Tag Archives: infrared

Infrared Photography with the Olympus 14-150mm f/4-5.6 II lens

Excellent IR performance with a 28-300mm equivalent range

I just got my hands on the Olympus 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 II lens, which I purchased second-hand in top condition. My initial testing with infrared showed no hotspots across the zoom range, and so I mounted it on my Full-Spectrum Converted Olympus OM-D E-M5ii body with a 720nm front filter.

The Olympus 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 II is a fully weather-sealed 28-300mm equivalent zoom that is extremely compact and lightweight. When collapsed, it measures a mere 2.5×3.3″ (63.5 x 83.8 mm), and weighs 10 oz (284g). It uses 58mm front filters.

The Olympus 14-150mm II does not produce significant hotspots at 720nm, even when stopped down to f/11. You may see slight center brightness above f8, but rarely do I stop down this far (remember that M4/3 lenses have 2x the effective DOF as 35mm format). Corner sharpness falls off at the extreme edges of the frame at the wide end, as is common with mirrorless lenses used in infrared. This phenomenon is also true with the other wide-angle Olympus lenses I’ve tested, including the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ, and the 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6. The 14-150mm lens wasn’t significantly different from those other two lenses in this regard. Once you’re above 17mm or so, edge sharpness improves significantly, and it’s sharp edge to edge by 25mm. Using DXO Pure Raw 4 to demosaic and sharpen the raw files works very well, and further cleanup is possible with Topaz Photo AI.

I’ll be taking this lens with me to South Dakota for my infrared photo safari, and from what I can see so far, it will be the lens that stays mounted on my IR camera most of the time. The slight edge softness at 14mm is more than made up for by the outstanding range (28-300mm equivalent) and lack of hotspots. If you’re looking for a walkabout lens for Olympus/OM System infrared, I highly recommend this lens. Pair it with the 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6, and you have a featherweight 18-300mm kit that works well in both the visible and IR spectrums.

Photos

Sample images at 720nm with the Olympus 14-150mm lens. Focal length is shown as 35mm equivalent.

Nikon Z Mirrorless Infrared Lens Performance Review

water lilies
Water lilies, Denver, CO
Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm f/4 S Z-mount Nikkor lens

I recently converted a Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera to capture infrared images. Along with my Image Doctors co-host Rick Walker, I tested most of the new Nikon Z-mount lenses to see how well they performed for infrared photography, including sharpness and the appearance of hot-spots. We also tested a slate of F-mount lenses using the Nikon FTZ adapter to see how well they performed on the Nikon Z6 in infrared.

Read: Nikon Infrared Lens Performance with Nikon Z-mount cameras

POTD: Alone at the Dunes

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Mosca, CO
720nm infrared capture processed in Adobe Lightroom Classic and Silver Efex Pro 2.

I took a much-needed break and spent two days photographing around Great Sand Dunes National Park here in Colorado. The dunes themselves are massive, and can be a challenge to shoot depending on the light. During the day, I utilized my Nikon Z6 camera that I recently had converted to capture infrared images (720nm/Standard IR). The infrared capture really made the clouds stand out on an otherwise hazy day at the dunes. Foliage is rendered bright/white when using an infrared camera, so it adds to the unique look. I finished off the processing using Silver Efex Pro 2, part of the Nik Collection by DXO.

Video: The Magic of Digital Infrared Photography (available free through July 31, 2020)

Digital Infrared Processing

Live Online Class Thursday, June 25th

Learn to process digital infrared images with Jason Odell

I’m pleased to offer a live class online Thursday, June 25th from 7-9pm US Eastern Time. Digital Infrared Processing: Fundamentals and Creativity is intended to show you how to work with digital infrared images in Lightroom, Photoshop, and Nik Collection plug-ins like Silver Efex Pro 2 and Color Efex Pro 4.

Topics include

  • Setting proper white balance on infrared images (in-camera and in Lightroom)
  • Adjusting infrared images from color and standard cameras (590-720nm)
  • How to correct hot-spots in infrared images
  • Creating the “blue-sky” effect in infrared images in Lightroom & Photoshop
  • Converting infrared images to monochrome
  • Colorizing infrared images
  • Using plug-ins for creative impact

All registered participants will receive a video replay of the live class.