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Greetings from Sydney!

Infrared UV Camera UV Lens UV Lighting UV Portrait
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#1 SteveCampbell

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 03:07

Hello all,

I'm Steve, a Bermudian/Canadian living in Australia. After experimenting with infrared photography for a couple years I figured it's time to give ultraviolet photography a shot. I've put together a simple/cheap setup that seems to be working for me at the moment:

UV lenses:
EL Nikkor 80/5.6 (old version)
EL Nikkor 50/4.0

Modified Cameras:
Canon 450D - Full Spectrum (multi-coated quartz)
Canon 5D mark II - Infrared (715nm)

Current setup:
Canon 450D -> EF/M42 adapter -> 17-31mm M42/M39 helicoid -> 39mm/34.5mm adapter -> EL 80/5.6 -> 34.5mm to 52mm filter step-up ring -> 52mm UG11 2mm & BG-40 2mm

I chose this set-up due to the wide spectral sensitivity of the 80/5.6 and the ability to just barely achieve infinity focus while still being able to focus relatively closely.

My intended subject matter is landscape photography with occasional portraits. Using my panoramic tripod head I should be able to take relatively wide landscape photos without needing a wide lens.

At the moment I'm finishing up my third year of medicine at the University of Sydney, which doesn't leave me a great deal of time for UV photography, but hopefully I'll be able to post a photo or two in the coming months.

In order to make my UV photos impactful I'll attempt to capture as many unique aspects of ultraviolet photography as possible. Here's what I've noted so far that differentiates ultraviolet from IR and visible-light photography:
  • Different flower & insect markings
  • Increased visibility of freckles/pigmentation
  • Harsher facial contours
  • Sunblock rendering faces black
  • A typically bright-white sky due to high Rayleigh scattering
  • Dark foliage
  • Glass rendered as opaque (sunglasses, clock faces, windows, monuments)
  • Decreased visibility on foggy days
  • Unexpectedly high UV reflectivity of some housing materials not apparent in visible light
  • More amenable to waterfall photos vs IR
Is there anything missing from this list?

Also, can anyone recommend a good wide-angle lens for UV somewhere around 24mm? Obviously wide-angle formulas are rarely amenable to UV, and finding one with a filter threads less than or only slightly larger than 52mm is difficult.

I look forward to contributing to this community!

You can also find me at: Here is a selection of my infrared photography:

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Edited by SteveCampbell, 08 July 2017 - 03:52.

STEVE CAMPBELL
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#2 nfoto

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 07:21

A warm welcome to you. Looking forward to what you can achieve in the UV domain - meanwhile, just post IR of course.
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#3 JMC

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 09:34

Welcome Steve. I was down in Tasmania in January and took my UV camera with me - definitely plenty of UV around in that part of the world. Love the IR pictures :)

#4 OlDoinyo

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 15:46

Welcome! Some very likeable pictures in what you have shown us, especially the last one.

Wide angle is indeed a struggle in UV, and most of the optics have more or less limited bandpass--but some are better than others. I find that the least terrible for me have been the Asahi 35/3.5 (good down to about 345-350 nm) and the Tamron 21/4.5 (good down to about 360 nm; also available in some rebadged versions such as Bushnell.) I must use these at f/16 if I want to have infinity focus. Some have had some luck with some versions of the Enna 28/2.8 but my version has worse bandpass than the Tamron and I have not used it very much. If you can get away with a 50mm lens, the Steinheil Cassar-S is much better than any of these, with good bandpass down to about 325 nm. All of the above are available in M42 mount. A Nikon 18mm fisheye has also been mentioned by others on this forum, but it may only be usable on certain Nikon cameras and I have no personal experience with that gear. At focal lengths longer than 60mm, dedicated UV lenses start to be available, though they are extremely expensive and I do not own any.

If you are into pinhole photography, pinhole optics of about 45mm projection distance are also available. Their bandpass is, of course, superlative.

Filters are also a struggle with wide-angle photography. The most widely used UV filter is the Baader U2, but it is partly dichroic and produces annoying ring artifacts that become painfully apparent at fields of view larger than 35-40 degrees, especially with color images. Ideally, purely absorptive filters will be easier to work with at wide angles.

Edited by OlDoinyo, 08 July 2017 - 15:56.


#5 Andrea B.

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 16:13

Here's what I've noted so far that differentiates ultraviolet from IR and visible-light photography

comment: The harsher facial contours are part of the fact that short UV wavelengths reveal a lot of small surface detail. All that detail gives a "sharp" appearance to UV photos. The longer IR wavelengths do not carve out as much detail on surfaces and many close-up IR photos appear softer. Unresized, side-by-side comparisons of a particular subject shot in IR and in UV will easily illustrate this.

comment: Not all foliage is UV dark although that is a reasonably safe generalization. :)
There is also UV specular reflection (off of foliage or anything else) which, like any other specular reflection, appears blown out. And there is UV iridescence which, like any other iridescence, can have bright areas.
Andrea G. Blum
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#6 SteveCampbell

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 07:20

Thank you all for the kind welcome!

nfoto: Many thanks!
JMC: Ah yes, tell me about it - summer is pretty rough around here if I'm outside any more than 15 minutes without sunblock!
OlDoinyo: I'll keep my eye out for an Asahi 35mm f/3.5! The filter thread size seems reasonable, vs the 82mm on the Tamron - thank you very much for the suggestions!
Andrea: I've always figured the soft facial features in IR are due to increased transmission of soft tissues to IR (the so-called NIR tissue window), resulting in increased depth at which diffraction can take place. NIR window is what makes medical vein-finders so useful; they transmit and detect NIR, letting you see deeper into the skin. It makes sense that UV has low soft tissue penetration since the stratum corneum is the skin's first-line of defense against UV. I believe it's the reflection and very superficial diffraction that allows resolution of fine details at the surface of the skin. I'll keep an eye out of the UV spectacular reflections from foliage, as I'd imagine it could contribute in interesting ways to photos! Many thanks!

Edited by SteveCampbell, 09 July 2017 - 07:23.

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#7 Andrea B.

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 15:38

Steve, yes, about the skin, etc. :D Look somewhere under the Portrait section and there is a very interesting display for far IR. I'll go try to find the link and post here: http://www.ultraviol...v-vis-nir-swir/ ADDED: The link shows a portrait in IR beyond 1000 nm.

But those short UV waves show non-skin surfaces in all their gritty perfection also. Industrial UV lenses are used (amongst many other uses) to perform quality control on surfaces, looking for pits, striations, etc.

I forgot to mention to you that many members here have their own websites as you do. We def support adding your website link under your name in your signature. That can be edited in your Profile by clicking your name in the upper right-hand corner. And we don't mind re-posts here of anything you want to share with us. Not link redirects, just a 2nd post of one you might have made elsewhere. ;)

I wonder what a UV meter would show for your Australian sun? I just got a 5.0 - 5.1 mW/cm2 on my SolarTech UVA+UVB meter here at sea level in Southwest Harbor, Maine, USA. That's a fairly big reading. I haven't yet seen a 6, but the summer is still young.

I love that Pagoda. It's like a fantasy land scene!
Andrea G. Blum
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#8 Andy Perrin

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 15:45

View PostSteveCampbell, on 09 July 2017 - 07:20, said:

Andrea: I've always figured the soft facial features in IR are due to increased transmission of soft tissues to IR (the so-called NIR tissue window), resulting in increased depth at which diffraction can take place. NIR window is what makes medical vein-finders so useful; they transmit and detect NIR, letting you see deeper into the skin.

My father is a doctor (an anesthesiologist) and his hospital tried out the vein-finders, and found them to be virtually useless. Essentially, a well-trained doctor or nurse could always do as well as the vein-finders, so they were a waste of money.

#9 SteveCampbell

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 03:36

Andrea:
- Ah yes, the 1450-1550nm infrared that makes sense since the IR tissue window is 650 to 1350. Would be nice to get one of those non-silicon-based IR cameras.
- And it certainly makes sense to use UV for resolving surface imperfections since the shorter wavelengths are less prone to diffraction/interference and so achieve higher resolution.
- Thank you, I'll add them to my signature!
- I'm not sure how to During the summer it's quite common for us to experience UV indices (Diffey-weighted UV irradiance) of 12-13 on a scale where 11 was intended to be the maximum possible value. Since 13 * 25 mW/m2 = 325mW/m2, that would seem to equate to 0.0325 325mW/cm2, although I'm sure something is off with the math somewhere along the line.
- Thank you kindly! The Chinese garden in Sydney is a fantastic place to experiment with extravisible imaging, as it's already such an idyllic location

Andy:
- That's probably why they're nowhere to be found at my hospital! They've always sounded good in theory, but in practice whenever we encounter particularly difficult vasculature (or more commonly, obesity), we usually use ultrasound guidance.
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#10 SteveCampbell

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 21:34

Thanks again for the information, OlDoinyo - is the Asahi you mentioned the "Auto" or the "Super"? I saw an Auto on sale and grabbed it last night with the assumption that the older lens would have better transmission

View PostOlDoinyo, on 08 July 2017 - 15:46, said:

Welcome! Some very likeable pictures in what you have shown us, especially the last one.

Wide angle is indeed a struggle in UV, and most of the optics have more or less limited bandpass--but some are better than others. I find that the least terrible for me have been the Asahi 35/3.5 (good down to about 345-350 nm) and the Tamron 21/4.5 (good down to about 360 nm; also available in some rebadged versions such as Bushnell.) I must use these at f/16 if I want to have infinity focus. Some have had some luck with some versions of the Enna 28/2.8 but my version has worse bandpass than the Tamron and I have not used it very much. If you can get away with a 50mm lens, the Steinheil Cassar-S is much better than any of these, with good bandpass down to about 325 nm. All of the above are available in M42 mount. A Nikon 18mm fisheye has also been mentioned by others on this forum, but it may only be usable on certain Nikon cameras and I have no personal experience with that gear. At focal lengths longer than 60mm, dedicated UV lenses start to be available, though they are extremely expensive and I do not own any.

If you are into pinhole photography, pinhole optics of about 45mm projection distance are also available. Their bandpass is, of course, superlative.

Filters are also a struggle with wide-angle photography. The most widely used UV filter is the Baader U2, but it is partly dichroic and produces annoying ring artifacts that become painfully apparent at fields of view larger than 35-40 degrees, especially with color images. Ideally, purely absorptive filters will be easier to work with at wide angles.

STEVE CAMPBELL
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#11 OlDoinyo

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 21:48

View PostSteveCampbell, on 27 July 2017 - 21:34, said:

Thanks again for the information, OlDoinyo - is the Asahi you mentioned the "Auto" or the "Super"? I saw an Auto on sale and grabbed it last night with the assumption that the older lens would have better transmission

Mine happens to be the "Super" model. I do not know what the difference really is or which one would be better.

#12 Andy Perrin

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 01:39

View PostSteveCampbell, on 10 July 2017 - 03:36, said:

Andrea:
- Ah yes, the 1450-1550nm infrared that makes sense since the IR tissue window is 650 to 1350. Would be nice to get one of those non-silicon-based IR cameras.

I've had some success in using a SILICON camera in that range by using a upconverting fluorescent screen to turn the 1480-1600nm light into 900nm and then I essentially take a picture of the 900nm. It requires an extremely intense light source -- I was using a halogen lamp at dangerously close range, but it is possible to get an image!