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02-22-2013, 12:19 AM   #1
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Thermal imaging

Hi Im new to the forum, I have not yet bought a camera and have a question that i hope some here can answer. I am looking for a camera/lens to take thermal imaging pics ... I own an energy consultant company and would love to take pics of energy.

My question is

does Pentax make a thermal imaging lens? If so where can I buy one at? if not does anyone have any suggestions as to who makes a thermal lens? All recommendations or suggestions are welcome.

Thank you all in advance
Sarah

02-22-2013, 12:36 AM   #2
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I don't believe Pentax has any thermal imaging products, but they do have a camera that's designed specifically for high-resolution infrared photography, if that's what you're after:
Pentax 645D IR - Pentax Medium Format DSLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

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02-22-2013, 01:14 AM   #3
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If you are an energy consultant, wouldn't a dedicated tool such as a Fluke thermal imager http://www.fluke.com/fluke/usen/products/categoryti.htm be much more appropriate?

I mean, they're built specifically with the functionalities for the target usage in mind, and are rugged and precise and so on.

(No, I do not work for Fluke - but, a long career has taught me that they're generally worth looking to, when looking for testers of almost any kind)
02-22-2013, 04:00 AM   #4
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FLIR systems. FLIR Thermography Thermal Imagers & Infrared Cameras
The FLUKE`s might be a re-badged FLIR judging by the physical shape. You might also look at the rental programs they offer.

02-22-2013, 08:52 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by tclausen Quote
If you are an energy consultant, wouldn't a dedicated tool such as a Fluke thermal imager Fluke Infrared & Thermal Imaging Cameras for Building Diagnostics & Industries be much more appropriate?

I mean, they're built specifically with the functionalities for the target usage in mind, and are rugged and precise and so on.

(No, I do not work for Fluke - but, a long career has taught me that they're generally worth looking to, when looking for testers of almost any kind)

I use a Fluke thermal imager (about 3k I believe) at work and they're not THAT rugged. The mains input charger socket became intermittent in a few weeks due to people (not me) resting the imager on its side so pressing on the plug, and the imager died completely the first time someone (not me) knocked the tripod over. They are very very handy for thermal analysis and fault finding but not for detailed imaging - it's got a manual focus ring but it was never designed for accurate focusing because it's not really needed for its intended use.
02-22-2013, 03:01 PM   #6
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Adding a lens to a visual detector camera system will not turn it into a thermal imager. Typical thermal imagers detect "light" at wavelengths between 8 and 12 m (LW band). Visible light occupies the band from about 0.4m to 0.7m. Some sensor may be sensitive to near infrared wavelengths, but typically not longer than 1.2 m.

Since you are looking for energy loss, you need a sensor system that will respond to the wavelength being emitted by typical home surface temperatures, being primarily in the LW band. If you used IR film or the near IR band of your visual sensor, the only detected heat from a house would be if its on fire! If the house was not on fire, you would primarily be seeing reflected energy from a very hot source, such as the sun.

I have been using thermal imaging systems for over 35 years to analyze energy loss of building structures. You can purchase thermal imagers suitable for this task at prices below $2000.

Gary Orlove
Infrared Training Center
02-22-2013, 03:25 PM   #7
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You need very special lenses and sensors to cover thermal IR.
The energy of thermal IR is so much less that pixel need to be large. VGA, S-VGA are typical resolutions. Lenses are also special as regualr photo lenses will cut off all thermal IR. Special glass means special price.

Check out the links mentioned before...
02-22-2013, 04:16 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by SteveB Quote
I use a Fluke thermal imager (about 3k I believe) at work and they're not THAT rugged. The mains input charger socket became intermittent in a few weeks due to people (not me) resting the imager on its side so pressing on the plug, and the imager died completely the first time someone (not me) knocked the tripod over. They are very very handy for thermal analysis and fault finding but not for detailed imaging - it's got a manual focus ring but it was never designed for accurate focusing because it's not really needed for its intended use.
OK - you likely have better data than do I: I should have clarified that while I use other Fluke products (electricity & HVAC), I've not used their thermal imaging products. I merely assumed they were of comparable quality.

That said, a thermal imager is very different from "any odd digital camera".

02-22-2013, 10:13 PM   #9
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Original Poster
Thank you all for your help, I do appreciate it very much. The advice I got from all of you is very helpful and very informative, I learned a couple things I didnt know.
My company is still pretty new, so im learning the lay of the land and learning about light has been very interesting.
The links you all shared are very helpful. Again any advice etc is always welcome.
Have a great wk end!
Thank you all again
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