Tipster #2 Perfect NEX-5 & E-PL1 Full Spectrum COLOR!

Getting Perfect Color From A Full Spectrum NEX-5 Conversion


CC1 And CC2 Filter Chart

We have talked several times here about using a Full Spectrum Infrared converted camera to shoot normal color images. Discussions have been around the B+W 486 and the LDP CC1 UV/IR Cut filters (now would be a good time to go back in the blog and read these posts).  The B+W 486 filter alone will generate blue skies with a slight green cast and the LDP CC1 filter leaves something lacking.  The light response charts for these 2 filters show a slight difference between them.

NEX-5 Hot Mirror, Gold Side

The B+W 486 is basically a clear filter with a slight gold cast to it while the LDP is turquoise. If you take a close look at the internal Sony UV/IR cut filter (Hot Mirror) you will notice that it is really 2 filters stuck together, one with a slight gold tint and the other aqua!

Nex-5 Hot Mirror, Aqua Side

This got me thinking that with either add on filter on the end of the lens of a Full Spectrum Infrared converted camera system that I was just not getting the proper UV/IR Cut action.  I searched for weeks on the internet and could not find one filter that had both response charts overlaid.  I couldn’t put both filters on the end of the camera lens because of the vignetting at the image edges.  BUT when I tried this for testing purposes you couldn’t believe my surprise when I discovered that the color image were perfect!  I cannot find a chart for the B+W 486 but believe that it is close to that of the CC2 filter from LDP.  Technically speaking, the CC1 filter should block any effect of the CC2 if stacked because is is narrower and inside of the CC2 passband, BUT it does not work as I would have thought! The only thing that I can think is that the combined effects of the 2 filters within the passband of the CC1 have changed the sensitivity of the passband.

What was I to do?  I couldn’t stack the filters…. Hmmm.


LDP CC1 Aqua Filter

OK, I looked in my box of old 58mm filters until I found one with a 1/4 inch ring (thick).  I took it apart and removed the original filter (LDP).  I then took apart the LDP CC1 filter, cleaned it and set it aside.  I then took the B+W 486 apart which was pressed together, so I held the glass on the top and bottom, twisting and turning and the entire filter fell apart!  I then cleaned it and put it on top of the CC1.  Stacked I then put them into the old LDP ring and re-assembled the spanner ring.  NOW we are talking!  The new filter ring wasn’t too tall and it worked perfectly! Pay attention to how you remove the Cut filters from their rings and place them the same way into the new ring.  I put in the CC1 first then the 486 on top.

You will NOT believe how great the color images now look on the NEX-5 Full Spectrum camera conversion. It is like shooting an un-modified system! So I decided to test this new filter combination on my Olympus E-PL1 Full Spectrum camera conversion as well.  All that I can say without tissues is YES, I HAVE FOUND IT!!! As I stated above, the 2 filters are mutually exclusive and the CC1 should block the effect of the 486 or CC2, but for some reason it does not.  I do not have the equipment to test the response of these filters and must rely on published data found on the WEB and on my own results which clearly say that this works!

I think that since LDP makes custom filters that one could contact them directly and have them build this custom filter for you but have not tried yet.

NEX-5 Full Spectrum IR, 630nm, Pawleys Island Faux Color


12 comments on “Tipster #2 Perfect NEX-5 & E-PL1 Full Spectrum COLOR!

  1. Hi,
    Thanks for the nice article!

    Have you tried to reverse the filters?
    Do you have the same results if you put the #486 first and CC1 on top?

    I’m asking this because I already have 49mm 486 and MaxMax doesn’t have 49mm anyway – I can take the 52mm and with step-up ring to put it in front of the #486.
    It shouldn’t vignetting so much (if any) and I will save all that dismounting and stacking procedures.

    Thanks again!

      • I actually ended up buying a hotmirror from Kolari Vision. I work with the guy there for few years and he has a whole bunch of new filters. The hotmirror is very good – in purpose cut’s more IR, so there is no leak there.
        Then I also replaced the #486 with Tiffen Haze-2A Filter, which cuts 100% of the UV.
        So the combination of the Tiffen Haze-2A Filter and Kolari Vision hot mirror is the trully best result from all I tried so far – there is NO difference AT ALL comparing with a normal camera.
        Plus you can just use the Tiffen as a regular UV filter.

      • Stefan, I am glad you found a good way and filter. Could you send along some data on your friends hot mirror? I have not heard of this one and would to have one to test!

  2. Can I leave the filter on the lens for a camera that has NOT been converted (to protect the lens)? Can you explain what the 486 does in addition to the CC1?

    • No, you cannot leave it on a uncovverted camera. It will cause a loss of sensitivity and make everything look blue thru the viewfinder not to mention the cost, it is not for lens protection. The 486 is a reflective filter and the CC1 is a transmission filter. Combined they give a slightlybwider cut off of IR and uv. Depending on the filter size each one costs about a hundred each.

  3. Do you have any more information on using the right filter for visible light photos with a full spectrum conversions? I’m thinking of having a EPL2 done. Can I leave the cut filter on the lens full-time and swap it between a stock and converted camera?

    • Hi Elavoie, yes I think I can help here. You can move your full spectrum converted camera back and forth between Color and IR by placing a filter on your lens. I think that a sandwich filter made up of LDP’s ( CC1 filter and the B+W 486 give the best results. The CC1 comes in a thick ring set that can be taken apart and after you take apart the 486 simply clean both and put them in the CC1 ring set!

  4. Hi Mark,

    Great work you’re doing here – keep it up !

    B+W filter curves can be found at :

    I’ve used the 486 on a Sigma DP-1 that I converted to full spectrum, but got weird results with magenta in the middle and green around the outsides … is that just a Foveon sensor effect ?

    If you want ( yet another ) experiment to try, I once bought a 50mm heat-absorbing circular filter from Edmund Optics ( – their part number NT45-648 ) and it fits very neatly into an empty 52mm filter mount from SRB-Griturn ( ). This allows all visible light plus some of the IR spectrum through … it’s a “tamed” version of “full spectrum”.

    I now have an E-PL1 which I’ll be sending off for conversion after the holidays … can’t wait !

    • Thanks! I have no experience with the Foveon sensor, but would like to remedy that! Did you have your hot mirror returned! That will tell you what you need for color work. I was very unhappy with the results from the 486 on all of my full spectrum conversions. You might want to try the LDP CC1 filter!

      Congratulations on the E-PL1 conversion!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s