|Over the years we have pretty much seen it all as far as bad conversions go. Below is a small sampling of what we see come in from unsatisfied customers of other shops.
Folks, do yourselves a favor and do your homework before entrusting your precision digital camera to a conversion/repair shop.
Ruined With Epoxy
This conversion shop applied company branded stickers and epoxied over various screws. Probably in an attempt to keep others from being able to disassemble the camera. If that’s the case then they have succeeded.
When we received cameras for reconversion with such epoxied innards we flat out refuse to service them. We do this because of the very likely possibility that attempting to remove the epoxy will cause too many epoxy particles to lodge inside the camera which could potentially foul up the shutter and various other moving parts within the camera. It is unfortunate that a “professional” conversion shop actually does this to their customer’s cameras.
We have blurred their company name & phone number on the stickers to protect them from public humiliation 🙂
Gelatin Film Conversion
A customer sent in a modified IR camera for dust cleaning. We took our standard dust check photo and were surprised to find the worst case of sensor dust we have ever seen!
We decided to investigate further and once apart it became apparent that the conversion shop used by the customer installed a thin flexible gelatin filter instead of a real glass filter. The left image is the offending gelatin filter as compared to our high quality German glass filter. The reason for so much dust was because the filter is too thin and curved, which didn’t allow for a proper seal and dust was making its way inside the sensor/filter sandwich.
This is a side view to show how warped it was. The glass filter on right is what we use for conversions.
Gelatin filters are made by applying a gelatin dye over clear acetate or polypropylene film. They are easily ruined as you can see in the photo below where we wiped the filter with some Eclipse sensor cleaning fluid (methanol).
Hoya R72 Filter Cut For Conversion
This is a DIY conversion done with a cut up Hoya R72 infrared filter. Unfortunately the filter is poorly cut and doesn’t properly cover the sensor’s rubber grommet which was allowing dust to come through into the gap.
Here’s a dust check photo showing an incredible amount of dust even though the outside surface was virtually dust free.
Filter Seal Gaps
This is another example of gaps between the sensor and IR filter allowing dust entry. The images below are from a Canon 5D a customer sent in that was originally converted by another “Pro” conversion shop. He sent it in to have us re-convert to another IR filter and when we opened it up this is what we found.
The double sided self-adhesive pad is not continuous and is made of 4 separate pieces. There are 2 clearly visible gaps that permit dust entry. This kind of dust cannot be wiped off when you clean your camera sensor as it’s actually trapped between the IR filer and the sensor were you cannot reach it without breaking the sensor/filter bond.
With the IR filter removed you can see how the gaps create little channels for dust entry.
This image shows the pads we use, which are genuine OEM pads we purchase directly from Canon. The whole purpose of these pads is to block dust entry and this cannot be done unless there are no gaps!
This is what happens when two glass surfaces are directly in contact with each other, in this case a sensor and a full spectrum filter. Normally, there is supposed to be a spacer in between the two surfaces preventing newton rings and dust access.
Missing Silicone Sealant
Another case of dust access is the lack of silicone sealant around the edge of the filter and filter holder.
This is the stock low pass filter and holder. As you can clearly see there is a gasket formed by black silicone adhesive around the filter.