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  1. wibbly

    wibbly

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    Dave
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    See quite a bit of it and really like the look of it but know nothing about it.

    How do you go about starting out with it. If I'm looking to buy a camera what am I looking for. I've noticed quite a lot of older camera bodies converted for IR. What are the strengths and weaknesses of those?

    For instance is an older Nikon D70 or equivalent Canon going to give good results?
     
  2. Harlequin565

    Harlequin565

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    Ian
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    The strengths & weaknesses are the same as they are for a non-converted camera. They're just (generally) older. If you get a cheap compact converted for example, it'll still be a cheap compact.

    However different lenses react to IR light differently. Some good, some bad. It's usually represented by a hotspot which is typically present at higher apertures (f8+)

    I tend to use an IR camera of the same manufacturer as my non-IR camera so that I can interchange lenses. This list gives you an idea of lens hotspot performance so if you already have kit, you can make a decision. A nice benefit is that cheaper lenses (with less coatings on the glass) tend to give better results.

    Conversions also tend to be of a specific wavelength. Shorter (590nm) conversions can be made longer with screw on filters, but you can't go the other way, so consider your choice of wavelength before getting the conversion done. My X-T1 is 590nm and I also have an 820nm screw on filter to give me more options.

    Jo at Protech (who did both my conversions) was really helpful the first time I went IR. She answered a lot of questions and gave good advice. Might be worth dropping them an email.
     
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  3. GreenNinja67

    GreenNinja67

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    Terry
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    If you get a converted DSLR you'll be limited to using live view as the AF will not focus correctly through the viewfinder.

    Mirrorless is the way to go as by their nature you are always using live view.

    I use a full spectrum converted Panasonic G3 with the 14-42 kit lens on it.
    This lens does not suffer with hotspots in IR (which is a real pain)
     
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  4. Stuart M

    Stuart M

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    Or you could do it the proper way and buy a cheap 35mm film camera + lens off eBay, a few rolls of Rollei IR400 film, and a Hoya R72 IR filter.

    Probably cheaper than converting a DSLR ... and more fun.
     
  5. nandbytes

    nandbytes

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    I'd agree with both the last two suggestion but will add a couple points.

    While mirrorless cameras do make for good conversions (and I use these) sometimes you may lose infinity focus if not converted properly. Because the glass in front of the sensor is part of the whole system and lenses are designed with this sensor stack in mind. So this needs to be accounted for properly, and most professional conversion services will do this, but best to ensure it especially so if you do it yourself.

    If you do down film route (some I can see the attraction in this), make sure you have a good way of developing these. This can also get expensive (sometimes more than simply buying and converting a cheap mirrorless body).

    Good luck and let us know how you get on.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  6. wibbly

    wibbly

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    Dave
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    Thanks for the info guys. Quite a bit to think about. :cool:
     
  7. Harlequin565

    Harlequin565

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    Ian
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    Heh - forgot about this. Been mirrorless for too long...
     
  8. Nod

    Nod Kronus

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    Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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    While there's some truth in this, the WYSIWYG that digital gives makes selecting suitable subjects and composing for the different spectrum easier.
     
  9. Stuart M

    Stuart M

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    Stuart
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    I suppose if you want it made easier with less of a thought process then, yeah, perhaps film isn't the way to go. Me ... I still retain an interest in the nail biting surprise element. Digital can often be a little bit too predictable.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
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  10. Alan Clogwyn

    Alan Clogwyn

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    Richard Alan Jones
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    Not if it's converted properly, they will calibrate it to focus in IR - BUT the super colour type 590nm ish filters let through a lot of light so you can get quite soft results as the IR image focuses differently to the colour spectrum parts.
     
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  11. GreenNinja67

    GreenNinja67

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    Terry
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  12. newbie1

    newbie1

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    My old 350d is converted for infrared and autofocus calibrated for 50mm f1.8. There is no live view for this model. However I've recently found that hyperfocal distances work pretty well for IR too so opening up a range of other focal lengths now.
     
  13. nandbytes

    nandbytes

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    Some older lenses come with focus distance scale for both visible light and IR. You can make use of these also.
     
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  14. gad-westy

    gad-westy

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    I've dabbled a bit with digital IR. It's a very enjoyable pursuit I must say. One thing I love about it is that infrared landscapes often work best in the middle of the day. Where traditional landscape images tend to look harsh at that time, IR stuff becomes lovely and contrasty.

    I've had converted DSLR's and a couple of converted m4/3's. I think on balance the mirrorless stuff works better for this stuff but you need to choose lenses quite carefully as some have real hot spot problems. Pleasingly, it's often the cheaper kit zooms that perform well (maybe something to do with coatings?) so lens choice needn't be expensive. The other consideration is what type of filter to use (if any). There are many different looks to infrared from the full spectrum colour stuff to the more familiar mono with inky black skies and vibrant white foregrounds.
     
  15. Littletank

    Littletank

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    Norman
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    Has anyone tried IR in the home such as table top or macro photography, If not, what would limit the possibility of doing this?
     
  16. GreenNinja67

    GreenNinja67

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    Terry
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    No limits providing the subject is reflecting IR light.

    I've taken a Milky Way shot @720nm.

    It was crap but it came out.
     
  17. Littletank

    Littletank

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    Perhaps I am a little confused but surely the milky way radiates IR not reflects it. This is what I am trying to get my head round, how many objects in the home reflect IR?
     
  18. ancient_mariner

    ancient_mariner

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    Toni
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    I have a converted D70, and as said already, the limitations of the original camera (lousy dynamic range and poor shadow recovery, tiny rear screen and painfully slow image transfer to computer) are still present. It *can* take decent IR images, but you need good light for the style and then sympathetic processing afterwards. Focussing isn't a bad issue provided you stop down a bit & have lenses with IR marks on them, however if you stop down to far the hotspots become hard to fix in post. One advantage of an old low MP camera is that lenses too soft to use on a modern FX camera are quite acceptable on something with 6 or 8MP in crop.

    My flickr IR album is here if you want to look - it shows my progress with the technique. I've parked it for now, because it needs IMO strong directional sunlight and I'm wanting to take softer, more detailed images at present.

    *edit - I see the OP last posted in May - probably a bit late now. :p
     
  19. Littletank

    Littletank

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    Toni, its great being able to take landscapes and so forth but I am unable to get outside in the sunshine which is why I am interested in using IR in the house. Do you think that it is possible to do so and how could it work?
     
  20. davholla

    davholla

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    Have you considered moving to Scotland, there are many days there without sunshine?
    Seriously though I am very sorry to hear that and I hope you are not too ill and not offended by my joke. (Also apologies to any Scots, I have been there and it is a beautiful country, I wish I had the time and money to go there more often).
     
  21. FrattonFreak

    FrattonFreak

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    Warren
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    I have 2 converted DSLRs and thats probably the best way to go rather than a filter on the end. An IR converted camera means you can shoot at normal shutter speeds hand held and be able to see through the view finder. With filter on the you cant see through the view finder so will need to frame then put the filter on plus be on a tripod due to the long shutter speeds.

    Best to always shoot in RAW. Doing Red and blue channel swaps makes for some interesting images. Best IR filters in my mind are at the 665nm or 720 nm range

    Here is a link to some images I have taken. If you are creative and like experimentation you can make some great images very easily
    http://warrenjonesphotography.com/photo_13071718.html#photos_id=13071714
     
  22. YoshiK1

    YoshiK1

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    Kris
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    I bought a pre-converted Canon 70D and it's excellent. It's converted as 720nm. I like it for the B&W images because it adds more punch to them and it's something different. Many of the points have been mentioned already but I'd say try it out if you can first and then if you enjoy it buy the same model as your current camera so you can switch lenses etc if you have a Mirrorless or DSLR. You can get IR filters from Hoya etc for cheap to try and then sell it on if you buy a camera. The only downside to the filter is that it's a bit hit and miss getting the timings and exposures right in the beginning because they tend to be so long and need a tripod whereas with a camera you can take photos with normal shutter speeds. With Canon you have the beauty of seeing the image you're going to take through Live view. I'm unsure if many other cameras can do this as they don't always let you see the end result i.e. Nikon.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
  23. ancient_mariner

    ancient_mariner

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    Toni
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    I'll have a play & get back to you.
     
  24. Kaolin

    Kaolin

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    884
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    Gareth
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    Should be possible, but you will need to think about lighting. Modern lights (compact tubes, LEDs etc) don't emit much IR light, but flash guns do. Many common house items (fabrics, paints, foliage, stonework etc) look very different in an IR image. I imagine if you experiment you should be able to find an interesting project.
     
  25. Littletank

    Littletank

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    Norman
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    David, I am not offended and do enjoy your joke. I am housebound not through an illness, fortunately, it is simple getting elderly.
     
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  26. GreenNinja67

    GreenNinja67

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    Terry
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    Your wife won't thank you if you take an IR portrait of her though.
     
  27. Littletank

    Littletank

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    Norman
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    Very interesting, Gareth, I had considered several possibilities including LEDs but never thought about flash. Must have a look at some technical information.
     
  28. davholla

    davholla

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    I thought that you meant that you could not tolerate the sun - as opposed to not being able to get out due in the sun or shade. My sympathies.
     
  29. YoshiK1

    YoshiK1

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    Voted most beautiful country in the world homie! All the beauty we have looks better with atmosphere not sunshine ;)
     
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  30. davholla

    davholla

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    I could believe that although for me the attraction would be the seabirds, sadly apart from Bass rock you have to go quite far north for decent quantities of them.
     
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  31. regen

    regen

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    However if you have a clear glass conversion the filter is placed on the lens and you can vary the IR wavelength by using different filters whilst retaining all the camera functions.

    Regen
     
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  32. Littletank

    Littletank

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    I realise that there are a number of ways of dealing with the camera but what about dealing with the source of the infra red radiation? Outside it seems a good sunny day is needed but inside, where there is no sun, there is a suggestion that a flash gun may be the answer. Has anyone any experience of this, please.
     
  33. YoshiK1

    YoshiK1

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    A flash doesn’t emit IR as far as I know so it would be pointless other than brightening the picture. I’ve used mine inside just for practice and it takes normal black and white photos with the purple overcast. Converted in PP they’re normal black and white photos. Sun is also not always needed, just daylight. Sun makes the effect more stronger but still looks good if you’re going for the black and white look.

    Here’s a couple from me, the first was sunlight and the tubes was same day but fuller conditions (can’t imbed as on phone sorry)

    https://flic.kr/p/NfWSoE
    https://flic.kr/p/PhQNwS

    Also Lee Acaster is a top tog and he uses IR mostly on duller days because he likes the more subtle effect. He’s here: https://flic.kr/p/D7yZRd

    Also Neil J Burnell does IR and he’s ace too! He’s here: https://flic.kr/p/MVzEw7
     
  34. Littletank

    Littletank

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    Norman
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    Thank you, Chris, you have been most helpful. Do you have any particular views on which wave length to go for?
     
  35. YoshiK1

    YoshiK1

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    Depends on what you like really. I have and like 720 because I do black and white so I don’t really need the false colours. If you’re into the colour stuff you’ll be looking for something a bit more. Google the different IR wavelengths and look at the images and get the one that would be most suitable to what you’d want to achieve with your photography :)
     
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  36. Littletank

    Littletank

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    Norman
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    Thanks Kris, I am interested in black & white so it looks like the 720 to go for. I have noticed that there are filters for sale that claim to cover a range of IR perhaps it might be worth trying one of those.
     
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  37. FrattonFreak

    FrattonFreak

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    Warren
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    If you have a tripod, especially in the summer why not set the camera up and take say an image every hour of the same location through a window, find out what time of day, light etc gives you the time of images you want.

    IR images are quite interesting, it makes the skin look like porcelain. Check out FLICKR on the IR groups
     
  38. FrattonFreak

    FrattonFreak

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    417
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    Warren
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    Thats true but you will still have to be on a tripod and frame the the scene / image then add the filter. From my own personal experience I prefer the ability and freedom of hand held images.
    Personally I'd not have thought there is a great need for changing IR filters that often but horses for courses. You can still go for a permanent IR conversion with say a 665nm IR filter and can still add screw on filters at higher IR wavelengths if you wanted
     
  39. Kaolin

    Kaolin

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    884
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    Gareth
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    A flash does produce a useful amount of IR, I have used a Nikon SB600 as the sole light source of an IR converted camera. I also used with an IR filter to make a 'black flash' i.e. one invisible to the eye, which I used for a wildlife project.
     
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  40. aliengrove

    aliengrove

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    Jon
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    I really like shooting in IR. One great thing about having an IR camers is that when the lights too harsh for your normal camera, it's perfect for IR.

    I have had 3 IR cameras. The first two were converted SLR's, both at 830nm. However, wanting autofocus without using clunky Live View, I bought a converted mirrorless Sony Nex5N converted at 665nm. Contrast detection autofocus works really well on IR, better than on "normal" cameras, as ther is more contrast . Phase detection AF, as used in SLR's, doesn't work at all. I believe some recent mirrorless cameras also have phase detection AF; I would only ever convert a camera that uses contrast detection. Another advantage of mirrorless is that a lot of legacy lenses are better in IR than modern ones.

    The Sony Nex5N , which is my current IR camera, has the same sensor as the Pentax K5, which I had at the time I bought the Sony. It is a great sensor for IR and pretty good for noise at higher ISO's (though I generally use it at ISO 200). It's converted at 665nm, giving strong colours. I also have 720nm and 830nm filters that I sometimes use, though rarely the 720nm one. If I bought another IR camera, I would probably get the same conversion or go for full spectrum.


    Unlike with normal photography, I find it's very important to get the WB right in camera; there's no latitude for correcting it later if it's way off.

    This shows an image at 665nm straight out of the camera, then after a red/blue channel swap with some additional tweaking, and finally, converted to mono.

    [​IMG]IR Tree Triptych III by Jon, on Flickr

    More of my IR images at different wavelngths can be seen here https://www.flickr.com/photos/aliengrove/albums/72157627607754599

    On my website on the Links page there's some useful links if you are getting into IR www.jonbowlesphotography.co.uk
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
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