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GF1-IR, take 2


Sr. Administrator
Staff member
Just got the GF1 back from Precision (LINK) for the re-work. For the history on this GF1 conversion journey, here is the original post:

So, how did the rework turn out? In a word, I am STOKED!!!

Here is the summary of what was corrected. As it turns out, the dust shaker in the GF1 has added IR block and needed to be removed. Also, it turns out the 665 nm conversion in this camera allows just enough visible light to prevent infinity focus with short focals, like under 16mm. However, if you step up to the 715 nm conversion, then enough additional visible light is trimmed out so all the lenses hit infinity, even the little 7-14 zoom at 7mm! Moreover, at least for my preferences, the 715 conversion generates the perfect balance in a conversion having just enough visible light to generate interesting false-color effects, while maintaing enough pure IR to easily achieve the the typical dramatic, high-contrast B&W result. Finally, this conversion easily allows for creating in-camera WB's that work very well. Oh, and I should mention the camera shows zero signs of being worked on at all, and looks just as new as it did when I sent it to them.

Note also that I have not seen any significant "hot-spotting" with this conversion using the 14-45 kit lens or the 7-14 wide zoom -- another pleasant result!

Here are some example images. First is the "out of camera" as-shot image, using the in-camera created WB and no enhanced adjustments in C1, my preferred raw converter:

Next is the same image, just opened it in Photoshop and adjusted contrast and saturation for a more dramatic out-of-the-camera image:

Here is the same originally processed image with the Red and Blue channels swapped in Photoshop and adjusted for for final contrast:

Next is a quick B&W conversion, also done in Photoshop:

Since that image had limited blue sky, here is a second image with blue sky and green foliage for reference on how it handles those colors. The out of camera colors look similar to the above, just more "color":

Here is the R<>B channel swap false-color:

Late edit, here is the same as above with the sky "normalized" per comments added under the basic swap false-color for easier comparison --- personally I still prefer the straight swap false-color as it seems closer to what I recall IR Ektachrome rendering:

And here is a B&W conversion:

Keep in mind that the above are my first images and I am still learning how to extract the most from them in processing, but I think they certainly show a lot of promise.

In summary, I am really happy with this conversion and the results I am now getting from this revised 715 nm conversion are exactly what I wanted and hoped for, so a big "Thank You!" to Precision Camera!

For more details on Precision Camera's conversions, please visit their website: IR conversion inquiries should go to their email address at [email protected]. This generates a specific form for the IR customers to distinguish them from the many other cameras that come in through the doors every day for other repairs.

Price for conversions is subject to change, but here is the current pricing structure:

Point & Shoot Camera - $179+$6.95 (S&H)
Compact Hybrid Camera - $249+$6.95(S&H)
DSLR Camera - $299+$6.95 (S&H)
Full-Frame DSLR Camera - $349+$6.95 (S&H)

The GF1 falls under the "compact hybrid" category.


Sr. Administrator
Staff member
Thanks guys, I am really happy with the way this turned out. I should add that I'm getting fairly "normal" exposures as well. The light in the second second image above was darker than typical daylight by 2 - 3 stops, and the exposure was 1/400th @ f6.3 at ISO 400, or very close to a regular visible light exposure.


New member
Are you converting to B&W with the original or after you've swapped the red & blue channels?


Thanks for the information, Jack. :)

The samples look good.:thumbup:

Without the dust shaker (a little more focus adjustment must have been possible by about ~0.5mm), how are you going keep the cam dust free?


New member

I have been taking IR photos with a converted G9 going on 4 years. Your IR photos look great. After I upgrade to future m4/3 camera, my G1 will go to the conversion shop and get a 715 filter. Thanks for sharing and working out the problems.



Sr. Administrator
Staff member
Are you converting to B&W with the original or after you've swapped the red & blue channels?
Hi Terry:

I experimented with both, and the bottom line is in Photoshop it really didn't matter -- if I left the image normal, I used the default blue filter, if I swapped, I used yellow filter and the results were virtually identical. However both of the above shots I did after the R<>B swap. With more time, I will develop a standard process, maybe even beginning in C1...


Great improvement after the 715 nm conversion.
I still like the B+W versions more than the false colors.

Thanks for sharing.



New member
Jack.... WOW! This is so timely for me because earlier this evening I had been thinking about what to do with my unused G9 and Canon 30D. Figured I'd sell them and use the proceeds toward a 7mm-14mm lens for my GF1. But the thought of converting one of them to a dedicated IR camera occurred to me also and I decided I would do that with one of them.

THEN, I come across this inspiring thread of yours and I'm really stoked about IR now. But in a quandary as well. SHould I od an IR conversion to the 30D, the G9, or sell them both and use the funds to acquire and convert a second GF1 body? Dang.

Any thoughts anyone on which of these options you would choose?

I can sell the 30D, battery grip, batteries, and zoom lens as separate pieces and net perhaps $600. Sell the G9 with wide angle lens adaptor, lens/accessory hood, and extra batteries for, perhaps, $300? And with that $900 buy a second GF1 body and convert it to IR.

Or keep the 30D or the G9 and convert one of them to IR? (I also have a 5D, a 5DII and bunch of L-glass for my professional work, so losing or converting the 30D and it's lens is no loss to me either way.)

The GF1 is my dedicated travel/off-work camera (along with a ZS3) so if I had a second GF1 IR, that would travel along nicely with my other GF1 gear. If I convert the 30D or the G9, taking one of them along with the GF1 gear on a trip would be less system-ideal, though the functions of the 30D and my lens options for it are superior to the GF1 and the G9.

I'm leaning toward the second GF1 as an IR option, but what would you do?
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New member
Unable to re-edit my last post, so I'll ask here... another possibility would be to acquire an LX3 and have it converted. I've been very impressed with the images I've seen from the LX3 and it's limited focal length doesn't concern me for IR use as I would be mostly interested in the wide angle end of things and an 18mm lens is available for the LX3.

As there are likely some aspects of this consideration that I am not thinking of or aware of, hearing other's thoughts and suggestions would be wonderful. Thanks in advance.

Diane B

New member
That's exciting. Down the road I'll plan to have one of my bodies (likely GF1) converted to IR. Sure will be nicer than lugging my converted old 10D LOL.

I like the conversions also--very nice and we'll look forward to seeing what you end up with for workflow.



Well-known member
Looking very good with the new modified GF1 Jack. Neutrals and blues (skies in particular) tend to be a little cyan or green after the channel switch, but a slight tweak with a hue/sat layer adjustment can give you cleaner neutrals and pure blues.


New member
Unable to re-edit my last post, so I'll ask here... another possibility would be to acquire an LX3 and have it converted.
LX3 is a bad choice, its lens hot spots in IR. Which is too bad, it would make a wonderful compact IR solution otherwise!



New member

I converted my G9 to ir when the G9 was first introduced. I read that you are considering the G9. If you review my photo website (shown below my name) beginning with the third gallery nearly all ir are taken with my converted G9 so you can determine whether the results meet your standards. I have been pleased with the ir results of the G9 when shooting at base ISO (80 or 100--I shot ir at night with a tripod also with good results) -- the zoom lens range is long; the AF works well except in close up Macro and the exposure is generally very good. My gallery location appears below my name. As far as the LX3, Ken indicated above and I recollect reading in one of the various forums, the LX3 lens experiences hot spots when shooting ir.

Good luck with your decision.



Sr. Administrator
Staff member
Thanks guys. I'll answer en-masse...

Color v B&W: The nice thing about the 715 is you can get B&W that is almost identical to the stronger conversions, but can still get false-color if you want it. Given the camera is live view and not SLR, I can also just mount a stronger IR filter for the more dramatic monochrome effect. The other thing to consider is working shutter speeds as the stronger conversion usually slow the camera down an additional 3 stops or so. However, if you KNOW for sure you never want to do false color and want the strongest IR effect possible, then by all means get one of the monochrome conversions.

Converting, GF1 versus older cameras you already own: IMO the one *HUGE* beneit to converting a second GF1 body, is even if you upgrade your regular M4/3rds cameras, you'll have an IR solution that uses the same glass. IMO this is a significant advantage since you don't have to carry around a complete extra system. Ditto batteries if you stay inside the family like G1, GH1, GF1... FInally, it appears the Panny lenses do not hot-spot significantly, at least the kit zoom and the 7-14, and at least with the 715 conversion. You may not be so lucky with another conversion. Finally, experience tells me -- at least for me -- that an IR camera needs to be relatively small to insure it gets carried 100% of the time, and the GF1 with kit lens fits inside a single lens pocket in my MF bag...

My existing conversion color rendition: I agree the sky is a bit cyan, but that is pretty darn close to what I remember Ektachrome IR doing. Of course with some simple tweaking, it will be pretty easy to get a bluer sky. I'll probably create a Photoshop action that sharpens the file for IR, does my channel swap and tosses up layers to tweak H, S, Contrast and adds a B&W overlay.

Oh, and a note on the file and raw processing -- before anybody does this conversion, they should know the camera is a little noisy. The above shots were taken at ISO 400, and I bumped NR settings in C1 up a bit from normal to 25 Lum, 50 Color. So because of that, I also bumped up sharpening by using C1's Soft-Sharpen 1 setting. I am pleased with the overall result, but will likely refine it as I gain experience with the camera.