Fujifilm X100 720nm IR Conversion | First Outing | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, photography

‘X’ Hits the Spot.


To begin, this isn’t a review. I dare say there will be thousands of them out there for the basic / standard camera anyway so what would be the point? But if you enjoy IR photography and have ever wondered if a a great fixed-lens, single focal-length camera is worth converting, I may be able to persuade you. Please bear with me.

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I | 35mm | 1/170th – F8 – ISO320 | 720nm IR.

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Okee-dokee – this might seem like a bonkers time of year to try out a new IR set-up and, you’d be forgiven for believing so. Winter infrared photography was something that I never really considered either, until recently which, in itself, is completely barmy seeing as how I have been shooting IR for over twelve years now. One might be forgiven for asking me (rather sternly, I might add) what the heck I’ve been playing at? Still, I have discovered the joys of shooting infrared all year round and, it’s a knowledge that I am utterly delighted to have. Naturally, (after the brightness of the spring and summer months here in the Northern Hemisphere) during autumn, after deciduous trees lose their leaves, hunting for interesting, engaging rural scenes and subjects with any kind of visual impact under infrared wavelengths can sometimes be a little tricky, however, ignore the stereotyping for this kind of alternative wavelength photography and it’s not difficult to see that with good, undiffused sunlight and an interesting subject – there’s no time of year that renders IR photography a pointless pursuit. It merely requires a change of outlook and, not a lot else. [View post #101 for an example – caught on New Year’s day.]

For around eight years now, I have been a Fuji-X shooter. I can’t say that I have been exclusive to this system during this time but, there have been very few months over this period (comparably) where I’ve not had one in my bag or more importantly, in front of my leading-eye. Another favourite system of mine over this entire time has also been Ricoh’s GXR (APS-C) system . Both outfits in their various guises have served me terrifically in not only visible light photography but also for IR and full-spectrum. The GXR has been a mainstay for me in alternative wavelength shooting and without my good friend, The Doctor, down in Guildford, I’d have known none of these systems. Every single conversion I’ve ever wanted, he has patiently created for me and I can take nothing away from him when it comes to my own enjoyment of the genre. However, the bag was getting heavier (again) and like most photographers, I needed to ‘spring-clean’ my gear and, rethink. That’s when I asked my good friend, once more, if he might create what was to become one of my personal Holy Trinity of cameras. Of course, because I am writing this, you know already that he came through, in style.

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II | 35mm | 1/180th – F8 – ISO320 | 720nm IR.

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The only X100 model that I’ve not owned / shot with is the ‘F’. Sure, I wanted one but I’m not the kind of chap to always want the newest sensor, hardware – anything, really. I desire a certain kind of output (most usually for black and white) and this is why I have stuck with Ricoh for so, so long. (Out of interest, if indeed you are interested, another of my Trinity happens to be my GR (1st APS-C model) for this very reason – as well as a few other important ones, too). As the X100 line evolved, so did the X-Trans sensor and, no matter how much I liked future iterations of that sensor, I could never get away from the fact that the first iteration was, for me anyway, more organic in output. I don’t give a monkey’s **** about MP – just show me some output-quality and good all-round performance and I’ll be on my knees, but while the first model in this line was a little less refined, hardware-wise, when I was thinking about a dedicated 35mm FoV IR conversion, I couldn’t think of any other camera that would or could fit the bill better than this one. I couldn’t imagine, after a couple of years using and experiencing the files from the ‘S’ too, that either that or the ‘T’ would come close to the rendering of the first, under IR light. There were issues with the latter two’s sensors in my opinion. There were other, practical reasons also for sticking with the line.

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III | 35mm | 1/340th – F8 – ISO320 | 720nm IR.

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For a start, it uses the same batteries (predictably) as my main 35mm FoV squeeze, the X100T. It weighs about the same and, whilst the button layouts are a tad different, I can interchange pretty quickly between the two of them without having to take my eye away from the viewfinder. I’ve used both of them for more than long enough to know them pretty well and, as I found out today, using them in unison on the same shoots, is a breeze. Also, they weigh so little as to render them perfect for that kind of caper. Naturally, all the accessories and filters are interchangeable too; (I don’t use many but, it’s an obvious bonus). 

Over a fortnight had passed after I received my X100 IR conversion and with work commitments and poor light on free days keeping me back, today was a true gift.  To say that I have been itching to get out and play with it is a veritable understatement. I also know that there are others who read my pages and sometimes contact me on the subject too, who may also be interested in what or how I shoot or process. I have been a little lazy on the subjects of techniques, I know – and I guess I have always figured that there are so many photographers who like to pass on that kind of knowledge that perhaps the world doesn’t need yet another one; besides, everyone  finds their own path eventually, either by investigation, tuition or, dogged experimentation (or as I call it, constant faffing around with my equipment – ahem!) That is not to say that I am not happy to help or join anyone who wishes to learn or share information – insomuch as my experience may allow, so please, do feel free to drop me a line or a comment if you wish. 

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IV | 35mm | 1/180th – F8 – ISO320 | 720nm IR.

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Clearly, I have not yet explored the possibilities of this new conversion, spring is a while away yet, but I can honestly say that if these few frames, taken just an hour before the Golden Hour on a cold, sunny, winter’s day in Kippford are anything to go by, it’s going to be another very enjoyable year in photography. Thank you for reading, thank you, Amar (again!) and, I hope you’ll all enjoy these few inaugural frames. (Please click the infrared tag for other IR posts, if you’re interested.)

R.

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A Stop-Gap, Perhaps? | 760 & 715nm Infrared | 35:Chronicle

black & white, infrared, landscape, photography

Either Side of 35.


As I am now on the verge (pardon the pun, please?) of re-commencing my photographic passions with entirely different systems, both of which feature fixed 35mm (FoV) lenses, I thought it might be nice to reflect a little on the two IR systems that I enjoyed last year. Both of them are either side of 35 and, of different wavelengths to the 720nm I will from here-on, be concentrating – and, my anticipation of getting back out there is again heightened by such reflection. 

These few frames were taken around Megget Water; either of, from or, towards Megget Dam, (not far from St. Mary’s Loch) in South West Scotland – during July of last year. Most frames that I had posted of Megget last year concentrated mainly on the reservoir itself, but there are clearly other views. I simply cannot wait to go back in the spring. I might even remember to pack my heaviest tripod and a Big-Stopper, next time! 

R.

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I | From | 28mm | 760nm Infrared.

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II | Towards | 50mm | 715nm Infrared.

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III | Of | 28mm | 760nm Infrared.

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Memories: Of Longer Days | 720nm Infrared | 35:Chronicle

black & white, infrared, landscape, photography

As the Winter Solstice Approaches.


Already, I miss the higher sun, the longer days and, of course, my photo-walks around this rural haven that I call home. These few frames were among the last infrared captures I had made not too many weeks after the segue from summer, to autumn. Yes, I do miss my IR walks. The sun, the warmth, the solitude and, the searching – for the almost ethereal – are to me, those things that I enjoy most about it. As I look forward to next year’s spring, I shall embrace these shorter, darker, colder days – for their own challenges will become my own; but, I long for the light. If only to see scenes like these through my viewfinder again. 

R.

I | Repentance Tower.

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II | Ploughed.

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III | Above & Beyond.

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Let the Shadows Lengthen | 720nm IR | PT.II | 35:Chronicle

autumn / fall, black & white, infrared, landscape, photography

Under a Low, Autumn Sun.


Walking around my home-turf is a real joy on evenings like this and, it is my express intention to squeeze every single IR frame that I can this year, out of this beautiful, peaceful landscape. I know just how lucky I am – and, I hope this notion comes across in my frames. The lowering sun does make composition a little more of a thoughtful, slowed-down process but, that’s how I work naturally anyway. A little slower? Who cares? In a place like this – why would I need to rush, anyway?

(I am aware of the cardinal sin that no serious photographer should ever commit, even unwittingly, in the second frame – however, I’m not a fan of removing elements, so, it stays. It shouldn’t take you long to find it. To help you, try thinking along the lines of “Where’s [the] Wally”! Anyhow, I hope you’ll enjoy these two compositions.

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I | 50mm – 720nm IR.

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II | 85mm – 720nm IR.

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To the Trees | PT.III |35:Chronicle

autumn / fall, black & white, infrared, landscape, photography

An Almost Frantic Race.


The light is fading, the sun is getting lower and the clouds are coming in thick and heavy lately. It’s that time of year when I always feel the rush – to get out when the sun is shining and, to make as many infrared frames as I can of the beautiful scenery around me, before time takes the light away again, at least it will – for a while. The yearly cycle of the seasons waits for no-one. Whilst I am sure there will be glorious days to come before next year’s spring, before the leaves fall, now is the only chance I have to capture some lovely IR light in the foliage and, the landscape. It’s a rush I feel every single year around October, and have felt ever since I first became completely enamoured with infrared photography. 

I have a few more frames in store from recent wanderings – but for now, I am just going to share these two. I really hope you like them.

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I | 720nm IR | How the Other-Half Live.

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II | 720nm IR | Into the Sun.

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Place Your Bets? | 720nm IR | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, landscape, nature, photography

Hawk, Otter & Salmon.


Double-Prey | 35mm | 720nm Infrared.

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While the Sun Shines | PT.III | 35:Chronicle

black & white, infrared, photography

After the Wheels Stopped Turning.


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IX. | 28mm [760nm Infrared]

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As the baling season is almost a week past done here, I figured it was time to post the series’ final frames that I would like to share with you. This one is slightly more image-heavy than I had initially intended for this last post of the series to be, only because I found a couple more frames worthy of publishing than I thought I’d have before I started the shoots but also, because I don’t see the worth in stringing out the subject matter over more than a few posts – otherwise things get predictable or, worse still, a bit boring. So, what I’m going to show here are three more frames from my GXR’s 28mm 760nm conversion and also, three from the same camera’s A16 24-85mm TFS (true full-spectrum) conversion with a 720nm (Hoya R72) filter on the front element. This combined lens & sensor conversion has no filters at all in front of the sensor (not even a standard 330nm Schott glass) which, in simple terms means that with no filters on the lens’ front-element, the sensor gains around an extra two and a half stops of light (under daylight conditions or – UV, Visible & IR artificial lighting systems) – which is superbly beneficial for black and white shooting. (More detailed information can be found on my Light Waves page, if you require any).

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X. | 28mm [760nm Infrared]

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XI. | 28mm [760nm Infrared]

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Here though, using the R72 means that there’s no benefit of extra stops, but still, the difference between the frames captured at 720nm have a distinctly different feel (by way of contrast and highlights) to those captured at 760nm with the 28mm prime. I’m trying not to decide on a favourite look because I really do enjoy the output from both units but for me, the 760 wavelength edges it. Nonetheless, the A16’s conversion is going to be vastly more versatile in different lighting conditions and situations than the A12, with a usable zoom range and, the ability to use many more lens-mounted filters for light-wave play and, unfiltered low-light monochrome work. I’m really looking forward to making more images with it and experimenting with deeper contrast infrared, for sure, but in the meantime, I do hope you’ll enjoy these last frames of this particular mini-series. 

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XII. | 50mm  [720nm Infrared]

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XII[B]. | 85mm  [720nm Infrared]

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XIV. | 85mm  [720nm Infrared]

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Thank you for visiting. If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © 35:Chronicle (2018, 2019) except where specified. No Copying or Redistribution of any kind is permitted without prior consent from the author, unless links to original work is clearly provided. 35chronicle@gmx.com 
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