Nikon DSLR APS-C 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 Nikon DSLR APS-C model.
1. UV/IR blocking bluish filter removal only
(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). Perfect focus of subjects closer than infinity with lenses can still be achieved in Live View Mode, but most Nikon APS-C models will not reach focus to infinity. Telescopes will reach focus to infinity without problem.
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.
Some Nikon camera models have the Low Pass Anti-Aliasing filter with self-cleaning function. 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. Please indicate if you would like to preserve the LPF when you are placing your order. With the LPF preserved, the camera will become Enhanced Spectrum (For a complete description of a ES conversion please read option 2).
2. Enhanced Spectrum Conversion with AstroGear Luminance Filter
(Visible + H-Alpha + Sulfur II)
On this conversion the UV/IR blocking bluish filter and the LPF (On models with Low Pass Filter) are removed and replaced by the non-detachable AstroGear UV/IR Cut Anti-Reflective filter with enhanced H-alpha and Sulfur II sensitivity. With the permanent installation of this filter, 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 all Nikon DSLR APS-C 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.
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
(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. The non-detachable Astronomik MC Clear glass is permanently installed in front of the sensor replacing the stock UV/IR Blocking bluish filter.
This is the most versatile conversion, is suitable for UV/IR Photography, Regular Photography and Astrophotography. This modification has the same Full Spectrum wavelength sensitivity specifications as the UV/IR Blocking filter removal only modification. The sensor is calibrated for autofocus feature to use the camera with lenses through Live View and Pentamirror/Pentaprism mode. Lenses will also focus to infinity.
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.
For more information
If you have any question about the modification, please contact us clicking here.
Nikon DSLR Astro-Conversion Service Models Availability:
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 used my astro modified Nikon to get images of the North American Nebula with my RedCat 51. The image turned out really nice, has a lot more color of the nebula than images I made before the mod!
Thanks Astronomy Gear!
I had my D5300 full-spectrum modified. I received a phone call only minutes after placing my order, and Daniel not only performed the modification but provided service above and beyond what I had expected.
He also fixed an issue that was preventing my camera from autofocusing when using the viewfinder (something I mentioned in the comments as a known issue when placing my order).
He has been responsive to emails and kept me up to date on when work would be performed on my camera. I wouldn't hesitate to send another camera to Astrogear for modification based on my experience!
The camera arrived without any damages, both lpf filters were removed like they weren't here before, beautifully done. No scratches or anything seen on the camera. The focus works better than before!
NIKON DSLR APS-C SENSOR MODIFICATIONS