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Panasonic Cameras and Infrared Photography, anyone had any success?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Paul80, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. Paul80

    Paul80 Mu-43 Veteran

    254
    Jul 6, 2014
    Hi all

    As subject realy

    Anyone had any luck using their unmodified LUMIX camera for infrared photography

    If yes, what's your technique and what filter did you use.

    I have 3 cameras, G5, G6 & GX7 and all show some IR sensitivity using the IR remote trick, but today my filter arrived and a quick test just resulted in an almost black image, even shooting wide open for 60 seconds and almost nothing was recorded.

    So either the inbuilt IR blocking filter is doing too good a job or I am doing something wrong.

    Anyone getting acceptable results, how do you do it.

    Thanks for any help with this

    Paul
     
  2. ex machina

    ex machina Mu-43 Top Veteran

    805
    Jan 3, 2014
    Northern Virgnia
    You need to shoot in bright sunlight in order to pull off IR shots using a filter and an unmodified camera. Here are some test shots I took with my GX7 and a R72 720nm filter:

    13933392771_cc9d14bdb9_b.
    Infrared Falls: VA
    by lewisfrancis, on Flickr

    13919098496_960e49c191_b.
    Infrared Falls: MD
    by lewisfrancis, on Flickr

    I had a hard time composing since most of the human-visible light is blocked, ended up increasing the EVF's sensitivity as the LCD was not usable. I think I might have ended up taking off the filter for a few shots and reattaching it before exposure, but can't remember if any of the photos in this set were done that way. You are supposed to set a custom white balance for this technique, but this was my first time and I didn't know that. Now that it's warming up again I'm looking forward to giving it another shot. Hope this helps.
     
  3. ex machina

    ex machina Mu-43 Top Veteran

    805
    Jan 3, 2014
    Northern Virgnia
  4. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    Can I ask a stupid question relative to ir photography? Why is it done? Just to create the look (which can be very cool), or is there something it allows you to capture above what is revealed in visible spectrum?

    Thanks.
     
  5. ex machina

    ex machina Mu-43 Top Veteran

    805
    Jan 3, 2014
    Northern Virgnia
    I suppose it could be both, but I was interested in the otherworldly look it can provide. Your question does have me thinking now about shooting the house next winter to see if I can detect heat leaks. ;)
     
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  6. Evan614

    Evan614 Mu-43 Regular

    109
    May 6, 2014
    BuckeyeState
    answer: both

    Photo is unedited (except for shrink down for web) IR_zpsjz4usvff.
     
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  7. Evan614

    Evan614 Mu-43 Regular

    109
    May 6, 2014
    BuckeyeState
    IR photography is not thermal. Just certain spectrum of light is filtered out to achieve an image. (and certain spectrum of light is not filtered)
    FLIR has a cheap solution for iPhones and android 'soon' (not sure if it's on thre market yet) for thermal.
     
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  8. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    thanks guys
     
  9. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    651
    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Mike
    I do most of my IR with a converted Panasonic, but have used unmodified models too.
    Last month I got a good 30s telephoto shot with the G5 - it's high time I got that shot on-line!

    Update Finally got it online:
    16951302778_43df6b4302. Distant London EyeR by Analyst 1, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2015
  10. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    651
    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Mike
    Definitely both. IR can also have many effects beyond the best known ones.
    With landscapes IR will get the classic Woods effect with foliage becoming very bright and often makes clouds more visible.
    In portraiture IR penetrates the skin slightly which can drastically improve complexion, or show veins...
    In forensic uses it can identify forgeries/modifications or sometimes make unreadable documents legible...
     
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  11. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    651
    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Mike
    'IR photography' is actually NIR (Near infra red) it does see heat but only when things are rather hot!
    I recently took an NIR image of our kitchen hob once it had cooled enough to no longer be visibly glowing (probably still hot enough to burn you):
    16343370564_083e477c09. hob shot by Analyst 1, on Flickr
    The LHS is see through a IR/UV blocking filter, RHS is with NIR & visible.

    Normal 'Thermal' images are done with MUCH lower temperatures, and require wavelengths that the silicon sensor in digital cameras is actually transparent to. IIRC thermal sensors use gallium arsenide instead of silicon for the sensor.
     
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  12. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Another easier and less expensive way to get acquainted with IR photography is to use one of Panasonic's "FZ" series cameras. They are available (used) for very low prices and the modification procedure is much easier. After the IR cut filter is removed, you'll be able to shoot at speeds that are comprable to regular visible light photography. Here's one shot I took using an FZ60 and an R72 filter.

    7850803014_4494d85597_b. FZ60 IR_01 by Wasabi Bob, on Flickr
     
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  13. Paul80

    Paul80 Mu-43 Veteran

    254
    Jul 6, 2014
    Well yesterday the weather was to try out my GX7 and Infrared filter, a glorious blue sky, and sunlight on the leaves of the trees.

    Set my camera up on the tripod, set manual focus and manual exposure, lens set to f8, filter inserted in the Cokin Holder and first exposure made.

    result, nothing, totally black image, so started extending the time, started at 15 seconds, then 30 seconds then 60 and finally started to get an image, trouble was it was an image of the reflection of the lens in the rear of the filter with a feint image of the subject in the middle of that.

    So lesson one, don't bother with the Cokin type IR Filter as too much light leaks around the back of it during very long exposures.

    Just ordered a screw in IR filter to fit directly to the lens to resolve that problem and will try again in a few days when it arrives, if the weather is still here that is.

    Paul
     
  14. ManofKent

    ManofKent Hopefully still learning

    789
    Dec 26, 2014
    Faversham, Kent, UK
    Richard
    Has anyone had a GM1 converted? Any feedback on UK/European conversion companies?

    Thanks.
     
  15. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Converting any of the "G" series cameras is a very tricky project. For starters, there are actually two IR cut filters. The first one is virtually fused to the image sensor. You would need to disassemble the entire mount box assembly and have the resources to separate it from the sensor. One company in NJ was able to do it for certain cameras, but destroyed several sensors in the process.

    The second filter is the greenish-blue filter you see when you remove the lens. It's also an IR cut filter and serves as the auto cleaning device for the sensor. If you remove it you cause an error message to occur each time you power the camera on. There is a way to simulate the filter and avoid the error message. All of the companies I've seen that do these conversions only remove this filter. So while you increase the IR sensitivity, you are only increasing it by a fractional amount compared to removing both filters.

    The other issue is that once you disassemble the mount box, it needs to be realigned so that the sensor face is perfectly parallel to the rear of the lens. I'm told that is done by a laser assisted jig when the camera is manufactured. If it's not realigned properly the edge sharpness will be off and inconsistent. I suspect this is why these assemblies are replaced rather than repaired.
     
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  16. ManofKent

    ManofKent Hopefully still learning

    789
    Dec 26, 2014
    Faversham, Kent, UK
    Richard
    Much appreciated - having added a GX7 to my armoury, converting one of the two GM1's seemed a comparatively inexpensive option to dabble, but it sounds like I might be better off looking at other options.
     
  17. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 Veteran

    498
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oak Harbor, WA
    I was also considering converting my GM1 later down the road once it's in need of an upgrade. It's really tiny, and wouldn't add any extra space/weight to throw into a kit so that you could also play around with IR while you're out shooting. Thought it would be perfect for that... I didn't realize there were problems converting them, bah.
     
  18. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    836
    Feb 29, 2012
    I started with my GH1 which is more IR sensitive than most, and I could shoot handheld with ISO 3200 in daylight using the EVF to frame.

    Now I use a converted Oly E-PL3.
     
  19. ManofKent

    ManofKent Hopefully still learning

    789
    Dec 26, 2014
    Faversham, Kent, UK
    Richard
    I've contacted a few companies to see if they can convert a GM1, and had positive responses back so I might take a chance as I'm only using one of the GM1s since I picked up a GX7. If anyone has had horror stories with conversion companies I'd appreciate an off-thread pm (recommendations also welcome).
     
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  20. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 Veteran

    498
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Please post an update once you go through with it, I'm a bit away still from needing to upgrade my GM1, but it really feels like this is the perfect camera body to convert.