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Old 15th March 2013
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E-420 converted to full spectrum

Hi everyone!

I've finally got round to converting my E-420 to full spectrum, taking out the hot mirror and replacing it with some quartz glass instead. This means that I can now use it for IR photography, or with an external hot mirror as a normal camera.

I chose to go full spectrum rather than just do an IR conversion because I wasn't sure which spectrum of IR would work best for me, and this gives me the option of switching between different IR filters, but being able to use pretty much normal exposures. I currently have an 850nm and a 760nm filter, and intend to get a 720nm and a 650nm filter too, to see which gives the best effect. I've put the first few attempts in an album (my first on here, this is also my first thread).

If people are interested I can put up some pictures of the conversion up, but please don't hold me responsible if you have a try and something goes wrong - I took a chance with this and realised there was a risk of messing it up (checking todays images it does look like I have a dust spot or two under the SSWF which means I'll have to open it up again!)

The other thing I have noticed is that without the hot mirror the images look noticably sharper - the difference without the anti-aliasing filter built into the hot mirror is more visible than I had expected!

Cheers for reading,

Ralph.
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File Type: jpg Bidston Windmill 2.jpg (81.9 KB, 101 views)
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Old 15th March 2013
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Re: E-420 converted to full spectrum

Thanks for sharing this hack. It's good to hear about and know at least that it's possible (though I'm not brave enough to try myself--the camera would certainly become filled with cat hairs I think). Am looking forward to seeing the images. Bravo!
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Old 15th March 2013
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Re: E-420 converted to full spectrum

You are lucky on your side of the pond that there are companies who specialise in these sorts of conversions - there isn't anyone I could find in the UK doing it at the moment, the nearest is in Poland I think. I was lucky enough to be able to do this in the "clean room" at work, however I think my lint free cloth wasn't as lint free as I'd hoped as there are definately a couple of tiny spots on the top of the glass above the sensor now. Hey ho I'll have to strip it and try again.
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Old 15th March 2013
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Re: E-420 converted to full spectrum

Very brave Ralph well done. I'd be interested to see how you did it, but doubt I'd have the courage myself. That windmill shot is lovely.
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Old 15th March 2013
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Re: E-420 converted to full spectrum

There is a magical quality with IR I like this and well done you for doing the conversion.

Tom
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Old 15th March 2013
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Re: E-420 converted to full spectrum

That's a nice shot of Bidston Hill windmill.
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Old 15th March 2013
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Re: E-420 converted to full spectrum

Converting to full spectrum presumably means that it you fit an external UV/IR cut filter you can go back to using the camera normally?


Sorry - just realised that is probably what you meant by an external hot mirror. I have to use IR-UV cut filters all the time on my Leica M8 which is notoriously IR sensitive. The B+W ones are very effective http://www.robertwhite.co.uk/shop-by...ilter_type=256.

There are a few of my IR shots here. http://www.flickr.com/photos/barnack...7633000895676/
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Old 15th March 2013
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Re: E-420 converted to full spectrum

Have you noticed any problems with moiré since removing the low pass filter?

Also, have you had any issues with focus accuracy using AF or are you using contrast detect (live view AF) to avoid this?

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Old 15th March 2013
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Re: E-420 converted to full spectrum

I would like to see how you did it too.I really like IR and would like to have a go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Have you noticed any problems with moiré since removing the low pass filter?

Also, have you had any issues with focus accuracy using AF or are you using contrast detect (live view AF) to avoid this?

Ian
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Old 16th March 2013
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Re: E-420 converted to full spectrum

Hi everyone!

Phil D - I'll try and get a how I did it post up soon - I've taken the pictures but I need to edit them a bit first (and my free trial of paintshop pro just ran out , I guess I'll have to decide if I'm going to buy it or photoshop elements)

Tom / Paul - Thanks very much

Mike J - I'd love one of those B+W filters, but they cost more than the whole conversion did Mine is a cheapy from china just to prove the point that it works (maybe not better value, but only £14)

Ian - the only time I have noticed moire (excuse the lack of / above e - can't figure out how to make this computer do it!) is shooting at a testcard designed to test the high speed cameras we use in work - otherwise I'm just noticing a greater level of detail in the pictures - for example in the picture of bidston hill trig point in my album there are some gorse bushes on the right hand side - on the full size image you can see every thorn! As for the AF system - it seems to work as normal with the hot mirror, when using the IR filters I'm only using LiveView so far and it seems to work well with the contrast AF. The LiveView and contrast AF was the main reason I chose to modify the E-420 rather than the E-500 I'd originally bought for the project.

Alf - I believe that Ian has a IR converted E-PL1 available for hire, which was professionally converted (I certainly don't consider myself a professional camera technician!) which may be better for you to use as mine seems to have a couple of spots on at the moment (I'm going to strip it again next week to try and remove them).

Finally can I say thankyou to everyone for their interest in this my first thread - I really feel welcome in this community!
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Old 16th March 2013
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Re: E-420 converted to full spectrum

Ralph, Thanks for sooo much info I have been teetering on sending an E-1 to the USA for conversion ... maybe I shall do it or pm you

I was thinking of creating a"clean room" space (sucking all the air/dog hair and ambient skin & dust particles ...) out of my pop-up studio (with a cover over it) and wearing a shower cap myself and clean white overalls to do the job

ps I have my "building PCs tool kit" of soft and plastic tweezers for removing delicate items
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Old 16th March 2013
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Re: E-420 converted to full spectrum

A very interesting project, Ralph. I look forward to seeing some more pictures - the windmill is great!
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Old 16th March 2013
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Re: E-420 converted to full spectrum

Very effective shot, Ralph. Looking forward to seeing some more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Harwood View Post
Ian - the only time I have noticed moire (excuse the lack of / above e - can't figure out how to make this computer do it!)
Acute accents on vowels are easy, (in Windoze anyway, can't speak for Mac/Linux) - just press the AltGr key (to the right of the space bar) at the same time as the letter key. Et voilá! Works in upper and lower case.

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Old 16th March 2013
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Re: E-420 converted to full spectrum

This is way over my head, but very interesting . The windmill shot is super.
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Old 19th March 2013
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Re: E-420 converted to full spectrum

Hi Everyone!

Chevvyf1 - Good luck with your conversion if you decide to go through with it. I haven't had chance to have a look inside an E-1 yet (apparently there's no second prize in an e-bay auction) but it shouldn't be too much more complicated than an E-420 or an E-500 which I have taken apart. I would avoid the versions with the IS though as they look more difficult. I found a thread on fourthirdsphoto.com where someone converted an E-1 which might be interesting (couldn't get the pictures up on my computer for some reason). It's at http://forum.fourthirdsphoto.com/f52...1-a-29059.html. There is also a thread on this site http://digital-photography.pl/tweaki...ement/#more-99 about changing the anti-aliasing filter which is the same job.

Do you plan to convert to IR or do a wide spectrum conversion? The only problem I can see with a wide spectrum conversion would be the lack of LiveView, so you would be shooting blind. On the flip side if you convert to IR you are limited to one frequency of light and you would also have to place some filter material over the AF sensor in order to get it to focus correctly. The other option is a cheap E-410 / E420 for about £60 to convert, which would mean not worrying about damaging a lovely camera like the E-1, and would give you the option of LiveView and full spectrum (I'd like to try shooting in only UV - I just need to find a UV pass filter that doesn't cost more than my entire camera collection!)

To everyone who has expressed an interest I'll put my quick how to up soon I promise (I've currently mislaid the camera I took those photos on as I haven't picked up any other camera than my converted one since it's been done!)

Also thankyou to everyone for their kind comments on my picture - hopefully I'll get more sunny days to take some more!

Cheers,

Ralph.
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