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Is anyone shooting a converted Sony of Infrared?

Discussion in 'Other Genres' started by TedG954, May 17, 2015.

  1. TedG954

    TedG954 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Nov 29, 2014
    South Florida and NE Ohio
    Ted Gersdorf
    I'm having a Canon G10 converted to full time IR. Just wondered if anyone has had good results with a Sony. I almost sent my NEX3n, but I like it too much as a regular camera.
     
  2. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    I have a friend who's also a camera technician doing nex IR conversions. He gets quite nice results from what i've seen
     
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  3. slothead

    slothead TalkEmount Top Veteran

    544
    Mar 1, 2015
    Maryland
    Tom
    I have used a converted Nikon (since sold) and a converted Olympus (still being used), but I have not converted any of my Sony's to date. I was looking for another camera to have converted recently but didn't find what I was looking for. However now that I have an A7R (without the low-pass filter), I may think about using a near-IR filter to do some IR imaging (without hard conversion - I have oodles of IR filters that I could play with).
     
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  4. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Trying to get up to speed with some of the major aspects involved with venturing into IR photography...saw this thread and thought I'd toss out a few questions to the "IR Brain Trust" on the Forum.
    From articles I've googled & read so far, it seems that going the route of converting a camera to IR has the most going for it operationally, compared to using various filters. Assuming my understanding is correct, for the sake of discussion my questions are related to using a converted camera.

    1) Can I assume correctly that my manual Canon lenses will still work on a converted NEX-7 as they do today?

    2) Are IR photos usable straight out of a converted camera...like JPEGs can be...or MUST they then be post processed ?

    3) I understand the school of thought that there's more PP latitude with a RAW image vs. a JPEG image in general...but my specific question here is:
    MUST IR photos be shot in 'RAW' vs. 'JPEG' ?

    4) There are references, blogs, and charts related to some lenses showing "Hot Spots" when shooting IR...but I couldn't get a clear understanding of the circumstances so my question is:
    Does that phenomenon exist using lenses with IR Filters ?
    Or on a camera converted to IR ?
    Or both ?


    5) The lens Hot Spot issues all seemed oriented towards modern electronic / auto E type lenses in charts claiming which model would or would not cause Hot Spots...no mention made or listings of legacy lenses. Since I only use manual Canon FDn lenses from back in film days, my question is:
    Will manual lenses such as mine cause this Hot Spot issue on a converted NEX-7 ?

    Thanks in advance for any assistance anyone might be able to offer on these...
     
  5. slothead

    slothead TalkEmount Top Veteran

    544
    Mar 1, 2015
    Maryland
    Tom
    Round,
    Here is my take on the answers to your questions:
    1. I never used Canon lenses in IR, but I can't imagine they are any different. What is a factor is that most houses the convert cameras to IR recommend that you send the lens that you will want to use most frequently so that they can calibrate it for focusing at the IR wavelength (which is slightly different than the visible light wavelengths, so there may be a focus issue). That being said, I think that with a small aperture your DoF will accommodate that focus difference to some degree.

    2. If you are printing or publishing in B&W, then yes you can use right out of the camera, but most foiks (like me) switch the red and blue channels (it's easy to do), and if you have some of the new fancy wavelength filters for your IR you can create all sorts of different hues and images playing with that channel switching.

    3. My experience says NO, I always use jpg, but you must set a custom WB so that the green looks like white to the camera. One way folks do this is to use a green card, but I just find a nice clear patch of green grass to set the custom WB.

    4. I'm not sure what your question is here.

    5. There is not a good way to know for sure about hotspots until you try it. I never had any hotspots when shooting my converted Nikon D5000, but witih my converted Oly E-P2, I always get them no matter what lens I use. I have to PP it by darkening the center of the image (like dodging film in the old days).

    I hope this helps,
     
  6. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Huge help !!
    Getting up to speed on IR will be enough of a challenge without being forced to use RAW and learning all the associated follow-on PP at the same time...to say nothing of the amount of space that RAW images take up...so hearing that JPEGs will continue to work business as usual is a big plus.

    Custom WB and Green Grass reference, simple enough, great !
    I need to check the NEX-7 and see if once I make a custom WB setting (ie: using green grass as a reference) into the camera, if it'll stay logged / registered in the camera after powering off.

    Item #4
    I was just trying to get clarification on the so called Hot Spot issue...ie: did it only happen with lenses & IR filters, or did it happen on converted cameras, or both.
    You mentioned in #5 that you had Hot Spots on a converted camera so that tells me it's not just limited to a "Lens & IR filter" situation...so the Jury is still out and I could be faced with Hot Spots even on a converted NEX-7.

    Not crazy about the idea of having a lens permanently altered so that it only works with the IR camera...probably just roll the dice and see how one does.
    Don't know if zoom lenses will work or not...hoping that a Canon FDn 24-35/3.5-L lens will work as its currently my favorite landscape / sunset type lens. If not, then I've got 24/28/35 primes I can try.

    Thanks for sharing your IR experiences...
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015
  7. slothead

    slothead TalkEmount Top Veteran

    544
    Mar 1, 2015
    Maryland
    Tom
    a. I would assume the Custom WB would stay (although really can't speak for the Nex-7) but even if it didn't, I think in most cases it is easy enough to reshoot the grass in the Custom WB setting mode. At least it was with the Nikon D5000.
    b. Yep, they were much more noticeable with my Oly than my Nikon (both converted), and then the Oly took morePP to make it acceptable.
    c. Try it without knowing that if you need to later you can return it with the lens (and pay a few more buckaroos) and get the lens cal'ed.
     
  8. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Another thought:

    Since the NEX models are mirrorless, I assume I'll still be able to see the actual scene...even though the IR converted body will only "see" IR light...am I correct in assuming that Focus Peaking & Manual Focus Assist would continue to work to my eye just as they currently do?
     
  9. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Thanks
     
  10. slothead

    slothead TalkEmount Top Veteran

    544
    Mar 1, 2015
    Maryland
    Tom
    Hmmm... Focus peaking??? I would be curious to know if the yellow or white would work. I know the red would not because you are going to be seeing red through the 650, 720, etc filter!
     

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    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015
  11. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Well, as long as Focus Peaking / Manual Focus Assist at least still works after the conversion, I'd assume Yellow or White would work like it does shooting a closeup of a red Rose for example.

    The next dilemma is making a final decision on which conversion filter to go with:
    Standard IR (720nm) or Enhanced IR (665nm).
    It looks like Standard-720 would produce B&W type shots requiring little PP...and Enhanced-665 would offer more color latitude, but require some touch up in PP.
    Nice chart half way down this page with example photos...clicking each option gives a drop-down with further description.

    http://www.lifepixel.com/infrared-filters-choices
     
  12. slothead

    slothead TalkEmount Top Veteran

    544
    Mar 1, 2015
    Maryland
    Tom
    My first one (the Nikon D5000) was a 720nm

    I had a 665 put in my E-P2 conversion
     
  13. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    And you prefer the 665?
     
  14. slothead

    slothead TalkEmount Top Veteran

    544
    Mar 1, 2015
    Maryland
    Tom
    I would not say that. I think I enjoyed the Nikon more (with the 720), but not because of the filter wavelength. I think I could be happy with any wavelength. I chose the 655 just to try something different from the 720. I wouldn't say that I necessarily like it any better.
     
  15. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Got it, thanks.
    If I do this I will only be doing it once, so I was just looking for filter choice pros & cons / preferences from people who have experience with them. At the moment, I have it narrowed down to these 2 Filters:
    STANDARD IR / 720
    ENHANCED IR / 665

    Left-most vertical column of examples is labeled:

    “Straight Out Of Camera”



     
  16. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Still hoping to hear first hand experience on using manual lenses on an IR converted NEX body.
    I only use manual Canon FDn lenses on mine, which have a total dependency on the NEX Focus Peaking & Manual Focus Assist features.


    Does anyone personally "KNOW" if those features will continue to work on an NEX model after it's been converted to IR?

    Thanks
     
  17. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    I sent an Email to "LifePixel" ( big IR conversion place ) telling them I only use Canon Legacy Manual lenses on the NEX-7.
    Asked them point blank if they could give me an iron clad confirmation that post-IR-Conversion...both "Focus Peaking" & "Manual Focus Assist" features on an NEX-7 would continue to work in the IR world... exactly as they currently work in the normal world of Color and B&W...using my same legacy MANUAL Canon lenses.

    LifePixel's Email reply:
    ".....a lot of our customers shoot this way with converted Sony mirrorless cameras and so far, there have never been any reports of people not being able to focus....."
     
  18. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Two Information Updates:

    1) I found a couple of blogs where people have specifically converted NEX-7's to IR and they work perfectly, specifically mentioning Focus Peaking shooting in manual mode;

    2) Red & Blue color Channel Swapping / Mixing seems to be a pretty normal follow-on task for IR images but a shortcoming of Lightroom is that it doesn't have the Channel Swapping / Channel Mixing features like Photoshop does.
    The good news is I then learned that a Free editing software package called GIMP does. So I downloaded & experimented with GIMP a while ago using an unprocessed IR image that member 'slothead' was kind enough to share a copy of.
    I'm just scratching the surface at this point but GIMP appears to be a pretty comprehensive editor in general...specifically including the whole color channel swapping / mixing feature set like Photoshop for use with Infrared...including simple 1-click options to flip an IR image to MONOCHROME, another 1-click option to flip an IR image to AUTO WHITE BALANCE, and the Red, Green, Blue sliders to custom tailor an IR image. More good news is this is all just using JPEGs.


    So unless something comes out of the woodwork unexpectedly, it appears that using manual mode with manual lenses on an NEX-7 converted to IR will work just fine with no follow-on PP editing software expense.
     
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  19. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Additional Information from the Kolarivision Website:

    FALSE COLOR INFRARED TUTORIAL FOR "GIMP"

    ".....GIMP is a freely distributed photo editing software that has all the necessary tools for false color post processing of infrared images. This is a great alternative if you don’t want to spend a lot on Photoshop, and will produce just as good results....."

    http://kolarivision.com/turorials/false-color-infrared-tutorial-for-gimp/
     
  20. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Reading up on various Infrared Photography articles, I came across a really good one. It’s about a Sony mirrorless IR conversion…done by ‘LifePixel’…and the article basically applies to all Sony mirrorless cameras. Covers a lot of IR related specifics and in particular, ‘White Balance’, including a comment about what ‘LifePixel’ does for White Balance if they do the conversion.
    -------------------------------------------
    ARTICLE: Infrared Photography with the Sony α7R
    ( basically applies to Sony mirrorless cameras )
    http://www.joecolsonphotography.com/2015/07/23/infrared-photography-with-the-sony-α7r/
    < SNIP >
    “…..The in-camera White Balance (WB) setting serves only one purpose – to render a visually useful image on the rear LCD or through the EVF for purposes of composition, focus, exposure verification and image review. Auto WB doesn’t work with the converted camera because it’s designed for the visible spectrum. Fortunately, LifePixel supplies a custom WB (2700K) with the conversion, resulting in an EVF/rear LCD false color view that serves its purpose well…..”
     
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