Archive for July, 2019

Last year I had PhotoFair regular John Chu convert an original EOS M into infrared for me. The old original M cameras are quite reasonable on the used market and frankly it makes for a great conversion. The original M cameras converted to IR shouldn’t be more than $300-$350 and it has a decent 18mp sensor and it is AF. There are others as well, I routimely see IR converted older Canons and Nikons with 18mp sensors and often these are in the $200-$300 range. I did the 650nm conversion on mine and can use heavier filters for the wide range of IR options. Although the color work with infrared is kind of fun what with all the wacky colors, I really like the classic black and white infrared look as well as using the color infrared and pulling back 90% of the color for a subtle quasi black and white look.

The images below were taken with the camera and no IR filter. Just the 650nm infrared sensor conversion. Without any filter or Photoshop work there is this demonic looking orange hue over everything. That can be great when you want to create a post apocalyptic sense to a scene, but not so much useful for other applications. You can use Photoshop to flip the red and blue values with the channel mixer and create crazy neon blue skies instead of the ominous demon sky effect. Just search you tube and you will find a few short videos about how to do this. The third image is monochrome with all the color taken out.

Monochromatic Infrared has always been my favorite although I have seen some photographers produce amazing color infrared, I have never been that good at color IR. Monochrome IR has a deep rich tone with its own ominous vibe as the leafy greens go stark white. On a camera that has a wide spectrum of 650nm or lower you can use classic Infrared filters to block out longer wavelengths up to 960nm. This will result in black and white only image but the tones are very deep. There are 720nm, 750nm, 800nm, 860nm, 900nm, 960nm and more. Results may vary. Remember that the human eye cannot see through these longer wavelength filters as they block out all light except the wavelengths at or longer than the filter’s rating and the human eye cannot see IR wavelengths. Your converted camera’s sensor CAN however. If you use a converted DSLR you will not see anything through the viewfinder when using the deeper IR filters. The filter will appear opaque and look more like a lens cap. The DSLR user should use the live view function when using IR filters. Of course converted mirrorless cameras work perfectly and can see right through the filters.

The B/W monochromatic infrared in itself can be a cool effect but what I really like to do is use the same no filter approach to generate a soft black and white image with a hint of color. The two images below were done no filter just the 650nm conversion and the originals have that heavy orange crust. Sometimes it looks great but often dialing back the orange and red saturation a bit or even the overall saturation maybe 50% or so offers a soft warm glow to the images that can be quite nice. Using the channel mixer can allow other soft tones whether blues or others. Portraits can offer very pleasing skin tones but the hair and eyes might get weird, depending on conditions. With the low cost of older Canon Rebel cameras and the older APS/c Nikon bodies IR conversions can be affordable.

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