Here is a guide to the 4 best Canon UV Conversion Set-Ups. WARNING: This guide is strictly for those who are thinking of purchasing a brand new camera and having it converted to UV. Older models are still great and convert over to UV very well. If you already have a camera body in hand that you would like converted, follow this link and select from the options you see.
I’m sure many of you have seen the How The Sun Sees You video that went viral on YouTube. You can see in the clip (2:41) that in this specific video the cameras they are using are Canon cameras. Now, this doesn’t mean that other camera brands won’t give you these results. All the cameras listed on our website in our UV Conversion section are capable of doing this! I want to stress that so that you aren’t thinking you HAVE to get a Canon.
We receive a lot, and I mean A LOT, of calls from folks all over the world that want to have a camera that is capable of doing this. Our UV Conversion Service is what you need to get your camera to function the way the camera in this video works. Here is an article posted on our site from one of our customers that has gotten this conversion recently.
There are 3 basic components you need to keep in mind. Gear, lighting, and basic photography knowledge. I will be covering camera gear later in this post but I want to quickly mention lighting. Lighting is absolutely crucial! If you are going to be shooting in direct sunlight, you have nothing to worry about, the sun gives off plenty of UV light. If you are going to be shooting indoors, lighting is something you definitely have to consider. Just because the room seems bright enough for you and bright enough for “regular” visible photography doesn’t necessarily mean that there is sufficient UV light in the room. You will have to supply ultraviolet light via lamps, bulbs, or flashes.
If you don’t have a camera and are looking to buy a brand new camera and lens, here are 4 set-ups you can go with at various price points. In this specific post, I am sticking strictly to Canon. If there is enough demand, I will make posts for other brands we can currently convert to UV. Lets get to the various set-ups!
NOTE: Some prices fluctuate because of manufacturers discount and Amazon sales. At the time of this post all prices are accurate!
Budget Crop Sensor DSLR – Under $1000
$392. The Canon T5 is a solid camera. 18.0 megapixels, HD video recording, live view. This camera does come with the kit 18-55mm but we do not recommend it as you would need significantly longer exposure times since the lens will be fighting against you. Which brings me to my next point…
$110. The 50mm 1.8 is a great lens for UV. Because of the few layers of glass inside this lens, there isn’t much of that nasty coating that blocks out UV light. Also fairly cheap compared to some of the other lenses out there. You can pick up a used non STM version of this lens for much cheaper on the second hand market but since it is already so cheap brand new, might as well take the plunge!
$475 for Crop Sensor Canon DSLRs. Your camera will shoot UV, that’s it! No external filters needed, no other accessories, nothing!
Total cost = $977
Crop Sensor DSLR – Under $1500
$899. The 70D is definitely a step about the Rebel series cameras, it is also more expensive. 20 MP, swivel touch screen, external mic input. The build quality is really much better so if you are going to be traveling a lot and need more durability, this is probably the better way to go!
$110. Once again, great lens! Scroll up to read the description.
$475 for Crop Sensor Canon DSLRs.
Total Cost = $1484
Budget Full Frame DSLR – Under $2500
$1499. The 6D is Canon’s “affordable” full-frame camera. The reason affordable is in quotations is because this camera acts like anything but an affordable camera. With 20 MP, HD video, GPS and wi-fi, this camera is really great for the price.
$110. One more time, great lens! Scroll up to read the description.
$675 for Full Frame Sensor Canon DSLRs.
Total Cost = $2284
Full Frame DSLR – Under $3500
$2499. The mark 3 is a fantastic camera. 22 MP, HD video, external mic input, dual memory card slots, ISO up to 102,400 expanded.
You can definitely find a full frame Canon DSLR that is more expensive than the 5Dmk3. There is the 5Dmk4, 5Ds and 5DsR, 1D X, etc. At this point, it is really about what you need in terms of image quality.
$110. And for the last time, great lens! Scroll up to read the description.
$675 for Full Frame Sensor Canon DSLRs.
Total Cost = $3284
Other Lenses That Will Work
You might have noticed a trend in all the set-ups. I recommended the same exact lens. The reason for doing this is because first of all it is very cheap, and second of all it works well in UV. Now, that is not to say other lenses won’t work. The Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens might also be a great candidate. It is about $200 more expensive but gives you an extra stop of light by opening up to 1.4. Others to try would be the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens ($129) and the Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Lens ($549). Note that we haven’t had an opportunity to test these 3 lenses so let us know if you have a chance to test them with your UV converted camera!
If you would rather be safe than taking a risk with one of these lenses, go with the 50mm 1.8 lens I mentioned above.
Ordering a Brand New Camera For Conversion
Did you know that you can ship a camera directly to us? That will save you both time and money. You can order a camera through Amazon, B&H, Adorama, or any other camera store. When ordering a brand new camera from one of these sites, write Life Pixel Infrared C/O “YOUR NAME” in the name field and use our address that is found on our Contact page. That way we will receive the camera and know that it is connected to your order. When placing an order for the conversion, it is going to ask you for a serial number, write “Camera is Drop Shipped” in that field and you are good to go! Proceed with payment and once the order is placed, we will be waiting for your camera to arrive. Once the camera is converted, we will ship it to your address. That’s it!
Got questions or suggestions? Leave a comment below!