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Infrared and alt lenses (on A7)

  
 
timballic
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Infrared and alt lenses (on A7)


Spurred on by the thread about how quiet the Alt forum has become, I thought I'd share some of my experiences in Infrared and Alt lenses.

For several years, I've been using a Canon 40D with a 780nm conversion, (which I did myself, with a lot of advice from an IR forum member) plus EF 17-40/4 L, which makes a very good IR combination (780nm, for purely black and white, "traditional" IR.) I wouldn't do another conversion myself, because of the difficulty in getting the IR filter critically micro clean....the rest of the conversion was a cinch by comparison.

However, having changed from Canon to Sony A7 for colour, just over a year ago and loving it, I now find this combination like carrying a brick! (I do have health issues, which makes this worse.) Also, I love the tilt screen of the Sony, (though fully articulated would be even better) and I find the 17-40mm on APSC not quite wide enough for my style.

I've been assessing the merits of getting another A7 body and getting it converted to IR. The biggest question has been finding suitable lenses to use on it for IR.

Many/most here will know that in IR, lens performance changes from visible light performance. Many lenses produce a central "hot spot", and sharpness is generally worse. (Both MaxMax and LifePixel have articles on these.)

For some reason, I'm less critical of corner to corner sharpness in my IR photography, than I am for colour....don't know why. So, in anticipation, I've got myself a "used, as new" FE 24-70/4 (which I can always sell if it doesn't work out), but I also want to find which of my alt lenses work well in IR.

Using my converted 40D and adapters, I'm starting to do some testing.

There are several other lists of these on the web, though not all in agreement. (Generally hot spots are worse using IR filters and long exposures on unconverted cameras)

First my OM lenses: NB. I've edited the list for performance on the A7 (tends to show more problems than the 40D did.)

OM 21/3.5 MC A complex Hot Spot see later post pg2 #12(need to compare with an early SC version)
OM 24/2.8 SC No hot spot throughout aperture range
OM 28/3.5 SC Ditto
OM 28/2 MC Unknown
OM 35-70/3.5-3.5 MC (The tiny one) Hot spots at F22 and 16, none at F11 or wider (most obvious wide 35mm end)
OM 50/1.8 SC One of the best lenses I possess for IR, sharp and great clarity, with no hot spots.
OM 100/2 MC Ditto to 35-70 Wouldn't recommend
OM 75-150/4 MC No hot spots throughout range
OM 200/5 SC Ditto

However, quite apart from hot spots. I've been surprised by the large difference in sharpness between the single and multi coated OM lenses in IR. The 21 and 24mm look quite soft (so different from their performance in visible light,) whereas the single coated 28/3.5 and 200/5 stand out for their clarity and sharpness in IR. However, I haven't got both single and multi coated versions of each FL to compare.
Probably, if you're thinking of getting OM Zuiko lenses for IR, the single coated versions will do better!

I also tried my CV lenses:
Voigtlander 20/3.5 Color-Skopar II Bad "Rainbow" hot spot throughout range, see later post pg2 #7
Voiglander 58/1.4 Nokton II Very poor IR performance re hotspot from F8-22, f5.6 and wider, may be just useable.

I'm also going to test my MC/MD lenses, (with an adapter with glass element. Hopefully the element won't affect the results. )

(To come):
MD 24/2.8 (last version ψ49) Bad diffuse central hot spot throughout range
MD 35-70/3.5 (3rd version) Hot Spot from F8 worst around 50mm
MC 58/1.2 (Ver 2. I think, with scalloped metal focus ring)....
MD 100/2.5 (last version)....
MD 100/4 macro.....
MD 200/4 (next to last version)...

Edited on Jul 07, 2016 at 05:57 AM · View previous versions



Jul 17, 2015 at 04:25 AM
timballic
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Infrared and alt lenses (on A7)


A recent example with the 780nm 40D + 17-40 combination
Summer in Swaledale 2 by Tim Ball, on Flickr



Jul 17, 2015 at 04:49 AM
retrofocus
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Infrared and alt lenses (on A7)


+1 for the idea and start of this thread! I am starting to look into exactly the same direction since I love IR shooting and currently still use my 715 nm-converted 5D MkII DSLR body with L lenses (all IR suitable more or less) but would rather reduce the bulk of this gear with another A7 series IR-converted camera plus smaller Alt lenses. So far I had only the option to hold Alt lenses in front of my IR-modified DSLR and check in LiveView if the lens at least works in the visible frame without hot spot formation (of course not getting a sharp image here with rangefinder lenses but at least an idea if the lens works in principal).

Suitable for IR:
Leica 50/2 Summicron (latest lens version)
CV 35/1.2 II

Not suitable for IR, hot spot formation observed:
CV 21/1.8



Jul 17, 2015 at 07:20 AM
retrofocus
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Infrared and alt lenses (on A7)


timballic wrote:
A recent example with the 780nm 40D + 17-40 combination
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/483/19724639996_0002e745ef_o.jpgSummer in Swaledale 2 by Tim Ball, on Flickr


I can confirm that the Canon 17-40/4 L lens is excellent and one of my best IR performing lenses for landscapes! Even when I close this lens to f/16 (which I very rarely do in IR!), it works perfectly fine without hot spot generation. This lens is one of the "hidden" gems to be used for infrared. I took many excellent IR photos with my 17-40/4, too (can't post here since it was done with Canon camera and this Canon lens only and does not fit into the Alt forum).



Jul 17, 2015 at 07:27 AM
timballic
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Infrared and alt lenses (on A7)


retrofocus wrote:
(can't post here since it was done with Canon camera and this Canon lens only and does not fit into the Alt forum).


I only posted the above as an example...it too isn't Alt except in being IR



Jul 17, 2015 at 07:51 AM
retrofocus
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Infrared and alt lenses (on A7)


timballic wrote:
I only posted the above as an example...it too isn't Alt except in being IR


No worries, I don't mind, and it is a beautiful and well composed photo!



Jul 17, 2015 at 07:56 AM
mcbroomf
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Infrared and alt lenses (on A7)


I link to one of the older IR threads to allow perusal of some additional images (I think there's another one somewhere)

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1023997/0?keyword=IR,thread#9729519



Jul 17, 2015 at 08:41 AM
JonPB
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Infrared and alt lenses (on A7)


Thanks for posting, Tim. I've been intrigued by IR for a while and would certainly enjoy seeing more samples and reading more comments about how different lenses handle it.

I think it was Winogrand who said he took pictures to see what it would look like. That becomes exponentially more interesting with IR, seems to me.

Cheers,
Jon



Jul 17, 2015 at 08:50 AM
timballic
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Infrared and alt lenses (on A7)


mcbroomf wrote:
I link to one of the older IR threads to allow perusal of some additional images (I think there's another one somewhere)

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1023997/0?keyword=IR,thread#9729519


The last links to images using all special (and esoteric) IR lenses by burningheart are especially interesting to me for their clarity.

I may pursue more single coated lenses to try in IR, from Olympus and others, (I can't afford the special IR ones.)

There is a lot of information about which, relatively modern (non-Alt), lenses perform in IR concerning the hot-spot issue, but almost nothing about the sharpness issue, and next to nothing about older, Alt lenses.

(EDIT: I was forgetting Bjorn Rorslett on Nikon lenses, here: http://www.naturfotograf.com/index2.html
I wish every major maker, Pentax, Olympus, Canon, Minolta etc, had such a reviewer!)

I used to belong to this IR forum which was very helpful for such technical questions, but it seems to have disappeared: http://irphotocom.proboards.com (later: http://infrared-photography.freeforums.net/)



Jul 18, 2015 at 03:16 AM
timballic
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Infrared and alt lenses (on A7)


From a quick trawl of Bjorn's survey, these are his top picks for IR lenses:

N 20/3.5 AiS 5* but with flare issues and best corrected for close focus
Nikkor-H (non Ai) 28/3.5 5* "Almost unbelievably superb for IR" (Ai/S not as good)
Nikkor-P (pancake) 45/2.8 Ai 4.5* Excellent
N 58/1.2 Noct 4.5* Used wide open...where else would you use it
N 85/1.8 AiS 5* Excellent, unexpectedly (because of large rear element)
N 105/1.8 AiS 4.5-5*
N 105/2.5 Ai 5* Excellent (can this lens do no wrong!...except be a bit heavy on the A7)

I think that 28/3.5 H is a definite "need to try", though my OM 28/3.5 also seems "standout". The pancake 45mm would suite the A7 admirably, though they cost!
I'm also still searching for a good, small 20mm for my A7, so I may even seek out a 20/3.5 too (the OM 21/3.5 has such a sharp vignette, it isn't easily corrected, and my copy of the CV 20/3.5 has a slightly softer left edge (otherwise much better than an earlier copy I tried though.))

Ah, that we could have similar lists for all makes of legacy lens performance in IR.

Edited on Jul 18, 2015 at 06:22 AM · View previous versions



Jul 18, 2015 at 04:32 AM
 


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mcbroomf
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Infrared and alt lenses (on A7)


While you need to subscribe to get the full articles (I don't), if you click on one of the lens links in Lloyds IR page you can get a 1 line comment on hot spots.
http://diglloyd.com/index-dip.html

He has a free article on the 2 IR lenses made by Zeiss (ZF). There was a guy selling these on B&S a few weeks ago. Not sure if they ever went into production.
http://diglloyd.com/articles/Infrared/ZeissZF-prototypes-infrared.html

Although old there are some free IR articles at the bottom of this page (including the Zeiss lens review), but they appear to be cuttings from his blog, so some are just short comments.
http://diglloyd.com/index-free.html




Jul 18, 2015 at 06:00 AM
timballic
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Infrared and alt lenses (on A7)


Interesting, unlike Bjorn Rorslett, diglloyd doesn't rate the N 20/3.5 Ai very highly for IR
However, he agrees the P 45/2.8 is a gem in IR. "Outstanding", though strong focus-shift causing back focussing.

EDIT: Just realised Bjorn is only using APSC IR camera and diglloyd FF, that probably explains it. Also I've found the Nikkor-H 28/3.5 has terrible corners so I won't pursue that after all.

Edited on Jul 18, 2015 at 02:40 PM · View previous versions



Jul 18, 2015 at 06:16 AM
taran
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Infrared and alt lenses (on A7)


Sony 18-55 is great for IR, but its APs-c. Similarly, the 14-42 Olympus kit lens is also awesome for IR.


Jul 18, 2015 at 11:31 AM
Grenache
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Infrared and alt lenses (on A7)


Canon 17-40/4L: flawless
Canon 24-70/2.8L v1: good through about f/11
Canon 100/2.8 macro (non-L): good through f/11

Contax 50/1.4: no hot spots but flare prone with IR even though not so with vis
Contax 85/1.4: flawless
Contax 100/2: good through about f/8

Leica R 50/2: flawless
Leica R 100/2.8 APO: flawless

Minolta 85/1.7: a little soft but no hot spot

Zeiss ZE 21/2.8: good through f/11 or so

Jim



Jul 23, 2015 at 10:20 PM
burningheart
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Infrared and alt lenses (on A7)


Here is a slightly revised post from back in 2010

I tested many of my lenses mounted on a converted 5D classic then later my 5D MKII that were both converted to IR (RG715) as well as converted Full Spectrum 5D MKII, Fujifilm S3 UV/IR and Fujifilm IS-Pro. Further testing with a filter (B+W 093) and then a Heliopan RG1000 on the lens. These were tested at various apertures until a hot spot appeared. Here are the findings I had. I added a couple that I use now.. Those with an * I find myself using more often than others.

Lens………………….............................IR715..........IR093........IR1000
Canon EF.14L.................................None
Canon EF.14L..MKII...........................None
Canon EF.15....................................None
Canon EF.17-40L............................None..........16..............11
Canon EF.17L T+S..........................None..........None
Canon EF.24L..................................None..........None........11
Canon EF.24L T+S (1st ver)….....…....None..........16.............11
Canon EF.24-70L.............................None..........11............5.6
*Canon EF.24-70L.MKII........................None
*Canon EF.35L..................................None..........None........None
Canon EF.45 T+S................................8...............8.............5.6
Canon EF.50 2.5...............................None..........None.......16
Canon EF.50L 1.2...............................16............11..............8
*Canon EF.50L 1.0.............................None..........None.......None
Canon EF.50-200L............................None..........None.........8
Canon EF.70-200L (F4 non IS).............None..........22..............8
Canon EF.70-200L (2.8 MKII)..............None
*Canon EF.85L...................................None..........None........None
Canon EF.90 T+S..............................None..........11.............11
Canon EF.100 (1st ver)..macro...............None..........None.......None
Canon EF.100L...................................5.6............5.6.............5.6
Canon EF.135 SF...............................None..........None........None
*Canon EF.135L..................................None..........None........None
Canon EF.180L..................................None..........None........None
Canon EF.400…….....….....………….........None..........None........None

Voigtlander.125 EF mount….....…..........11……......8…...........5.6
Voigtlander...40..................................None..........None.........None

Zeiss..........21……….....….....………….......5.6….........5.6
*Zeiss..........25 IR…….....…….....…….........None..........None..........None
Zeiss..........25..(2.8)...............................None..........8…….........5.6
Zeiss..........28........................................11.............8…….........5.6
Zeiss..........35.(2.0)................................None..........11...............5.6
Zeiss..........50..........................................8.............5.6..............5.6
*Zeiss..........50 IR.................................None..........8.................8
Note: When I ran the tests on the 50 IR 5 years ago I had hot spotting with B+W and Heliopan attached starting at F8 but I have used the lens many times since then with the same filters attached and have not noticed any hotspots at higher F stops.
Zeiss..........85..........................................8..............5.6.............5.6
*Zeiss..........85 IR..................................None..........None..........None
Zeiss..........100 MP...............................None..........5.6..........4
Zeiss..........18...........................................8..............5.6
Zeiss..........50 MP................................None..........None..........5.6

*Coastal Optics.60………..........……...........None..........None..........None
Hartblei...40 .........................................11............16
Hartblei...80 ......................................None..........None..........None
Hartblei..120 .....................................None..........None..........None

Leica........19..ver1................................None..........None
Leica........70-180..APO...........................5.6...............4................2.8
Leica........90.APO......................................8...............8................5.6
*Leica......100 Macro...APO...........................None..........None..........None
Leica......180....2.8..APO..........................None..........None..........None

Nikon....14-24....................................None..........None
Nikon....28 E......................................None..........16................11
Nikon....28 1.4....................................None..........None..........None
*Nikon....70-180 macro.............................None..........None..........None
Nikon....85 PC....................................None..........None..........None
Nikon...105 DC...................................None..........11................8
*Nikon...105 UV...................................None..........None..........None
Nikon...135 DC...................................None..........None..........None
Sigma...8..............................................None

Rubicka 35 f3.5...................................None.........None

Canon FD.35-105................................16..............11............11
Canon FD.50L......................................5.6..............4...............4
Canon FD.80-200L..............................None..........None........None
Canon FD.85L.......................................5.6.............4..............2.8
Canon FD.100.macro..............................None..........None..........None





Edited on Jul 24, 2015 at 11:45 AM · View previous versions



Jul 24, 2015 at 11:44 AM
johnahill
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Infrared and alt lenses (on A7)


Fuji 14mm is a gem for IR, both on 720nm converted X-A1












Jul 24, 2015 at 11:45 AM
johnahill
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Infrared and alt lenses (on A7)


My biggest lesson from my X-A1 conversion was that it's best to convert cameras which have some sort of viewfinder or EVF.

Typically i'm shooting the converted X-A1 in bright sunlight and composing off the rear screen is a pain in the a$$



Jul 24, 2015 at 11:48 AM
tweggers
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Infrared and alt lenses (on A7)


For anyone shooting mirrorless I converted my Olympus EM-5 and this has been great to use. See everything in live time and it preforms great. I've used the 12-40 f2.8 and it is a winner for IR. This is my Fourth converted camera. The first three being Canon's the last Canon was a 5D classic and it worked wonderfully also.


Jul 24, 2015 at 06:08 PM
timballic
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Infrared and alt lenses (on A7)


I did hope to have some results for MD lenses as mentioned above, but the adapter never arrived, and as I have now bought a second A7 ready to convert, I'll wait to see the results with that.

I have bought three more Single coated OM Zuiko lenses to try on the 40D(with 780nm filter), 50/1.8; 24/2.8; 35/2.8 The 50 is immaculate, the other two have a bit of wear/play.

The results here are screenshots, SOOC in Lr5. Not great pictures but only a few yards from the door on a clear, sunny morning, was just too good an opportunity to miss.

The OM 50/1.8 SC is excellent for IR, here SOOC Good clarity, contrast and sharpness. Ah, that all lenses were as good for IR!
OM 50/1.8 @8 by Timothy Ball, on Flickr

and 1:1
OM 50/1.8 @8 100% by Timothy Ball, on Flickr

With the OM24/2.8 comparison, Single Coated left, MC right
OM 24/2.8 @8 SC:MC by Timothy Ball, on Flickr

1:1 As above 24/2.8 SC:MC Hopefully you can see the difference in clarity, not that either approach the clarity and sharpness of the OM 50/1.8 above Yet the MC 24/2.8 (on the right) is one of my favourite, clearest, sharpest lenses in colour, you'd hardly think it from the IR result!
OM 24/2.8 @8 SC:MC 100% by Timothy Ball, on Flickr

At 1:1 the OM 35/2.8 SC, is somewhere in-between , not as good as the 50/1.8, but better than the 24/2.8
OM 35/2.8 @8 1:1 by Timothy Ball, on Flickr



Aug 19, 2015 at 08:31 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Infrared and alt lenses (on A7)


Wow. The SC vs. MC difference is profound.

I was going to sell my Oly 21/3.5 SC, which is the best of four OM 21/3.5 SC & MC that I've owned (for visible light). Now, maybe not.



Aug 19, 2015 at 08:04 PM
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