Anyone use their Pen-F with an IR filter?

Mack

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I did the preliminary test with a TV remote control where one fires the IR LD remote into the camera and if you see the red flash, it should be able to recognize IR. The Pen-F easily passes that test.

However, when I put a Wratten 87C (Strong 770nm IR) filter over the lens, the noise goes up through the roof into grain as the exposure draws out to seconds. I can see a faint image on the LCD in red which is normal I guess, but the image is way too dark and noisy. RawDigger says I still need more exposure, but that comes later since I'm hand-holding the gelatin filter - and not well either.

Focus is another issue since the 25mm f/1.8 I was using has no focus/distance scale on it so its pretty much a crap-shoot to focus the thing. Older MF lenses had that red mark to do it manually. Plus, focus has to be done in MF mode since AF does nto work being it is just too dark and bordering opaque to naked eye.

As to the filter, I held it to the front of the lens, but any light leak and it flares out badly. I was shocked at how much the filter costs now >$150 and it was already cut for use with some flash unit I must have made into a trigger for optical studio units in tha past before radio triggers. I didn't want to cut it further so I ordered some cheap Amazon IR filter ( Like this: https://www.amazon.com/GREEN-L-IR-I...keywords=49mm+ir+filter&qid=1609867265&sr=8-4 ) as I have step-up rings for sundry Olympus lenses. I figure if the Pen-F fails, that filter is going onto the old 5.2 MP Minolta Dimage 7 camera and its lens that takes 49mm filters.

Side note, surprised to see the Pen-F takes so long for an exposure (seconds) where the Diamage 7 can shoot around 1/15 second in sunlight with same ISO 200 on both. Only thing I can think of is the cover fitler on the sensor being different. Another matter is the awful noise the Pen-F shows given the long exposure time against the Diamge 7 shorter time. Maybe this can be fixed in post or maybe a stacked image with a black shot. Dunno.

White balance is another matter. Some say you can do it manually in camera so the preliminary image isn't so red and more neutral. I hoped the Pen-F might do that better as the LCD/EVF in the old Minolta Dimage 7 is really bad for color determination or WB, but it's an old 20 year old camera.
 

PakkyT

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Plus, focus has to be done in MF mode since AF does nto work being it is just too dark and bordering opaque to naked eye.

If shooting on a tripod the solution is to focus first without the IR filter, then switch to MF mode so the focus doesn't change, put the filter back on, & then take the shot.
 

Mack

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If shooting on a tripod the solution is to focus first without the IR filter, then switch to MF mode so the focus doesn't change, put the filter back on, & then take the shot.

My understanding is you cannot do that as the focus shifts using an IR filter, and why the IR index mark is on some lenses. With that mark, you can focus normally in MF, put the filter on, and rotate the lens to that IR mark and it should be in focus. But, yeah, I think a tripod may be called for due to slow speeds.

Never shot IR before, film or digital, so this is all new to me. I will check out the https://www.wrotniak.net/photo/m43/em1.2-ir.html link mentioned as it seems relevant to the E-M1 Mark II which should be much like the Pen-F ... maybe. The extra color wheel controls in the Pen-F should make it more useful ... again, maybe.
 

43parallel

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don't have enough sunlight - bright direct sunlight right now, and forecast not great for next days...but I will try it later - F8 and forget it - the shift is somewhat substantial but if not wide open and with a critical focus point, then as long as infinity symbol on lens is within selected aperture focal range it might work...
I shot with a full spectrum dedicated 40D and with filters only with a M8. Not sure if it will work on the Pen, even in monochrom mode
 

Mack

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There's some more IR info on rhe Andrzej Wrotniak's website with regards to focusing. Lots more info too at this link: https://www.wrotniak.net/photo/infrared/index.html

He has one to play with and I used Exposure X6 to create the one below. I've been trying to get a dark sky with the Pen-F filters but never succeeded in getting it dark. The IR should help. Can't wait to see what sort of IR filter the Amazon one is given the IR densities on his page show differing results may be possible.

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Mack

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The Green L. IR filter showed up from Amazon link above.

Surprised to see it does work on the Pen-F and even the yellow focus-peaking in Manual focus was working given its strong density (Barely see through it with eye), but shows up on LCD as red image. Focus with the Dimage 7 is much harder with its poor EVF and lack of focus peaking.

My quick comparison between the old Minolta Dimage 7 and the Pen-F shows the Pen-F has more contrast where the Dimage 7 appears flatter. The filter factor is about -4 stops on the Dimage 7, and the Pen-F takes about -7.7 stops. The IR in the Pen-F on sensor may be stronger and accounts for the difference.

I suppose one could hand-hold the Pen-F with IS turned on as I shot some at ISO 200 at f/3.5 on the 12mm at 1/4 second. The Dimage 7 I shot at ISO 100 (Base) at f/3.5 at 1/30 second. Both off tripod. It was a hazy overcast sky here so on a sunny day it might be a lot better (i.e. Faster speeds.) and blacker skies too.

As to the red image, there are some B&W presets in the DxO FilmPack 5 software that can make editing easier. One is the Kodak HIE (High Speed IR) preset which might fit the scene. Many other B&W preset looks in it too.

Now to go find some decent landscapes to shoot with a blue sky.
 

bargainguy

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Regarding your Dimage, one thing I've found from working with IR cameras is that each camera / sensor combo is vastly different in terms of IR sensitivity. Each has a different color palette as well, though sometimes the differences are subtle.

Back in the early digicam days, the Nikon Coolpix 990 and the Olympus C-20xx were the first cameras which allowed something approaching normal shutter speeds with an IR filter in front of the lens, as opposed to IR camera conversion - replacing the low-pass filter that sits in front of the sensor with a 25 / deep red or similar and using no filter on the lens.

Before I started having DSLRs converted to IR, that's what I used. Amazing what we could do with the small MP counts back then.
 

Mack

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Took the Dimage 7 5.2 MP to an old tire shop and shot by natural light. Had to rest camera on things since speeds were in seconds. RAW done in Exposure X6 with some presets from DxO Film Pack. Images: Black & White. Sepia toned. Color. Distances were guessed in MF mode since LCD is just too dark so B&W one is off more. The Pen-F should do better with focus since I can see Yellow Peaking around bright objects in MF, but exposure times will really be much slower if I try it.

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PakkyT

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Ya indoor IR shooting can be tough depending on the type of lighting. Many light types may not have much near IR wavelength in them so two different lighting types, both of which look equally bright to our eyes, may be very different in brightness in the near IR wavelengths with one being very dark and one not so dark to an IR photo.

Have you tried experimenting with adding some flash to your indoor IR shots? A camera flashes usually have a lot of IR in them.
 

Erich_H

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Took the Dimage 7 5.2 MP to an old tire shop and shot by natural light. Had to rest camera on things since speeds were in seconds. RAW done in Exposure X6 with some presets from DxO Film Pack. Images: Black & White. Sepia toned. Color. Distances were guessed in MF mode since LCD is just too dark so B&W one is off more. The Pen-F should do better with focus since I can see Yellow Peaking around bright objects in MF, but exposure times will really be much slower if I try it.

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Thanks! This may have prompted me to pull my old DiMage 5 out of retirement!
 

PakkyT

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Thanks! This may have prompted me to pull my old DiMage 5 out of retirement!

One great advantage of these old cameras is since they all used AA batteries it is very easy to pull them out for a try many years later. With later Li-ION battery models, pulling an old one out of the drawer is hit or miss if the battery is still any good and if it isn't, is it worth it (even for a cheaper 3rd party one) to buy a new battery for it just to try it out for something? This is the situation with me and my old C-2020Z (AA batteries; can still use it anytime I want) and C-770UZ (proprietary Oly Li-Ion battery which no longer works).
 

Mack

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Ya indoor IR shooting can be tough depending on the type of lighting. Many light types may not have much near IR wavelength in them so two different lighting types, both of which look equally bright to our eyes, may be very different in brightness in the near IR wavelengths with one being very dark and one not so dark to an IR photo.

Have you tried experimenting with adding some flash to your indoor IR shots? A camera flashes usually have a lot of IR in them.

Thanks for the idea on the flash! :thumbup:

Somewhere in my junk I have a flash that shoots only IR, and it may be some DIY thing since I found an old Wratten 87C gelatin that I cut out a square from when I began playing with this IR thing. I think it was a trigger for my optical studio strobes prior to radio triggers or used to cut down an extra unwanted eye catch-light. The Minolta has some odd hot shoe that needs an adapter (Something like a Sony grippy-type clamp. I think maybe a $11 FD-1100 adapter on an eBay hunt fits it.). I just found an old Minolta flash that has the hot shoe clamp for the thing so I'll give it a try.

I need to take the Pen-F out today for a spin in IR outdoors if the sky clears. I'll take a mini tripod just in case as I know it takes longer for exposures, but I have faster glass (A f/1.2 Pro, several f/1.8, and a base ISO 200 too.) than the f/3.5 Minolta lens on the Dimage 7 so I may not need it.

The Andrzej Wrotniack web IR article above mentions trying to minimize the red look by using the WB. Haven't gotten that far, but the Pen-F has far more color tuning controls so maybe play with those in IR.

Plus, the Pen-F has a bright (stands out) yellow "focus peaking" in MF if a bright object is in the reddish LCD screen. Dunno about AF though. Focusing the Dimaage 7 is a guesstimate at best.

Life still in this archaic stuff - and it's fun to play with it during this virus mess.
 

Mack

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One great advantage of these old cameras is since they all used AA batteries it is very easy to pull them out for a try many years later. With later Li-ION battery models, pulling an old one out of the drawer is hit or miss if the battery is still any good and if it isn't, is it worth it (even for a cheaper 3rd party one) to buy a new battery for it just to try it out for something? This is the situation with me and my old C-2020Z (AA batteries; can still use it anytime I want) and C-770UZ (proprietary Oly Li-Ion battery which no longer works).

Yep. I have some Minolta film camera that has an odd-shaped disposable cartridge battery that is no longer found. Camera is pretty much junk unless one could hard-wire it for power somehow. Shame.

I found an old Vivitar flash that uses AA batteries and it still fires up too having sat since maybe 1970. Trigger voltage may be high at its hot shoe though, but haven't checked it for that. It fires on my old Pentax Spotmatic college camera but unsure of using it on an electronic camera's innards (Smoke!).

The AA battery thing is what led me to buy the Godox TT685 flashes verses their Lithium-Ion ones. Didn't know how long Godox may make a battery for them should they move onto to something else (Shades of Sony moving on leaving old gear behind.). I have some Craftsman tools and their Ni-Cad rechargeable batteries are also hard to find - and if I find them, they cost as much as what I paid for the tool.
 

PakkyT

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Somewhere in my junk I have a flash that shoots only IR, and it may be some DIY thing since I found an old Wratten 87C gelatin that I cut out a square from when I began playing with this IR thing.

Any flash should work, it doesn't need to be a special IR version or needing an IR filter on the output. The IR filter on the camera will filter out the more visible light from the flash. The only time I have heard people using an IR filter on the their flash for IR photography that was a cool idea was making the flash invisible to other humans so you could shoot IR flash photography and not have people noticing the flash going off. But if it is just you I don’t know if using an IR filter on the flash gets you anything. On the other hand, since you already have the filter cut for the flash, you can always try the flash with and without the filter and let us know if it makes any difference or not.


The Andrzej Wrotniack web IR article above mentions trying to minimize the red look by using the WB.

Yes, while I shoot RAW and could change the WB afterwords, my IR camera I have the WB set to a custom white balance to get my 90% of where I usually want to be for my IR shooting. In IR things like grass and tree foliage are “white” so a patch of grass is a good place to meter a custom WB and save the setting if you want your photos to look less red, especially if the Dimage doesn’t do RAW.


The AA battery thing is what led me to buy the Godox TT685 flashes verses their Lithium-Ion ones. Didn't know how long Godox may make a battery for them should they move onto to something else

I wish, like most other battery types in the world, the industry would start to standardize packing for Li-Ion batteries. At least for more generic applications where there are a few standard “bricks” that can be interchanged in generic things like flashes, camera bodies, portable scanner, hand tools, etc.
 

Erich_H

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Just pulled out the filter. The camera's been sitting there since I don't know when.

It was my first "real" digital camera, to boot!

I was so proud of the 7x optical zoom. At least until my brother @AJ68 smacked me with the Sony FD-91 with 14x optical zoom. Sometimes I just hate him!

Of course I have the original box in the cupboard. And I also, now, have the FD-91! Hah!

And, I do have a Sigma flash with the stupid Minolta flash connector!

So, where's the batteries and a blue sky, then?
 
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However, when I put a Wratten 87C (Strong 770nm IR) filter over the lens, the noise goes up through the roof into grain as the exposure draws out to seconds. I can see a faint image on the LCD in red which is normal I guess, but the image is way too dark and noisy. RawDigger says I still need more exposure, but that comes later since I'm hand-holding the gelatin filter - and not well either.

Side note, surprised to see the Pen-F takes so long for an exposure (seconds) where the Diamage 7 can shoot around 1/15 second in sunlight with same ISO 200 on both. Only thing I can think of is the cover fitler on the sensor being different. Another matter is the awful noise the Pen-F shows given the long exposure time against the Diamge 7 shorter time. Maybe this can be fixed in post or maybe a stacked image with a black shot. Dunno.

White balance is another matter. Some say you can do it manually in camera so the preliminary image isn't so red and more neutral. I hoped the Pen-F might do that better as the LCD/EVF in the old Minolta Dimage 7 is really bad for color determination or WB, but it's an old 20 year old camera.

Part of your problems might be the 770nm filter. I put my 14-150 w/ a 720nm filter on the Pen F and got 1/6" at f4 on a dull gray cloudy winter day. You can set the WB as low as 2000K using the custom WB setting, which makes the image less red.
 

Mack

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View attachment 867535

Just pulled out the filter. The camera's been sitting there since I don't know when.

It was my first "real" digital camera, to boot!

I was so proud of the 7x optical zoom. At least until my brother @AJ68 smacked me with the Sony FD-91 with 14x optical zoom. Sometimes I just hate him!

Of course I have the original box in the cupboard. And I also, now, have the FD-91! Hah!

And, I do have a Sigma flash with the stupid Minolta flash connector!

So, where's the batteries and a blue sky, then?
Cool! :2thumbs:

The 5 has more telephoto reach than the 7 model. I think only difference is the 5 is 3.3 MP and the 7 is 5.2 MP. Lens may be the same 7x but maybe just the sensor size is different. Supposedly we are only using one-quarter of the CCD (Bayer?) sensor though, but it still works albeit noisy.

I saw the Green L. IR filter comes in either a 720 nm or a 790 nm version. Mine is the 720 which I suspect passes more visible light so exposure is faster but things like darker blue sky or maybe greens are less impacted than the 790 nm version. I can barely see through the 720, and if the 790 is close to the Wratten 87C it would be almost impossible to see through it by eye. Cheap filter though at $16 and surprised Amazon shipped it fast (3 days).

I also bought a Verbatim 2 GB CompactFlash (Maximum size FAT only format card.) and it holds 51 photos in Minolta RAW/MRW. DxO Photolab does not support any Minolta cameras, but Exposure X6 does do the Minolta RAW/MRW thing well and one could set up a Preset to assign to the IR files it makes.

Aside, I did do a quick EV range of the Dimage 7 with the Sekonic Exposure II test card and their software and it is only about 7.5 stops worth as normally used, not IR. However, the IR images are very flat so there is something there to work with. Pen-F is more contrasty in IR too me, but will find out if fog ever clears today. The Pen-F seems to have a stop or so more on the highlight end, it clips less than the Dimage, imho.

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Forgot, that old vented lens hood on your Dimage 5 is making a comeback too. My drone's camera has it to keep the wind from knocking it around in flight. I also see it appearing on some gimbal cameras too where wind can slap the normal hoods around without being vented.


Enjoy!
 
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Mack

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Time to try out Pen-F with the IR filter.

Went outside to lake and found the Pen-F would Auto-Focus with the 12mm f/2.0 lens with little issue other than a bit slow. Surprising given the IR filter being nearly opaque, but sun came out too. I left the camera's meter at normal to figure out the exposure since it needs post-processing to get rid of the red IR cast in the RAW file. Exposure through the filter seemed to average around ISO 200, 1/6 second hand-held with IBIS ON, f/2.0.

I used Olympus Workspace to do the post processing. The 12mm exhibits some vignetting wide open so figured the OEM software would help with that matter. It took a lot of work playing with it and I came up with a nice batch file to do all the images, but the program would not save the batch file. Kept throwing up a "Failed to Save File" warning for some reason. I don't use it much so something on my end perhaps. What I've learned is the IR takes on some serious post work to get them to look good. They (IR filted images) seem to punch through the distant haze by the mountains too, imho.

Once I came up with the TIFF file out of Workspace, I ran the B&W through Topaz Denoise AI v2.3.6 in the DeNoise AI & Settings pane set as follows: Remove Noise 100. Enhance Sharpness 50. Post-Processing: Recover Original Detail 10. Color Noise Reduction 100 (It's B&W anyway.).

So far they look pretty good to my eye in original TIFFs. The Olympus 12mm seemed really sharp given I used AF to shoot everything today through the filter.

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However, I do not seem to get the white leaves in trees that some IR photos show. Could be I need something stronger than a 720nm IR filter, or some other trick in post-processing. Don't know. Maybe something over 800-900nm might be better for that, albeit a really long exposure. I just ordered the Neweer set of four IR filters that go up in strength so I'll find out (These: https://www.amazon.com/Neewer-Pieces-Infrared-X-Ray-Filter/dp/B015XMSUB0/ref=sr_1_3?crid=H0CBXIBHQIGD&dchild=1&keywords=ir+filter+52mm&qid=1610164668&sprefix=IR+filters+52mm,aps,365&sr=8-3 ).
 

kbouk

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Try RAW + JPEG and use the monochrome profiles on your PenF to see the B+W effect on the LCD/EVF and make some changes with WB and other Penf tools (vignett, Noise etc...) You will catch also the Red IR RAW file. There is also a mono IR profile on Penf (I think by memory mono3).
To maximize the IR effect you have to see it on the field through the EVF trying different angles to catch IR light.
If you like IR Photography you can convert an old Olympus model to IR full spectrum or 590nm and use all kind of filters above with your lens. The main advantage is you can use the camera with faster shutter speeds without the AA filter.
Not all lenses are good for IR photography. I think mzuiko 12mm/2 sometimes will give you hot spot.
I have a full spectrum IR G3 and an EM1 converted to 590nm IR.
 

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