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

    Harlequin565

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

    Nod Ethel Prescott

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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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    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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    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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  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.
     

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