Talk to me about infrared

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#1
Hi. I saw a great presentation which included two infrared series. I am pondering buying an older camera and having it converted. Tips, thoughts etc welcome.The images were mono.
 
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Ian
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#2
The coatings on lenses can cause hotspots. Do your research - typically Googling "yourcameraname ir hotspot"
Buying a cheap/old camera and getting it converted will still leave you with a cheap/old camera with all its limitations. If you're happy with that. Cool. But expecting amazing results from poor (2nd hand) gear is a pitfall to avoid.
If you're a DSLR shooter, consider buying a body that you can swap lenses with. but beware of point 1 above....

A converted camera is more usable than filters because the shutter speed is far more manageable. However if you've never done anything like this before, consider a circular IR filter for your main DSLR. Shutter speeds will drop though the floor, but it will give you a good idea as to whether you want to pursue it. You can also experiment with different wavelengths to find out what you like.

If you use Lightroom, you can hugely speed up your workflow with custom profiles and import settings. Custom WB profiles may seem daunting but there's a ton of info out on the web. It's a shame that LR won't do a proper channel swap yet. You can set LR up to recognise your camera, import & apply custom WB without you doing anything. Very useful if you've been out with 2 cameras.
Mono wavelength conversions are great, but you can't go back. E.g. a 590nm conversion (colour) allows you to strap more filters on the front (700, 800 and even 900nm wavelengths which are more traditionally used for B&W) but if you get (for example) a 760nm conversion, you can't go down to 590nm. Do you want flexibility? Even with the black filters on, the shutter speeds remain relatively unaffected.

I love infrared photography. I've currently got my old(!) Fuji X-T1 converted (590nm) and will probably (depending on specs) get my X-T2 converted when/if I upgrade to the X-T3. The image quality is amazing coupled with the 16mm f1.4. I also use the 18-135 lens as a "walkabout" and have a full set of circular high wavelength filters to screw on if I fancy doing B&W.
 
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Phil
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#3
You might find it’s cheaper to buy an already converted camera, it’d cost me more to convert my 20d than to buy a converted 30d or 40d.

I’ve researched it on a couple of occasions, current favourite is an M as I’m now bought into that system
 
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Andrew
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#6
I bought a used D100 as they had not so good IR sensor filters. I put on a 18-55 old style (ED) kit lens and a 720nm filter. Works fine with no hot spots. Focusing is interesting- 18mm needs a 2m autofocus to give infinity IR focus. The camera works even with 1000nm filters. In bright sun light it needs 1/250s shutter speed at f/8 so it doesn't need the long exposures needed by cameras with more modern sensor filters. Under £150 for the camera, lens and filter. The D1 cameras are also meant to have good filters for IR.

If you can get a IR converted camera with liveview you can save a lot of the suck it and see focus you get with older cameras.
 
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Gareth
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#8
To echo some of the above comments conversion are expensive, I have a converted XE-1 that cost £250 for the conversion. I have also used a converted D70 and D90, generally mirrorless cameras work better than dSLRs. With a dSLR focus shift becomes an issue and typically focus only works on small range of calibrated lens, this is not an issue with a mirrorless camera. Again to echo the comments above I have found Fuji cameras and lens generally work well in IR, 14mm, 23mm F2, 35 f1.4 and 50-230 work without issue or any hotspots, but the 18-55mm is unusable at all apertures. That said I have also had a good results from a Nikon 50mm 1.8D and 16-85 mm F2-4 (this also works well on my Fuji via a met bones adapter).
 
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David
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#12
I bought a Nikon J1 Full Spectrum Camera from Infraready with a couple of lenses, using IR filters it worked well, and would enable decent handheld shots. Normally I'm a Fuji shooter, so when a pre-converted 803nm X-E1 came up on ebay I bought it. Conversion done previously by Protech, I bought this and sold on the Nikon.

During the purchase process Infraready were great and he actually lent me the camera to try for a few days before purchase, very trusting as he didn't know me from Adam. So a big thumbs up from me for his business.

Mirrorless is definitely the way to go, but check out the lenses that you wish to use for hotspots.
 
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Chipper
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#13
Thank you. I am considering mirrorless. I have an Olympus system to support my Canon FF so I already have some lenses. I will have a look at infraready. Thanks.
 
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Richard Alan Jones
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#14
Hotspots are a minefield, and are caused by a combination of lens and infra red filter in use, so one person's conversion may hotspot with your lens and yours may not. I had a 590nm X-E1 conversion which was great fun but I didn't like the false colour as much as 830nm black and white (I used external filters for this), I sold it and bought an X-T1 to convert straight to 830nm instead but I still haven't got round to it!

Be aware that DSLRs will need to have the focus calibrated for IR, it won't matter for mirrorless.

I've had two cameras converted by Protech now, great service both times.
 
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wayne clarke
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#15
I have an IR converted D70 that I'm not using. If you're interested let me know and I'll bung it in the classifieds, with a lens since you're a Canon/Oly owner..

Examples
https://www.talkphotography.co.uk/threads/evening-walk-in-somerton-ir-landscape.660877/
https://www.talkphotography.co.uk/threads/a-walk-to-the-lock.660939/
The D70 worked quite well on IR without any conversion, I have some pics somewhere shot on one. You did need the 87 IR filter? I think it was though.
 
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Brad
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#17
A question ,Do you see the image on the back screen as your photo will turn out when using converted mirror less cameras ?
 
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Tim
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#19
Would a dslr with liveview have the same benefit for focusing as mirrorless?
 

davekiddle

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Dave
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#21
I recently purchased a Nikon D70 for £45 and converted it to 720nm infrared myself. Total cost less than £100.

I have to say that I'm enjoying it immensely, it's reignited my passion for photography and I'm thoroughly enjoying the 'back to basics' of using an older camera!
 
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Mike
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#22
AFAIK there's a 720nm filter on the sensor for IR only.
Not just 720nm ones but also many other ranges, some likewise transmitting IR only & others giving 'high colour' IR. E-bay probably lists a few hundred :)

My current favorite being a 590nm (also sold as 25A & simply 'red'). It gives reasonable monochrome IR with much more flexibility in the results I can produce.
 
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Mike
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#23
Only afterwards with non-live view cameras. It's enough.
The question did mention mirrorless cameras, which have an EVF (effectively full time liveview in the viewfinder).
That's one of the huge benefits of mirrorless models when used for IR. It's easy to see through a 950nm filter mounted on my converted camera.
 
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Terry
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#24
The question did mention mirrorless cameras, which have an EVF (effectively full time liveview in the viewfinder).
That's one of the huge benefits of mirrorless models when used for IR. It's easy to see through a 950nm filter mounted on my converted camera.

Snap, I used to love the 950nm on my old Panny G1.

I've now got a Panasonic G3 converted to full spectrum (useful for IR and UV photography with the necessary filters).

I'd go for a full spectrum conversion if I were you, then get a handful of Zomei IR filters in different wavelengths from eBay.


here's a very useful lens hotspot list for IR:

https://kolarivision.com/articles/lens-hotspot-list/
 
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Mike
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#25
Snap, I used to love the 950nm on my old Panny G1.

I've now got a Panasonic G3 converted to full spectrum (useful for IR and UV photography with the necessary filters).

I'd go for a full spectrum conversion if I were you, then get a handful of Zomei IR filters in different wavelengths from eBay.


here's a very useful lens hotspot list for IR:

https://kolarivision.com/articles/lens-hotspot-list/
My GF2 was supposedly a Full spectrum conversion, but I've never had any success recording UV with it. The IR sensitivity completely floods any UV even with appropriate stacked filters & a lens renowned for being good for UV. On his web page Infraready mentioned MFT has poor UV response due to it's thick sensor stack, which has had me seriously considering getting a converted sony...
 
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Mike
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#27
You need an IR blocking filter for UV work or so I've read.
Yes that's why I mentioned stacked filters. The U330 blocks visual, but passes NIR, the other was a BG39 specifically to kill the NIR.
The combination I used wasn't the best option as BG39 reduces the total UV by about 50% but used filters I had available at work.

Tabulated transmission data gathered using the spectrometer at work is here
I had less success measuring transmission of my lenses (they bend the beam) but the results I got in trying are also available :geek:
 
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