NEX-5 Full Spectrum IR Camera System For Sale


NEX-5 Full Spectrum Infrared Camera System For Sale!

I am selling a complete NEX-5 Infrared camera system on EBay.  

It includes the following:

  • NEX-5 with 18-55mm lens
  • Flash
  • Strap
  • Sony external Video Microphone
  • 3 Batteries
  • Charger
  • Lens and Camera Caps
  • Back LCD cover
  • Camera Remote Control
  • B+W 090 590nm Goldie IR Filter
  • B+W 091 630nm Enhanced IR Filter
  • Hoya R72 720nm Standard IR Filter
  • Composite IR Blocking filter made of the LDP CC-1 and the B+W 486 IR Blocking filters to enable the NEX to shoot standard COLOR images!

You can find the system on EBay at the following link:

Ebay Link

There are plenty of pictures of the system on EBay!

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You Do NOT have to spend a fortune to do IR!


How To Do It On The Cheap!

 

I know, this was supposed to be a post on the GH2 tests but I have been getting a lot of email and comments about the assumed high cost of getting into Infrared Photography!  This insane notion needed to be stopped before it got any further!

If you have an extra camera system laying around you can reasonably expect to send it off for conversion for $200-$300.  Yes that is a lot of money but the expansion of your artistic mind set that Infrared will give you will be worth it.  But there is a cheaper way!

EBay is a great place to find used digital camera systems already converted to Infrared!  I have purchased several of these used IR camera systems in the past year for next to nothing and have NEVER had a problem with a single one that came from EBay!

So far I have purchased from Ebay:

  • Canon G10 at 720nm for $350 (G10’s are in high demand)
  • Canon G9 at 665nm for $300
  • Canon 10D at 850nm for $250
  • Olympus E-P1 at 720nm for $300
  • Canon 20D at 590nm that I picked up for $300.00!

Why you ask did I purchase all of these system?  Well I TEACH Infrared Workshops and as part of that I have loaner cameras so that my students can try different camera systems before they decide on what type of camera and what conversion they like the best!  But the real point that I am trying to make here is that YOU DO NOT have to spend a lot of money and that EBay is your friend!

Point and Shoot cameras are very inexpensive and are light and easy to carry.  This means that you will always have a IR system on hand.  Mirror-less SLR IR systems like the GH2 and OLY Pen systems give your the advantage of interchangeable lenses and are small and light.  DSLR IR systems have the advantage of being able to share lenses and accessories!  If you shoot Nikon, do not be afraid to buy a used Canon camera and a cheap lens and vice-versa!

Go back through this blog and read the posts on the 14 IR camera systems that I have tested!  You will notice that I tend towards smaller lighter and cheaper cameras!  There is a whole world out there full of people with IR systems that are upgrading to something newer and cooler (in their eyes!) who would jump at the chance to sell the old ones for funds to add to their new ones.

Beware of buying from friends in camera clubs as they are looking to recover ALL of the money they spent both for the camera as well as the conversion!  As I said EBay is your friend!

 

You are invited to the Low Country Infrared Adventure!


Jamie Konarski Davidson & Mark Hilliard
present an exciting, new Photographic Workshop &
Excursion Series on Fine Art Infrared Nature & Landscape Photography!

By Jamie Konarski Davidson

Come along with two of the most accomplished Infrared photographers on the Southeast coast for this energizing study of Fine Art Infrared (IR) photography! Learn about equipment needed for Infrared photography, what subjects  generate stunning IR images, and how to capture & process breathtaking IR images using this new digital technology.

By J.M. Hilliard

We will teach both Faux Color & traditional B&W post-processing techniques using Photoshop CS5, Elements 9 and Nik software. We will have several loaner IR camera systems for you to share if you do not yet own one!

Explore with us the rustic southern beauty of the Low Country. Along with two intense classroom sessions on Infrared Photography and post-processing, we will be shooting breathtaking land and seascapes in Pawleys Island and Brookgreen Gardens. In historic Georgtown we will capture local nautical themes, including the shrimp boat fleet and an ancient working boat yard where you will never know what you will find!

Infrared photography has become wildly popular in the past two years. It allows us to create new, different and emotionally intense images of things we see every day. Combine this capability with the stunning locations that we will be visiting, and you will understand why we are so excited to share this adventure with you.

Even if you do not currently have a Infrared camera  plan on attending! We will have loaner cameras for you to use as well as Infrared Filters to convert your current camera to Infrared!  This promises to be a great photographic experience for all!

By J.M. Hilliard

Spencers Camera IR Conversion Discounts


Coupon Code For $25.00 Off Your Future Orders!

Spencers Camera is giving any of my customers/readers a $25.00 discount on any Infrared Conversion if you order on their WEB page and enter the following coupon code:  hilliard25

Their WEB address is:
http://www.spencerscamera.com

I have had VERY GOOD service from these folks on the conversions on my Olympus PEN camera systems and have had 4 done so far with a 5th in process now!  They offer 830nm, 720nm, 665nm, 590nm and Full Spectrum Infrared conversions.  They offer conversions on so many different camera systems that it is impossible to list them here in a short post.

NEX-5 Update (Well A Short One…)


Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better!

 

NEX-5

E-PL1

Well, not really… What I am really trying to say in this post is that the features, capabilities and output of the NEX-5 and the Olympus E-PL1/2 are so close to the same that you can and should substitute each others name in any of my posts here when it comes to filters and capabilities.  The only real differences of course will be lens selection, resolution and in camera menu flow.

I have seen some REALLY GOOD NEX-5 Full Spectrum Infrared posts out there in WEB land that makes my heart smile! And anything, ANYTHING that advances the cause of digital Infrared photography is a good thing.  So to those of you who have chosen the NEX-5 as your base Infrared system keep pushing the boundaries!  And for those of you who have not seen any of the great NEX-5 Infrared images out there do some WEB searching and check them out. Click HERE for just one WEB example!

I will keep my E-PL1 Full Spectrum system but I can tell you for sure that there are some great images being generated by these Sony systems now.  Plus, there are several conversion companies out there who do the NEX-5!

 

Pawleys Island Marsh, NEX-5 Full Spectrum IR, 590nm

Just remember that when it is time to use the NEX as a normal color system that you need at a minimum the LDP’s CC1 filter.  But remember to read the post on this blog about doubling that up with the B+W 486 for truly factory color results!

 

 

Pawleys Island Marsh, NEX-5 Full Spectrum IR with CC1 Filter

Here is the same image taken a few minits from the first one with the NEX with the CC1/486 UV/IR cut filter installed!  What more could you ask for?

 

 

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

NEX-5 UV/IR Cut Filter


It Looks Just Like The OLY E-PL1 Cut Filter

Nex-5 Hot Mirror, Aqua Side

Nex-5 Hot Mirror, Aqua Side

Nex-5 Hot Mirror, Gold Sheen Side

Well, in trying to keep up with the promised discussion on the Full Spectrum Infrared Conversion on the NEX-5, I wanted to share with you the information on its internal UV/IR Cut Filter (Hot Mirror).  As you can see from the images shown here it is almost identical to the Olympus version found in the E-PL1 camera system.

LDP CC1 UV/IR CUT FILTER DATA CHART


LDP CC1 Filter

As you can see it had a deep Aqua coloring on one side that is impregnated into the glass, this is the same as the LDP CC1 filter, and on the other side it has the gold sheen (B+W 486) applied to it only a molecule thick. Between these 2 filters/coatings you get a really tough IR cut filter that blocks most of the IR energy that tries to make it through to the sensor.

I am getting pretty good normal color images with this camera using LDP’s CC1 UV/IR Cut Filter in 52mm (again, why would Sony use 49mm filter threads?)

Pawleys Island Pier, NEX-5 With LDP's CC1 UV/IR Cut Filter

Sony NEX-5 Full Spectrum IR Conversion


Another IR Camera, I Am So Ashamed…..

Sony NEX-5

OK, so I have the opportunity to have a Sony NEX-5 Full Spectrum IR (Spencers Camera).  It comes with a 18-55mm zoom lens that is built like a tank.  The camera is easy to hold and point, the LCD panel is SUPER BRIGHT. I like the APS C sensor because it gives me better control over DOF.  There are currently 3 lenses out there for this camera, a 16mm, 18-55 and a 18-200. It has an attachable tiny flash unit that screws into its top (weird)!

The 18-55mm Lens is Larger Than The Camera!


Native E Series Sony Lenses

This camera had the Full Spectrum IR conversion done to it by Spencers Camera out in Utah.  It took 4 days including shipping time to send and get the converted camera back!  Wow are they ever fast!  The did send back the removed hot mirror (more on this in another post in a few days. There are quite a few converted NEX 5 & 3’s out there now and a lot of great images are showing up in the various support forums.  I HOPE that this one can at least live up to the functionality of the Olympus E-PL1 Full Spectrum Infrared conversion. I know from experience that the Oly system is one tough act to follow!

There are some problems with the camera that will cause instant hair pulling with photographers who have any experience at all.

  • Menu controls are REALLY buried deep in the menu system…. ICK
  • The Camera will NOT Custom White Balance with a IR filter on the end of the lens!
  • 49mm Filters!  Not a universally accepted filter size!
  • No Electronic Viewfinder

There is nothing you can do about a poorly designed menu system other than to grin and bear it.  But as long as you shoot in AV mode (aperture priority) 90% of the menu functionality that you need are single button selections except for white balance!

White Balance…. Hmmm this one could have been a show stopper except for the fact that the camera will report to you the correct wb figures in kelvin and tint values before it tells you to go take a flying leap…  But then… You can take those values and select MANUAL white balance and enter them!  This is a work around but it does work! So instead of a -1 for lack of custom white balance I give the camera a -.5!

I HATE it when I cannot find the proper filter sizes for my lenses!  49mm!!!  You cannot even buy a LDP CC1 UV/IR cut filter in this size!  That means that you have to use a step up ring and mount a 52mm filter and throw away the lens hood because it WILL NOT FIT over a 52mm filter!  Can you tell that I am angry about this?  To put on a filter based lens hood causes the entire assembly to vignette!   Oh well, the new 18-200 Sony lens is 67mm which is a standard filter size. I can see a new lens in the future if I decide that this system is a keeper.

The lack of an Electronic Viewfinder can be a real issue for some photographers (myself included). I will tell you though, that in Sony’s defense that if you put the LCD panel in the BRIGHT SUNLIGHT mode that you can see it perfectly in the bright light!  What More can I say?

Pawleys Island Pier, B+W 091, Handheld

I took the camera out for a test drive today. I used a B+W 091 and a LDP CC1 filter.  The CC1 was perfect and allowed PERFECT color images (more on this in the next post.  The 091 gave STUNNING B&W images but very poor Faux images (could have been a combination of the filter bandwidth and the sun light direction). I am VERY impressed with the B&W images though with the 091.  They are sharp and clear with great DOF.  The camera handled well and the normal aperture priority controls were readily at hand.  The images have good contrast and depth.

NEX-5 Full Spectrum, B+W 091

OK, enough on this for now, more soon….

Back From The Grist Mill Expedition!


The Great Grist Mill Trip

The Hagood Grist Mill in Pickins SC. Oly E-PL1 w/830nm

I am back and really TIRED!  Wow, 2500 miles total drive for 11 days of travel.  I visited 8 grist mills in all and family in the middle and towards the end.  I shot in Color and Infrared (but mostly in Infrared of course!).  As time goes by I will do several posts on this trip and the few fun things that I learned during it.

The Old St. Charles Grist Mill, Oly E-PL1, 630nm

My main reason for this trip was to visit my parents in St. Charles, Mo (did you know that there is a mill right there?) I spent 5 days with them of which I only took 1/2 day to visit the Old St. Charles Mill which has been converted to a large bar. The mill could operate, but the creek that feeds it has all but dried up.  The feed pipes to the water wheel look intact. It was very refreshing to find one of these gems buried in the middle of a LARGE metropolitan area! It is fed by a rocky creek that is running down to the Missouri River right through St. Charles.  The creek itself is also very interesting in that it is full of big rocks and boulders.  It would be nice to get down into the creek to shoot it and the mill from a low angle but it was just too dangerous for an old coot like me!

But I am getting ahead of the story as St. Charles was the 6th state in my trip and most of the mills I visited happened in the first 2 days of my trip in South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. To find the old mills requires a LOT of research.  I spent hours on the network searching them out.  I found several WEB sites that were very helpful in this but,  for every mill  found, I likely missed a dozen close at hand because they are just not documented!  When I left home, I had a list of about a 500 mills from the Atlantic all the way to Missouri and from the tip of Florida all the way north to the Great Lakes and I still missed and found more on the road! I really could have spent another week or two driving to more of them along the way. Most were interesting and worth documenting, but one was so badly managed by arrogant people that went out of their way to be unfriendly that I am going to dedicate one future post to just them in a new heading for complaining about idiots!  Really, I am not a mean or nasty person most of the time am I?

Hannahs Mill, E-PL1 630nm Faux Post Processing

OK, here is what we are going to add to this post in the next few days:



Old French Mill, Tenn.

How Infrared Photography saved an expensive trip!

I love to travel!  I am consumed by seeing and photographing new and different places.  But… The nature of travel dictates that you have no control of WHEN you will arrive at your next scheduled or unscheduled stop!  This means that you have no control over the lighting at the time you are there!  Unless you are willing to actually stop your trip and wait for at least a half day on location for better light you are at the mercy of the creative muses!  Let me tell you that they can be nice but most of the time they are wickedly nasty, looking to give you challenges to overcome in the pursuit of your art!

Old French Mill, Olympus E-PL1 Full Spectrum IR, 630nm

This trip was no different in this.  I found that I arrived at the mills after the magic hours of morning and evening when the light is OK for normal color photography.  EVERY mill BEGGED to be photographed in both color and Infrared.  But for the color images the sky was always blown out or the light was too harsh on the mills themselves for good images.  Unless you zoomed in and concentrated on the details, most of the color images were useless. The image to the right of the French Creek Mill was taken in the early morning. I made a point of getting a hotel 5 miles away from the mill on I40 so that I could get up in the morning and photograph this mill (one of my favorites that I have visited 3 times now) in the early morning in both color and Infrared.

Hannahs Mill Feed Creek, Georgia 720nm Faux Color

Hannahs Mill Feed Creek, Georgia 720nm Faux Color

It is a different story with Infrared Photography!  The sky can never be too bright, it will always photograph dark in Infrared! You can control the bright spots on the subject by careful composition and filter selection.  The bottom line here is that without my Infrared system on hand, I would not have come back with any useful images at all.  This is why I am so passionate about Infrared Photography!

The images shown here are of Hannah’s Mill in Hannahs Mill, Ga. The mill is VERY run down and the water wheel was gone.  But it was still a good stop because the mill building and the milling equipment was still in place!  There was a great stream with little water falls everywhere as well as the mill dam.  The image of the building below was processed as it came from the camera with no channel swap. You will find that sometimes when you get in the 700nm range of Infrared filters, you get wonderful bronze tones.  I really like some of the images straight out of the camera and this is one of those times when it just works out!


Hannahs Mill, B+W 091 with NO Channel swap!

Best Infrared Filters for vacation photography (you cannot carry everything!)

Wet Feet & Wet Rocks!

Rain?  SO WHAT!!

GPS’s are a gift from GOD!

Tying your GPS into the Internet and downloading waypoints!

Trashed Mills?  So what!  Look at the DETAILS!

More Mills of course!

The Sony NEX-5 as an INFRARED travel camera… Can it replace the E-PL1? (did I actually say that?)

.. more later!