IR: NEX+Nikon adapter, Nikon DSLR, what?

shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
edited January 2013 in Other Manufacturers
So I'm finally getting into IR photography, and I intend to buy an NEX-6 and have Life Pixel convert it. (Yes, I wanted to convert a Nikon body, but WB issues totally scared me off.) I've got great Nikon glass, and want to shoot that. I don't want to spend the money on a new lens system, and top drawer NEX lenses are few and far between anyway from what I've read (I guess the 24 1.8 is thought to be outstanding).

What's the best adapter to cram between the NEX system and our glass? In what reading I've done on the 'net, "Novoflex" is well regarded, but does anybody here have first-hand experience with any adapters? I'm not really worried about vignetting as the NEX-6 shares the D7000 DX sensor, and most of the time I'll be using D-series FX glass.

Cheers.
Post edited by shawnino on

Comments

  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    The 

    MTF Services Ltd Nikon G to Sony E Mount Adapter

    available from B & H allows the G lenses to be used
    Msmoto, mod
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited January 2013

    I bought the Sony E mount adapter which works also for the Nikon G lenses, a cheap China thing, but it is just a mount, same as the very expensive Novoflex. I have a Sony NEX-7, because sometimes I want to travel very light and remain good quality. When you mount the Nikon lens on it, the only thing you can do is guess the shutter speed and the aparture, focus manualy, make the photo and hope for the best.

    My main problem with mounting good lenses via a mount to the NEX-7 is that I'am back in the dark ages. Every feature from this $ 1200.- camera is turned off. My second problem is, that my 24-70mm weights a ton and I want to travel light.

    Sony don't have high quality lenses, yes 1, the Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 ($ 1000.-), but that is not the lens for my kind of photography. For that purpose I bought the Sigma 30mm f/2.8 ($ 169.- and close enough), gives me high quality photo's. I wait now since April 2012 for high quality Sony lenses, still nothing, so I regret that I bought this camera, high quality camera but only rubbish lenses is like high quality sound system with bad sound boxes.

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on
    Those who say it can't be done, should not interrupt those doing it!
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    It would appear from the information on Life Pixel, that a converted Nikon can be configured almost anyway you would like.  I do not understand the issue with white balance as it is really about filter choice in the conversion and possibly a filter on the lens if other effects are desired.
    Msmoto, mod
  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    I'm all too ready to admit I'm flying blind here. I only have a couple pieces of G-glass (most notably 14-24mm). While it'd be nice to run the 14-24 for landscape, size-wise I can see my 20mm 2.8D on the little NEX body far more often. The rest of my kit will be 50mm 1.4D, and if I end up shooting portraits of IR zombie-brides the 85mm 1.4D or my beloved 135mm f/2 DC.   

    The link to what msmoto kindly found is here:

    The Novoflex is here:

    The MTF services one is a hair under $500, and the Novoflex a hair under $300.

    So, a bunch of stupid questions in case anybody knows the answers:

    The MTF one carries a warning "Using this adapter will introduce a magnification factor of 1.54x with full 35 mm format lenses, no crop with DX lenses"
    Erm, OK. Is that just an awkward way of telling us that the NEX has a DX-sized sensor so fields of view will be tighter on FX glass, or is it telling us there'll be a second round of cropping? I don't see any optics, so I'm pretty sure it's the former, but at this point I'm so confused I'm not even sure of my own name. The Novoflex carries no such warning.

    Will both of these let me set aperture manually on D-lenses via the on-lens ring?

    Is the advantage and extra cost on the MTF model strictly about setting aperture on G-lenses?

    The MTF reviews are mostly from satisfied video shooters. I'm almost strictly a stills person. Does that matter?

    What am I getting myself into? Wh-wh-where are my pants? 

  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    IMO to purchase a camera body so as to use an adapter does not make a lot of sense.  The "warning" is nothing other than to say, APS-C sensors have a 1.5 crop factor.  

    My suggestion would be to calculate the costs of each possibility.  The NEX 6 converted with the good adapter is $1750 minimum.  A used D90 or other used Nikon in the $700-$1000 converted.  And the lenses will function fully except focus is usually an issue with IR.
    Now, you have expressed confusion about exactly what your position is, thus I would suggest waiting a couple months, see what happens to the new Nikons, then think about a D7000 for conversion.  Hopefully, some others will grab this thread and add some actual experiences. 
    Msmoto, mod
  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    @msmoto: What's spooked me off the Nikon body is a frank e-mail exchange with LP that the Nikon bodies will simply not set the proper white balance in-camera.I would need to run the RAW files through Capture NX2. 

    I'm already using LR4 (incompetently, perhaps, from a thread in the old forum--my filing got blown up when I upgraded from LR3) for post. I'm not really handy enough with these Google-machines to further complicate my workflow by adding on a second round of software in post. 

    The NEX-6 uses the same sensor as the D7000. Of course I'd rather use a D7000 (or more likely a D90) proper: I know the menus, the buttons, etc. But I've got to be able to keep my process simple enough so I can spend more time shooting and less time in front of this Google-machine. 

    If I could in-camera WB a Nikon, I'd be all over that, clearly. But LP doesn't have a dog in this fight, they're getting my $300 no matter which body I go with, and they claim the straight-out-of-camera Nikon body output looks markedly inferior. For comparison, look at the series of thumbnails here:
    The first column is decidedly more palatable than the last. 

    So that's what I'm up against. I'd love to say I know what I'm doing. I clearly do not. All input welcome. 
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    I think there are some IR converted body shooters here on NRF and hopefully they will bring some info to the forum.  I cannot imagine importing RAW into LR 4.3 would not be enough to have the WB adjusted, but what do I know?

    Again, look at the entire picture, costs/benefits.  Then decide what to do.
    Msmoto, mod
  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    @msmoto: sage advice and many thanks. You rhetorically ask what do you know--I can tell you it's more than I know. Flat out, I'm just hoping you're right. Let's see if others chime in. 
  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    As I'm still trawling for input, may I ask a mod to change the title of this thread? Something like:

    In-Camera WB (Infrared): Nikon, or adapter for NEX?

    would be brilliant. Many thanks.
  • jerljerl Posts: 11Member
    I'm a bit confused by your concerns about white-balance.  If you are shooting in infra-red only, then color and white balance really have no meaning (ie. what's picked up by the "green" sensors is no longer green any more since green light doesn't make it to the sensor).  You should still be able set the white balance settings manually (or play around with them in post-processing), it sounds like it's only that the auto-white balance feature will do some strange things.

    Anyway, have you considered renting an IR converted Nikon body or an adaptor?  It might be helpful to give you an idea of issues you'll have with WB and what using an adaptor is like (as people have said, EVERYTHING is manual now).
  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    @jerl: I'm really trying to minimize what I need to do in post. I feel I need to make post as painless as possible because it's very much the weakest part of my game. And just as I get the processing figured out (was that fixer before developer, or developer and then fixer, or...) the goalposts move again. You're right: a pile of stuff is going to be manual, esp. focus. The simpler I can keep it, the more likely I'll have some shot at acceptable results.

    Rental in my neck of yhe woods isn't really an option.
  • jerljerl Posts: 11Member
    Ok, I can understand that. Only, you should be aware that with IR photography, unless you are doing black and white, the colors will always be a bit strange and will probably require some playing around with to get something that you want. Just something to consider.

    Also, I should probably mention that the NEX6 is not going to have a better time with white-balance than any Nikon. I guess since it is all live-view based, you can make all your adjustments before shooting, but you can do the same with the D90 and later cameras too, so that's not really an advantage, unless you want to rely heavily on the EVF. If so, I'd strongly suggest looking at a NEX lens, even a cheap one, as it will much more convenient to shoot.

    One more note about lenses if you don't already know about it: lenses are obviously designed for visible light, and some lenses that are great for visible light might be be mediocre or even terrible in IR (mainly focus shift, hot spots, etc.).
  • adsads Posts: 93Member
    edited May 2013
    "Nikon bodies will simply not set the proper white balance in-camera.I would need to run the RAW files through Capture NX2. "

    I shoot an IR converted Nikon and what LP are saying isn't entirely true - the camera body can set a manual IR white balance just fine, but Adobe products (LR & PS) mess up the white balance if you try to adjust it.

    If you want to play with the white balance then you can do it in ViewNX - but I rarely feel the need.

    The guy who did my conversion (not Life Pixel) set a correct custom white balance and recalibrated the autofocus for IR light - the camera works exactly the same as normal. He also supplied a one-click PS action to correct the red/blue channels if you are going for one of the colour filters.

    Happy to email a couple of RAW shots straight out of the camera if you want to try post processing them, see what the white balance issue is for yourself...
    Post edited by ads on
  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    I ended up having a D600 fall into my lap (yeah, I know, nice problem to have...), decided that I was only going to live once, and had LP convert that. I have been able to set a custom WB. (I know, lucky again.) Furthermore, I have not had hotspot issues with most of my existing lenses. Yes I can generate hotspots at very small apertures, but since I'm almost never past f/14, that's very much a non-issue. (Didn't need to buy glass, lucky once more.)

    Perhaps the stars just all aligned for me and it's more than I deserve, but I'm really happy with the way stuff turned out.

    @ads: if you'd like to share some of your stuff, I'd like to see it. Please send it to me at Hotmail.
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    I shoot an IR converted Nikon and what LP are saying isn't entirely true - the camera body can set a manual IR white balance just fine, but Adobe products (LR & PS) mess up the white balance if you try to adjust it.
    Actually there are a few bodies from all manufactures that the custom WB doesn't swing far enough to get a proper IR setting even if you use RAW. That is more of the sensor design than the camera itself is what I have read. Also, Adobe products can mess (temporarily until you reset it) if you have things "auto" upon import. I make sure to turn everything off and it makes life more simple.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    My morning thunderbolt:

    @TTJ posted, as a peripheral comment in another thread: "I have played with all of Nikon's DSLRs and found the 3xxx & 5xxx series to be noticeably lacking in AF compared to the D800 but the D600 I played with didn't seem much different if any at all. None were bad at all. I use a D50 (IR converted) and that AF stinks."

    WOW: Everything I read about IR conversions implied you absolutely, positively had to use manual focus. So much so, that I never even tried AF. My keeper rate was so low, I thought my true keeper rate at larger apertures might be 0% and the keepers I got were dumb luck. (Obviously the stuff beyond f/8 wasn't terrible, because the margin of error starts getting big....) Tried AF this morning with 50 f/1.4D at f/2: IT WORKS, BABY! And after all these months of frustration, all I had to do was... try it!

    Thanks @TTJ. (If this was old, old news to everybody else, well, it wasn't old news to me.)

  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    The conversion is in the camera, not a filter over the lens so the AF works. The one I have, the AF was adjusted to focus IR (more accurately front or back focus whichever it is and something else I think. I bought it second hand about 5 years ago and don't recall what was all done to it.) On flora it does well, architecture not so much.
    It will AF, but it is slow- due to the camera not the IR.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
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