• Ultraviolet Photography

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#1 Alex Sobolev


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Posted 11 January 2018 - 15:35

Hello All,

I am new to the forum and haven’t done any IR or UV photography since my anolog days early in college. I am looking to try my hand at it again.

I shoot with a 2012 Pentax K-5 and a variety of vintage Asahi Super-Multi-Coated Takumars. What kind of results can I expect with this camera if I don’t have it modified to remove the filter over the sensor?



#2 nfoto

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 15:37

Welcome to UVP.

Without modifying the camera it is unlikely that you can acquire anything UV or IR worth its while.

#3 Andy Perrin


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Posted 11 January 2018 - 16:24

Yeah, unfortunately modified camera is a prerequisite for this hobby. For infrared you will need a long pass IR filter (the Hoya R72 is good). For ultraviolet you will need to obtain a lens without coatings (see the stickies for examples) and a UV filter glass and IR blocker glass OR a dichroic filter like the Baader U.

#4 Damon


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Posted 12 January 2018 - 05:06

Re: modified camera is a prerequisite for this hobby
That's not entirely true... :)


#5 Andy Perrin


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Posted 12 January 2018 - 07:16

Ok, if you have a sufficiently ancient camera it is possible. The Canon 1D Mark IV came out 9 years ago...

#6 Andrea B.

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 22:02

Hello Alex and welcome to UVP.

Some older DSLRs (2007, 2008) had a fairly weak internal UV/IR blocking filters and were useable without modification. We have so few Pentax users* that I have no records of how the K5 performs without modification.

As Bjørn has often said -- with enough time and strong enough light you can force UV or IR through almost any camera & lens combination, but the results may not be useful due to noise, underexposure and detail loss. So the only thing I can say is to give the unmodded K5 a try. Then compare what you've got to some of the good photos on the site here.

Coating on a lens is often there to block UV or IR in addition to acting as anti-reflective. So again, all you can do is try with your Super-Multi-Coated Takumars to see what happens. Fortunately there are lots of old uncoated 35/3.5 M42 screw mount lenses available on Ebay which are easily adapted to that K5. If you are using vintage screwmount Taks, then you probably already have the mount modifier?

*I have a modded K5, and it is an excellent camera for UV or IR after modification.
Andrea G. Blum
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