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Is Happy Day! I've updated my infrared camera a bit.
avatar March 30, 2020 02:56PM
Several years ago I dipped my toes into infrared photography the very cheap way. I disassembled a Nikon Coolpix 2200 2MP camera I had around collecting dust, removed the IR high-pass filter, then replaced that with a bit of exposed film negative to act as the IR low-pass filter. I only wanted to see if it was something I would pursue more with a better camera converted by a service. The following winter I sent my Nikon CoolPix 995 (3.4MP sensor) to be converted with an equivalent to a R72 (infrared 720nm) replacement sensor filter. I've used that camera sporadically for years. But there are drawbacks. No RAW files, the best I can save images as is TIF. They are fairly low-res. The camera is painfully slow to start from off, then focus is slow and not reliable. Good lens optics, but just an old and outdated prosumer point-n-shoot where I've gotten accustomed to using DSLR regularly. And the batteries I had were getting unreliable too.

I bought a new DSLR last year, traded in a Nikon D80 body and some lenses, but I did hang on to a very beat-up 2nd D80 body and the basic kit 18-55mm lens. I intended to do the infrared conversion with that one. I remembered about a month ago to that I should get this done before spring really takes hold. I mailed off my D80 the week before COVID really started overwhelming the nation and just hoped for the best over the next couple weeks. It came back to me today and conversion successful.

The Nikon D80 itself is pretty obsolete still, but it gives 10MP RAW images, a major step up. I am not sure where I will be taking photos with this while COVID is still spreading, but here is the quick tests taken in my driveway.

For baseline, I took what is likely my last photos with the CoolPix 995. Zoom full wide then full telephoto.



The telephoto is way out of focus. An ongoing thing with the slow autofocus with this old camera.


Now the D80. This is the same 720nm type IR, but I never changed the white balance as it came.

18mm zoom (27mm FX equivalent)


Zoomed up to 50mm (75mm FX equivalent)


I really should have shot a custom WB on both cameras today to give a more fair comparison. These are fairly pristine images, I only applied lens corrections and resized smaller in RawTherapee. Left the other settings alone. As we see, the D80 kit lens is wider than the CoolPix 995 built in optics. And I should have the option to use my Tamron 18-270mm if more telephoto is needed. I don't really see that as an issue with this style photography. I have been wanting wider shooting options mainly.

Now let's do a B/W conversion and try to recreate infrared film. Except I know I have way less grain. Smile



For that I desaturated with film simulation filters, then adjusted contrast/exposure as appropriate.



BF Hammer - the new and improved screen name of Chris L
Subject Author Views Posted
Is Happy Day! I've updated my infrared camera a bit. Jpeg Attachments BF Hammer 105 March 30, 2020 02:56PM
Re: Is Happy Day! I've updated my infrared camera a bit. watch-review-blog 28 June 09, 2020 02:36AM



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