Friday, May 3, 2013

Sony NEX-7 Infrared

The Sony was returned yesterday after undergoing surgery at Life Pixels.  I bought the little NEX-7 for the sole purpose of converting it to shoot infrared in the 665nm range.  I choose to go in the 665nm range as that's what I had another camera converted to and was pleased with the files.  The 665nm blocks wavelengths shorter than 665nm allowing those longer than 665nm to pass through.  This conversion is well suited for color infrared photography due to its broader transmittance properties. Color is more saturated; black and white while possible might not be as dramatic as the 715nm filter.

The camera:

One of the smallest (it fits in the palm of your hand) 24.3 megapixel (native print size at 360dpi is 16.667x11.111) with an APS-C sensor amounting to a 1.5 crop factor for 35mm.  The camera came with a 18-55mm lens (comparable to 27-82.5mm 35mm focal length).  The camera by itself weights in at 10.3 oz (292 g).  The thing is small but carries a huge punch.
I wanted a smaller format lens than the kit lens and opted for the new Sony 20mm f/2.8 which is approximately 1.5 inches long.  The 20mm is comparable to 30mm in a 35mm format.  In checking focal lengths of my medium format I found the 40mm I use on my Cambo WRS tech cam is comparable to a 25mm while the 55mm lens on my Phase One DF body is 34mm.  I see this lens fitting right in; and it can fit in my pocket!
The weather in Tucson has made a turn for the worse with red flag warnings and visibility less than 10 miles.  The sky (if you can see it) is dull with blowing sand/dust/dirt/crap.  Not a great time to test/get used to a new camera.  So what do you when?  Shoot close up.
There are four-samples of the same image included here.  The first image shows the file directly out of the camera.  Number-two shows the same image with just a touch of contrast added (added to taste).  Number-three shows the effect of an old infrared action I used with my older camera (and still works with the NEX-7).  The fourth-file shows the result of processing Number-three through NIK Silver-Efex Pro2.
I've got a trip to California next week where I'll end up shooting this along Big Sur before heading to Death Valley on the way home.  I'll be sharing more information/images as I get use to the camera. 

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