Using the Camera

How to use a converted camera: 

  Using a monochrome converted camera couldn’t be easier. Simply use it as you would a color camera with the following in mind.

  The first thing you will notice of your converted camera is the increased sensitivity. Indoors you will see at least one full stop, and outdoors you should see 2 stops if it is the full spectrum IR conversion, and you should see the shadows open up due to the IR light coming form these areas. Everything red will also become brighter because these surfaces reflect more IR light than the blue or green surfaces since IR light is near the red end of the spectrum.

  Please note: shooting without an IR cut filter reduces sharpness slightly, even after the monochrome conversion, but is still sharper than the color image before/after converting it to B&W in post processing. I still recommend getting the full-spectrum IR conversion and then using an external IR cut filter when sharpness is of great concern. See the differences when using the IR cut filter or not by going HERE. However, if you don’t have any interest in IR photography, then leave the IR cut filter in place. 

  The only mode I recommend shooting in is RAW. If you need a JPG, shoot RAW + JPG, or convert later in your favorite software to save room on your SD card. With some of the Sony models you have the choice of saving the RAW file either compressed or not. Choose uncompressed for the file format to avoid artifacts that can appear under high magnification (if pixel peeping).

  The more that I use these converted cameras, the more I find that it is like shooting with film. Contrast, luminosity and exposure are really my only concerns beyond the creative aspects of the image. I use the standard set of color contrast filters used in the days of B&W film. I have a full set of the Or, Red, Yellow and Green filters. I also carry a set of the IR filters for when I feel the image could benefit. I have an IR cut filter, but I don’t use it nearly as much as I thought I would. I use it only when I feel the extra resolution is necessary and I am outdoors in bright sunlight. And when using the a7R II(m) with its increased resolution, this is not a real problem to image degradation.

Next subject: Settings