IR conversion

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Blotzphoto, May 20, 2013.

  1. Blotzphoto

    Blotzphoto Mu-43 Regular

    May 25, 2012
    Lou Doench
    I've decided that I will upgrade to an EP-5 as soon as I can free up the cash and I was wondering what to do with my trusty old ep1 and I found this deal...
    7: Olympus infrared conversion service
    They just dropped the price to $275! has anyone else here had this done?
  2. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    I had a G1 converted, but not by LifePixel. I communicated with them about the conversion and they clearly knew less about what they were doing than Spencer's did. Spencer's seemed to know what specific models of cameras could be converted what way whereas LifePixel just applied the same process to everything without thought. For example, the G1 can have an IR conversion that leaves the dust shaker in place (most m43 cameras can't). LifePixel didn't know this and was going to yank the dust shaker regardless.

    Oh, and Spencer's is $250 for the conversion.

    Spencers Camera & Photo Digital Camera Infrared (IR) Conversions, Modifications and IR Photography :: Welcome

    Now - one thing to consider. If the E-P5 ends up being like the E-M5 (and I suspect it will be nearly identical) then you will actually get pretty darn good results just putting an R72 filter on an unconverted E-P5. Even cheaper! With good high-ISO and the IBIS you will be able to hand hold in daylight with IR. Probably worth trying that out for a bit to see if you like it before spending money on the conversion.
  3. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    I bought an older used Canon that had the full spectrum modification done.

    The difference is with the IR mod you can only do IR pictures...they put a visible light blocking filter in the camera. You can't do normal pictures again.

    With the full spectrum mod there's just glass where the IR blocking finter was. If you want to take IR pictures you need an IR filter on the lens...if you want to do UV pictures put on a UV filter on the lens (not to be confused with a UV blocking filter). If you want to do normal pictures, then put a "hot mirror" filter on the lens (this is the same filter that was removed from the sensor).
  4. RenaudVL

    RenaudVL Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 21, 2011
  5. Swandy

    Swandy Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 15, 2009
    I second Spencer's. Did an IR conversion a few years back of an EPL1 that I had picked up on the cheap - person had gotten an entire kit from work and did not want it and it included the 9-18 that I wanted at that time.
    I thought about the full-spectrum, but did not love the idea of having to carry around all the different filters for different lenses. I wanted the camera for IR shooting only and wanted to conveniently use all my m4/3 lenses without worrying about filters.
  6. blueeyedpop

    blueeyedpop Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 17, 2013
    Agoura Hills, CA
    I spoke with many places, and felt comfortable with spencer's and am quite happy. In a past career, I was a lens tech, so I am very versed in what the technical aspects are, and was able to communicate on this level with Spencer's, but not other companies.
  7. Swandy

    Swandy Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 15, 2009
    I also used Spencer's - on an EPL1 - and was very happy.
    And while the full spectrum was interesting - I did not like the idea of having to constantly use filters on all my lenses whether I wanted IR or normal shots. Felt it defeated the idea of the conversion for me but do understand why some people would like it.
  8. blueeyedpop

    blueeyedpop Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 17, 2013
    Agoura Hills, CA
    Hot Tip:
    Colored filters will also block IR, but lighting gells will not. Using gells therefore gives some interesting opportunities. A green gell will pass IR and green, for example.

    No specific examples, but when I was converting point n shoots as a sideline, I did a lot of work with colored gells.
    infrared - a set on Flickr
    None in this set are olympus, but most if not all are done on a full spectrum camera.

    If you like the "typical" IR look, then yes, go with an internal filter for convenience, but I personally like the choice of having a variety different IR options.

    There is a pronounced difference shooting with an R72 vs an 87C and shooting a full spectrum camera allows you to do just so.

    fisheye lenses can be gelled on the rear with Kodak wratten gelatin IR filter, I have not had sharpness issues to date, though I don't have a lot of experience with this method.

    When shooting full spectrum, shoot raw, and convert to LAB or YCC in photoshop. Play with the levels of the chrominance channels for neat effect.

    I have not done this yet with my pen, my only examples to date are shot with an R72 and an unknown which I suspect is an 87C.
  9. blueeyedpop

    blueeyedpop Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 17, 2013
    Agoura Hills, CA
    another hot tip, if you buy filters for your largest lens, and step up to it for your other lenses. If you dedicate yourself to a lens, then go compact.

    I have a few 72mm, but bought 52 for all my u4/3 needs, and step ups from 37mm and 46 mm up to 52mm.

    I keep skylight filters in place for my general disposable lens cap needs, and just drop on my IR when needed.
  10. RenaudVL

    RenaudVL Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    Here's a test I did with my OMD with and without a Hoya R72 filter....



    Sharpness is not as good as my modified E-PL3

    Attached Files:

  11. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Nice shots Renaud.
    It looks to me as if the sharpness may be down to a longer exposure and movement in the wind rather than anything more serious.
    The closest leaves on the tree have a significant blur whilst leaf free twigs in the foreground look fairly sharp.

    Am I right in thinking the IR shot had a noticably longer exposure?
  12. Swandy

    Swandy Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 15, 2009
    Some samples - EPL1 converted by Spencers - non-Full Spectrum.
    Even though I generally prefer the "normal" B&W IR look, the ability to use the RAW files to create pseudo colorized versions is cool also.
  13. RenaudVL

    RenaudVL Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    Thanks Mike,
    Yes, just looked at the exif and one is at 1/2000 and the other 1/1.3
    Good call, yup lack of sharpness probably due to exposure time, it was handheld...
  14. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    I had an E-P2 modded to 655nm by Precision Camera for ~$215
  15. blueeyedpop

    blueeyedpop Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 17, 2013
    Agoura Hills, CA
  16. SZRimaging

    SZRimaging Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 16, 2011
    Has anoyne tried a darker (I think it's R92, I would have to check) filter on an unmodified E-M5? Otherwise I am going to pick up and modify an EPL1.
  17. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 27, 2011
    Oak Harbor, WA
    As I'm looking to upgrade my GX1 to a GX7 soon, I was considering having this done to my GX1 since it's resale value is pretty much non-existent. But I'm torn on what type of conversion to have done. Right now I'm leaning towards the Standard Color IR Filter (720nm)...