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Monday, 21 December 2020


Hi Mike,
If you're partial to the Sony A6xxx cameras you might want to check Thom Hogan's website. I don't remember all the particulars, but I recall reading that he doesn't see much difference or improvements in the newer models in the line. I also have an inkling that one of his complaints about Sony is that you can still buy (new) cameras from several generations back. If you're looking for a camera that will immediately have its warranty voided, and if you believe him that there's little difference in old vs new, might as well save some bucks.
I'll be interested to read about your experiences if you go through with this, as I've always had daydreams about converting my old DSLR to infrared but always chickened out because I wasn't sure I would use it enough to justify the cost. A B&W-only camera, however, would be something I could see myself using regularly.

I don't think grinding off the color filter array is the same as the new Leica B/W sensor. So if that is your goal you may be disappointed. Admittedly the Leica is horribly expensive (of course I own a GFX camera so I can't really talk....). My understanding is the sensor on the new M10 and Q2 are specifically designed for B/W and the processor is too. I think the older Leica Monochrom(e)s were basically sensor without the color array. The new ones are definitely different. I would just save your money and get a Q2 Monochrom(e). I have actually used one of the modified cameras briefly (it was a Sony) a friend of mine has. I was thinking of having my original X Pro 1 modified. I could not tell a bit of difference between it and just shooting a color photo and converting it. It's not going to make a difference whether it is a Sony, Nikon, or Olympus. He agreed that if he had to do it again he wouldn't have it done. I did manage to take a few shots with the new M10 Monchrom(e) at a camera store last week. Those I could definitely see a difference on. It was amazing. ISO 25,000 was quite good. But it wasn't just the high ISO, somehow they got the tonality right. Not sure if it's $8,200 amazing though. But if I had the money I would definitely buy one.

Or you could go this route since you already have some lenses:



Mike, A few months ago, you wrote that you had a Rollei 6008 system. Load some Tri-X and you have a superior B&W system. No need to pay for modifying a Sony camera.

You might want to read this:


Is there anything that makes the purpose-built Leica sensor better than a converted one?

The Leica is going to be a more perfect camera since it was made to be monochrome. Typical conversions can have small traces of CFA left typically around the edges or other minor stuff that can be an issue for the pixel peeper types, though not an issue for practical shooting.

Have you seen the new A7C?

Full-frame, but A6xxx range-finder form factor.

Thought I would try monochrome-only shooting, so set my Pany S5 to monochrome, but with RAW and JPG files both enabled. So I got a nice monochrome image in the viewfinder, JPG mono files, and regular raw files that I could develop in color or monochrome. I took it out for a walk and enjoyed trying to see everything as a possible monochrome shot. The results? Very nice well-exposed color from the raw files, crappy monochrome JPGs, and a lesson learned that this kind of shooting isn't for me!

[That's the way to know, that's for sure. --Mike]

Greetings Mike, once you decide on which camera to convert to a Monochrome sensor would you consider a short comparison experiment?
Setup up a repeatable series of photographs perhaps indoors to make sure lighting remains the same. Before you send out the camera for conversion take a few images with the camera and use your Photoshop or Lightroom skills and perform your best color to B&W conversion. Then reshot with your converted camera and compare results, I think it would provide huge dividends. I have visited all the sites for monochrome conversions and have yet to see before and after images of cameras converted, yes the results from the converted cameras are superb but have yet to see Photoshop color conversions compared to monochrome sensor results.

You tend to prefer focal lengths of less than 100mm, so no gains from the crop sensor in terms of lens reach. You also like playing with different lenses of your preferred focal lengths (damn spell check suggested "fecal" length, so much for AI) and Sony is the most adaptable FF mirrorless out there. Much greater selection of FF lenses, both new and old. 24mp is plenty so I would say A7III. Why III and not II? Handling, AF, and general operational improvements from the previous generation.

Mike - if the hard choice is in part b/c of liking the 6600's "rangefinder" body over the "SLR" style of mirrorless- maybe have a look at the full frame A7C if you haven't already.

I have an A7II and find it is more than good enough for anything I use it for. Except for waist-level portrait (vertical) shooting.

The A7C fixes that and had the humpless form factor you prefer.

Well higher speed flash synch would be nice but that will only show up when Sony introduces a global shutter to improve video, which I keep hearing is "soon"

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