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My E-P2 Re-purposed
Old 07-29-2014   #1
shadowfox
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My E-P2 Re-purposed

My E-P2 has traveled with me a lot along with my M4-P for film.
This little camera is all the digital I needed.

But for the last few years, it hasn't seen much use since I travel less and for the precious little time I had for photography, I'd much rather use my film cameras.

Until an For Sale ad for a converted E-PL1 caught my attention and an idea popped into my head: Why don't I convert the E-P2 into a fulltime IR camera?

Today, a month later, after a lot of deliberation, the camera came back from Massachusetts. It's now a full-time IR sensitive down to 750nm wavelength. Since I'm planning to produce B&W IR images only, I don't care about the shorter wavelengths.

Of course nothing is different on the outside, until you turn on the camera and look at the LCD display...



See the dark wood of the antique clock became ghostly white on the LCD. So now I can shoot an IR video

Here is a quick test shot, nothing fancy, just some of my wife's summer ferns:






Of course, today also had to be a very unusually cloudy and (*gasp*) cool day for July in North Texas. I can't wait to use this camera for the road trip we are planning. Hopefully there is still enough summer for me to capture those vistas with white fluffy clouds against dark sky.

So now, my E-P2 is back in commission. And I forgot how much I enjoyed using it.

Anybody willing to lend me a Zuiko 9-18mm?
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Old 07-29-2014   #2
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I did the same thing to my epm-1. Gave it a new lease of life. I got mine converted to full spectrum IR so I have more control over which wavelengths to cut off.
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Old 07-29-2014   #3
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I have heard before about such IR conversions. How much was the cost?
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Old 07-29-2014   #4
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Mine was $99
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Old 07-29-2014   #5
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My ep1 conversion was ~Pramod's--the cost of a bartered lens. Done locally too. It gives the ep1 a new life and purpose. I especially like how the 20 1.7 lens draws in low light in a way that doesn't shout Hey, I'm Infrared!



But I have a weakness for the dramatic landscapes, skies, water and foliage too....

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Old 07-29-2014   #6
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I have been using IR converted m43 cameras in my Africa work for a few years. This is from the latest iteration, an Oly EM5 converted to IR by Digital Silver Imaging. The sensor quality and the ability to see blown highlights in real time makes a big difference. I find 'exposing to the right' really helps to avoid blocked up shadows.

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Old 07-29-2014   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
I have heard before about such IR conversions. How much was the cost?
Raid,

Mine was converted by this ebay seller: image-laboratory for $99.
Another reputable one is Kollari (sp?) but their price is $250.
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Old 07-29-2014   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KEH View Post

I have been using IR converted m43 cameras in my Africa work for a few years. This is from the latest iteration, an Oly EM5 converted to IR by Digital Silver Imaging. The sensor quality and the ability to see blown highlights in real time makes a big difference. I find 'exposing to the right' really helps to avoid blocked up shadows.

Cheers,
Kirk
Kirk,
I almost pulled the trigger for a red E-PM2 which would have the same sensor as your EM5.

Could you explain what you mean by "exposing to the right" ?
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Old 07-29-2014   #9
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Will,

The term comes from Michael Reichmann and the idea is to shift the histogram to the right (by increasing exposure) without blowing highlights. For non-IR work I don't spend too much time worrying about keeping the shadows open, because the sensors keep getting better and better. But with the IR conversion there is a general tendency to under-expose, so it is very much worth the effort to keep the shadows as open as possible. That way you have a lot more leeway in post-processing.

Hope that helps.

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Old 07-29-2014   #10
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Thank you for the information, guys.
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Old 07-29-2014   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stompyq View Post
I did the same thing to my epm-1. Gave it a new lease of life. I got mine converted to full spectrum IR so I have more control over which wavelengths to cut off.

It's all my fault too!


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Old 07-29-2014   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhl-oregon View Post
My ep1 conversion was ~Pramod's--the cost of a bartered lens. Done locally too. It gives the ep1 a new life and purpose. I especially like how the 20 1.7 lens draws in low light in a way that doesn't shout Hey, I'm Infrared!

But I have a weakness for the dramatic landscapes, skies, water and foliage too....
Robert,

The IR conversion makes a lot of sense for older m43rd cameras. Also for Samsung NX which is not as popular here in the US but undoubtedly high quality.

I considered getting a (not necessarily cheaper) converted cameras with tiny sensors like some of the P&S from Nikon or Panasonic, but all the sample images I've seen has the coarse-ness that doesn't sit well with my eyes.
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Old 07-29-2014   #13
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It's all my fault too!


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Old 07-29-2014   #14
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Will, I kind of think of my ep1/20 1.7 / 14 2.5 as an IR CLE, esp. now that I'm shooting a Minolta CL again with a CV 40 & 28. They're the same size, easy carries.

Also, though, when I tried to sell the EP1 here in 2013, no one would even offer $75 for it! Ridiculous. Better to keep it with a more singular purpose.

When I saw the thread for the $250 EOS, I thought: that'll make a good candidate for conversion, even for someone who doesn't normally use compact Canons. (One of these days I'll probably convert my GX1, which I got similarly cheap, and which has an EVF to boot.)
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Last edited by rhl-oregon : 07-29-2014 at 16:15. Reason: Typo
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Old 07-30-2014   #15
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Some more shots from yesterday.





* These are without color processing, straight out from the camera. I kinda like the ochre tint. What do you guys think?



* The sky finally turned interesting last evening
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Old 07-30-2014   #16
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I am thinking of converting (maybe) my EPL-1. I like keeping the EP-2 as is, though.
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Old 07-30-2014   #17
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Raid, i think that's a good plan.

in case you're not aware (I just learned about this recently too), there are two ways in general to convert a digital camera for this purpose.

One, is to make it a full-time IR camera by selecting a cut-off wavelength and install a permanent filter in front of the sensor. This is what my E-P2 is now.

Two, is to install a different glass that opens up the full-spectrum of wavelength to the sensor. The good: you still can take ordinary pictures (the colors, not the quality), then take IR or UV pictures using appropriate lens filters. The bad: you have to bring lens filters and install them and take them off.

I still use my film cameras, and I have the Ricoh GRD IV for "ordinary color" image, so the E-P2 now occupies a unique slot in my toolbox.
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Old 07-30-2014   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhl-oregon View Post
Also, though, when I tried to sell the EP1 here in 2013, no one would even offer $75 for it! Ridiculous. Better to keep it with a more singular purpose.

When I saw the thread for the $250 EOS, I thought: that'll make a good candidate for conversion, even for someone who doesn't normally use compact Canons. (One of these days I'll probably convert my GX1, which I got similarly cheap, and which has an EVF to boot.)
Robert, precisely. I lucked out getting ~$300 when I sold my E-620 about 2 years ago, since then the prices of older digital cameras just plummet. Nowadays I'd be lucky of I can give away my E-P2. This way, I get my favorite camera back. I'm quite pleased.

On the Canons, there are already converted ones for that price, watch for those.
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Old 07-30-2014   #19
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That's a great idea, and some cool photos.

Speaking of (relatively) cool, I'm also appreciating this Texas July. I'm about 70 miles east of you and work outdoors.
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Old 07-30-2014   #20
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Will, I like the desaturated sepia-like SOOC. They have a special appeal and would provide a definite signature exhibited in a group.

(Mine are reddish OOC,so I convert them to BW in LR.)
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Old 07-30-2014   #21
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Quote:
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I am thinking of converting (maybe) my EPL-1. I like keeping the EP-2 as is, though.
If anyone here has an email or website link that is active (for such conversions), let us know here. The ebay seller mentioned somewhere in this thread has no items for sale now.
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Old 07-30-2014   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
If anyone here has an email or website link that is active (for such conversions), let us know here. The ebay seller mentioned somewhere in this thread has no items for sale now.
Yes he does:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Olympus-E-PM...item2ed48296ec
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Old 07-30-2014   #23
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Quote:
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If anyone here has an email or website link that is active (for such conversions), let us know here. The ebay seller mentioned somewhere in this thread has no items for sale now.
Raid the ebay seller i used is image-laboratory. I think she was the same person shadowfox used. I just bought the conversion service and shipped the camera off to her address. Got the camera back in under a week. I just looked and she has all the conversion services as well as a few converted cameras up for sale.
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Old 07-30-2014   #24
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I think shadowfox beat me to it!!
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Old 07-30-2014   #25
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I had a M Mount for a Ricoh GXR converted earlier this year.
You can just swap between IR and colour by swapping the sensor module .
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Old 07-30-2014   #26
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That's a great idea, and some cool photos.

Speaking of (relatively) cool, I'm also appreciating this Texas July. I'm about 70 miles east of you and work outdoors.
Thank you, and please don't get me wrong.
I ***LOVE*** this summer we had this year.
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Old 07-30-2014   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stompyq View Post
Raid the ebay seller i used is image-laboratory. I think she was the same person shadowfox used. I just bought the conversion service and shipped the camera off to her address. Got the camera back in under a week. I just looked and she has all the conversion services as well as a few converted cameras up for sale.
Pramodh,

You must know something I don't.
I said "he" because the name he gave was Gary Markosyan when I asked where to send my camera to.
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Old 07-30-2014   #28
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If anyone here has an email or website link that is active (for such conversions), let us know here. The ebay seller mentioned somewhere in this thread has no items for sale now.
Raid

I have a Olympus epl1 that I bought which was already converted to ir. If u are into ir shots, it is a great addition.

If I had to do it over again though, I would do a full spectrum conversion. I am thinking about doing the same think as Dante did w/ his x100 (Dante posted his impressions in the x100 sub forum).

The advantage of full spectrum is that the same camera can be used for both ir and normal color work.. One needs to switch from ir specific filter such as a ir720 to do ir work or a ir/uv cut filter (same as what is used on m8) to do color.

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Dante's x100 conversion writeup
Old 07-30-2014   #29
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Dante's x100 conversion writeup

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...d.php?t=138879

He has a summary here plus the complete writeup is posted in the link he provided.

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Old 07-30-2014   #30
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Thanks.
I stand corrected.
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Old 07-30-2014   #31
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Pramodh,

You must know something I don't.
I said "he" because the name he gave was Gary Markosyan when I asked where to send my camera to.
Haha. The name I got was a Natalie!!
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Old 07-30-2014   #32
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Maybe it's a husband and wife team ...
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Old 08-03-2014   #33
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This and others in my newest photography journal (click the image to go there).
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Old 08-03-2014   #34
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Very cool summation of your story and the digital IR tekkie movement so far, Will. Is it time to start a W/NW Infrared thread? Sounds like yeah.
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Old 08-04-2014   #35
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Thanks, Robert.

Perhaps it is time. I would have more to contribute to a thread like that after the roadtrip.
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Old 08-24-2014   #36
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Reading this thread has convinced me to send my G1 off for conversion. I went with a local company, Lifepixel. I opted for the super color filter. This will allow standard BW IR images and color IR images through PP. It seemed like the most versatile way to shoot IR without having to use an array of lens filters. I don't have any interest in shooting IR videos so the G1 will work just fine. Lifepixel has quite a bit of information and tutorials on their website, www.lifepixel.com.
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Old 08-24-2014   #37
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I'll look forward to your experiments and results, Mike. At worst it's a fascinating and bewitching vacation from standard BW; it also has the potential to change how one visualizes, or actually sees. I especially like low light situations with people where the IR does not so much reverse the usual tonalities as impart a soft overall glow.

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Reading this thread has convinced me to send my G1 off for conversion. I went with a local company, Lifepixel. I opted for the super color filter. This will allow standard BW IR images and color IR images through PP. It seemed like the most versatile way to shoot IR without having to use an array of lens filters. I don't have any interest in shooting IR videos so the G1 will work just fine. Lifepixel has quite a bit of information and tutorials on their website, www.lifepixel.com.
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Old 09-05-2014   #38
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Only with IR, can I do this:

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