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02-25-2009, 08:43 AM   #1
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*istD IR conversion

Hi there, in the process of getting my istD converted to IR. Does anyone have any good hints / tricks / advice that can aide me in this new approach.

I already know about talking a custom white ballance before shooting but any other nuggets would be gratefully recieved.

Getting the conversion done at Advanced Camera Services Advanced Camera Services here in the UK.

PS this thread also in DSLR Forum as I placed there by mistake.

02-26-2009, 11:36 PM   #2
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If you have the kit lens, then you are all set. I've found that is one of my best lens on my converted IR only *st ds. I actually haven't tried out a lot of different lenses but I have been pleased with the performance with the kit lens. I've also found that on my *st ds, it is best to shoot full manual around f 5.6. Please post some of your photos and let us know how you like your new converted IR cam when you have a chance to give it a run.
02-27-2009, 04:59 AM   #3
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Original Poster
Yes, I plan to use the 18-55mm MkI kit lens I got with my K10D as any lack of sharpness will add to the overall 'etherial' effect I see in my head.

Whether I can get the effect out of my head onto the paper / screen is a different question of course.

Thanks for the advice, when I get something done I will post it.

Is it better to put any pics in the galery or in a thread?

03-27-2009, 01:07 AM   #4
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Hi, new on the forum and this infrared thread caught my attention so I'm making my first post here. Sharing my experience with IR may prove useful here.

I have an un-modified *istD but I use it to shoot B/W infrared. (I don't want it modified, I don't really like the look of color IR that much and I can still use it as a "normal" camera.) I used to work with IR film back in the day so I'm partial to the look of traditional B/W IR.

With an R72 filter on the *istD the camera still meters accurately and autofocus works fine. That's a good thing since you can't see anything through that filter. I typically use the filter on my 18-35 for landscapes and set aperture between 11 and 16. I shoot RAW at ISO 200 and use aperture priority mode for this work instead of manual, which is my normal shooting mode. I also normally prefer manually focusing but it's impossible when you can't see through the filter.

With the filter off I compose the scene with the camera on a tripod. After the composition is good I attach the filter. It's imortant at this point to activate the autofocus because even if it was in focus without the filter the autofocus will now refocus correctly at the longer wavelength of the IR light. (Does anyone remember using the IR shift indicator on manual focus lenses back in the good ol' days? Nice that the autofocus takes care of that now.)

The other important thing to remember at this point is that the camera will also meter at this time if the autofocus is activated via the shutter button. I don't have my eye to the viewfinder because I can't see anything in there anyway with that virtually black filter attached but stray light will get in there and cause big metering errors if it isn't covered up. I use the eyepiece cover that came with camera. If I don't have that with me then I very gently place my thumb over the eyepiece during the metering and exposure.

Depending on the brightness of the scene the exposures generally vary from 1 to 6 seconds long. The resulting RAW image is actually black and red, black being the darkest elements in the scene and red representing the middle and bright tones. If I see any white in the preview image then I know the white areas are overexposed and I dial in a bit of EV compensation if necessary. (Doesn't happen that often though.)

I take the black and red image and desaturate when post-processing to render the resulting B/W image. When desaturated the images typically need a bit of exposure boost to look right. I then tweak the image to taste as I would any other.

As I said I personally like the look of B/W IR and using this method with the *istD means no camera mod is necessary and when the filter comes off I'm shooting normally again. This doesn't work on my K10D though because of the IR filtration on it's sensor. I have accidentally screwed the filter on when using that body and then stood there scratching my head for a minute wondering why it wouldn't work.

A portfolio of my *istD IR images is here: Portfolio


03-29-2009, 06:17 PM   #5
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Jim, wonderful website...your IR works..most IR is a bore but you've used it to good effect...everything else is beautiful...most remarkably, your event photography is actually interesting :-)

Excellent site design. What software/webmaster or other resources?

Incidentally, that's the best photography of the Corrales graveyard I've seen yet.

Janosh/Albuquerque :-)
03-29-2009, 10:05 PM   #6
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Moved to post processing section.
03-29-2009, 10:09 PM   #7
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The double advantage of converting your DSLR (assuming first that you have a 'spare' one sitting around to give-over to IR) is that with the IR-blocking filter removed you can 1) hand-hold many/most shots and 2) you can focus/meter through the the lens. Both of these are huge advantages (in my mind). I have found that the larger the aperature (f2.8-f11) will generally prevent hot spots (see my thread elsewhere). I typically shoot aperature priority with EV+1.5 (or so). Finally, I now convert the images to B&W via Nik Silver Efex Pro, but there are many other ways and tools to do the same. I have a short photostream on Flickr that I shot after having my *istDS coverted: Stone Visages - a set on Flickr as well as another larger all-IR stream that features this camera and other digital IR cameras: In a Different Light: Infrared Images of UT's West Desert - a set on Flickr

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