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jebir
06-25-2007, 02:44 PM
Infra-Red Snap Shots with Zuiko Digital Lenses - an IR-converted E-1

by Jens Birch





"Linköping Communal Library"
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/Biblioteket_IR_1_PSP_rsz_1012398.jpg
(IR-converted E-1 + Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm/4.0 at 7 mm and f/8, ISO 200 and 1/60 second,
handheld, no external IR filter can be used with this lens)
To see this as a PDF please download here (http://fourthirdsphoto.com/images/MyIR-convertedOlympusE-1.pdf).
-Tony
Introduction

Infra-red photographs taken of sunlit scenes have a striking look. I guess most of you E-system owners have seen such images, usually they are in black and white where the sky, which would have been bright blue in a colour photograph, is pitch black with white clouds, and leaves, which normally are green, shows up as radiant white.

Here is an example taken a sunny afternoon in May just after the oaks had gotten their leaves here in Östergötland (Sweden):

"Under the Oaks"
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/Valla_ekhage_IR_PSP_rsz_1011465.jpg
(IR-converted E-1 with ZD 14-54mm/2.8-3.5 at 14 mm, ISO 200, f/8, 1/100 second handheld, no external filter)

Capturing the scene using IR often gives a surreal feeling to the image - which isn't so strange if we think about it. Infra-red light is light that lies outside the visible spectrum and hence humans can't see it. However, most of the light coming from the sun is IR and it is reflected, more or less, from all objects around us, although we can't see it. What makes IR-photos intriguing and look a bit spooky is, except for being a photograph of something normally invisible, the fact that materials around us doesn't reflect IR in proportion to how much visible light they reflect.

This is demonstrated by these colour-, B&W-, and IR-photographs of an array of hats:

"Colour vs. B&W vs. IR"
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/Hats_IR-test.jpg

Top pane: Ordinary picture taken with a Rodenstock UV+IR blocking filter at 1/640 second.
Mid pane: The same picture as in the top panel but converted to greyscale.
Bottom: Picture taken with a Hoya R72 IR-pass filter at 2 seconds.
(Both the visible and IR images were taken with an ordinary E-1 + Zuiko Digital 14-54mm/2.8-3.5 at 38 mm at ISO 200 using a tripod)

The hat materials in the image above are from the left: cotton, knitted wool, polartech® fleece, cheap fleece, and knitted acrylic.
Note how the synthetic materials reflect IR in an apparent unpredictable way. For example the black and grey fleece hat became inverted in luminance when imaged with IR light.

Have a look at the shooting details of the above images:
The visible light hat-comparison shot was taken at 1/640 second while the corresponding IR-shot was taken at 2 seconds although the sun was shining and the camera settings were otherwise identical except for the filters used. Obviously, the E-1 is quite insensitive to IR which is due to a special IR-blocking filter that is placed in-between the SSWF (super sonic wave filter) dust buster and the CCD-sensor chip front of the E-1. A fairly strongly blocking filter is needed in order to not allow IR-light to pollute the colour fidelity of the images captured by a digital camera (as has been a problem with the Leica M8). However, this IR-blocking filter also severely limits what you can photograph using a lens-mounted IR-pass filter (like the Hoya R-72 filter) in front of your objective lens with any Olympus E-system DSLR. One have to use a tripod and stick to static subjects - even clouds may become blurred in 2 seconds. Another drawback with using a lens-mounted IR-pass filter is that the viewfinder becomes blacked-out (because the IR-pass filter does not transmit any, or very little, visible light. That complicates both composition and focusing. Fortunately, the AF sensors of the E-1 are highly IR sensitive so AF still works.

Now, looking at the technical shooting detail of the two first IR image shown above, you see that thay were taken handheld with f/8 at 1/60 and 1/100 second, respectively. That was possible because I modified that E-1 body - I "IR-converted" it. That means, I removed the internal standard-mounted IR-blocking filter from the E-1 and replaced it by an IR-pass filter.

The major consequences of such an IR-conversion are:
IR sensitivity is boosted by roughly a factor of 200
it is possible to see and compose through-the-lens
the camera becomes insensitive to visible light - depending on chosen IR-pass filter
accurate focusing is not possible with Zuiko Digital lenses but legacy lenses with an IR-mark works fineThere are several companies offering such conversions of some Canon and Nikon models but so far, nobody volontarily makes IR-conversions of Olympus DSLRs. Now, after I made it myself, I understand the reason: One must undo 29 screws, remove 9 miniature flat cables, remove 3 printed circuit boards (PCB) (including the one carrying the CCD), and remove the SSWF before the filters can be swapped. The filter-swapping is in itself a non-trivial excercise in using mild violence, multi-tweezer coordination, and controlling ones temper. All-in-all it takes about 4 hours to complete it - including filter cleaning and AF-adjustment. I'm glad I did it and to me, it was worth every effort:

"Snæfellsjökull"
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/Island_Pano3_IR_PSP_rsz.jpg
A small glacier on the Snæfellsnes peninsula in southwestern Iceland.
The "Snæfellsjökull" panorama is composed of 4 HQ shots taken handheld with my IR-converted E-1 + 14-54 at 35 mm, ISO100, f/8 at 1/125 s. (The full sized panorama is 5288x2506 pixels² and will soon decorate my living room wall.)


The Conversion

I honestly didn't think it was a complicated operation when Tony Spore, the man behind fourthirdsphoto.com, contacted me and offered a joint effort to pioneer conversion of E-1 bodies: He provided a defected body for me to figure out how to do the conversion with. If the first conversion was successful, I would keep that body and make another IR-conversion for Tony himself. A fair deal which I accepted and, after having repaired the defect body and converted it and now seing what kind of fantastic images I can take handheld... WOW, I'm glad I learnt to know Tony so that I got this golden opportunity. I'd like to thank Tony for giving me this opportunity: Thanks Tony!

I am not going to provide a step-by-step DIY manual - rather the opposite - please read the disclaimer at the end of this article if you feel tempted to do this on your own. The reason for not making a detailed instruction is that I do not want to be responsible for someone else ruining his/her camera by taking it apart and then not being able to put it back in a functional state. There are many instances where one can go wrong and I do not recommend anyone without basic knowledge about optics, miniaturized electronics, as well as a good skill with fine-mechanical tools to do this. I do not want to spend hours helping people salvaging their cameras after a failed IR-conversion attempt.

However, I will now show you with a few images, representing the steps of the conversion, how the camera looks like inside and some details related to the IR-conversion. I hope it may be interesting to some of you:

1. "Removing the First Screw":
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/1_Undoing_first_screw_P6165941.JPG
This is the only hidden screw - under the rubber.

2. "Ready to Open":
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/2_Ready_to_open_P6165943.JPG
Keeping everything clean and tidy is essential. All screws are marked with the order they were removed and where they came from and scotched to the work-surface.

3. "Lifting the Top":
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/3_lifting_top_P6167313.JPG
Lifting the top reveals the penataprism and to the left you can see the first printed circuit board (PCB #1) which is connected to the top by 2 mini-flat cables for the small LCD, buttons, and wheel, which should be detached. (BTW, the rumor that Olympus used a 35-mm-sized pentaprism for the E-1 is hereby killed.)

4. "The Main Board":
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/4_PCB2_P6165948.JPG
This is the main board which is revealed after loosening PCB #1, which in turn allows for removing the back cover and detaching its 2 mini-flat cables. There were 5 more mini-flat cables to detach from the main board before it could be removed. Amazingly though, none of the screws needed to be loosened - they just hold various piggyback cards in place, like the memory + CF controller-card. In fact, the main board is piggybacked onto the imaging board which holds the CCD.

5. "The Imaging Board Exposed from the Back":
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/5_PCB3_P6165953.JPG
The main board, which is attached to the imaging board by a multi-pin connector is loosened and folded to the right, exposing the back of the imaging board. The row of sturdy soldered pins, seen on a white background rectangle just under the eye-piece, are half of the connecting pins to the CCD which faces the other way on the other side of the board. It is backed by a relatively thick Aluminium plate which provides the cooling of the CCD. Now the imaging board was carefully removed by first loosening 6 screws (3 holding the CCD by the Al-backing plate) and lifting it right up. There are tiny shims of various thicknesses between the Al-plate and 3 of the screw seats ensuring the CCD is aligned parallel to the imaging plane and held at the correct distance from the lens mount.

6. "Imaging Board Before Conversion":
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/6_PCB3_before_P9182072.JPG
Here you can see the rectangular CCD behind the likewise rectangular combined IR-blocking and Anti Alias (AA) filter which, in turn, is behind the large circular SSWF dust buster. The two rectangular pads sitting at 45° below the SSWF are the "sticky goo pads" that collects the dust shaken off the SSWF
dust buster.

7. "Dust Buster without Power":
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/7_SSAW_P9182073.JPG
I am removing the SSWF filter after loosening its dedicated PCB and the electrical connectors to the filter. Underneath the filter is an O-ring to keep dust out of the assembly.

8. "AA + IR-block on its Way Out":
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/8_AA-IR_on_its_way_P9182074.JPG
The combined AA and IR-blocking filter is on its way out of the CCD package. Getting the rectangular metallic retaining frame out (seen in the background) was the second hardest step in this process. Putting it back was no doubt harder than all other steps together. It made me sweat!

9. "A Jewel":
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/9_E-1-IR_AA-IR-filter_P9182076.JPG
The removed filter is a little marvel on its own. It consists of three 1 mm thick slabs of bi-refringent material stacked together with a thin IR-filter (the blue layer squeezed into the stack in figure above).

10. "The New Filter":
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/10_New_filter_P2070914.JPG
The new IR-pass filter (3 mm Schott RG780) is waiting in its ultrasonic cleaning fixture, ready to be put in place.

11. "New Filter in Place":
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/11_IR-filter_in_place_P2070916.JPG
The new filter in place in front of the CCD.

12. "Ready for Assembly":
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/12_Ready_for_Assemby_P2070917.JPG
The imaging board complete again with the IR-pass filter in place behind the SSWF. Now starts the assembly - that is doing the above in reverse...

Finally, I adjusted the Auto Focus so that it works perfectly with all Zuiko Digital lenses. However, I did not adjust the Manual Focus because that would make it impossible to accurately focus non-AF legacy lenses.

That concludes my guided tour through my 'conversion fab', I hope you found it interesting.


Some Images:

Here follows a little display of images showing what can be done with this body. They are all taken handheld with a minimum of post processing applied:


"Swedish Farm in Snow":
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/Valla2_IR_rsz_1012034.jpg
(IR-converted E-1 + Zuiko Digital 14-54/2.8-3.5 at 20 mm and f/5.6, ISO 200 and 1/160 second)


"Old Swedish Farm":
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/Valla_IR_PSP_rsz_1012346.jpg
(IR-converted E-1 + Zuiko Digital 14-54/2.8-3.5 at 33 mm and f/5.6, ISO 200 and 1/250 second)


"Blooming Sherry":
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/IR_Blooming_Sherry_1011437.JPG
(IR-converted E-1 + Zuiko Digital 14-54/2.8-3.5 at 14 mm and f/8, ISO 400 and 1/400 second)


"Breidavik from Arnastapi"
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/Island_Pano2_IR_advanced_rsz_PSP.jpg
(IR-converted E-1 + ZD 14-54 at 38 mm and f/8, ISO 100 and 1/125 second, handheld panorama composed of 5 images.)


"Black Beach at Vik":
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/Rif_beach1_IR_contrast_adj_rsz_1011599.jpg
(IR-converted E-1 + ZD ED 7-14/4.0 at 7 mm and f/8, ISO 100 and 1/200 second)


"Playing Kids"
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/Kids_rsz_P6195973.JPG
(IR-converted E-1 + Zuiko Digital 14-54/2.8-3.5 at 54 mm and f/5.6, ISO 100 and 1/1250 second)


"Swans over Cranes"
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/IR-svanar_1011408.jpg
(IR-converted E-1 + Zuiko Digital ED 50-200/2.8-3.5 + EC-14 at 283 mm and f/5.6, ISO 400 and 1/800 second)


IR-technique and Special Features

I'd like to finish with a few words about how it is to shoot with an IR-converted body and about some side effects.


Exposure

The sensitivity to IR is about 200 times greater than before the conversion so no tripod nor IR-filter on the lens is needed. This makes for a great setup to experiment a lot. One will find a few peculiarities with IR-light and camera metering.
In natural daylight, the invisible IR-light does not follow the visible light in intensity mainly because IR light is much more hindered by clouds to reach the earth than visible light and the blue sky doesn't emit any IR. Therefore, if the visible light conditions change a little, one can be almost 100% sure that the IR-light conditions changed a lot. Likewise, the dynamic range of the IR in one single sunlit scene often appears to be much greater than when using ordinary light.
One must keep in mind that the camera meters using both visible and IR light and when the relation between the two types of light change, one must dial-in a different exposure compensation. The best way to learn what happens to the IR light is to take a lot of photographs and check the histogram. For this, an IR-converted DSLR is ideal because of the effortless way one can capture the images and check the result. After a while one learn to know the appropriate exposure compensations by heart.


White Balance

Regarding white balance of IR photographs, there is really no correct or incorrect setting. We can't see the IR-light in the first place - so how should we then assign any colours to it?
My personal take on this is that I like my IR-shots to be shown as B&W. The reason is that my IR-conversion, using a filter that cuts away visible light below 780 nm makes the camera blind to red, green and blue and the red-, green-, and blue-filtered photosites on the sensor are roughly equally sensitive to IR above 780 nm (the red ones are a bit more sensitive). Equal amounts of those colours are rendered white. Hence making a white balance off any IR source (I prefer the sun) seems natural and will yield pleasantly looking pseudo B&W images with plenty of nearly greyscales. I wrote "pseudo" and "nearly" because the image actually contains a lot of slightly coloured pixels but our eyes will see them all together as grey with very rich tonality. You can easily see that in some of the shots above, like the "Linköping Communal Library" and the "Old Swedish Farm". Also, to illustrate the Red photosites' higher sensitivity to red light, I intentionelly did not make any 100% B&W WB of "Swedish Farm in Snow".

Of course one can use other filters than the Schott RG780 that I used and get a different response. However, the difference will mainly be in the amount of visible light that is let through the filter so that the image becomes mixed visible and IR. For example the Hoya R72 is such a filter. The result is a very redish cast. This can also be white balanced but one can also be creative and play with the visible colours. For example it is very common to swap the red and green or red and blue channels of the images rendered through such a filter. The result is a dreamy feeling with totally off colours. IMHO, that is more creative photography and has very little to do with IR-photography. Similar effects can be achieved by manipulating ordinary shots as well.


Moiré and Resolution

An interesting side effect of the IR-conversion is thatthe anti-alias filter is removed simultaneously with the IR-blocking filter. (The AA-filter is a filter which, in a very well controlled manner, blurs the image a tiny bit before the light reaches the sensor. The reason is to avoid interference (so called Moiré) between the periodic array of photosites on the sensor chip and any periodic part of the image with similar repetition length.) So, the camera becomes more sensitive to Moiré but at the same time the images look a bit more crisp straight out of the camera.

As a curiosity, I can also mention that since the R, G, and B photosites are roughly equally sensitive to IR, it is possible to achieve a photosite-by-photosite resolution with an IR-converted body. However, one have to use a very basic RAW converter where it is possible to disable the Bayer interpolation. In this way I have managed to squeeze out the theoretical photosite-by-photosite resolution (http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/Pixel_by_pixel_in_IR.jpg) from this E-1 by using Dcraw (http://www.cybercom.net/%7Edcoffin/dcraw/) with the command: "dcraw -d -r 0.9, 1.06, 1.13, 1.05 -b 0.85".


Conclusion

I managed, although not easily, to convert an Olympus E-1 to an IR-only body and I am having a lot of fun with it. The ease with which I now can take IR-photographs and the magic light that is rendering the image makes everything around me a potential subject with new and un-discovered photogenic qualities. For example, I am very much looking forward to capture the IR-pale - almost transparent - skin tones of human beings this summer.


Epilog:

This article is in response to many requests to tell a story about how I did the IR-conversion. Please note that the information in this article is solely an article with the intention to show some of the E-1 internals and to illustrate what I did for the technically interested E-system user.

I have the highhest respect for my readers and I'm sure you understand that this article is not an instruction for making an IR-conversion. However, I can't take anything for granted and I don't know the law in many of the countries this document will be read so I have to assume that someone will destroy their camera and blame it on me. Therefore, I need to include the following not so friendly disclaimer:


DISCLAIMER:

THIS ARTICLE MAY CONTAIN ERRORS THAT CAN BE FATAL FOR ANY CAMERA.
DO NOT USE IT AS AN INSTRUCTION.
I TAKE NO LEGAL OR ECONOMICAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY DAMAGE OR LOSS OR OTHER NEGATIVE EFFECTS ON ANY CAMERA, LENS, BUSINESS, PERSONAL HEALTH, ETC. DUE TO ATTEMPTS TO MAKE IR-CONVERSIONS, MODIFICATIONS, OR OPENING A CAMERA, BASED ON THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS ARTICLE.
IF YOU ATTEMPT TO DO THIS ON YOUR OWN - YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN - I WILL NOT RESPOND TO ANY APPEALS FOR HELP.

marcof
06-25-2007, 02:56 PM
great article Jens, and a big thank you again for modifying my E-1 as well.

I've "sticked" this post on the forum, so it will remain on top for a while, I think it deserves this attention. Eventually I think we can move this to the "keepers" forum.

buckstop
06-25-2007, 03:50 PM
You are most talented, not only in the work on the camera but using the conversion with the art you displayed here. Thanks for sharing this with all others who read forums. I was in Iceland in the late 1950s and what a great place it is.

Best Regards,
Mike T.

buckstop
06-25-2007, 04:07 PM
Sorry for the mistake. I see now that most of the beautiful pictures here are from your area in Sweden I would guess. I was reading about the first panorama and the ol brain clicked on to Iceland for the rest..Sigh... Thanks again...
Mike T.

cstirlingbartholomew
06-25-2007, 04:37 PM
Jens,

Awesome post. Breathtaking photos!

You must have a special skill for non-destructive work with electronics. I would have destroyed several cameras in the process of learning how to do this. Your next project will no doubt be conversion of an E-510. That should offer some new challenges. :-)

Clay

olddigiman
06-25-2007, 05:34 PM
I am in awe, that is a COOL project! :worship:

Who would have ever thought of hand-held IR??!!

matthew
06-25-2007, 07:46 PM
Now I know what will happen to my E-1 when the new pro body comes out.

Thank you for the excellent article. I've been toying with the idea of getting my F828 converted to IR-only for almost as long as I've owned it, but you're put that to rest.

rkrenn
06-25-2007, 09:00 PM
Great write up Jens. I understand your concerns about giving too many details, I did the same thing when I gave a brief write up on pulling apart an E500 to add a remote shutter socket.
I was hoping you may be able to give a few more details about the replacement filter you used. I did a quick google search on 3 mm Schott RG780 and found places selling it in sizes 50mmx50mm and 25mm dia circle. Did you get one of these and cut it yourself or order it the correct size? What is the width and height of the filter? I wonder if the filter would be the same size on all 4/3 camera's?

Again thanks for the info provided.

Richard

Tim the Grey
06-26-2007, 03:17 AM
Jens, may I ask a question?
How much would it cost for the surgery, if I supplied the E-1, at my own risk, of course?
I love IR work, and this looks like just what I want.
Also, any idea just how far into the IR an E-1 can go???

thanks!

jebir
06-26-2007, 05:54 AM
Thanks Marco,

the "Photos" section is waiting for your IR shots.

Good luck with your camera.

Cheers, Jens

jebir
06-26-2007, 06:56 AM
Thanks everyone for expressing your appreciation. It is nice to get positive feedback on such a write-up.

Mike,
I think every photographer should go to Iceland at least once in their photographic career. Actually, there are two more shots among the IR-images in the article that are from Iceland: "Breidavik from Arnastapi" and "Black Beach at Vik" , the rest are from around where I live in Linköping, Sweden.

Clay.
my students claim that I have magic hands... but I think it is mostly a matter of doing things without a rush and doing appropriate preparations. I'm not sure that I will ever touch the sensor environment of an E-510 - but 'never say never'...

ODM:
conversions of Nikon and Canon cameras heve been around for a while so the idea isn't new. However, the SSWF in the Olympus cameras makes the job a lot more complicated and time consuming.

Matthew:
An IR-conversion is a destiny with dignity for any camera (compared to the famous door stopper alternative). I have heard that the F828 makes an excellent IR-camera.

Richard:
The filter caused me the most problems in this conversion. First, since I have experience with diamond cutting of very tiny fragile glass things through my job, I bought a 50x50x3 mm³ piece and cut it to size myself (18x23 mm²). Unfortunately, I didn't observe that the Schott IR filters are much more sensitive, both to dilute acids (the CO2 in the tap water is enough) and low heat, than their ordinary line of filters so I ruined the entire piece during the cutting process. Then, I decided to order the filter cut to size from a company recommended by Schott. Despite me mentioning the higher sensitivity to them, they made some (very light but visible) damage to the filters that I received from them - they obviously under estimated the problem. However, one of those filters is now sitting in this camera and as long as I stay at f/8 or above, the defects does not show in the photographs. If there will be any "next time", I will do the cutting myself since I now know how to do. The problem is that it will take me quite a bit of time to do the cutting.

Cheers, Jens.

jebir
06-26-2007, 07:25 AM
Hi Tim,

your question is legitimate. Since yesterday, I have received a few requests on the price for a conversion also by PM.

Before answering, I'd like to point out a couple of things:

First, I have a problem with the Swedish customs upon recieving camera bodies from outside the EU so, until I have sorted that issue out formally, I can only take bodies from EU.

Second, I will not be able to do any conversions until the end of August because vacation is on the doorstep and I am going to have a hand surgery in the end of July.

Third, I am still pondering in what form I can continue to do such conversions.

Anyhow, if I shall make a conversion, assuming that the above issues are resolved, the costs will be:

Conversion = €330
Filter = €30 - €60 (depending on type)
Shipping = €21 within Europe
-------------
Sum = €381 - €411

(Paypal and/or Exchange fees may be added.)

Cheers, Jens.

rrobinson54
06-26-2007, 07:30 AM
I would love to get my E1 converted also and would be willing to pay a reasonable price and accept the risk, if you (or someone) would be willing to try the conversion. Would it be easier/harder/impossible to convert other Olympus cameras, like the E300 & E500?:action-smiley-020:

jebir
06-26-2007, 07:55 AM
Hi rrobinson,

I think a conversion of an E-300 or E-500 will be slightly faster due to fewer PCBs and simpler over-all construction but I think the actual changing of the filter, which is the hardest part, will be the same. The E-330 contains some extra delicate parts so it will probably be more tedious. The E-400/410 have another construction of the SSWF unit so I have no idea if that will be easier or harder. Finally, the E-510 has the sensor moving around so I suspect it will be more complicated.

Cheers, Jens.

Latemarch
06-26-2007, 10:29 AM
In cutting the filter.......
I have an oil bath diamond saw, will that do the trick if I cut slow enough?

jebir
06-26-2007, 11:23 AM
Hi Latemarch,

maybe, I don't know if the oil is good or bad for the filter (my guts feeling is that it should be OK). The temperature problem is not the cutting itself but the method of fixing the glass to the cutting rig with a melting wax. So cutting speed is no problem as long as the saw itself is cooled enough to avoid damage.

Cheers, Jens.

Will V.
06-26-2007, 01:40 PM
What a great post! I would *almost* kill for a converted E-500 body! If I had been aware of IR photography and the relative ease with which converted Canon and Nikon bodies could be obtained, I might have gone with a Canon or Nikon system rather than Olympus.

lkemilai
06-26-2007, 02:39 PM
Jebir,

First: wow. All the hardware hackers of the world bow before you. And you managed to do it without the help of a Leatherman, a Dremel and a hot-glue gun :D
Can you tell the name of the company that cut the filters for you? That could be a wonderful future project... not that I could do it myself, but I have a friend that could be talked into doing the actual conversion.

Larry

jebir
06-26-2007, 03:07 PM
Thanks guys!

Will:
I guess it is a bit easier to access the imaging board in the E-500 which could cut the time for theconversion a bit. However, the dustbuster is still there an that is the major difference between Olympus and the other brands.

Larry:
the company is Scientific Lab.Glass AB (http://www.labglass.se/) in Lund, Sweden. Good Luck!

Cheers, Jens.

stuff352
06-26-2007, 03:24 PM
Simply amazing. I have worked on laptops and thought they were small to deal with but this an entirely different level.

Johnmcl7
06-26-2007, 06:57 PM
Superb thread, I've enjoyed reading through it for the information on IR and the detailed pictures of fitting the filter to the E-1.

John

Steve Adams
06-28-2007, 05:18 PM
Jens,

once i make a little more money shooting weddings theres an E500 coming your way for this! i am fighting trying to get sharp IR shots now. they are much better than first off but still working on them. but with the conversion i can hand hold the camera and just shoot away....

def in my future!

adrianox
06-30-2007, 02:51 PM
Beautifully conceived & executed Jens. My 2nd e-1 body is boxed and ready to go. PM(s) sent. Cheers, Adrian

ep1791photo
07-03-2007, 07:44 AM
Jens,

Your post was timely and informative; in general it was excellent.

You spoke of being unable to receive E-Volt cameras from outside the EU for IR modification work due to EU regulations. However, you could ship outside the EU - to the US, New Zealand and Australia for example - pre-cut IR filters that met your quality-control standards, right?

Ed P.
Portland, Oregon and Arlington, Texas
USA

valiar
08-28-2007, 03:49 PM
Can you possibly share any tips or info on autofocus adjustment?
You do mention that you have adjusted AF - I am wondering how you did accompllish this. Is it done through the service menu?

jebir
08-29-2007, 02:27 PM
Hi Valiar,


Can you possibly share any tips or info on autofocus adjustment?
You do mention that you have adjusted AF - I am wondering how you did accompllish this. Is it done through the service menu?

I saw the cumbersome adjustments the C and N people are doing to get their IR conversions to work and thought there must be an easier way.

I just put a piece of an IR-filter in front of the AF-sensor and... - Voilá!

Good Luck, Jens.

Kobold_IR
12-07-2007, 10:27 AM
since some time ago I was very interested in making IRs - but the E-500 is not very qualified , cause of the exposure time, which is for my opinion to long . ( no matter - it works ...)


Sorry- the links are no longer available ...


after a request by Olympus ( by a very good technician ) , I got to know about the Hybrid-Filter , which includes the IR-Block-filter . This Hybrid-Filter is put on the CCD - so one could only change the whole CCD to get an IR-Cam ...
Thinking about this problem, I got the idea to buy a small Canon G5 and make a conversion . I had no problems and made during the time a lot of pictures .
However it's a great difference making photografs with a smal compact or an DSLR-Camera .
And I had an E-1 ...

Jens asked me for giving a view of my special conversion of an E-1 to an IR-Cam ...
Ok - I did the steps all the way he described in his wonderful thread - but I used a quite different IR-Filter !
It`s a cold mirror with rg 645 .

The difference you can see here :

And here you can see the work of my E-1 IR : http://home.arcor.de/stefi67_h/E-1%20Bilder/E-1%20IR%20Bilder.htm


Thanks for all your help, Jens ,

stefan

http://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/C:Eigene%20Dateien/Vergleich-E1---G5.jpghttp://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/c:Eigene%20Dateien/Vergleich-E1---G5 http://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/C:Eigene%20Dateien/Vergleich-E-1--G5

tspore
12-07-2007, 09:52 PM
Those are great pictures. Thanks for sharing.

jebir
12-07-2007, 11:17 PM
Thanks for the report Stefan,

I'm glad it worked out for you.

The effect you get from the cold mirror is quite different and interesting. I may buy one of those filters and play with myself in an E-1.

This cloudy rainy weather that we have had lately is really an IR-killer. I hope we will have some sun soon so that we can get our IR cameras out of the bag.

Now I'm looking forward to seeing more cold mirror shots.

Cheers, Jens.

Kobold_IR
12-19-2007, 01:24 AM
Sorry - about knowing you have a lot of problems by conversing the E-500 I am in the possibility to explain why !
The IR-Block-filter is a hybrid-filter, which is put direktly on the sensor. So you have to change the whole Sensor inclusive the base, where it is put in
:-(
That's the difference to the E-1 !
stefan

rkrenn
01-18-2008, 08:39 AM
Here is a lens for you
http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEWS/EkppVAVElurAASQpRU.html

First fully corrected lens for the UV-VIS-NIR spectrum is introduced by Coastal Optical Systems

jebir
01-21-2008, 09:15 AM
US$ 4,495 manual focus, manual aperture... Ouch!

rrobinson54
02-15-2008, 08:34 PM
Is there someone who will convert an E-1 (or other Olympus) camera? I would love to get my camera converted to IR. Just let me know how much, and, if reasonable, I will ship my camera immediately!:smile:

rrobinson54
02-17-2008, 06:01 PM
No response! Can any of the Olympus dslr cameras be converted over to IR-only photography?

Thanks!

Twanaar
02-18-2008, 06:25 PM
After buying an E-3, i'm convert my E-500 for IR photo by myself.

I'm buy a 720nm Ir pass filter of the size of hybrid AA:Anti IR filter, and put them at the place of old filter.

I'm glue a tiny rectangle of 1mm tickness of the same filter (720mm) upside the AF captor (rectangular hole in bottom of mirror chamber) for restauring AF function.

All is fine except i've one big dust on capteur, inside the chamber, and i'm not want remove all again for clean it, so i'm live with it and clean picture on post prod.
Exemple of shoot with my E-500 Ir:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2379/2244812373_af3347f6fd_b.jpg

NeriP
02-20-2008, 03:41 PM
Belle photo Twanaar, good shot Twanaar

En as-tu d'autres?

Nerip

marcof
02-26-2008, 04:26 AM
No response! Can any of the Olympus dslr cameras be converted over to IR-only photography?

Thanks!

have you even read the thread at all?
All E-system cameras without IS can be converted without problems. I don't think anyone has dared taking an IS capable camera for conversion yet.

I believe Jens is willing to purchase and modify an E-system camera, you should contact him for quotes.

jebir
05-07-2008, 02:51 PM
Just a little update on my IR-conversion projects.
(Yes - it is pluralis nowadays... I have converted seven E-1 bodies by now and I'm beginning to learn the pitfalls...)

I bought a piece of the cold mirror that Stefan mentioned (it is the Cold Mirror sold by Edmund Optics) and mounted into my very first E-1 (with more than 70,000 shutter actuations in its baggage). The EO Cold MirrorIt has an IR/Visible cut at wavelengths between 650 nm and 690 nm and it has also a bit of transmission below 450 nm. This means that it transmits some dark red and some dark blue in addition to the IR wavelengths.

Here are a couple of side-by-side shots that I took with the EO Cold Mirror and my usual Shott RG780 filter.
You can click on the IR-images to see the full-sized images after some PP.
I used a custom WB through an Expodisk pointed towards the sun..

First out is a classic IR scene:

EO Cold Mirror
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/MyFirst/P5048654_STUDIO_PSP_rsz.jpg (http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/MyFirst/P5048654_STUDIO_PSP.jpg)


Schott RG780
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/Soderkoping/P5048642_STUDIO_PSP_rsz.jpg (http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/Soderkoping/P5048642_STUDIO_PSP.jpg)


And here are some people raising a mast on a sailing boat:

EO Cold Mirror
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/MyFirst/P5048664_STUDIO_PSP_rsz.jpg (http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/MyFirst/P5048664_STUDIO_PSP.jpg)


Schott RG780
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/Soderkoping/P5048648_STUDIO_PSP_rsz.jpg (http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/Soderkoping/P5048648_STUDIO_PSP.jpg)


And finally the steamboat "Stella" which I also posted in the Photos section:

EO Cold Mirror
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/MyFirst/P5048651_STUDIO_PSP_rsz.jpg (http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/MyFirst/P5048651_STUDIO_PSP.jpg)


Schott RG780
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/Soderkoping/P5048641_STUDIO_PSP_rsz.jpg (http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/Soderkoping/P5048641_STUDIO_PSP.jpg)


and "Stella in visible for reference
http://www.jensbirch.eu/jensbirch/box/IR/Soderkoping/P5042385_PSP_rsz.JPG

OK, maybe this can inspire someone to do some IR. Remember; it is still possible to do IR with an ordinary non-converted DSLR.

Cheers, Jens.

C. Pritchett
05-08-2008, 12:33 AM
I'm Inspired! Great shots, I like the mix of visible & IR the cold mirror provides. I have been talking with some of the people on the EO optics forum. I just paid for an E-300 from Cameta Camera along with a HLD-3 from BH Photo. I will attempt the IR conversion when I return to the US as there is just too much dust here in Iraq and dont want to take it apart more than once. Assuming I am sucessful in the converson I may start to convert E-1 / E-300's to sell. Once I get proficient at it I may take on work from other people but want to be sure I know what I am doing before I accept individual's cameras for conversion. (dont want to be buying people new DSLR's :) )

rrobinson54
08-06-2008, 01:59 PM
Is anyone doing IR conversions on Olympus cameras? If so, what camera model and how much for the conversion?

Thanks!

jebir
08-07-2008, 03:50 AM
I have a converted E-1 for sale if you want one; €650 + fees and postage.

Cheers, Jens.

rrobinson54
09-03-2008, 10:59 AM
I have a converted E-1 for sale if you want one; €650 + fees and postage.

Cheers, Jens.

How much is this in US Dollars?

Thanks,

Rick

jebir
09-03-2008, 01:02 PM
Hi Rick,

it is US$ 940.

Cheers, Jens.

MattJ
07-21-2009, 10:46 AM
Hello.

I think it's a very interesting idea and I'd really like to attempt such a modification myself. Unfortunately the images that came with the tutorial are no more. Could you please re-upload them or something? Pretty please :)

jebir
07-21-2009, 01:43 PM
Hi MattJ,

sorry about the images. My son's server is down and he working on a repair but he told me that there isn't any repair in sight right now (ancient hardware).

However, I had the original post saved as a PDF document and Tony agreed to host it here : http://fourthirdsphoto.com/images/My_IR-convertedOlympusE-1.pdf

So, meanwhile the server is down, I hope this will do for you.

Cheers, Jens.

jebir
07-21-2009, 01:46 PM
I'm sorry but the images are gone because the server hosting them is down and I am not able to edit the OP anymore.

Meanwhile, I have to refer everyone interested to this PDF copy of the OP - including photos.

Cheers, Jens.

MattJ
07-21-2009, 03:21 PM
Thank you very much for answering so quickly :)

I'm currently on the lookout for a cheap E-1 specimen I can work with.

Hmm... by the way, how did you obtain the IR filter (3 mm Schott RG780)? I live in Europe and don't really have a clue as to where to buy such a gem (with proper dimensions too...).

Do you think that it would be possible only to remove the IR-blocking layer from the old set of filters, put them back into place and use the camera with an IR filter screwed onto the lens?

bocky
07-27-2009, 06:21 AM
Do you think that it would be possible only to remove the IR-blocking layer from the old set of filters, put them back into place and use the camera with an IR filter screwed onto the lens?

From what I heard its doable. but you might lose indefinite focus cause of a refraction that filter in front of a sensor usually makes.

And now a question:

I'm doing it on my old E300...

can some one post a exact dimensions and thickness for a replacement filter on E300 main and and also AF sensor.

Just to know what should I order!
I found no company selling replacement filters made for four thirds
So I would have to tell them the spec and don't want to open the camera to measure the size before I get the replacement filter in order to minimize the dust issue.

Also someone have mentioned that for E500 you'll have to change the whole sensor? is this also case with e300 I think younger brother is more like E1?

and

With what should I glue the IR plate onto AF sensor


You guys made my day with this topic, now just make it better :)

Thanks in advance

Boris

jebir
07-27-2009, 08:12 AM
First, if you are not replacing the original filter with anything of similar (optical) thickness, the camera will way off in focus at all distances and there is no way to adjust the AF or the VF for that.

For the filters, I'm using;
sensor filter: 18x23x3 mm³
AF filter: 10x14x0.1 mm³

The original filter is 3.25 mm thick but I found that 3 mm works fine. I'm using Schott RG-series filters cut to size by myself since they are very sensitive to the PH level and the temperature. (I have had professional scientific glassware companies fail twice with the cutting.)

For the AF-filter, I'm using a Kodak Wratten filter #87 cut to size by a pair of scissors and attached by two narrow strips of strong transparent office tape along the long edges.

As far as I know, the E-500 and E-300 sensor boards are designed in the same way as the one in the E-1. The difficult part is to put the new IR-filter in place.

Cheers, Jens.

bocky
07-27-2009, 09:26 AM
The original filter is 3.25 mm thick but I found that 3 mm works fine. I'm using Schott RG-series filters cut to size by myself since they are very sensitive to the PH level and the temperature. (I have had professional scientific glassware companies fail twice with the cutting.)

Cheers, Jens.

Now I'm in doubt since in my country there's no way to find that kind of filter (Serbia). and cutting it my self is out of the question(unfortunately)
I planed to order it via WWW. But now you say there is chance I'll get unusable peace of glass... Would you maybe be interesting in cutting and sending filters to me via UPS or in some other way (for a compensation)... (please PM me if thats a case)

jebir
07-28-2009, 12:13 AM
Hi Bocky,

I don't have time right now to do any glass cutting but I will have to do it later in the fall. Usually I don't sell the filters because they become pretty expensive when the working time is counted. So for now, I think you may be best off shopping for another source. Get back to me if you havent found anything by the end of the summer.

Cheers, Jens.

jebir
12-18-2009, 10:15 AM
I uploaded a PDF-version of the original post with images here (http://people.ifm.liu.se/jebir/box/bilder/IR/My%20IR-converted%20Olympus%20E-1.pdf).

Cheers, Jens.

MattJ
01-10-2010, 04:23 AM
Hello everyone.
I'm proud to say that I managed to convert an Olympus E-300 to work in infrared. Jebir's article was a great help - thank you :) I will post samples as soon as weather gets normal out here in Poland. I posted my own DIY "tutorial" right here: http://digital-photography.pl/index.php?lang=en&page=artykuly&sp1=E1E300IR

akfreak
03-12-2010, 01:49 AM
What happend to all of the Images and PDF link?

jebir
03-12-2010, 09:33 AM
Well,... things apparently don't last forever in this digital world.

Here is a PDF version.
(https://people.ifm.liu.se/jebir/box/bilder/IR/My%20IR-converted%20Olympus%20E-1.pdf)
Cheers, Jens.

bridgebolt
03-31-2010, 07:14 AM
can anyone post photos using different wave lenght.. like 650nm or lower

AnnF
11-28-2012, 03:42 PM
I'm giving this a boost up for those who haven't seen it in awhile or not at all. :)

Ann

zone6
11-23-2013, 07:07 PM
I know I'm a year out from the most recent post, but holy smoke! Beautiful work. I just wish I had the patience and the expertise to make the conversion.