IR photography with an ILC, EOS-M

Started 11 months ago | Discussions
sleap
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IR photography with an ILC, EOS-M
11 months ago

I've been playing with a hoya R72 for a while now with an unconverted 7D. Yes, very long exposures but with the right conditions and after getting use to the extended time in post I feel I've got some decent results. I am however always envious of those with a dedicated body that aren't forced to have blurry leaves and clouds on a windy day. I've been thinking of getting a really cheap second hand DSLR for a while. Now my attention has turned to the EOS-M.

At first glance, the price of an ILC (and mount adapter for my 17-55) seems very cheap for decent results. It also seems converting to full spectrum would fit IR with my R72 quite well...

  1. A viewfinder is useless anyway with a front IR filter
  2. The alternative, a filter next to the sensor, would of course still only give visible light in the viewfinder
  3. The idea of seeing the result in live view (yes, perhaps issues with LCD/sunlight) is compelling
  4. Being live view, I wouldn't hit the autofocus/lens calibration issues that come with a converted DSLR
  5. Being full spectrum I could use other filters and experiment with astrophotography etc

One drawback is of course the autofocus speed of live view and, as I read, the EOS-M in particular (though this may not be as bad with firmware updated, I don't know). For the landscape and generally wide angle shots i'd be taking with IR I can't imagine this would be much of an issue. Then again I'll be coming from the 7D.

I'd love to know others' thoughts... is an ILC actually terrible? is the EOS-M and I should investigate other ILCs since either way I'd need an adapter? Should I stick with an older, second hand heavy DSLR for IR?

On a side note, if the camera didn't cost a fortune I'm tempted to give the conversion a go myself, being familiar with a soldering iron etc., especially if it was simply removing a filter and not installing a replacement.

Canon EOS M
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Bob Tullis
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Re: IR photography with an ILC, EOS-M
In reply to sleap, 11 months ago

I'd imagine any digital converted to IR will be rewarding.   In general IR conversions don't give the precision of IQ that visible light does, but still. . .

My introduction to this was with a converted Olympus E-PL2.  I'll be selling or gifting that model soon, as I've just received an E-M5 that was converted to 720nm.  I went for the full spectrum conversion on the E-PL2 as I thought I'd eventually be interested in the various flavors of IR, but 720nm (R72) is fine for my purposes, and not needing to deal with filters for all lens sizes will be liberating.

Using a converted camera just like one would with visible light is. . . pretty fantastic, whether going full spectrum or otherwise.

There's Lifepixel.com, and SpencersCamera.com, I've patronized the latter.  You might check their site, as they have converted models for sale (most new, some used) for quite a range of brands/bodies.   And they also offer a heat sink for a conversion, that's useful for long exposure astro work.

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Sonyshine
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Re: IR photography with an ILC, EOS-M
In reply to Bob Tullis, 11 months ago
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Dr JLW
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Re: IR photography with an ILC, EOS-M
In reply to sleap, 11 months ago

As an alternative consider a Sony DSC f717.  Its pretty old but it has a night shot mode that moves the IR blocking filer out of the way.  It overexposed seriously unless you put your IR filter in place but then  it works like a champ.

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Charles Wass
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Re: IR photography with an ILC, EOS-M
In reply to Bob Tullis, 11 months ago

I had a Canon 300D (Digital Rebel) that I no longer used converted to 720nm by a UK company.  Though the focus was supposed to be recalibrated it is by no means perfect.  However, I use it solely for landscape with large depth of field and so it works adequately.

Nevertheless I strongly recommend using an ILC if you do order a conversion, then you will be able to use contrast detect and avoid focussing problems.  At a later date, and with this aim, I removed the IR and AA filters from a Samsung NX10 myself (in this case the AA filter apparently acts as a second IR blocking filter).  I now use it for IR with the R72 filter on the lens and sometimes for visible light with an IR pass filter (B+W 486).  If you do consider the latter technique, note that the 486 filter is not fully effective. so I do not attempt to obtain correct WB before capture, but correct the RAW files in CS5.

I consider the second conversion well worth the effort.

Charlie

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captura
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Re: IR photography with an ILC, EOS-M
In reply to sleap, 11 months ago

I have 3 different ILC systems but there is currently (still) one compact camera with a fixed zoom lens which does not require any conversion in order to do IR photography. That is The Fuji X10 with the EXR system, which preceded the X-Trans system of the X20. All you need is the correct filter in front of the lens. Anyone interested can ask.

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PenPix
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Re: IR photography with an ILC, EOS-M
In reply to sleap, 11 months ago

I bought a D100 for $100 ($1 per "D") and removed the IR filter myself (actually very easy to do!).  Just a proper set of screwdrivers and Google.

I can play around with different white balances and the Hoya R72 for different effects.  Best part… it will autofocus with the R72, although I can't see a damn thing though the viewfinder.  Exposure is manual as any of the Auto modes do not work well (overexposes).

Anyway, this is a great way of recycling older cameras that would otherwise be destined for the dust bin.

D100 Sensor + IR filter

I did some shots before and after the IR filter removal.

First pictures in Colour

I desaturated the colours in Photoshop to see what it would look like in B&W.

First Pictures in monochrome

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sleap
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Re: IR photography with an ILC, EOS-M
In reply to sleap, 11 months ago

Great info. Thanks all! The ILC option does seem very tempting, albeit not as cheap as the 100 Ds option (I wasn't aware IR affects car shape so much). Hunting round for specs to figure out which filters to remove might be more of an issue, so I'll have to weigh up the cost of paying someone to do it for me.

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Martin.au
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Re: IR photography with an ILC, EOS-M
In reply to sleap, 11 months ago

sleap wrote:

Great info. Thanks all! The ILC option does seem very tempting, albeit not as cheap as the 100 Ds option :P. Hunting round for specs to figure out which filters to remove might be more of an issue, so I'll have to weigh up the cost of paying someone to do it for me.

Depending on the sensor, you can do pretty well with just an R72.

The current Olympus sensors in particular seem to be sensitive to IR light in standard configuration.

Here's a thread with my messing around. All handheld.

Some infrared shenanigans - R720 and E-M5

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Re: IR photography with an ILC, EOS-M
In reply to sleap, 11 months ago

sleap wrote:

I've been playing with a hoya R72 for a while now with an unconverted 7D. Yes, very long exposures but with the right conditions and after getting use to the extended time in post I feel I've got some decent results. I am however always envious of those with a dedicated body that aren't forced to have blurry leaves and clouds on a windy day. I've been thinking of getting a really cheap second hand DSLR for a while. Now my attention has turned to the EOS-M.

At first glance, the price of an ILC (and mount adapter for my 17-55) seems very cheap for decent results. It also seems converting to full spectrum would fit IR with my R72 quite well...

  1. A viewfinder is useless anyway with a front IR filter
  2. The alternative, a filter next to the sensor, would of course still only give visible light in the viewfinder
  3. The idea of seeing the result in live view (yes, perhaps issues with LCD/sunlight) is compelling
  4. Being live view, I wouldn't hit the autofocus/lens calibration issues that come with a converted DSLR
  5. Being full spectrum I could use other filters and experiment with astrophotography etc

One drawback is of course the autofocus speed of live view and, as I read, the EOS-M in particular (though this may not be as bad with firmware updated, I don't know). For the landscape and generally wide angle shots i'd be taking with IR I can't imagine this would be much of an issue. Then again I'll be coming from the 7D.

I'd love to know others' thoughts... is an ILC actually terrible? is the EOS-M and I should investigate other ILCs since either way I'd need an adapter? Should I stick with an older, second hand heavy DSLR for IR?

On a side note, if the camera didn't cost a fortune I'm tempted to give the conversion a go myself, being familiar with a soldering iron etc., especially if it was simply removing a filter and not installing a replacement.

What's an "ILC?"

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Martin.au
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Re: IR photography with an ILC, EOS-M
In reply to Basalite, 11 months ago

Interchangeable Lens Camera.

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