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Night- vision IR video on OM-D

Discussion in 'Filmmaking' started by Kadmos, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. Kadmos

    Kadmos Mu-43 Regular

    26
    Oct 4, 2012
    Is it possible? I thought it was called Infra red , but when I searched online most of the links were talking about something else where they were shooting in broad day light not at night, and needed very bright light n high isos to avoid slow shutter speeds...so it was not night vision. Some even used modified cameras, that is in addition to filters such as Hoya R72

    What im refering to is those black n white videos where people have weird tints, similar to videos in documentaries or reality tv shows with ghosts etc.. Can you do that on a micro four thirds camera???

    Thanks for clearing it out :)
     
  2. TDP

    TDP Guest

    A single tube NVG device with threads on the CRT side could be mounted in front of any lens that has a close enough MFD to focus on the CRT itself via a threaded adaptor. Focus would then need to be done at the NVG and not the camera lens itself.
     
  3. Kadmos

    Kadmos Mu-43 Regular

    26
    Oct 4, 2012
    Thanks for the reply. But what is a NVG, night vision gadget? Too many acronyms I do not know :( What is CRT MFD ? Then I noticed u call urself TDP lol
     
  4. tbyork2012

    tbyork2012 Mu-43 Veteran

    213
    Nov 14, 2012
    Oxford, UK
    To shoot infrared (night-vision) photos or video, you will need to remove the internal cut filter from the sensor. The OM-D has very strong magnets for its image stabiliser that it cannot be modded conventionally. The other Olympus M43 cameras can be modded more easily. For night vision, you will need an infrared light source to illuminate the subject being photographed or filmed as well. I've modded the E-PM1 and E-PL5 both of which can shoot Night-vision/IR video or photos.
     
  5. kadamnation

    kadamnation Mu-43 Regular

    125
    Feb 13, 2013
    Boston, MA
    To translate this, the alternative to actually opening up and converting the camera is to use a single-tube Night Vision Goggle device. By mounting this to a lens using a threaded adaptor -- Adaptor screws onto lens like a filter would, and the night vision device screws onto the adaptor -- you can essentially mount a night-vision device onto the front of your lens. In order to do this, however, per TDP it seems you would need a lens that could focus very, very close, so that it can focus on the output screen of the night vision device.

    Essentially the lens is just recording the output of the NVG. As a result, you'd be two steps removed from what you're shooting, not one: Image is taken in by the night vision device, image two is a photo taken of the output from that device.

    So, it sounds like there are two ways to go about it, but you're either going to end up opening up your camera (probably not ideal if you only have one!), or else investing in very custom night-vision gear. Might be easier to just buy a night vision device of some kind that can record images?
     
  6. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    If you have an mZuiko 14-42 you can place the front of the lens up to the eye-piece of the scope and the camera will focus. No need for any special close-focus lens. The 14-42 has a small front element (37mm) which is very good for this application. You may want to look at a generation 1 night vision scope (try to find one with a tripod socket) , they are very cheap and easy to find. You will have to fabricate a mount so as to use the tripod sockets of both the camera and scope. This should be very easy to do.
    Here's a quick hand-held shot using my M5 + mZuiko 14-42 II R + Bushnell Trophy "Dot" scope mounted on a Ruger Mark I target pistol.


     
  7. Kadmos

    Kadmos Mu-43 Regular

    26
    Oct 4, 2012
    You mean I would have to hold an infra red fladh light sort of thing while I shoot?

    Sure looks that way :)

    Interesting photo !! But once again it seems the object with the strongest light reflecting off of it is the only thing to show through, so what's the point? I was under the impression that night vision is meant to reveal objects in the dark which u cannot normally see otherwise, something like what the military uses or night vision spy cams etc..
     
  8. TDP

    TDP Guest

    A bit more info...

    NVG = Night Vision Goggle. Sometimes called by the older generation users as NODs (Night Optical Device). Since I have been out that line of business for quite some time, there is a good chance they call them something new and I am now one of those old geezers. Damn.

    Ok back on target...

    You do not have to have an IR light (or other type of light, more on that later) if there is any ambient light at all, like starlight or moonlight. If you need light to enhance what you are looking at, a specialized IR light will do. You can also modify an existing flashlight with an IR LED (old remotes are a good source of an IR LED), or as done years ago - take new 35mm film, expose it to light and sandwich 2 layers of it between your flashlight lens and the front clear filter. Works like a charm. All of these things will give you an NVG compliant light source, if you need one.

    On the flip side, there is a filter you can buy that will make a flashlight almost invisible to NVGs. It is an odd shade of blue/green.

    So can you indeed rig an NVG in front of a camera and make it work? Yes you can, I was doing it in the early 90s with a Minolta for stills and a freaking huge VHS-tape-using Panasonic video recorder.
     
  9. tbyork2012

    tbyork2012 Mu-43 Veteran

    213
    Nov 14, 2012
    Oxford, UK