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Thread: Has anyone ever tried this? IR photography on the cheap....

  1. #1
    Kris V's Avatar
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    Has anyone ever tried this? IR photography on the cheap....

    http://the-print-guide.blogspot.ca/2...otography.html

    My first experiment turned into a big disappointment. I can get better results in Photo Shop and NIK SilverFX.
    The exposure looked OK with the setting at Night Time (fixed exposure time 15 seconds), ISO 100, but the overall look turned out extremely noisy.
    I used a Kodak Z8612. No manual settings on it, just Program, Shutter priority or Aperture priority. And no RAW....
    Anyone else ever tried it? And with what results?
    I'm just curious......

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever tried this? IR photography on the cheap....

    First that I have ever heard of it but, I doubt if the old floppy disk contained a material which would allow great images.

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    Kris V's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever tried this? IR photography on the cheap....

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    First that I have ever heard of it but, I doubt if the old floppy disk contained a material which would allow great images.
    I wonder about the pictures shown on this website......They look pretty good. (As opposed to mine!)

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    Re: Has anyone ever tried this? IR photography on the cheap....

    Quote Originally Posted by Kris V View Post
    http://the-print-guide.blogspot.ca/2...otography.html
    My first experiment turned into a big disappointment. I can get better results in Photo Shop and NIK SilverFX.
    The exposure looked OK with the setting at Night Time (fixed exposure time 15 seconds), ISO 100, but the overall look turned out extremely noisy.
    A lot of Sigma SD series cameras (except SD9) have the IR blocking built into a removable dust cover under the lens. A good few owners are quite into NIR photography - they remove the dust cover and put various values of high-pass filter on the lens. Haven't tried it myself.

    The guy in the link mentioned green night-time [heat] images - we can't capture those with silicon based sensors, the wavelength of radiated heat is too long, more than 1100nm. The pictures he posted are of the lower-than-1100nm reflections from daylight illuminated objects.

    Here's the response of an early Sigma (Foveon) sensor without a filter:

    Has anyone ever tried this? IR photography on the cheap....
    You can see that the red channel has plenty of NIR response! (Not that this post is trying push Sigma cameras; after 10+ years they're still having difficulty with noise at high ISO settings.)

    But there is a lot of filter material out there from optical specialty houses and maybe some of that would work better than a floppy on a normal camera. Like:

    Has anyone ever tried this? IR photography on the cheap....

    UK product, apparently:

    http://www.theplasticshop.co.uk/sample-request-3360-0.html

    How about CD's or DVD's? If you peel the printed bit off with sticky tape, you end up with a diffraction grating which might be interesting, effect-wise.

    There's some spectral transmission graphs here, including 1 and 2 layers of floppy disk material. Negative film looks good though!

    http://nuigroup.com/forums/viewthread/6458/

    Have fun!

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever tried this? IR photography on the cheap....

    The theory I understand; there are many materials out there that are transparent to IR light, yet block visible light. The data storage medium of a floppy disk used a substrate of plastic and had a thin coating of a magnetic material; usually some form of iron oxide. If the premise is correct, while opaque to visible light, it does allow infra-red to pass through.

    The other component that is required is a camera that allows some reasonable level of infra-red through to the sensor. The camera that the author discusses has an IR and Bayer filters that swings out of the way for "night" mode photography. This is a fairly mechanically complex feature and I would be very surprised to see too many cameras with it. I think there is a fairly easy test to see if your camera has this feature, though. Put it into "night time" mode and take a picture under "normal" lighting, rather than in the dark. If you get a colour image then no, the filter does not swing out of the way. If it is a black and white image, there is a reasonable possiblity that it might work with your camera.

    If you look the authors IR images, they are black and white; that means that the Bayer filter (with any integrated IR filter) does swing out of the way and the camera is only capable of taking B&W in that mode. The Bayer array, especially the green and blue filters do not let any IR through, and only the red filter might let some through, so it definitely has to be out of way for this to work.

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    Re: Has anyone ever tried this? IR photography on the cheap....

    Kris when I was a child I liked to take damaged floppies apart and look through the disk under bright light. See for you shelf but keep in mind you need to look at a bright scene. Of course your eye is not sensitive to IR but you will able to see the deep rd colors which are similar to the blood (actually the oxidized -old- blood).

    What some people have done is take an old camera apart, open it and remove the top layer of the sensor since it is the filter one (with high risk of destroying it of course).

    There is another alternative, some cameras are offered without an anti-IR filter for astronomy photography like the Canon 60Da which apart from that is identical to the popular Canon 60D.

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    Kris V's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever tried this? IR photography on the cheap....

    Put it into "night time" mode and take a picture under "normal" lighting, rather than in the dark. If you get a colour image then no, the filter does not swing out of the way. If it is a black and white image, there is a reasonable possiblity that it might work with your camera.
    Well, there's something to play with!
    The camera has a B/W setting - would that work?
    Anyway, I'll try both and see what comes up. If I get really serious about IR, I guess I may decide to get a Hoya filter.
    I can't justify the cost of rebuilding a camera.

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    Kris V's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever tried this? IR photography on the cheap....

    How about CD's or DVD's? If you peel the printed bit off with sticky tape, you end up with a diffraction grating which might be interesting, effect-wise.
    I have quite a few of those, with the printed side already peeled off. They just look like clear plastic.
    Playtime again!

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever tried this? IR photography on the cheap....

    Quote Originally Posted by Kris V View Post
    Well, there's something to play with!
    The camera has a B/W setting - would that work?
    Anyway, I'll try both and see what comes up. If I get really serious about IR, I guess I may decide to get a Hoya filter.
    I can't justify the cost of rebuilding a camera.
    No - B&W mode is done in the cameras software. A digital sensor is really a B&W device and the designers have used a fairly simple trick to make the "see" in colour, i.e. the Bayer filter. It has to be removed for the sensor to be sensitive to near IR. The only cameras out there without the Bayer filter are the Sigma camera equipped with the Foveon sensor and the Leica Monochrom.

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    Re: Has anyone ever tried this? IR photography on the cheap....

    Quote Originally Posted by Kris V View Post
    I have quite a few of those, with the printed side already peeled off. They just look like clear plastic.
    Playtime again!
    I used them to make a toy spectroscope so I could look at various kinds of lighting. Quite fun. CD is at the other end.

    Has anyone ever tried this? IR photography on the cheap....

    A CFL lamp spectrum:

    Has anyone ever tried this? IR photography on the cheap....

    Used ImageJ to make the graph.

    Back to IR, there's a thread over on dpReview that may be of interest:

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1027&message=42494006
    Last edited by xpatUSA; 16th September 2012 at 04:50 PM. Reason: added spectroscope pix

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    Re: Has anyone ever tried this? IR photography on the cheap....

    Hi, Kris -

    You might want to try a software filter first to see whether you can get the effect you want. Because I don't want to get caught being stuck with all camera vendor-based software, I just about always use software that is what I call cross-platform, in the sense that it will take RAW plus the standard formats for images from any camera. Of the software filter packages, I use Tiffen's Dfx software for which a free trial is allowed (I think 30 days from the day you download) and, if you decide to buy (always a question for a college professor like me), it's not outrageously expensive. I've used probably 20-25 of their gazillion filters so far and always found they work really well (which saves me many $$$ in "glass" filters, a particularly critical issue because I would have to buy three different sized filters to cover all the possibilities). The only filters I travel with are my UVs, polarizers, and NDs. The UVs are for protection; the polarizers are for making sure my pictures aren't lightstruck unless I want them to be that way, especially on the water and desert sand; and the NDs are for getting around very bright days of which we have a lot here in SoCal.

    HTH.

    virginia
    Last edited by drjuice; 17th September 2012 at 01:43 PM. Reason: correct grammar

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever tried this? IR photography on the cheap....

    Quote Originally Posted by drjuice View Post
    Hi, Kris -

    You might want to try a software filter first to see whether you can get the effect you want. Because I don't want to get caught being stuck with all camera vendor-based software, I just about always use software that is what I call cross-platform, in the sense that it will take RAW plus the standard formats for images from any camera. Of the software filter packages, I use Tiffen's Dfx software for which a free trial is allowed (I think 30 days from the day you download) and, if you decide to buy (always a question for a college professor like me), it's not outrageously expensive. I've used probably 20-25 of their gazillion filters so far and always found they work really well (which saves me many $$$ in "glass" filters, a particularly critical issue because I would have to buy three different sized filters to cover all the possibilities). The only filters I travel with are my UVs, polarizers, and NDs. The UVs are for protection; the polarizers are for making sure my pictures aren't lightstruck unless I want them to be that way, especially on the water and desert sand; and the NDs are for getting around very bright days of which we have a lot here in SoCal.

    HTH.

    virginia
    I'm not sure how you could get an IR shot using a digital filter on an image captured by normal camera. There would be no IR component in the image. All of the things, like leaves, that are transparent to near IR would still reflect visible light.

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    xpatUSA's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever tried this? IR photography on the cheap....

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    I'm not sure how you could get an IR shot using a digital filter on an image captured by normal camera. There would be no IR component in the image. All of the things, like leaves, that are transparent to near IR would still reflect visible light.
    +1 to that, Manfred. Especially if the camera has a so-called "hot mirror" inside which tends to have a very sharp cut-off at not much more than 700nm.

    I suppose a visible-range filter that turns an image to grayscale and ups the contrast and/or emphasizes the red channel a lot might be a reasonable facsimile? Never done it myself, mind.

  14. #14
    Kris V's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever tried this? IR photography on the cheap....

    Quote Originally Posted by drjuice View Post
    Hi, Kris -

    You might want to try a software filter first to see whether you can get the effect you want. Because I don't want to get caught being stuck with all camera vendor-based software, I just about always use software that is what I call cross-platform, in the sense that it will take RAW plus the standard formats for images from any camera. Of the software filter packages, I use Tiffen's Dfx software for which a free trial is allowed (I think 30 days from the day you download) and, if you decide to buy (always a question for a college professor like me), it's not outrageously expensive. I've used probably 20-25 of their gazillion filters so far and always found they work really well (which saves me many $$$ in "glass" filters, a particularly critical issue because I would have to buy three different sized filters to cover all the possibilities). The only filters I travel with are my UVs, polarizers, and NDs. The UVs are for protection; the polarizers are for making sure my pictures aren't lightstruck unless I want them to be that way, especially on the water and desert sand; and the NDs are for getting around very bright days of which we have a lot here in SoCal.

    HTH.

    virginia
    Sorry for the late reply. I have been trying to get some sort of IR images using SilverFX, TiffenDx (I bought this a while back) PhotoShop and A LOT of trial and error with blending modes.
    Slowly getting some results - but the article intrigued me, and since I have a gazzilion floppies laying around, I had to give it a try.
    I'm retired, so I got plenty of time to play.....

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