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A lot of folks may be interested in this Luminous Landscape article on infra red photography with the M8. Do a quick read and then we can all get back to predicting the future of the rangefinder and the place of the M9 in the universe.
An Infrared version of the M9 would be well received by the Scientific/Technical community. Kodak would make a monochrome version of the KAF-18500 CCD if Leica were to ask for it. Replacing the IR absorbing glass with a clear protective cover would retain the optical path. Minimal changes to the Firmware would be required.
This is something that Kodak did on request in the early 90s, with the DCS200. Called them up, talked with them, they pondered it- and did a run of 50 CCD's set up for monochrome IR.
I used to do a lot of work with Infrared Sensors in the 1980s, up into the early 90s. When the Kodak DCS200 came out, it looked like a good camera to have on field experiments. Something you could walk around with. Kodak did not offer an IR version of it, until calling them up and asking for one. Having a modern version of one would be nice. The M8 is "fun to play with" for infrared, but you still give up a lot of stops.
The u4/3 cameras also look like they are quite good for Infrared, after having them modified. That might be a route to go. I wonder if the IR blocking filter of the M9 is removable.
Kodak DCS200ir, 55/2.8 Micro-Nikkor w R60 filter, ISO 100, hand-held. Shutter speed ~1/500th.
It's nice to see a high-resolution Monochrome/Infrared back being offered. Not as convenient of a walk-around camera as an M9, and will make an M9 look inexpensive.
I've decided to get a modified u4/3 camera for work. I can use my existing Nikkor ED lenses on it, I have a full range of Micro Nikkors. I have the visible blocking filters that I need. The color dye of the mosaic filter will pass IR, making it essentially a monochrome sensor. I figure ~$1500 for an IR converted Olympus EP2 will be about right. A Video capability would be nice to have. That is about 10% of the cost of the DCS200ir bought ages ago. 8x the pixels of the KAF-1600.
I'd still buy an IR version of an M9.
Fuji also makes an Visible+Infrared DSLR for the scientific market, takes Nikon F-Mount. Having Liveview of the EP2 is an advantage for IR, it is on my home-converted Nikon Coolpix.
I placed the order for the "Full-Spectrum EP2", with EVF and 17/2.8. $1400. It has the mosaic filter in it, so the visible spectrum will be color, and out past 800nm or so will be monochrome IR. I would still rather have a monochrome-full spectrum camera, like my Kodak.
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