Sunday, April 30, 2017

Full Spectrum Photography With The Sony RX10

Full Spectrum Photography With The Sony RX10
May 2017, Carl Garrard

Photo Courtesy: Spencers Camera
So hello all! With some desire to create of late, I've set out on a new personal photographic project. The project I've started is one of making images that stretch my comfort level and imagination. My goal in part I suppose, is to make images that are less common than what we are all used to seeing on a daily basis. We humans in the civilized world are awash in constant stimulus, images, and distractions everywhere around us. My hope, and part of my goal, is to create images that sooth the feeling of  constant bombardment, and can momentarily give us a rest from all the hyper over-stimulation. Images I hope, that can give us pause, help us relax and see things in literally a different light. Images that make us wonder and guess at their subject type, and also to stretch our idea of what reality really is. I've even dedicated a small sub-blog to this goal, called Project Impulse (

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Currently, the project is in its early phases. To date, I'm not yet fully satisfied with the outcome of the images I've made so far using the "normal" color light range. I feel as though I can expand myself and the project greatly in this area. I've a few place marker images already; images I'm proud of making thus far. But I feel like I can stretch this project further, and so I've decided to try something anew.

Project Impulse is about listening to our photographic instincts, but much further than that, acting upon them. The idea is to remove hesitation, doubt, and the internal "noise" associated with our indecision. It's about acting upon beauty all around us, by making images of those moments on the spot. We all know inside what is beautiful, and we should trust that.

Currently as I write, Spencers Camera in Utah USA is modifying a Sony RX10 for me. I'm having it modified in three ways.

Look, no strap lugs. Ahhh. The rest of the modifications are  internal. The gaps where the lugs were are filled with black silicone now, to keep the camera's inherent weather resistance.

This is a very capable, all inclusive camera design. Inherently, it comes with very few limitations on what it can do as an overall imaging device. It's lens is not only extremely versatile, but has superb in image quality. (My psuedo review is here: It's sensor is also very good as is, and I have a 30x40" print on my wall to prove it. That said, it can be modified to suit this project even better in the following ways:

  • Since the AA filter dulls a bit of fine detail from that lens and sensor,  I'm having it removed. 
  • I'm also having the UV/IR low pass filter completely removed and replaced with clear glass that will allow full light transmission-hence full spectrum. Now I won't need to artificially sharpen images and the full resolution will be available for even more detailed prints.
  • One annoying physical feature I'm having removed- the post style camera strap lugs that make hand holding the RX10 at times uncomfortable. Always has been annoying, I don't know why camera companies insist on using them. If I need a strap I have the tripod screw at the bottom, if I need to tripod mount it, I don't need a strap. Simple.

So with all that done I should have a great platform to work on this project. All I need now are screw in filters in order to achieve any of the three Color/IR/UV images. If I want to combine them all, no filter is needed.

There are no limitations with this project. I want to make images that combine the entire UV/IR/COLOR spectrum in both color and monochrome, and images from each individual light spectrum as well. I didn't want to hassle with changing lenses or worry about damaging my retina using an optical finder with UV work.  Although the glass on the RX10's lens is not quartz, I'm hoping for enough UV transmission when doing long exposure images to be able to make them. So we shall see. Thus, if all goes well after modifications, this camera should be a great candidate for full spectrum (UV,IR, and color combined) photography in color and monochrome images alike.

So for those curious, why the RX10 and not an FZ1000/VLUX Typ 114? Since I like my VLux so much for standard photography and timelapse, I wanted to have some use for the RX10. I may have my Vlux modified to have the AA filter removed, that would be a great addition to that camera, but for now, it remains standard duty. I like the RX10's lens overall more, and the sensor has more dynamic range, so I felt it was a great way to make the most of that camera's capabilities.

I have to thank Clarence Spencer for taking the time to make the equipment right for me. He's highly recommended for anyone wanting to modify their camera for any of the above. I've known Clarence for years now, he's always reliable and does excellent work (and thus he's well sought after, so please be patient with him!). If you want it done right, be patient and let him get the job done. I'm anxious to get started with my new camera.

I will keep you up to date on the micro blog ( with the progress.

If you have questions on IR/COLOR/UV photography myself or Clarence ( can point you in the right direction. Enjoy!

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  1. Thanks for sharing this interesting post , I like all the features Sony RX10 and I also prefer Sony DSLR Lenses for photography.

  2. Sounds like an interesting projct Carl. May you have all the time and energy you need to fulfill this artistic impulse!