Does this conversion harm the sensor in any way?
Not at all. I don’t use any harsh chemicals or machines during the removal of the CFA. One could argue that the removal allows the sensor to run cooler, since this layer traps heat—this would be hard to quantify, of course. All other functions of the camera remain in tact, and function as expected, except there is no color information. Since the camera uses color information for Phase Detect AF, this function is reduced; see next question.
Does the camera still focus as expected?
Removing the CFA from the sensors that use Phase Detect will reduce or eliminate its functionality. Contrast detect AF still functions as expected.
The conversion increases contrast, so the focusing is a little faster when using the contrast detect AF. I don’t have any numbers to prove this, it is just a gut feeling. And since I don’t use autofocus anyway, I cannot guarantee the results.
Why not simply desaturate a color image to get B&W?
That is always an option, but since you found your way to my site, you should see sample images that compare the two methods. See this page for sample images.
There are many benefits from converting the sensor. The top two are increased sensitivity and resolution. Along with the film-like response from the sensor. But if you’ve been considering the Leica Monochrome, this is certainly a viable option, considering the price point difference—this option is easier on the wallet.
If I never plan on taking IR pictures, do I need the IR conversion?
I recommend the full-spectrum VIS-IR conversion simply so that you have all options open to you at any time. The VIS-IR conversion not only allows you to shoot IR photographs, but it increases the sensitivity of the sensor. My setup is with the IR conversion, and then I have an IR cut filter to use when needed. General rule of thumb here is to use the IR cut filter outdoors in daylight, and leave it off when shooting indoors or at night. See Full Spectrum IR Conversion for more information.
However, if you don’t have any interest in IR photography whatever, or don’t like using filters, then I will leave the IR cut filter in place and you will have a great, high resolution monochrome camera that behaves similar to B&W film.
What happens if you destroy my sensor?
I currently have a 100% success rate on these conversions. However, if Murphy sticks his ugly head in and something does go wrong, I simply put in another converted sensor at no cost to you. You will get a converted camera at the price paid, and as promised.
Does this conversion affect the movie functions of the camera?
Only in that the file will be B&W. The resolution is not increased since the camera is compressing the file during capture. Sensitivity is increased, however. You can shoot in lower light situations due to this increase. Noise is a little less also, so the files should look better.
When can I expect my camera once you receive it?
The CFA removal, monochrome conversion, takes about three days for a full frame sensor once I start the process. I can do an APS-C sensor in about two days. Full-Spectrum IR only conversions (retain color) take just a couple of hours. I contact you via email once I start, and again when I’ve finished and am ready to ship your camera. You will receive a tracking number and an ETA for the package. Shipping times vary.
What kind of warranty do you give on a CFA removal?
Converting to monochrome, or removing the CFA, is actually quite benign. The sensor is made of silicon, and is quite hard. I thoroughly check the function of the camera after conversion and am satisfied to offer ninety days against malfunction of the sensor after the conversion with normal use. I cannot warranty the other parts of the camera, since I have no control of the use they will undergo.
If I use a check, will this slow down the process?
If using a check to pay for the service, the camera will be shipped after the check clears. A USPS money order will assure a quick turnaround. Using PayPal is the surest way of avoiding delays.
What should I include in my shipment?
Nothing but the camera and the signed Service Request Form. If you are paying with a check or money order, you can include that in the box. But no accessories, batteries or memory cards—I don’t want to have to babysit the extras.
Which options should I get without having to get too technical?
Go with the CFA removal and the Full Spectrum VIS-IR conversion. This gives you every option—except color, of course. You are able to use any frequency IR filter, or none at all. You can also use, or not use, an IR cut filter. See Using a IR cut Filter here. I use all of my converted cameras without any filters, and get great results. I will use B&W contrast filters since this is like shooting black and white film. And when sharpness is a critical concern, I use my IR cut filter over the lens outdoors under sunlight. The simple no fuss solution is to convert to B&W, but leave in the IR cut filter so that you don’t have to deal with attaching filters over your lenses. And you may need more than one size.
Why do my photos have a magenta cast to them?
The simple answer: Due to the camera’s processor thinking that it “sees” in color. The magenta cast is the resulting color when all of the pixels uniformly see the same intensity of light, and the processor gives magenta as its result. See HERE for more information.
How did you get started with converting cameras?
See HERE to read about why and how I started this business.
I have a question that is not on this page, or elsewhere on this site. How do I get answers?
Click the contact page above. Use the email option if you are not in a great hurry, or call to get an immediate answer.