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crowecg

Another theme for a recent outing - getting back into IR.

 

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IR-Fuji 

 

I've played about with IR a bit in the past, but never actually got around to getting a camera converted.  Early efforts were using a Nikon D50 with 18-55 zoom and a R72 filter.

 

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IR Nikon D50 - 1 

 

Perhaps I was just lucky, but that combination worked moderately well, shutter speeds were manageable - almost hand holdable at times in the bright Australian sun, which also was enough to allow autofocus.  Metering was also pretty close when the sun was out, drifting into slight under-exposure as the sun levels dropped.

 

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IR Nikon D50 - 2

 

The camera also allowed setting of crazy white balances, such as using a red object to set the custom white balance, so it was sometimes possible to get interesting images in straight out of camera jpegs.  At the time I was processing  using Apple's Aperture software which also allowed colour adjustments way out of the normal range, such as telling it red was blue, without the need to make separations and channel swaps.

 

The only difficulty with the D50 was that once the IR filter was in place there was no way to see the image until you had taken the shot.

 

After that expected improvements just didn't materialise.  I moved on to a Nikon D7000 as my main camera.  At first, I thought this would be a big improvement  - I'd get much higher usable ISO values and live view so I could properly compose my shot.  Unfortunately Nikon had also significantly improved the IR cut filter, so I needed the higher ISO just to stay the same.  White balance could now be dialled in as a temperature value bu the range was limited to 2500-10000K and the custom white balance wouldn't go outside that range either.  

 

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IR Nikon D7000

 

There were other problems too - the 18-105 that came with the camera would hot spot, (the vignetting in the above image is due to using a too small filter) and the metering was terrible due to light leaking through the viewfinder (although a viewfinder cover was provided, which helped a little if I remembered to use it).  

 

If I was to continue shooting IR, I was going to have to modify a camera.  An opportunity came along - fire sale pricing on Nikon 1 models and I picked up a J1 with the intention of getting that modified.  Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately I didn't get around to it as I found the small size of the J1 great for just having with me when the outing wasn't photo focussed.  That eventually lead to another move - going mirrorless with a Fuji X-E3.

 

With even greater ISO and the IS capabilities of the Fuji lenses, hand held IR was once again an option.  However, there were still problems 

 

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Fuji Hotspot

 

A number of the lenses I have are big hot-spotters and they all have very different filter ring sizes.  The 55-200 is rumoured to be quite a good IR performer, but my filter is too small for it.  The 18-55 and 27/2.8 have terrible hotspot behaviour.  Additionally shooting unmodified means shooting a very narrow band between the IR cut of the internal filter and the R72 meaning the interesting colours just aren't there, so it is pretty much and B&W only setup (although that does help hide the hotspot).  The metering seems reasonably close, but it's easy enough to play around as it is always a live preview and the autofocus seems to cope too.

 

I really should just get around to modifying a camera - probably another Fuji model.   I'll need to find some IR suitable lenses - a lot of the primes sound good as well as the 18-135.  Given that the Fuji lenses are all over the place in regard to filter sizes, I'm also tempted by STC Optics Clip Filters that squeeze into the throat of the camera behind the lens (unfortunately the are currently out of stock on the 720nm IR filter for Fuji, but I will try one at some point. They also do a range of other filters such as ND and astro filters in the same style).  If anyone has tried them, I'd certainly like to hear your thoughts.  

 

The demise of Aperture also created problems.  My main image processor is now Capture 1 and the colour adjustments in that are much more tightly controlled.   Whilst there is a similar looking colour wheel tool for colour editing, it just doesn't allow you to swap the colours so far out of range as Aperture did.  So further experiments will be needed with software as well as hardware.

 

Feel free to add your IR experiences below.

Edited by crowecg
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Another theme for a recent outing - getting back into IR.   IR-Fuji    I've played about with IR a bit in the past, but never actually got around to getting a camera converte

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