Canon DSLR Full Frame Sensor Astrophotography Modification
A DSLR Camera modification for Astrophotography consist of the Hydrogen Alpha wavelength bandpass transmission increase at 656nm emission line and the Sulfur II wavelenght transmission increase at both 671.7nm and 673nm emission lines. The original UV/IR Blocking bluish filter present on stock DSLR Cameras only allows over 25% transmission of H-alpha emission line and over 15% of Sulfur II emission lines. An Astro-Converted DSLR Camera is about 4 and 6 times (H-alpha and Sulfur II respectively) more sensitive to the deep reddish nebulae structure tones. H-alpha objects/sections are also present in all the other galaxies besides the Milky Way. The hydrogen element is present in the entire universe, and many emission nebulae visible on the night sky emanate hydrogen alpha emissions.
To read the Full Astro Conversions Types Guide please click here.
Please check the modification service availability list below for your specific Canon DSLR Full Frame model.
1A. UV/IR blocking filter removal with LPF
(Enhanced Spectrum: Visible + H-Alpha + Sulfur II)
This conversion preserves the Low Pass Anti-Aliasing filter with self-cleaning function. The spectral sensitivity of the camera sensor will be Enhanced Spectrum (For a complete description of a ES conversion please read option 2), allowing Hydrogen Alpha and Sulfur II wavelength emissions pass but still blocking UV/IR light. The main purpose of the LPF is eliminate moire effect but at the cost of sacrificing sharpness slightly introducing a little blur effect and it also reduces color noise. With the Low Pass Filter only preserved, in most cases the sensor distance to the lens bayonet can be adjusted accordinly to match the diffraction index differential to reach perfect focus to infinity with lenses. The sensor repositioning distance range can be confirmed once the camera is disassembled. Perfect focus of subjects closer than infinity will always be achieved in Live View Mode, but for focus to infinity with lenses capability including autofocus with Pentaprism/Pentamirror mode with DSLR cameras, options 2 and 3 are guaranteed for most models. Telescopes will always reach focus to infinity without any problem.
1B. UV/IR blocking filter removal without LPF
(Full Spectrum: Ultraviolet + Visible + H-Alpha + Sulfur II + Infrared)
This is the most unexpensive conversion, most recommended to save money. Having the sensor bare or "naked" the camera will become Full Spectrum (For a complete description of a FS conversion please read option 3). With the bare sensor modification, the sensor distance to the lens bayonet will be adjusted to reach focus to infinity with lenses and autofocus calibration in Pentaprism/Pentamirror mode with DSLR cameras when a Clip-in body filter like the Astronomik L-2 UV/IR blocking or CLS is attached to the camera body (Some Canon Full Frame DSLR Cameras are not compatible, please check compatibility list above). Internal UV/IR blocking luminance filter and internal clear glass modifications (Options 2 and 3) are compatible with all Canon Full Frame Cameras. When combined with a Clip-in filter like the Astronomik L-2 UV/IR blocking or the Clip-in MC Clear glass, the total price of this conversion is less than the internal filters modifications.
Without any glass above the sensor there are no internal reflections coming from a replacement filter. When the stock UV/IR blocking filter is removed the surface of the sensor is not really naked. There is a layer of glass protecting the micro-lenses and bayer filters on top of the pixels.
2. Enhanced Spectrum Conversion with Optolong Luminance Filter only
(Visible + H-Alpha + Sulfur II)
On this conversion both Low Pass Anti-Aliasing filter with self-cleaning function and the UV/IR blocking bluish filter are removed and replaced by the Optolong UV/IR Cut Anti-Reflective filter with enhanced H-alpha and Sulfur II sensitivity. This conversion does not require an additional or external UV/IR Cut filter. Perfect focus to infinity with lenses capability including autofocus with Pentaprism/Pentamirror mode is guaranteed for most Canon Full Frame cameras models. The camera can be used for daylight photography setting the custom white balance with a gray card shot under the specific light source for "In-Camera" white balance correction or with Adobe Camera Raw white balance presets without the need of additional original white balance filters. With the Low Pass Anti-Aliasing Filter removed, the Camera Sensor performs at native maximum sharpness, which is also great for solar and planetary astrophotography.
Out of focus NIR: With the Enhanced Spectrum modification, depending on the lens, telescope or optical corrector used, some imagers might experience a little bit bloated stars due to the near infrared light slightly out of focus when a refractive optical system does not have at least one ED (Extra-Low Dispersion glass) element. This chromatic aberration could be mitigated with post processing correction using computer software.
3. Full Spectrum conversion with Astronomik Anti-Reflective Clear Glass only
(Ultraviolet + Visible + H-Alpha + Sulfur II + Infrared)
The Full Spectrum modification is the best conversion for planetary astrophotography because the possibility of using infrared isolating filters like the Astronomik ProPlanet 742 IR-pass and 807 IR-pass . The infrared wavelength is significantly less susceptible to poor seeing (atmospheric turbulences) and consequently the resulting images are considerably sharper. Expert planetary imagers process planets photos with single line infrared filters as a luminance channel.
This is the most versatile conversion, is suitable for UV/IR Photography, Regular Photography and Astrophotography. The camera will capture the entire visible spectrum including Hydrogen Alpha and Sulfur II emissions plus Ultraviolet and Infrared light. Perfect focus to infinity with lenses capability including autofocus with Pentaprism/Pentamirror mode is guaranteed for most Canon Full Frame cameras models. Both Low Pass Filter with self-cleaning feature and the original UV/IR blocking bluish filter are replaced by the Astronomik Multicoated Anti-reflective Clear filter. With the Low Pass Anti-Aliasing Filter removed, the Camera Sensor performs at native maximum sharpness.
Out of focus Infrared: An additional UV/IR cut filter is required to capture the pictures in visible light. This filter is a must when imaging with telescopes using refractive elements (refractors, catadioptrics, reducers/flatteners, coma correctors, etc.) If light frames are captured without an UV/IR blocking filter you will get bloated stars, because UV and IR light rays focus at different distance from the visible light focal plane.
A luminance filter, or any narrowband filter will cut off Ultraviolet and Infrared Wavelengths.
For daylight or regular photography an additional Original White Balance filter is required. The Astronomik OWB Clip filter can be used to correct White Balance (Some Canon Full Frame DSLR Cameras are not compatible, please check compatibility list above).
For more information
If you have any question about the modifications options, or if you are not sure which one is the best for the astrophotography application that you are planning to do, please contact us clicking here.
Canon DSLR Full Frame Astro-Conversion Service Models Availability:
5D Mark II
5D Mark III
5D Mark IV
6D Mark II
The lead time for the modifications is usually 10 business days (Excluding shipping round trip time). Once your modified camera is shipped, a notification with the tracking number will be sent to your email address.
You must purchase your own postage including insurance at your local post office or shipping service store and send your camera to:
10824 Olson Dr Ste C-345
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
Packing instructions: Please use a box preferably no larger than 24 cubic inches (i.e. 8 X 8 X 8) to keep our shipping fee expenses at low cost. Wrap the camera body with bubble cushion, foam or packing paper and write down "FRAGILE" over the box or stick a "FRAGILE" label on the box. Send your camera only with its battery fully charged and your order page printed. If you are shipping your camera by airplane delivery, leave the battery outside the camera body. The changes in pressure could cause battery leakage.
Return free shipping is included in the modification price for the Continental US.
Customers buying the modification services outside USA will have to purchase the postage from UPS or Fedex on their own to ship their cameras from their location to the United States. The international shipping cost shown on the checkout page includes only the shipping from the United States to the customer's location (one way) and not the shipping from their location to the United States. Custom fees are not included in the international shipping cost.
International customers are responsible for paying all import duties to their respective local customs office.
1 Year conversion Warranty
All cameras are tested prior the Astro-Conversion. If I find any functional problem, I will inform you immediately. The warranty coverage includes camera functionality related to the conversion. Any kind of physical damage, water damage, abuse or misuse of the Astro-converted camera will void the warranty.
I opted for the enhanced spectrum modification for my Canon 6D. Turn around time was a little bit longer than 10 business days but I wasn’t concerned at all because the quality and price are great, and the ordering process is very easy. I am very happy with their enhanced spectrum, and the camera can still be used during daytime fairly easily.
To give Astro Gear your business. Daniel is honest, knowledgeable, and conscientious. I found out about Astro Gear from a YouTube site that had recommended Astro Gear for performing astro mods to DSLRs. I decided to call them and Daniel talked to me and referred me to a site for purchasing a Canon 6D. I took his advice and then sent the camera to him for the service. He quickly performed the upgrade and promptly shipped the camera back to me. It works great. I will always consider Astro Gear to be my first choice for any Astro Mod work. You will not be disappointed in your dealings with Daniel and Astro Gear.
Quick turnaround on my EOS 5D Mark 2, friendly and personal service, and fantastic results. It’s like having a stock modified camera at a fraction of the price. Could not have asked for more. A wonderful experience.