Low sharpness/micro-contrast after IR conversion

Started Aug 18, 2014 | Discussions thread
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assaft Senior Member • Posts: 1,363
Low sharpness/micro-contrast after IR conversion

I wanted to experiment with IR photography and decided to send my aging E-PL2 to a technician that converted some cameras successfully. The IR filter was removed and a clear filter was inserted. i.e. i.e a wide spectrum conversion. Anti-aliasing filter was removed as well.

When I got it back I noticed that I'm not getting the sharpness I used to have from this camera. So I ran some brick-wall test against my E-M10 using the same lenses. No filter installed on the lenses. The results confirm my first look impression that the sharpness and/or micro-contrast are indeed pretty low.

I don't know what's wrong. It happens with 3 different lenses - 14/2.5, 20/1.7 and 45/1.8, all of them look OK on the E-M10, aperture is f4, which should be optimal for sharpness at the center, I'm focusing carefully, and all shots with the E-PL2 are taken outside the shutter-shock territory (although I used 4-sec anti-shock for safety; for the E-M10 I'm using 2-sec timer + 0-sec anti-shock). A tripod was used. My workflow: import to lightroom, saturation -100, everything else by default, crop from the center, export to jpeg.

Does anyone have an idea what could possibly go wrong or what I should do to investigate this further? At this point my only suspect is the clear filter that replaces the IR filter but I don't really know. Thanks!

The brick-wall test is below, and at the bottom there's another example.

14mm/f2.5 E-M10

14mm/f2.5 E-PL2

20mm/f1.7 E-M10

20mm/f1.7 E-PL2

45mm/f1.8 E-M10

45mm/f1.8 E-PL2

14mm/f2.5 @ f4; Left: E-M10; Right: E-PL2

 assaft's gear list:assaft's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL2 Olympus OM-D E-M10 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH +5 more
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