camera while capturing the visible spectrum as well. (This filter option is identical to the filter specifications used in the Canon EOS 60Da and will allow your camera to capture the same light transmission and wavelength, including H-Alpha.) This filter has a sharp cutoff at 680nm. Also, this filter is manufactured from the highest quality polished and coated material. All our filters our polished to scientific microscopic image quality standards insuring flawless imaging under extreme magnifications. (Transmission of 420nm to 680nm - Curve Data Sheet)

Astrophotography, IR and Normal Photography, all with one Camera Body.

Shooting Astrophotography, IR and normal/visible photography can be performed with one camera. The best filter choice to achieve this is the Full Spectrum/Clear filter option. Once the conversion has been performed all you need is a UV/IR cutoff filter on your lens to capture normal/visible light images including landscapes and portraits. In order to shoot IR with the same camera all you need is an IR filter of your choice for your lens. With each filter all you need to do is set a custom white balance and your on you're way. Also, simply remove the filter from your lens for full spectrum/clear astrophotography which includes the UV, IR and visible portions of the EM spectrum.

Heat Transfer/Reduction System

Heat Transfer/Cooling System: As you may know, digital noise is a very common problem that must be overcome in the world of astrophotography and any long exposure subject. Sample Image #1 below is an image taken with a Full Spectrum/Clear converted camera with no heat fransfer/cooling system installed. Sample Image #2 is the same exposure, same ISO/sensitivity and the same file size settings but shot with a camera that has our patented heat transfer/cooling system installed. As you can see the digital noise is lessened by the smaller amount of imaging sensor heat present.

*** (More Information can be found on our Heat Reduction System Page - Heat Reduction System) ***


(Image taken from onboard the International Space Station using an infrared modified Nikon D3s camera modified by Spencer's Camera & Photo of Alpine, Utah, USA- Credit NASA. For more details click here: NASA Conversions)

(Image taken from onboard the International Space Station using an infrared modified Nikon D3s camera modified by Spencer's Camera & Photo of Alpine, Utah, USA- Credit NASA. For more details click here: NASA Conversions)

(Image taken from onboard the International Space Station using an infrared modified Nikon D3s camera modified by Spencer's Camera & Photo of Alpine, Utah, USA- Credit NASA. For more details click here: NASA Conversions)


Astroconverted Cameras and Astroconversion Ordering Options

New and Used Astroconverted Cameras are available for purchase through our online store. Simply click one of the Astro Cameras for Sale links located at the top left of this page to browse available cameras for sale. Please contact us by email at: info@spencerscamera.com with any questions you may have.

Astrophotography Conversion Ordering Options: Most of our customers send their own digital SLR to us for their conversion. Ordering a conversion can be completed on our Astro Conversions page. New Astroconverted Cameras are available for purchase through our online store. Simply click one of the Astro Cameras for Sale links located at the top left of this page to browse available cameras for sale. Please contact us by email at: info@spencerscamera.com with any questions you may have including whether or not we can convert a camera model not listed on our site.

**** Canon & Nikon SLR users: The Dust Reduction System of your camera will be removed during the conversion process rendering it unusable. Please be sure to disable this function within the settings of your camera. Failure to do so may result in a temporary camera error. If your camera displays a Dust Reduction System error you can disable the function within the camera menu. ****

Camera Repairs: Spencer's Camera not only provides quality Astro Conversion Services, we are also a Camera Repair Facility. This makes Spencer's Camera uniquely qualified to competently perform your camera conversion with great care and expertise. Also, this gives us a unique perspective and in-depth understanding of all camera functions and operations, allowing us to convert and calibrate your camera precisely and accurately. Also, we can repair your IR camera that was converted by other conversion providers. We have repaired many cameras that were converted by our competitors that do not provide repair services. Also, we have calibrated many cameras that were converted by our competitors and were not performing correctly and accurately.


Testimonials:

Clarence:

Wow, working with you is just like working with my crew space support group at NASA.  I love working with can-do people.   Thanks for the follow up info here.  It all looks good to me and I know we will put together the best camera produced.  It is a pleasure to work with such dedicated people.  Let me know if you have any issues/questions in dealing with NASA.

Again, it is a pleasure to be working with you.

Don Pettit (PH.D.)– NASA Astronaut
ISS Expedition 6 Crew Member; Space Shuttle STS-126 Crew Member; Current ISS Expedition 30 and 31 Crew member.
http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/pettit.html

(NASA/International Space Station Astronaut Don Pettit works with two still cameras mounted together, one of which is an infrared modified still camera, modified by Spencer's Camera & Photo of Alpine, Utah. Photo credit: NASA)


Dear Clarence,

I got a standard Sony NEX-5 camera and found it’s a single shot colour images quite good. However I was not satisfied with the red colour spectrum in the deep space images and decided to get a conversion done.
It was a pleasure to deal with Spencer’s Camera and my new kit arrived quickly. What a difference it made! The colours are rich and there is less visible noise.
Thanks for the high quality service!

Alex Cherney
Amateur astronomer and photographer
http://www.terrastro.com

(Image Copyrighted - Alex Cherney 2011)


Spencer’s Camera,

I must admit, I was a little skeptical to use your company for the first time for my astroconversion but the quality workmanship has proven to be worth it.  We finally had clear skies for the past week and the conversion has proven to be wonderful.  All my images are clear of dust and the digital noise is noticeably lower than my earlier camera.  I am confident in shooting very long exposures knowing the results will be great.  Astrophotography is a uniquely difficult hobby and having good equipment makes all the difference.  There is nothing more frustrating than equipment limitations especially poor camera quality.  The time and effort you have invested in developing your astroconversion is well worth the results.

Thanks again for the quality work!
Stephen Sykes

 


Astrophotography time-lapse

Utah Night Time-lapse II - A compilation of time-lapse clips taken in Utah during 2010, 2011and 2012 using many different cameras, including the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EOS 7D, Canon EOS 60D, Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 40D and Nikon D3s. Some clips were taken using various on-lens filters for added effect. All cameras are Astroconverted cameras. Images were compiled into time lapse using Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.

Utah Night Time-Lapse II from Spencer's Camera & Photo on Vimeo.

Spencer's Camera & Photo | 696 Grove Drive | Alpine, UT 84004 | Phone: (801)367-7569 | Fax: (801)406-0063 | Email: info@spencerscamera.com . . . . . Site by Daniel Ruesch Design