Actually it’s my oldest camera…… but it’s been modified to take infrared images. I sent it to Alan Burch on the Isle of Wight, who specialises in making full spectrum camera conversions. I had still got my old NEX-F3 camera lying around after having failed to sell it on e-bay some time ago: they fetch virtually nothing. It dawned on me that it would make the perfect camera to convert, basically because it is a mirrorless camera and it was mine! Mirrorless cameras are good subjects for conversion because they have an electronic viewfinder and live view – you can read all about it on Alan’s excellent website.
So I sent off my NEX-F3 for a full spectrum conversion and Alan had it back to me within a few days all ready to go with the right settings already dialed in to the menu. I purchased an R72 filter in the correct size for my Sony 16-70mm lens (55mm dia); the R72 gives good results for black and white images which was what I was looking for. You can see some of the images I have made in my INFRARED MONO gallery. By having a full spectrum conversion as opposed to one at a specific wave length, I have the option of using other filters for other IR effects.
I am very pleased with the results though I should say that a lot of post processing is required to get the required tonal range.
The one snag to the NEX-F3 is that it has no viewfinder – only the live view screen at the back. Sony made an accessory viewfinder for this model but they are as rare as hens’ teeth and mighty pricey. IR photography is at its best under bright blue sky conditions which is where a viewfinder earns its keep. I have the screen turned up to maximum brightness and even then it is sometimes difficult to see exactly what the composition is. I am thinking about getting hold of an A6000 for conversion as I am hooked on IR photography. I also need to decide what lens to use. At the moment my 16-70 is shared between the F3 and my A6300 so there is a lot of lens/camera-body swapping and the inevitable dirty sensor problem. So I need a lens that I can leave on the F3….. to be decided!