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"Capturing Infrared"

Thor Lidasan

New member
Regarding "White Balance": I use Incandescent WB primarily to optimize my exposure, i.e. taming the IR highlights and bringing out the shadows. I rarely perform custom WB as using Incandescent WB gives me a more consistent output.

Here is an example of Sigma DP IR emulating a Kodak Ektachrome Infrared film output:

 

Thor Lidasan

New member
For Sony NEX-3, custom WB is not really custom as the firmware limits the custom settings; instead, NEX-3 firmware gives suggestions on what temperature and tint adjustments to make. Hence, for me, it is much easier to just dial in the Incandescent setting and adjust the tint in post.

NEX-3 IR with B+W 091 (630nm) filter:

"The Windmills of Bangui"

 

Thor Lidasan

New member
My favorite camera for IR is a dinosaur, a Nikon D40x with 720nm filter. It is easy to set a custom WB and accepts all Nikon lenses - from pre-AI and of course, to the current AF-S Nikkors.

There is something lyrical about the images that I get from this old relic and I am glad I kept it all these years.

From last year's IR sojourn in Maguindanao, Philippines:

 

Thor Lidasan

New member
For post-processing, I go directly to the manufacturer's RAW processing software for initial adjustments of WB, exposure, and highlights/shadow adjustments.

I find this approach useful whenever I shoot with my Sigma DP1. Foveon sensor is very sensitive to IR and even using manual exposure to severely underexpose my IR exposures, I still find myself needing to adjust the exposure using the Sigma Pro Photo to tame the IR highlights and bring out the shadows.

I do like to emulate Kodak Ektachrome Infrared film and add a twist by making the images pinkish instead of the intense reds that Kodak EIR is known for.

Here is an example of that approach:

Manila Peninsula Hotel lobby

 

Thor Lidasan

New member
Regarding focusing in IR:

I keep in mind that focusing in IR deals with two "competing" light wavelengths - visible light spectrum and invisible light spectrum. If your AF system is calibrated to visible light only, then the AF focusing system will be confused with the preponderance of IR light, sometimes the image will be crisp and sometimes it will not be crisp. If your AF focusing system is calibrated to IR light, then often the focus will be spot-on. This is more often the case for the IR filters that have higher IR wavelengths cut-off, from 720nm and above. However, for IR filters that are below 720nm, I find that there are more visible light spectrum that tends to confuse the AF mechanism even if it is calibrated for IR. Again, this is from my experience lacking formal or technical data to show.

For mirrorless systems in IR, I think even if you calibrate the AF system to IR, there is still tendency for the system to hunt and often the result is not something I am happy about. I usually shoot manual focus as I get sharper results using that technique especially with lower spectrum IR filters and concentrate my focus on the IR light rather than the visible portion, e.g. focus on the leaves rather than the objects that do not reflect IR.

I shot this Central Park image about 5 years ago. This is a composite shot of a moon shot in IR and Central Park in IR. I was trying to imagine how Central would like under the huge Pandora's moon (remember the movie, Avatar?):

"Pandora's Moon Over Central Park" (830nm IR/composite image)

 
Thor, what an image!! The creative side of your brain obviously operates very well. I enjoy viewing the moon, so this had particular appeal for me. I also want to thank you for your comments on focus; this is the aspect of IR that I most need to figure out. --Barbara
 

Thor Lidasan

New member
Thank you, Barbara!

More on IR-focusing:

I did find that getting to know the lens quirks in IR focusing helps me a lot. Some lens you have to slightly adjust the distance scale closer to you after acquiring focus. How close depends on experimentation, a couple of feet or what I call a very slight twist of the focusing ring. Infinity on the lens is not infinity in IR, again this is a thought on my part.

On my Sigma DP1, I mounted an optical viewfinder on top of the camera just for the purposes of composition alone. The LCD is useless once you mount an IR filter on the lens. I set it manual focus at f/8 with distance at 5 feet with focal length set at its widest setting, the camera is good to go.

Sigma DP1 in Central Park (with B+W 091):



On my Nikon D40x, my go to lens is the Nikkor 18-70. It has a slight hot spot but it makes up for the color rendition and consistency in terms of focus as long as I keep the focus point on an IR reflecting (emitting?) object:

Nikon D40x in Staten Island (with 720nm filter):



On my NEX-3 IR, what is usually mounted is the Nikkor 28mm 3.5 because the lens is such an IR-focus friendly. I set it at f/16 and I am usually ok with hyperfocal focusing technique (set the distance and forget it) even with a very dark filter such as an 830nm.

Here is a sunstar IR output from the manually-focused Nikkor 28mm on an NEX-3 full-spectrum:

 

Don Libby

Well-known member
The 830nm filter arrived and I promptly went to test it.

It turned out to be an excellent learning tool for me. Normally, I shoot nothing but 665nm however I've begun to shoot 720 and now 830nm. In the past I'd create a custom white balance and forget about it. "Set it and forget it". Not so when using different filters. While I think I can "get by" using the same custom white balance for both the 665 and 720 I'm going to set one for each just like I did for the 830. Thankfully the A7r has 3-seperate custom white balance settings.





I've also found that shooting with a mirrorless camera focus is not an issue. Except when you use either a manual focus lens or switch from auto to manual focus. So the worry of having a lens calibrated to a mirrorless camera is needless.

Thor, love the images bud!

Don
 

Thor Lidasan

New member
Thanks, Don!

I wonder if there is a difference in the histograms when you use the CWB of 665nm with the 830nm filter mounted and CWB of 830nm. With the 830nm, all the RGB channels of the histogram are almost equally filled with data unlike the lower cut-off IR filter where it is usually red channel heavy.

Here's one from Staten Island with 720nm shot via D40x:

"Aftermath"

 

GrahamWelland

Subscriber & Workshop Member
The 830nm filter arrived and I promptly went to test it.

It turned out to be an excellent learning tool for me. Normally, I shoot nothing but 665nm however I've begun to shoot 720 and now 830nm. In the past I'd create a custom white balance and forget about it. "Set it and forget it". Not so when using different filters. While I think I can "get by" using the same custom white balance for both the 665 and 720 I'm going to set one for each just like I did for the 830. Thankfully the A7r has 3-seperate custom white balance settings.

Don
Don,

I definitely find that 830nm requires it's own custom white balance. Instant B&W too at that cut off. My favourite actually on my full spectrum cameras and I may convert another Fuji to just that spectrum. Great for solid blacks and balanced spectrum.

Some wild IR images here! :thumbs:
 

Don Libby

Well-known member
Decided to do a little extermination using a Phase One 80mm /2.8 lens. Working with this lens in the past before I had the camera converted I knew that I didn't have any control over the f/stop however I had plenty of control using a combination of ISO and shutter. I also decided to see what I could accomplish using a 830nm lens filter.

I open the files in C1 Pro using the color picker did a white balance then converted to black and white. I saved the file as a Tiff before sending it to Photoshop CC and adjusting the individual channels in Levels.

I also washed the files in Sony Image Data Converter converting the files from .ARW to TIF before opening them in Photoshop CC. Once there I opened NIK software using Silver Efex Pro before working on the channels in Levels like I did with the C1Pro files.

In the end it's a toss up on which workflow I like better....


Manual focusing did okay here. C1Pro file before PS CC and working the channels in levels.


File processed in PS CC and NIK Silver Efex Pro.


C1Pro file before PS CC and working the channels in levels.


File processed in PS CC and NIK Silver Efex Pro and tweaking the channels in levels.
 

alajuela

Member
Decided to do a little extermination using a Phase One 80mm /2.8 lens. Working with this lens in the past before I had the camera converted I knew that I didn't have any control over the f/stop however I had plenty of control using a combination of ISO and shutter. I also decided to see what I could accomplish using a 830nm lens filter.

I open the files in C1 Pro using the color picker did a white balance then converted to black and white. I saved the file as a Tiff before sending it to Photoshop CC and adjusting the individual channels in Levels.

I also washed the files in Sony Image Data Converter converting the files from .ARW to TIF before opening them in Photoshop CC. Once there I opened NIK software using Silver Efex Pro before working on the channels in Levels like I did with the C1Pro files.

In the end it's a toss up on which workflow I like better....


Manual focusing did okay here. C1Pro file before PS CC and working the channels in levels.


File processed in PS CC and NIK Silver Efex Pro.


C1Pro file before PS CC and working the channels in levels.


File processed in PS CC and NIK Silver Efex Pro and tweaking the channels in levels.
Hi Don

I like the second one on both of them!!

best

Phil
 

Don Libby

Well-known member
Thank you Phil, Did one more this time processed entirely in C1Pro. The only thing I did in PS was crop at 100% and add the watermark. I feel this is the best one.




I feel spending some quality time in C1Pro when using the 830nm filter will get me excellent results.


Don
 

Cindy Flood

Super Moderator
Don's Nex7 is now mine, and I'm enjoying getting to know it. Here is one with it and the 12mm Zeiss Touit. False Color and Black and white (via Silver Efex Pro).




I have had a 665nm converted G1 for 4 or 5 years. Here are a some from it:



















I think that the beauty of the 665nm conversion lies in the fact that you have some color information to use to make adjustments while converting to black and white, along with the obvious ability to use the false colors when desired. You can then just screw on a 772nm or 830nm filter and have those two cut-off points available as well.

I recently read an article that explained how to make a LR preset using Adobe's free DNGProfile editor that eliminates having to use the cameras Proprietary software to "wash" the file in order to set the correct white balance. You can read about that here: Setting White Balance on Infrared Images with Lightroom (with video) | Luminescence of Nature Photography. Now I can just stick to my regular LR workflow, and just add the preset to the files.
 
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Don Libby

Well-known member
Thanks Cindy, I looked at the link and will see if I can't adapt it to PS. Glad the camera went to a good new home; by the way really like the first image.

Don
 

alajuela

Member
Thank you Phil, Did one more this time processed entirely in C1Pro. The only thing I did in PS was crop at 100% and add the watermark. I feel this is the best one.




I feel spending some quality time in C1Pro when using the 830nm filter will get me excellent results.


Don
Hi Don

AGREE!! I really like the "flower" the definition w/o overpowering sharpness.

Best

Phil
 

alajuela

Member


I like this one the best - My opinion is that is great!!. I love the framing and the feeling!!

I would like to mention, I have had a 5D I converted to 680 (+/-) by life pixel, and now a P45+ / full spectrum from CI, and just did a Fuji to full spectrum. On the issue of WB, I played with these settings for a while
DXO - 2148 / -100
ACR = 2000 / -51
C1 = 1808 / -50

Also brought in the files in C1 with B+W turned on and off , my conclusion is playing and setting the WB is an enjoyable part of the image making. Is interesting to chose different parts of the image to get started on the creative journey.

Best

Phil
 
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