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The New & Improved All Infrared Thread

TedG954

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I think I need to research IR photography to see how I can get into it as cheaply as possible, short of having my A7ii mod'ed to IR full time.

I've gone the conversion route though I understand that you can use IR filters just like you use any other filters. I have no experience with filters and maybe someone else might be able to give you some advice. Good Luck.
 

Petrochemist

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I think I need to research IR photography to see how I can get into it as cheaply as possible, short of having my A7ii mod'ed to IR full time.
I don't know any cheap IR solutions using e-mount without long exposures but here are some other options:

The very cheapest IR option is to get an old compact camera & modify it yourself. I've tried it on two that I picked up for £3 each. One of them proved to have a really complex outer body - so got diverted to the bin. The other took me about an hour to do, it worked but doesn't have the full focusing range as I didn't replace the hot mirror with anything.

My next cheapest is probably the Sony DSC V1, a very old compact camera that has a 'Nightshot' mode. This mode removes the hot mirror & turns on a IR LED allowing photos to be taken in complete darkness. Sadly it limits camera functions in Nightshot, always giving green images with the aperture wide open. But with an IR filter in front of the lens it can work OK for monochrome IR. This camera cost me £15.

There are ghost hunting cameras sold for ~£30 that are basically similar to the DIY conversion above. I wouldn't bother with them, the one I tried was terrible and rapidly got sent back.

Getting into what I think of as real cameras there are several early DSLRs that are fairly sensitive to IR without modification. The Pentax K100d & Nikon D70 are among the best options here. A IR filter being needed in-front of the lens along with reasonable wide apertures/good light...
In addition there are some Sigma cameras where the IR blocking filter is incorporated into a user removable dust filter. I have a couple of SD14's to play with where the filter needs no tools to remove it. Their IR performance is different to normal cameras due to using a Foveon sensor instead of a Bayer filter to determine colour. With an IR filter they are fine for monochrome IR or they can be used to give Aerochrome like results. These options are likely to start around £100.

It's worth looking on e-bay for pre converted cameras. My first modified camera was brought this way for less than the cost of getting a spare camera converted, and example results can be seen before parting with your cash.

Sending a camera off for conversion can give the best answer allowing you to get exactly what you want. Prices for the service vary widely & there are some real cowboys out there! I got my A7ii done by Alan Burch www.infraredcameraconversions.co.uk (e-bay user wightman009 ) who has a technique to get round issues from an internal diagnostic LED. It cost me £250 for a full spectrum conversion. A very flexible solution especially when paired with a clip in STC hot mirror that lets the camera take normal shots too.

Alan may not be the best option from the states, but I got really good service from him, including quite a bit of up front advise. I'd certainly recommend him for anyone in the UK who wants to get a camera converted.
 

bdbits

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Dumb question time - you can use an IR filter on the lens with no modification to the sensor? How does that work? I had always thought there was a sensor-level IR filter such that sensor modification was required to at a minimum remove said filter. If not, then why does the camera not get affected by IR during normal image capture, or does the camera filter it out after the fact somehow?
 

TedG954

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Dumb question time - you can use an IR filter on the lens with no modification to the sensor? How does that work? I had always thought there was a sensor-level IR filter such that sensor modification was required to at a minimum remove said filter. If not, then why does the camera not get affected by IR during normal image capture, or does the camera filter it out after the fact somehow?

I don't have any experience with filters, but if you Google "Infrared Photography", there are a lot of posts concerning all types and ways for IR.
 

Petrochemist

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Dumb question time - you can use an IR filter on the lens with no modification to the sensor? How does that work? I had always thought there was a sensor-level IR filter such that sensor modification was required to at a minimum remove said filter. If not, then why does the camera not get affected by IR during normal image capture, or does the camera filter it out after the fact somehow?
Normal digital cameras have a infra red reducing filter (AKA hot mirror) in front of the sensor. This varies in strength considerably from one model to another, and does subtly effect their colours in normal use, but this is partly compensated for by the RAW conversion settings/white balance... I think human eyesight also varies as to the degree of sensitivity to wavelengths at the edge of perception - I've seen studies of this at the UV end, where younger viewers can typically see shorter wavelengths than older ones. These factors combined might be why some viewers prefer the colour rendition of camera X while others prefer camera Y.

If the cameras hot mirror is relatively weak an image can be recorded of IR wavelengths if a filter is added to block the shorter wavelengths (visual).
My K100d can record images through 860nm filters, but needs quite long exposures. With a 720nm filter, fast lenses & ISO set near the cameras maximum hand-holdable IR shots are possible on warm/hot days. Going to shorter cut-offs that I often use on converted cameras (590nm etc) there's little IR noticeable in the shot, instead the camera is recording the portion of the visual spectrum transmitted by the filter (typically just red)

My Panasonics and later Pentax DSLRs are less IR sensitive, usually needing a tripod to record IR - though they manage nicely if photographing incandescent light filaments. :)
A quick test of the relative IR sensitivity is to try photographing a TV remote while holding down a button. If the camera can see the IR led glowing it's sensitive.
 

bdbits

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Normal digital cameras have a infra red reducing filter (AKA hot mirror) in front of the sensor. This varies in strength considerably from one model to another, and does subtly effect their colours in normal use, but this is partly compensated for by the RAW conversion settings/white balance... I think human eyesight also varies as to the degree of sensitivity to wavelengths at the edge of perception - I've seen studies of this at the UV end, where younger viewers can typically see shorter wavelengths than older ones. These factors combined might be why some viewers prefer the colour rendition of camera X while others prefer camera Y.

If the cameras hot mirror is relatively weak an image can be recorded of IR wavelengths if a filter is added to block the shorter wavelengths (visual).
My K100d can record images through 860nm filters, but needs quite long exposures. With a 720nm filter, fast lenses & ISO set near the cameras maximum hand-holdable IR shots are possible on warm/hot days. Going to shorter cut-offs that I often use on converted cameras (590nm etc) there's little IR noticeable in the shot, instead the camera is recording the portion of the visual spectrum transmitted by the filter (typically just red)

My Panasonics and later Pentax DSLRs are less IR sensitive, usually needing a tripod to record IR - though they manage nicely if photographing incandescent light filaments. :)
A quick test of the relative IR sensitivity is to try photographing a TV remote while holding down a button. If the camera can see the IR led glowing it's sensitive.

That is a very good explanation, and now I understand why long exposures are needed, too. Thanks, Petrochemist.
 

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2021 Misc S.FLA HCIR ReDo    5.jpg
ILCE-6000    E 24mm F1.8 ZA    24mm    f/1.8    1/2500s    ISO 100
2021 Misc S.FLA HCIR ReDo    6.jpg
ILCE-6000    E 24mm F1.8 ZA    24mm    f/8.0    1/640s    ISO 100
 

TedG954

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HyperColor IR

2021 Misc S.FLA HCIR ReDo    7.JPG
ILCE-6000    E 35mm F1.8 OSS    35mm    f/7.1    1/500s    ISO 100


2021 Misc S.FLA HCIR ReDo    8.JPG
ILCE-6000    E 35mm F1.8 OSS    35mm    f/7.1    1/500s    ISO 100
 
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TedG954

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720nm IR
2021 CLE IR ReDo   31.JPG
NEX-5T    ---    24mm    f/11.0    1/250s    ISO 100
 

TedG954

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470nm HyperColor IR
2021 CLE IR ReDo   39.JPG
ILCE-6000    ---    27mm    f/9.0    1/500s    ISO 100
 

TedG954

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2-27-21 LHP Marina HCIR   6.jpg
ILCE-6000    ---    18mm    f/5.0    1/1000s    ISO 100
 

TedG954

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470nm Hypercolor Infrared
2020 Misc Cleveland ReDo HCIR   5.JPG
ILCE-6000    ---    81mm    f/11.0    1/400s    ISO 100


2020 Misc Cleveland ReDo HCIR   5.1.JPG
ILCE-6000    ---    81mm    f/11.0    1/400s    ISO 100


720nm Standard Infrared
2020 Misc Fla ReDo 720nm   1.JPG
NEX-5T    ---    24mm    f/10.0    1/100s    ISO 100

2020 Misc Fla ReDo 720nm   1.1.JPG
NEX-5T    ---    24mm    f/10.0    1/100s    ISO 100
 

TedG954

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4-10-21 Forttier HCIR   2.JPG
ILCE-6000    E PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS    22mm    f/8.0    1/400s    ISO 100
 

TedG954

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4-10-21 Forttier HCIR   10.JPG
ILCE-6000    E PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS    46mm    f/8.0    1/320s    ISO 100
 

TedG954

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4-10-21 Forttier HCIR   13.JPG
ILCE-6000    E PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS    105mm    f/8.0    1/400s    ISO 100
 

TedG954

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4-10-21 Forttier HCIR   17.jpg
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