Thursday, November 19, 2020

Taking the blinkers off your camera

As we know, our camera can see more that we can with our eyes, although all cameras are blinkered by the manufacturers, to suppress the UV and IR bands.


Unless you are lucky enough to be doing photography from the Space Station, on the ground we receive the Sun's spectrum shaded in red above. However, our eyes can not see into the UV or the (near) IR bands. The smooth black curve shows the Sun is like a Plankian black body emitter, at a temperature of around 5778K.

As an aside, it’s interesting to note that animals see the world differently to us:



As we see above, some see 'just two colours and others four.

Our cameras can see more than we can, although the manufacturers put UV and IR blinkers on them:

So far I've only converted two of my cameras to dedicated IR capture, in my case choosing a 720nm filter, having removed the hot mirror: 

Last week, having a 'spare' EOS M, I decided to explore a full spectrum conversion: sending my camera off to Alan Burch at https://www.infraredcameraconversions.co.uk

Today my conversion arrived back to me (many thanks Alan for the quick turn around) and now I have an EOS M that captures 'every' photon it sees. 

So what does it see?

The above is a handheld demo (11mm, f/9, ISO100 at 1/160s), out of camera capture, using Sunshine white balance in Lightroom.


The image above is processed in Lightroom for a 'colour look'.

The final image is a B&W take in Lightroom.

It's early days in exploring my full spectrum conversion, and I've not yet decided how I want to use the camera, eg:

  • As is with no additional filters (colour and B&W).
  • With a UV band filter
  • With an IR band filter (at several cuts)
  • With a vis band filter, albeit with a different band pass to the one Canon uses
Bottom line: I'm looking forward to exploring the world with an unblinkered camera.


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