Quick Update: Olympus PEN’s as Infrared Converted Cameras


Olympus E-PL1

Olympus E-P1

Just a quick update.  I am starting to see a LOT of converted Olympus PEN E-P1 and E-PL1 cameras in Infrared out and about.  I have seen 4 E-PL1’s modified to Full Spectrum Infrared, one E-P1 modified to 720nm and one E-P1 converted to 850nm.  Everyone that I have talked to about the functionality of these cameras for Infrared has agreed that they are the best IR platform they have EVER used!  Funny, you would think that you would get some negative comments!  Well there was 1 semi negative comment where a very practiced IR photographer just could not get used to the mirror-less camera system and went back to a Canon 20D.  She like the IR results from the Pen just fine, just not the functionality of the body!

Remember, so far the only company doing the conversion is Spencers Camera out in Utah.  They have done a good job for me 3 times now!

VF-2 Electronic Viewfinder

For me the E-PL1 is a better choice due to its ability to use the VF-2 Electronic Viewfinder.  This makes the camera much more usable in bright sunlight (which is when you really will be out taking Infrared photographs!) It does add about $250 to the overall price of the camera but was worth it for me.  I own and have tested the following lenses with both a E-PL1 Full Spectrum conversion and a E-P1 720nm conversion and have found NO HOT SPOTS:

Olympus Micro 4/3 Lenses, 14-150, 9-18, 14-42, 20

Olympus 14-42mm m 4/3 Kit Lens

Olympus 9-18mm m 4/3 lens

Olympus 14-150mm m 4/3 lens

Panasonic 20mm m 4/3 pancake lens

Panasonic 45-200mm m 4/3 lens

For the Full Spectrum E-PL1 I have tested with the following filters attached:

B+W 486 UV/IR Cut

Tiffen 047B In camera Faux Color

B+W 041 570nm

B+W 090 590nm

B+W 091 630nm

B+W 092 720nm

B+W 093 830nm

B+W 099 550nm

There are NO hot spots for these filters on all of the lenses listed above.  You have to realize that I invest in TOP QUALITY filters.  I feel that anything you place in the optical path must be made with the best quality glass.  Most of the filters listed above are very affordable (under $30) until you get into the non visible filters 091 & 093 plus the UV/IR cut 486.

There is one other important thing that you must consider whey using any of the WIDE ANGLE lenses, you MUST use a lens shade to stop lens flare caused by sunlight coming into the lens at an extreme angle from the side.  Any sunlight in front of the lens will cause flare no matter what you do, but this is also true of normal color photography!  Olympus does NOT include any lens shades at all and you must purchase them as an accessory (BAD OLYMPUS, GO TO YOUR ROOM!)

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2 comments on “Quick Update: Olympus PEN’s as Infrared Converted Cameras

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