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Infrared Tutorial /Blog

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Nick_w Plus
11 4.3k 99 England
31 Dec 2011 1:50PM
Just a quick link to my latest blog entry which is a quick tutorial on having a dSLR converted

If useful I will sumbit as a full tutorial to Pete, incorporating any useful comments observations.

Just to let you know the colour & colour swap versions of the image are very quick conversions just levels/curves (and swap channel). They haven't been optimised. TBH im only interested in Black and White IR.

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User_Removed 14 17.9k 8 Norway
31 Dec 2011 1:58PM
Excellent work Nick - one update for you.

Life Pixel are heavily discounting their prices at present. I've just had my D70 converted by them with a 'Super colour' filter and focus-calibrated for the Nikkor 18-70mm for a lot less that ACS's standard body conversion only. (BTW - ACS get their stock from the same supplier as Life Pixel)

Worth doing the maths if anyone is interested in going down this road.
ianrobinson Plus
8 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
31 Dec 2011 3:54PM
I had a canon 450d converted in Norwich works beautifully, however i got bored with IR photography not really me.
there are many tutorials around about IR conversion what is it that makes yours different may i ask Nick.
Nick_w Plus
11 4.3k 99 England
31 Dec 2011 4:04PM
I wasn't trying to be different Ian but informative - yes there is a lot scattered about on the web, but I found some of them difficult to follow and understand - others were misleading.

Pete asked me a while back to compile something for use on EPZ the blog post is just a draft - what I was hoping for is feedback as to whats good / bad, what other things people would like to know (if possible I will include it in the final document). Maybe if there are a few questions I could include a Q&A section at the end of the article.

I will be honest I'm not sure about IR myself, but I'm trying to bring a few different aspects to my work.
ianrobinson Plus
8 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
31 Dec 2011 4:28PM
putting a filter on your dslr does not work Nick i know i tried it and it does not give you the image we all are after.
What it does give however is a red image.
The only true way of achieving quality Infra red images is to get rid of the filter on the sensor and replace it with a 720 nm filter this is in short the conversion you are talking about, you then have to do a custom colour balance, grass is good in sunlight this will achieve correct colour balance for the infra red.
there are 2 types of ir photography that is widely accepted by the photography world, one is black and white and the other is colour.
The coloured version is colour swapped but before colour swapping you photo shop first and get the tones right to begin with, your foliage on landscapes should be white and your sky should be very dark, if you are doing portraits then eyes will go black and skin will go like porcaline.
I have some examples of portraits and landscapes in IR some colour and some black and white.

Great work though Nick you might want to touch up on the colour IR as there are many people who like the colour versions as well as the b&w versions.
The colour versions can look stunning.
here is a link to see those coloured versions.


Maybe of interest to you.
Nick_w Plus
11 4.3k 99 England
31 Dec 2011 4:46PM
Thanks for that Ian. Your right I need to improve the colour swap image, I literally spent 1 minute on it (the mono took about 1/2 hour).

You can get an image of sorts with a filter, I have a few examples, but your right they are not good enough (IMHO) I was hoping to do a side by side comparison, but every time I've tried it the light changed considerably in the few minutes (also my main camera is full frame and I only have a 63mm filter for a 20mm lens).
dcash29 12 2.3k England
31 Dec 2011 6:00PM

Quote:putting a filter on your dslr does not work
I think we've all tried that one for Colour infrared Smile

Certain people at Cokin think it does. Plus theres people that post images stating they've only used a external filter on the latest Dslr's who go quiet and disappear when you ask them how its been done. Even a certain camera mag. plastered their effort on the cover which in my opinion was a total abortion.

Thanks for the tutorial Nick.
Nick_w Plus
11 4.3k 99 England
31 Dec 2011 6:16PM
One thing I may do is expand on why the filter option doesn't work too well. You have two fighting filters. An internal one that blocks IR and an external one that blocks visible, allowing only IR through (which gets blocked) so you need extreme exposures to get any image, even then it's concentrated on the border between visible and IR.
dandeakin 10 209 3 England
31 Dec 2011 9:54PM
It's a useful review. It will be good to see it on the site. It would be good to have more IR images in the review though. There's plenty of images on this site that could be linked to.

It would be worth mentioning that IR doesn't have to be taken on sunny days with blue skies/fluffy clouds/white foilage. I've always preferred IR on hazy winters day, or even over cast days. These images arn't at first glance IR, more like high contrast mono images.

It might be worth mentioning about which camera's are best for conversion:

I had a Nikon D50 converted by ACS which was excellent with the Nikon 18-70. It was only 6mp though, with a small LCD screen so I recently had a D200 converted by Protech. Not as good a conversion unfortunatly, although after sending it back to them it works well enough with the 18-70. I wouldn't underestimate the usefullness of:

1) live view on a converted DSLR (autofocus or manual focus through the viewfinder relies on a perfect conversion with a lens that works perfectly. My d50/18-70 did, my D200/18-70 doen't quite). Live view would get round this.

2) The ability to make a high contrast & mono 'picture profile'. I always shoot RAW, but selecting a mono 'picture profile' on the D200 (to review on the LCD) gives you a pretty flat image. The newer Nikons let you create a high contrast mono preview, much more like the final image that you get after processing the RAW file. (Histogram's don't work accurately on either my D50IR or my D200IR).

Just a few thoughts....
Dave_Canon 11 1.4k United Kingdom
1 Jan 2012 11:58AM
Nick, I also updated my personal website a few days ago including the section on IR. I am now approaching 2 years use of a converted camera but have found that people are still very divided on IR (love or hate it). It is even more unusual to find competition judges who recognise colour IR but I can see how colour IR is challenging for most people.

The link to my IR Section.

dcash29 12 2.3k England
1 Jan 2012 12:52PM
Do you get different, better or worse results between cmos & cdd sensor conversions?

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