Trapped dust after modification: opinion & advice needed

niels123

EOS RP
Jan 27, 2015
278
0
In October 2016, I sent my 6D to a (what I thought was a respected) company for full-spectrum modification. A day or two after arrival, I took some test shots and went shooting some landscapes for a few hours. Since I have been very busy finishing my PhD thesis, I only quickly looked at them and didn't do much processing and I hardly used the camera in the last months. I did notice quite some dust and assumed it accumulated after modification so I decided to have it cleaned by a specialized camera cleaning company over 200 km away from me, together with all my other cameras. Since I don't want to make such a long drive, I decided to jsut wait until I could combine it with something nearby (and save fuel).

Yesterday, he cleaned it and told me that there is a lot of dust trapped under the "cleaning filter". Apparantly, there is still some filter on top of my sensor and dust got truapped underneath during the modification.

The company who modified it said: I am not sure if we can do anything since you waited for 3 months. WTF! :mad: I showed them a CR2 file with all the dust, which was taken days after I got my camera back after modification. All dust particles on that photo perfectly allign with the test picture taken by the cleaning comany after cleaning. This company has cleaned over 50,000 cameras and manages to get every camera completely clean. He also modified a 600D for IR in the past, but I sold it because I wanted fullframe IR.

The conversion company offered me to send the camera back and 'he could see what he could try to get it cleaner'. The cleaning company says that they have seen modified cameras from all companies that do conversions and that almost none of them do it in a clean enough environment to prevent dust trapping, so sending it back won't help, they said.

On top of that, the automatic sensor cleaning no longer works, which is normal according to the conversion comapny. Unfortunately, this also means that when you attempt to collect dust delete data you get error 06 - unable to clean sensor. This mens there is no way to automatically apply dust delete data for the trapped sensor dust? Is there some way to 'cheat' and create a dust delete data profile, since the trapped dust would be absolutely 100% fixed and never move?

Comments, suggestions, advice, opionions much welcome since I feel quite disappointed about how I have been treated by the conversion company.
 

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neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
24,722
2,310
That's unfortunate.

What RAW converter do you use? Given your thought of using Canon's dust delete, I presume you use DPP? It's possible to copy dust delete data from one RAW file to another (using the command line interface and Exiftool), which can be useful if you want to apply it to images taken before you applied the correction in-camera. But I'm not sure how you could create that dataset in the first place at this point.

An alternate approach, you could use a Tone Curve Preset in Lightroom (there are ample internet tutorials on that) or record an action in Photoshop with the spot healing brush.

Good luck with your dissertation (or if it's complete and filed, congratulations!).
 

privatebydesign

EOS-1D X Mark III
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
9,817
4,444
It's not a real solution but you can include dust removal in a Lightroom import preset. Just manually remove all the dust to one image then save that setting.

Though I'd follow up with the company, they know it is down to them how else do they propose the dust got there!
 

Zeidora

EOS RP
Feb 15, 2015
667
10
Which company did your conversion? Some are better than others. Have you looked at the mounting job of the IR filter of the sensor? Is it a clean install, or is the glass chipped, ... ? That can tell you whether to bother with this company at all, or to write it off as a loss.

Sensor cleaning is gone after all conversions, and that is usually made explicit. Had my 5D2 recently converted to full spectrum by Life Pixel, same story, no surprise. I noticed a bunch of dead pixels on my older camera, but after looking at it for a while, I think it is just an older sensor, and has nothing to do with conversion. But not a single dust spec. The amount and size of dust particles on your body is beyond the pale. I'd expect to see something like that on a 30 year old negative/slide, but not on any digital sensor. You can try to use wet swipes to clean the surface of the IR sensor filter, but somehow it seems that the dust is between the IR filter and the sensor itself.

Auto dust-removal can be a bit heavy and can blur images quite a bit, particularly with that much dust. Even with longer wavelength IR, I think the auto function will be too harsh. I removed my dead pixels with a gaussian blur mask. That can be done with batch processing for all images. I use Affinity Photo and works great there.
 

niels123

EOS RP
Jan 27, 2015
278
0
Zeidora said:
Which company did your conversion? Some are better than others. Have you looked at the mounting job of the IR filter of the sensor? Is it a clean install, or is the glass chipped, ... ? That can tell you whether to bother with this company at all, or to write it off as a loss.

Sensor cleaning is gone after all conversions, and that is usually made explicit. Had my 5D2 recently converted to full spectrum by Life Pixel, same story, no surprise. I noticed a bunch of dead pixels on my older camera, but after looking at it for a while, I think it is just an older sensor, and has nothing to do with conversion. But not a single dust spec. The amount and size of dust particles on your body is beyond the pale. I'd expect to see something like that on a 30 year old negative/slide, but not on any digital sensor. You can try to use wet swipes to clean the surface of the IR sensor filter, but somehow it seems that the dust is between the IR filter and the sensor itself.

Auto dust-removal can be a bit heavy and can blur images quite a bit, particularly with that much dust. Even with longer wavelength IR, I think the auto function will be too harsh. I removed my dead pixels with a gaussian blur mask. That can be done with batch processing for all images. I use Affinity Photo and works great there.

Won't a blure result in loss of sharpness on your image? I have a license for Affinity photo (since a couple of weeks, when I saw a promotion I decided to just get a license), but I haven't used the software yet. How do you do it in Affinity photo?

How does auto dust-removal work in DPP, any idea why images would be blurred? To be honest, it surprises me :)

Before the conversion I asked about any issues, or things that change and they didn't tell me in advance (which I think they should). I just did a full spectrum modification, no IR filter is attached to the sensor. The cleaning company said that the dust in the picture is sealed between the sensor and the "cleaning filter" (don't know what it is, but I translated from Dutch).

Before I disclose the company name, I think it's fair to give them chance in fixing it since I paid about $300 for the conversion and I expect a proper conversion and not a "done in a garage"-type of thing.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,617
1,577
I see the terms on at least one popular IR conversion place that say they are doing it at your risk, and you cannot hold them responsible for problems.

Since I don't know which company you used, what does your agreement say?
 

niels123

EOS RP
Jan 27, 2015
278
0
Mt Spokane Photography said:
I see the terms on at least one popular IR conversion place that say they are doing it at your risk, and you cannot hold them responsible for problems.

Since I don't know which company you used, what does your agreement say?

The terms and conditions (translated to English) say:

"The camera will be modified by a technician who is trained and certified by Canon. If you camera still has warranty, you will also have warranty after modification."
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,617
1,577
niels123 said:
Mt Spokane Photography said:
I see the terms on at least one popular IR conversion place that say they are doing it at your risk, and you cannot hold them responsible for problems.

Since I don't know which company you used, what does your agreement say?

The terms and conditions (translated to English) say:

"The camera will be modified by a technician who is trained and certified by Canon. If you camera still has warranty, you will also have warranty after modification."

I doubt that the sensor or any of the related components will be covered by Canon.

Here is one company's Terms of Purchase. They clearly state that the manufacturers warranty will be voided. Thats USA, Europe is likely different.


"Terms of Purchase

By ordering from us, you agree to Kolari Vision’s Infrared (IR) and/or Ultraviolet (UV) sensitive digital camera End User License Agreement.
You hereby acknowledge and agree that your use of the camera’s UV and/or IR light sensitive capabilities will be purely for a legitimate purpose in fine art photography, forensic, medical, law enforcement, scientific, museum/antiquity, and astronomy purposes.

In addition, you further agree not to use the camera’s capabilities to engage in unethical photographic conduct involving the violation of personal privacy, child endangerment, lewd photography, and or paparazzi like activities.

You further understand that cameras we offer as Infrared, Ultraviolet, or Full Spectrum have been modified by us and have all manufacturer warranties voided.
For purchases of conversion services:

By ordering a camera conversion service you agree to have your camera converted to infrared, ultroviolet, full spectrum, or other custom conversion by removing the original hot mirror filter and replacing it with a custom filter. You understand that this conversion will void any camera warranty. Each camera and filter combination is unique, we make no guarantees on camera performance once converted. You understand and agree that it is your responsibility to properly package and insure your camera when sending it for servicing and further agree to hold Kolari Vision L.L.C. harmless for damages incurred to your camera before the camera is received. You release and agree to hold harmless Kolari Vision L.L.C from any and all issues that may arise in your camera not directly involving the replaced filter. In the case that your camera is damaged during our work, we reserve the right to repair or replace it with another camera or offer monetary compensation at our discretion. Kolari Vision L.L.C. will not issue refunds for conversion services.
For purchases of internal filters or do it yourself equiptment:

You understand that tampering with your camera will void your manufacturer’s warranty. If you decide to open your camera, you could damage your camera or be severely injured from the high voltage present. Any actions you decide to perform on your camera you attempt at your own risk and your own choice, with no recommendation from us. Kolari Vision L.L.C is not responsible for damage you may cause to your camera, any injury you may inflict on yourself or others, or any consequential damages."
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,617
1,577
They say this about their facility:

"Our conversions are performed using high quality optically engineered glass filters that undergo 6 or more steps of quality control and cleaning, including microscopic inspection and cleaning in an ISO Class 5 clean bench. Our camera conversion color filters are made from Schott glass, considered some of the best filter glass in the world, and our full spectrum filter is made from a fused quartz material for superior durability, transmission, and internal quality than glass. Infrared conversions is all that we do, each and every day for over 8 years. We are obsessed with quality and making our customers happy, with Kolari Vision you are getting the best infrared conversion in the world."

ISO Class 5 (Class 100) is fairly clean, not fantastic, but better than a office space.
 

Zeidora

EOS RP
Feb 15, 2015
667
10
niels123 said:
Zeidora said:
Which company did your conversion? Some are better than others. Have you looked at the mounting job of the IR filter of the sensor? Is it a clean install, or is the glass chipped, ... ? That can tell you whether to bother with this company at all, or to write it off as a loss.

Sensor cleaning is gone after all conversions, and that is usually made explicit. Had my 5D2 recently converted to full spectrum by Life Pixel, same story, no surprise. I noticed a bunch of dead pixels on my older camera, but after looking at it for a while, I think it is just an older sensor, and has nothing to do with conversion. But not a single dust spec. The amount and size of dust particles on your body is beyond the pale. I'd expect to see something like that on a 30 year old negative/slide, but not on any digital sensor. You can try to use wet swipes to clean the surface of the IR sensor filter, but somehow it seems that the dust is between the IR filter and the sensor itself.

Auto dust-removal can be a bit heavy and can blur images quite a bit, particularly with that much dust. Even with longer wavelength IR, I think the auto function will be too harsh. I removed my dead pixels with a gaussian blur mask. That can be done with batch processing for all images. I use Affinity Photo and works great there.

Won't a blure result in loss of sharpness on your image? I have a license for Affinity photo (since a couple of weeks, when I saw a promotion I decided to just get a license), but I haven't used the software yet. How do you do it in Affinity photo?

How does auto dust-removal work in DPP, any idea why images would be blurred? To be honest, it surprises me :)

Before the conversion I asked about any issues, or things that change and they didn't tell me in advance (which I think they should). I just did a full spectrum modification, no IR filter is attached to the sensor. The cleaning company said that the dust in the picture is sealed between the sensor and the "cleaning filter" (don't know what it is, but I translated from Dutch).

Before I disclose the company name, I think it's fair to give them chance in fixing it since I paid about $300 for the conversion and I expect a proper conversion and not a "done in a garage"-type of thing.

If you use a global blur, it will blur your entire image, and that is the problem with the dust and scratches filter (I simplify a bit, there is a threshold setting, usually, but the function is still applied to the entire image, and overall softens the image). I hardly ever used Dust and Scratches filter for that reason.
I first develop the CR2 files in DxO and export as 16bit/channel .tif. Then I made a gaussian blur mask in AP with a live filter, so it only blurs in very specific areas--where the dead pixels are, or where the dust is--while the rest of the image is completely unaffected. Then I apply that gaussian blur mask to the images with a macro (in AP speak), and that macro can also be applied in batch processing in AP. The gaussian blur mask will need to be tweaked for a few iterations, but then works very well.

The "cleaning filter" may rather be a "clear filter" which compensates for the refractive properties of the UV/IR cut filter that is normally in front of the sensor. I completely agree, that your conversion was a hack job. Sorry!
 

niels123

EOS RP
Jan 27, 2015
278
0
Mt Spokane Photography said:
They say this about their facility:

"Our conversions are performed using high quality optically engineered glass filters that undergo 6 or more steps of quality control and cleaning, including microscopic inspection and cleaning in an ISO Class 5 clean bench. Our camera conversion color filters are made from Schott glass, considered some of the best filter glass in the world, and our full spectrum filter is made from a fused quartz material for superior durability, transmission, and internal quality than glass. Infrared conversions is all that we do, each and every day for over 8 years. We are obsessed with quality and making our customers happy, with Kolari Vision you are getting the best infrared conversion in the world."

ISO Class 5 (Class 100) is fairly clean, not fantastic, but better than a office space.

I cannot believe that anything near Class 5 would ever give such a large amount of trapped dust behind the clear filter. From what I heard / understood / interpreted, the conversion is done under some protective air flow, but I have zero knowledge about working in a clean environment, cleaning sensors and modifiying camera's. That's why I pay people a large amount of my money to do it properly :(
 

niels123

EOS RP
Jan 27, 2015
278
0
"My" conversion company said that they contact Canon officials and claim that it is technically impossible to do a full-spectrum modification and avoid getting error 06, i.e. that it is impossible to obtain dust delete data after full-spectrum mod.

A different company in my area guarantees a 100% dust-free modification and says that if they do the conversion that the auto-cleaning technically no longer works, but that the camera does not give any errors and that dust delete data can still be obtained. (I wish I knew about them before!)

My conversion company only offers cleaning and cannot guarantee that they get it completely clean, they only promised to do their best in getting it cleaner (which I have zero confidence in).

How would you guys proceed given the now reduced value of this 6-months old 6D?
 

Zeidora

EOS RP
Feb 15, 2015
667
10
niels123 said:
A different company in my area guarantees a 100% dust-free modification and says that if they do the conversion that the auto-cleaning technically no longer works, but that the camera does not give any errors and that dust delete data can still be obtained. (I wish I knew about them before!)

Which company is that? No harm in providing that name.
 

nielsgeode

I'm New Here
Jun 4, 2014
11
0
Zeidora said:
niels123 said:
A different company in my area guarantees a 100% dust-free modification and says that if they do the conversion that the auto-cleaning technically no longer works, but that the camera does not give any errors and that dust delete data can still be obtained. (I wish I knew about them before!)

Which company is that? No harm in providing that name.

The company that guarantees a dust free conversion is Optuc Makario
 

Zeidora

EOS RP
Feb 15, 2015
667
10
nielsgeode said:
Zeidora said:
niels123 said:
A different company in my area guarantees a 100% dust-free modification and says that if they do the conversion that the auto-cleaning technically no longer works, but that the camera does not give any errors and that dust delete data can still be obtained. (I wish I knew about them before!)

Which company is that? No harm in providing that name.

The company that guarantees a dust free conversion is Optic Makario

Thanks. Read through it, quite interesting. Prices are about twice of places in the US. The thing with the dust removal seems unique in what I have seen. The transmission curves stop a bit short at 1100 nm; 1200 nm would be more appropriate, 1300 nm would be safe. I wonder whether their UV filter is essentially a UG11, with famous secondary peak at 1150-1200 nm. Transmission in UV is also quite lower than the Baader U. Otherwise, interesting outfit.
 

niels123

EOS RP
Jan 27, 2015
278
0
Zeidora said:
nielsgeode said:
Zeidora said:
niels123 said:
A different company in my area guarantees a 100% dust-free modification and says that if they do the conversion that the auto-cleaning technically no longer works, but that the camera does not give any errors and that dust delete data can still be obtained. (I wish I knew about them before!)

Which company is that? No harm in providing that name.

The company that guarantees a dust free conversion is Optic Makario

Thanks. Read through it, quite interesting. Prices are about twice of places in the US. The thing with the dust removal seems unique in what I have seen. The transmission curves stop a bit short at 1100 nm; 1200 nm would be more appropriate, 1300 nm would be safe. I wonder whether their UV filter is essentially a UG11, with famous secondary peak at 1150-1200 nm. Transmission in UV is also quite lower than the Baader U. Otherwise, interesting outfit.

Makario is about 50% more expensive than what I paid for my bad conversion so I think even the money I paid I can expect something much better.

I'm still not sure what to think of the inability to collect dust delete data and how many residual dust particles should be acceptable after a second cleaning by "my" conversion company.
 

niels123

EOS RP
Jan 27, 2015
278
0
BUMP! :D

Sort of related: what do the "IR people" on the forum use as filters? A filter directly on the sensor applied during modification? Screw filters (e.g. B+W or which brand)? Square filters (e.g. LEE or which brand)?

I have been told that the clip-in filters that I currently have cause reflections and of course I am always interested in hearing a better solution ;)
 
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