They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

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Beyond The Visible

My Christmas Present

Last June I posted a couple of test pictures taken with the Nikon D1 and an infrared filter (DW). The Tiffen Wratten No. 87 Series VIII filter I used didn't actually have a proper adapter -- I had it jammed into a Nikon HR-1 rubber lens hood and screwed into the 52mm filter mount of a 24mm f2.8 AI-converted Nikkor. The second problem is that the IR cutoff filter mounted over the CCD sensor blocks most of the infrared light, so when you block the visible light, you get very long exposures and can't see anything through the viewfinder. Which makes using a tripod a pain, because you have to keep taking the IR filter on and off.

I had thoughts of buying an extra Nikon D1X body and shipping it to Lifepixel for conversion to fulltime IR photography. Wasn't going to happen immediately, because it would cost about $200 for a good camera plus about $300 for the conversion.

However, right around Christmas I was cruising eBay and found an incredibly clean looking Nikon D100 that had already had a 700nm IR conversion done. The last owner had bought it used and shot about 1500 pictures. He wondered who had done the conversion, because he felt that they had gone ahead and adjusted the autofocus for IR work, at least with the lenses he was using.

Well, I'm back in the office, the box was opened, batteries loaded and I slapped a 28-80mm f3.5-5.6D AF Nikkor on the D100 and took a couple of pictures inside and out. If there was any question that this was an IR job, the fact that a black hat in sunshine in my office came out "white" pretty much convinced me. (grin)

Here's one of the outdoors shots with a quick-and-dirty hue and saturation adjustment -- the original photos, like the ones last June, start off looking dark red:

False color infrared picture on WMU campus looking north from Everett-Rood. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2013 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

For me, the D100 was a selling point. I've seen some D70 and D90 conversions for sale. But the D100 was (a) the consumer camera that was contemporary with the D1 series and has a similar 6MP CCD sensor and (b) was built on the same Nikon F80 film camera chassis that Kodak used for the DCS Pro SLR/n that I already have, so the camera was a known quantity. The unit also came with the MB-D100 battery pack, which adds a tray that can take a Li-ion battery (one NOT in common with the D1s) or AA's. Given that I am likely to use an infrared camera occasionally, not having to keep batteries charged is a plus. And I can use the same Compact Flash memory cards as my other Nikons.

So... more later when I have time -- and suitable weather -- to play.

Dr. Phil
Tags: infrared, nikon, photos, wmu

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