Luka Gorjup | photographer's blog

Luka Gorjup | photographer's blog




My IR Camera Retired / Upokojitev IR aparata

Category : Black & White, Infrared · by Mar 15th, 2016

Although my gear count is relatively high, I do not think of myself as a gear head. I don’t even remember ever talking about my gear here on my blog. But today is special. Many of you know I do a lot of infrared photography. And until now my IR workhorse was an old beaten Pentax K200D camera, which was actually my first DSLR. It has done a lot in the past 8 years. It opened up a world of creativity to me,  recorded thousands of truly crappy images I took as a novice photographer and later recorded the first couple of photos I am still very proud of. It got replaced somewhere in its life path with a newer model and was stuck in a drawer, labeled obsolete.
One day during my graphic studies, while doing a research paper on IR spectrum with my dear friend and fellow photographer Mitja Ilc, whose work you should definitely check out, I came up with an idea to modify my camera to shoot infrared and give it a new purpose. So, while I gathered information and needed material, another dear friend of mine offered his skills to make the conversion. So, it underwent gut surgery in Ted’s kitchen which left it colorblind, just as I wanted. I started discovering a whole new world of photography, the one that lies hidden to the naked eye, beyond visible spectrum. It’s mysteriosity attracted me and my IR explorations started. My camera survived a lot since then. It fell on concrete floor a couple of times and recieved a super glue repair job, it got knocked over while mounted on a tripod and got even splashed with salt water once.  I even forgot it once at my faculty and was returned to me by a very kind anonymous student…
The K200D has and old 10.2 megapixels CCD sensor, which is totally obsolete by today’s standards. Its ISO performance falls apart above ISO 400 and the dynamic range is, well, modest. But with some skills with nailing the exposure just right, it still produced a couple of wonderful files that were printed to 100 x 70 cm. Well, even thouh it still works with around 60.000 actuations on its shutter, it is pretty beaten up. I think the time has come to give it some rest. It has deserved it.

So, today the postman brought me my birthday present, a Fuji XE1, converted to 850 nm IR (conversion by DSLR AstroTEC). Yesterday the weather was great. Sun was shining through some clouds and the light was really beautiful the whole day. But today, well, it was pretty dull. Except for now when I am writing this, I am observing some pretty spectacular clouds passing by. Anyway, I had a play with my new camera today. All of the Fujinons I have at home are great lenses for ordinary use but pretty much useless for infrared, which I actually find quite ironic, since Fuji is actually one of the few manufacturers on the market that has an actual IR body in it’s lineup. So, along with my XE1 I got this clever metal adapter ring from K&F Concept which lets me use my trusty old Nikkor lenses on my Fuji body. Even the new “G” lenses work on it, as it has a built in aperture ring which can operate the aperture of the lenses without their own aperture ring. The best part of it is, I no longer have to worry about focus shift on my lenses, since there is no phase detection autofocus. Even manual focus works like a charm! Plus, the WYSIWYG principal of the EVF is a great bonus in infrared.
So far I only managed to do a couple of shots of our beautiful orchid at home and I was blown away with the performance of my Nikkors and the Fuji’s sensor. There is simply so much more room for adjustments in post production. I can hardly wait for the spring to come. I bet it will look stunning in infrared! Stay tuned! I am not a macro, nor a flower photographer (with an exception of yesterdays “Flower Power”), but so far, here is the shot of the lovely vividly colored orchid that is brightening up the living room that I shot using a Nikkor 60/2.8 micro AF-D lens.

p.s. You can also follow my previous and upcoming IR explorations on instagram.

Skozi leta sem nabral kar nekaj fotografske opreme, pa vendar bolj po redko razglabljam o njej. Ne vem, če sem sploh kdaj na blogu omenjal svojo fotografsko opremo. Ampak danes je poseben dan. Pisal bom o dveh kosih opreme, o dveh aparatih, ki vidita tisto, kar sam ne vidim. Infrardeč spekter, namreč. Nekaj vas ve, da se precej ukvarjam z infrardečo fotografijo. Do danes sem fotografiral s svojim starim razmajanim Pentax K200D, ki je bil pravzaprav moja prva DSLR kamera. V preteklih 8 letih je preživela in naredila ogromno. Nekako mi je odprla svet kreativnosti, posnela je na tisoče mojih povsem zanič začetniških fotografij in kasneje tudi prvih nekaj dobrih, na katere sem še danes ponosen. Nekje po poti sem pred petimi leti kupil novejši fotoaparat in zastareli K200D je romal v predal.
Nekega dne sem med študijem grafike z dobrim prijateljem in takratnim sošolcem Mitjo Ilcem, čigar fotografije si le oglejte, delal raziskovalno nalogo o infrardečem spektru. Pomislil sem, da bi svojemu odsluženemu aparatu s predelavo namenil nov smisel. Zbral sem informacije in materiale za predelavo aparata, prijatelj Tadej  pa mi je ponudil svoje spretnosti. Tako sva v njegovi kuhinji nekega večera izvedla kirurški poseg, zaradi katerega je K200D postal barvno slep. Odprl se mi je svet, ki ga prej nisem videl, niti poznal. Svet preko vidnega spektra. Njegova skrivnostnost me je očarala in pričel sem z odkrivanjem skritega sveta. Od takrat je aparat preživel že marsikaj. Parkrat je padel na tla in si prislužil popravilo s sekundnim lepilom, prevrnil sem stojalo z aparatom, tako da se je raztreščil po tleh, zalila ga je slana voda, enkrat pa sem ga celo pozabil na fakulteti in mi ga je vrnila prijazna anonimna študentka!
K200D ima staro CCD tipalo z 10.2 milijoni točk, ki je po vseh današnjih merilih popolnoma zastarelo. Vseeno pa sem s pravilno ekspozicijo uspel narediti super datoteke za celo 100 x 70 cm velike printe! No, čeprav aparat z vsemi svojimi poškodbami in brazgotinami s približno 60.000 narejenimi posnetki še danes deluje, je prišel čas, da ga upokojim. Častno, seveda. Zaslužil si je.

Danes mi je torej pismonoša dostavil paket z rojstnodnevnim darilom, predelanim Fuji XE1 z vgrajenim 850 nm IR filtrom (predelan pri DSLR AstroTEC). Kot zakleto, je bilo včeraj, ko sem dobil obvestilo, da je pošiljka na poti, vreme odlično. Danes je bilo seveda čudno, tipično sivo, razen sedaj, ko pišem blog zunaj divjajo zanimivi oblaki. No, zatekel sem se k sobnim aktivnostim in si za subjekt sposodil čudovito in barvito orhidejo ter se malo poigral z novo pridobitvijo. Vsi sicer čudoviti fujinon objektivi, ki jih imam doma, so kratkomalo neuporabni v IR spektru, saj imajo izredno izrazito vročo točko, oz. “hotspot”, zato sem poleg aparata kupil tudi K&F Concept adapter, s katerim lahko uporabljam vse svoje čudovite nikkor objektive. Celo tiste brez obroča za blendo, saj ima adapter vgrajenega lastnega. Najboljši del cele zgodbe pa je, da se mi ni potrebno ukvarjati z nadlogami faznega avtofokusa,  ki zaradi drugačne fokusne razdalje IR svetlobe, na DSLR aparatih povzroča precej preglavic. Poleg tega je prav priročno videti končni rezultat že v elektronskem iskalu, saj je IR dostikrat zelo nepridvidljiva.
Do sedaj sem uspel narediti le nekaj posnetkov, večinoma te pisane orhideje v dnevni sobi. Z rezultati sem res izredno zadovoljen! Rokovanje je odlično, kot tudi kakovost zapisa tipala, ki omogoča veliko manevrskega prostora kasneje pri obdelavi IR posnetka. Kakor koli, komaj čakam prihajajočo pomlad. Verjamem, da bo izjemna v IR spektru! Nisem sicer makro navdušenec, niti rož ne fotografiram pogosto, z izjemo včerajšnje objave, zato je toliko bolj nenavadno, da za prvo fotografijo z novim aparatom objavljam prav makro posnetek rože narejen z nikkor AF-D 60/2.8 micro. Res mi je res všeč ta čudovito pisana orhideja!

p.s. Moja dosedanja in nadaljna odkrivanja skritega IR spektra lahko spremljate tudi na instagramu.

orchid-ir-luka-gorjup

 

Do naslednjič,
Luka

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(2) comments

PK
3 years ago · Reply

Awesome!!!!

I can’t wait to see more infrafotos!

    Luka Gorjup
    3 years ago · Reply

    I am glad you can’t wait. Stay tuned PK 🙂

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