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jlutgen

UV/IR Camera Conversion

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We are planning to do a UV/IR conversion on a Canon Rebel camera. I looked at the company that does this work. It seemed that they were offering multiple options about how to do this. It might be nice to provide a simple guide about how one should do that conversion. Can you provide me with some guidance?

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Jerry,

 

you are correct, the company maxmax.com does modify and produce camera conversions to specific light sensitivities. Depending on what conversion you decide to go with, you should keep in mind that you're going to need additional filters to place on the front of your camera lens to narrow Or broaden your desired wavelengths.

 

Mark Mudge is the resident expert on camera conversions and I'll ask him to comment on this thread. A general Conversion Guide would be a good idea and something to consider.

 

http://maxmax.com/IRCameraConversions.htm

 

I know that this isn't too much info, but hope it helps. I'll ask marks advice too.

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I now have a UV/IR converted camera and the IR photography is working great, but the UV is not working as well. Mostly I think that I am having trouble selecting the right UV source. My problem is I wind up using very long exposure times, large ISO and nearly wide open aperture. So, I guess my UV source just isn't strong enough. Do you have a recommendation for a UV source for doing UV reflected RTI?

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interesting! I feel as tho I need a little more information form your setup.

 

Can you tell me what your current UV source is?

 

Also double check to make sure that you do not have a UV "skylight" filter on the front of your lens. In addition, you also might want to look into if your lens has a "UV coating" on the lens, sometimes, its "built in" by the manufacturer.

 

also, whats your subject matter?

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Thanks for the tip on lenses, I will check that out. I have not yet attempted a reflected UV RTI. All that I have done is some test photos on a "copy stand" using two MaxMax 17,000 microwatt UV flashlights, each with 16 LEDs. The flashlights were positioned about a foot from the subject. The camera was fitted with visible and IR blocking filters. So far I have done this testing on modern floor tiles, antique wood and several varieties of flowers(the "Black-eyed Susans" and Lillys did sort of OK).

 

Depending on what I find out about the lenses, I way just get 2-3 more of these small MaxMax flashlights and assemble/wrap them together into a single higher powered unit. That is unless you have a better idea.

 

Also, would my Canon speedlite put out enough UV to get the job done, if I also added visible and IR blocking filters at the source. Given that I already have visible and IR blocking filters on the camera lense, how important is it anyway that the UV source not also contain visible and IR components?

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We do reflected UV photography routinely using a converted camera. The problem is that the type of glass most commercial camera lenses are made out of block a lot of UV (it's not just the coatings). To get good UV transmission rather expensive Quartz-Fluorite lenses are required. There are a few on the market but they're extremely expensive...we like the Jenoptik 60mm: http://www.jenoptik-inc.com/coastalopt-standard-lenses/uv-vis-nir-60mm-slr-lens-mainmenu-155.html

 

It's also fully focus corrected across the UV and IR range so you don't have to refocus once you bring up the opaque filter.

 

Also...for reflected UV photography with a converted camera the Baader 2" U-filter (the "Venus" filter) is a must: http://www.company7.com/baader/options/u-filter.html

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One other thing on light sources...you`ll want to find a bare Quartz or Xenon flash bulb since they generate a lot of UV light (as well as IR). A Canon speedlight will have extensive UV blocking in it, as well most modern studio strobes, like the AlienBees. Tungsten and Deuterium bulbs also generate a lot of UV but they heat up very quickly and can be dangerous to use.

 

We use three Vivitar 285 HV flashes (1970s vintage design) with the UV filters cut out to get enough UV light in. Quantum also makes newer flash units that can provide good UV and IR light sources:

http://www.qtm.com/index.php/products/qflash/uv-ir-flash

 

Just be warned that Quantum are quite expensive.

 

At present UV LEDs can`t generally provide enough light for reflected UV photography, IMHO.

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Thanks George, that was very helpful. I'll check out your suggestions. It looks like we will have to assess how much of a commitment we want to make to getting this done right.

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