Life Pixel Infrared conversion for Olympus cameras

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by bikerhiker, May 20, 2014.

  1. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    I'm increasingly drawn towards infrared photography and I like the color rendition from Life Pixel's Enhanced IR filter conversion. I'm thinking of converting my old Olympus E-PL1 to infrared photography, so my question is. Did anyone here do any sort of infrared photography? And if so, how do you approach it with your camera? Did you convert it with the Life Pixel's internal filter or did you attach a R72 filter in the front?

    Your opinions and thoughts on this matter plus if you can provide some sample photos would be greatly appreciated. Since my E-P5 is now fixed from the shutter shock, I am increasingly using that for normal photography, so I like the E-PL1 to complement it as a IR camera.

    Thank you very much!
     
  2. f6cvalkyrie

    f6cvalkyrie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 12, 2010
    Brussels, Belgium
    Hi,

    I had my "old" Panasonic G1 modified to Full Spectrum at Optik Macario in Germany (I'm living in Belgium, Europe) and I'm very happy with this choice. I select the wavelength of my external filter in function of what I want to shoot (color or B/W) and my mood :))
    Try to avoid an internal filter : it limits your creative possibilities after the modification, and external filters are cheap, readily available from EBay.
    This is a shot from 2 days ago ...

    14220061091_58067f3cd2_h.

    If you have questions, just ask !

    C U
    Rafael
     
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  3. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    699
    Feb 2, 2012
    I don't know how an external filter works. The Life Pixel people remove the filter that is already there to stop infrared rays. Then they put one that filters out visible rays. They have several types. It costs several hundred dollars and is irreversible. It works very well with M43 since regular mirror cameras have to have focus compensation but not M43 which directly focuses on the sensor. I got a GF-3 converted and it works well..I don't see how the add on filter works since the filter already on the sensor stops most of the IR. Fishing-1.JPG
     
  4. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    652
    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Mike
    After playing at B&W IR (720mn) with my unmodified G1, I got a full spectrum converted GF2, Which enables me to fit filters in front of the lens to give any sort of conversion, be it B&W IR, high colour IR, superblue IR, normal visual (with hot mirror before the lens) or hopefully even UV imaging.
    14039546675_1646e5d6a1_c. Mind the cliff! by Analyst 1, on Flickr

    This approach doesn't work so well with a DSLR as many of the filters block all visual light to the OVF µ4/3 with EVF/liveview doesn't have any issues with this.
    NB Unmodified cameras don't work well for colour IR he visual response is orders of magnitude more than the IR.
     
  5. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    652
    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Mike
    The internal filter stops most of the IR but not all of it. Some cameras have enough left to take IR images, though usually only as long exposures.
     
  6. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    That looks cool! Do you mind sharing your insights on how you achieved this? Do I just buy external filters and don't bother with the Life Pixel modification. And if so, what filters should I buy?

    Thank you!
     
  7. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    Wow! This is really good info. So if I modify my E-PL1 and remove the hot filter and swap it with the full spectrum, I can just buy external filters to do any kind of IR photography. Sounds fantastic. Do you mind sharing with me and us what filters I should buy to acheive what effects?

    Thank you.
     
  8. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    652
    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Mike
    I'm still experimenting so I can't give the full run down as yet.
    Generally 720nm or longer wavelength filters are best for high contrast B&W higher wavelengths will get less light, but generally give more contrast.
    Orange & red filters (even yellow) can be used for high colour infra red generally used with a Red-Blue channel swap in post.
    There are a few specials like the 'superblue' which appears to be a Schott BG3 or similar transmit blue and infra red, giving blue skies straight from camera. The BG3 should also transmit UV above ~350nm but with normal lenses you won't see it.
    It should be possible to record UV using a U330 together with a BG38 (a Baader U2 is better but $$$) but only with a lens that lets through enough UV - modern ones generally won't.
    A U330 alone lets through significant IR so can give results a bit like the BG3, but with less blue.
    Using a full sum camera without any external filter will give fairly normal images but with colours muted by longer wavelength infra red, and some colours coming out unexpectedly changed. There are UV/IR blocking filters that should make the response similar to a normal camera - I'm still awaiting one ordered 5 weeks back.
    The more technical filters listed arenot commonly available mounted for photography. They come in 25mm discs, & 50mm squares and you have to arrange your own mounting (I think Edmunds optics do a adapter for the square filters) I use the small ones on a 17mm f/2.8 via a stepping ring...

    Results with non visual photography can be difficult to predict,as you can't see these wavelengths, and the Bayer filter is not designed for this sort of thing. Typically 700-850nm will show more in the red channel, whilst above 850nm all three channels have similar responses. EVFs help here too.

    There is a relatively new forum for IR here - unfortunately the older one folded due to admins loosing interest & spam taking over.
     
  9. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    What will you see in the EVF with these filters? Darkness?

    Barry
     
  10. Evan614

    Evan614 Mu-43 Regular

    109
    May 6, 2014
    BuckeyeState
  11. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    Thanks for the link. I see that Lifepixel today no longer sell the filter for the Olympus cameras plus they just raised the price for the DIY filter to $140 from $95. Wowee!

    It seemed to me that full spectrum is the way to go..
     
  12. beameup

    beameup Mu-43 Regular

    104
    Oct 23, 2013
    Spencer's is the only reputable conversion service that will retain the SSWF (dust removal system).
    The SSWF filter on Olympus will not effect infrared (but it will interfere with ultraviolet transmission).
    Personally I would simply refuse to lose the SSWF to any IR conversion... period!

    http://www.spencerscamera.com/store/store_sub.cfm?Category_ID=1&Sub_Category_ID=1

    PS: They converted my E-510 to 665nm about 2 1/2 years ago.
     
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  13. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    This is getting better guys. Much appreciated. Just reading the site of spencerscamera and am just impressed with the buffet selection of conversions.

    Now it makes me really want to hotrod my E-PL1 with a full spectrum upgrade. I see here they have a heat reduction system for astrophotography. Has anyone done a full spectrum with heat reduction on a 12Mp Oly sensor? Then getting the H-Alpha filter to do astrophotography on top of the IR filters you can choose? I now have 2 fast UWA lenses to do it. I wonder if ISO 6400 will be ok with the hot rodded E-PL1 with the heat reduction and full spectrum conversion. Anyone?
     
  14. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    652
    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Mike
    NO. An OVF would give that, the EVF shows what the sensor sees, with the signal boosted if required to allow composition.
     
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  15. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    Have anyone here has any experience using the services of Kolari Vision -- http://www.kolarivision.com?

    The website has some very useful information and needs for conversion. For example, I can do 590nm conversion and still do other wavelengths by placing a higher cutout IR filter rather than do full spectrum conversion.
     
  16. tosvus

    tosvus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    632
    Jan 4, 2014
    I haven't used their sevices but bought a nice 77mm hotmirror filter from them. Got a full spectrum, cooling modded nex 5n from spencers a few years back that works well.
     
  17. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    How is the cooling mod on the NEX 5n working for you? How much of a noise reduction you get with it and without? I saw they had a Canon 50d modded and showed the astro stuff to be quiet impressive. 50d is similar in ISO performance as my E-PL1.

    Thanks!
     
  18. tosvus

    tosvus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    632
    Jan 4, 2014
    I bought the camera mainly to use for astro photography, but living where I live, the light pollution is bad, and life has gotten in the way so I still haven't been able to really try it out :/ From where I live, I had to keep the exposures short enough that noise was certainly not of any appreciable concern. It does appear to cooling has some positive effect, which I could notice when I tried to use it for video a while back. The Nex 5n is pretty bad at overheating, and it lasted longer than what typical users reported (though I don't remember how much better at this point). Sorry I'm not of much help.
     
  19. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    652
    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Mike
    Yes you can alway put a more restrictive filter in front, but a 590nm will prevent your camera seeing blue (the blue channel will pick up some IR so you could still have things come out blue). Full spectrum allows everything through so gives you the biggest range of options.

    If your only interetsed in doing IR shots then a 590nm might be a good choice, I find having the ability to take normal images a bonus.