Adding an Olympus E-PL1 Visible Spectrum IR system

I have added a newly converted E-PL1 Visible Spectrum camera to the arsenal! Coupled with filters from B+W (092 = 695nm, 093 = 830nm & 099 = 520nm) this promises to be a great system. When you also consider that by placing an IR/UV blocking filter the camera will continue to shoot standard color you will have a great compromise camera system! It also has the VF-2 Electronic Viewfinder which makes it much easier to use than the E-P1 in 720nm!  There are a great assortment of lenses for this system and I am currently using the Olympus 9-18mm & the Panasonic 45-200mm and the Olympus kit lens, 14-42mm.  These are very small light weight lenses that give very good results for IR.  There are no hotspots and there are filters available for the 52mm and 40.5mm ring sizes.

Below is an example from the camera using a B+W 099 520nm super color filter:

The 099 filter gives very pleasing results in Faux color as well as B&W. With the addition of a IR/UV blocking filter and auto white balance the camera functions as a normal color camera!


33 comments on “Adding an Olympus E-PL1 Visible Spectrum IR system

  1. Do you need to replace the internal filter if you plan to just use manual focus lenses? Or what is a good source to replace the oem filter with clear glass?

  2. Thank you for creating this blog and I really appreciate your replies to different questions.
    I’m trying to understand the benefit of converting my camera to Full Spectrum but I don’t think it is a great option for me, I like the deep B&W IR effect, I mean very dark skies and deep white of the leaves tress (720nm) but according with your description the moment you add in the front element of the lens a filter you will loose 3 stops in light (800nm and 850nm) , this is really an inconvenient for me because you will need a tripod to obtain a sharp picture and add to it the movement of tress and leaves.
    Do you think I will just convert my camera to a Standard IR (720nm) ?



    • Marcelo, the 720nm conversion is a very good choice. It gives some color for faux processing yet gives stunning B&W output with good “Wood” effect. If you have a camera converted to 800nm you are going to loose the same 2 to 3 stops as well. It can still be hand held but you have to be aware of the loss and understand the impact on exposure…

  3. If you add a filter on the camera will it increase the shutter time…. For example when I stick a IR filter onto a regular camera…. sometimes the exposure time can be 1/10 or slower.. which shows movement. That is the reason why I got a G11 converted… but if I get my E-PL1 converted to VS IR and stick a filter will it leave my shutter speed alone?

    • Yes, if you add a 720nm IR filter to a standard color camera expect long shutter times!

      If your got your G11 converted to full time IR by replacing its internal UV/IR blocking filter (hot mirror) then you can change the flavor of it by adding external on the lens filters and it will still be hand held!

      If you get your E-PL1 converted to

        FULL SPECTRUM (not VS)

      then they simply remove the internal UV/IR blocking filter (hot mirror) and replace it with a clear glass cover. Then you program the uv or normal color or IR spectrum you wish to shoot in by adding the correct filter on the end of the lens. It will have the same fast shutter speeds as a dedicated IR conversion like you had done on your G11 and you can shoot hand held all day long!

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