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Sony NEX-5N (monochrome) for UV/IR

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#21 nfoto

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Posted 07 March 2020 - 12:16

Finally, I can shoot UV Fisheye hand-held!!

To prove my point, here is a straight-forward shot from my porch using the SUNEX 5.6mm f/5.6 Fisheye lens on the NEX-5N, with rear.mounted Baader U. It's heavy overcast today, so exposure was f/5.6 1/40 sec at ISO 200. This is on the lean side exposure-wise as I shot in manual mode and ought to do 1/15 sec instead, but lifting the brightness later was not a big deal.

Attached Image: T202003070605_SUNEX_5,6mmf5,6_UV_NEX-5N.jpg

The SUNEX being a fix-focus lens with adjustable focus allowed me to do a cursory infinity-focus adjustment beforehand, which obviously could have been improved. However, the outcome is very promising.

The white stuff covering the ground is snow for those of you not familiar with it. Snow tends to reflect a lot of UV under bright skies, but often appear rather dull grey otherwise. In IR, snow can be medium grey if its water content is high.

#22 colinbm

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Posted 07 March 2020 - 12:34

Beaut picture Birna
Yes I am definitely not familiar with that silly white stuff.....

#23 nfoto

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Posted 07 March 2020 - 14:02

Vivek informs me now that the modified sensor has a 0.5mm cover glass (WG 270?) thus is not naked in the literal sense. That hopefully will make it easier to clean the camera sensor.

#24 colinbm

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Posted 07 March 2020 - 14:05

I didn't think the sensor would last to long in the open......having opened a few myself.... :tongue:

#25 nfoto

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Posted 15 March 2020 - 16:33

I'm currently in Covid-19 quarantine, which is not very exciting to say the least.

Yesterday I spied the first Tussilago farfara Colt's Foot flowering along the road verge outside. At night, with nobody around, I sneaked out and grabbed a few of them for my own nefarious purposes.

I availed myself of a brief period with sunshine to make a comparison with the NEX-5N monochrome against my Nikon D3200 (built-in Baader U). Both cameras are directly or indirectly a courtesy of my Dutch friend Dr. Vivek Iyer. I put a UV-Nikkor 105/4.5 plus PN-11 extension on both systems, plus the mandatory BaaderU in case of the Sony NEX.

This was late afternoon thus sun wasn't very bright, which is reflected in exposures around 3-4 sec. I had to use sunlight as the NEX did not provide an easy way to trigger a flash. The UV-Nikkors were stopped down to f/11 (i.e. effective aperture f/17 with the PN-11) and ISO kept to 200. Magnification initially slightly bigger than m=0.5.

First, the Sony NEX-5N monochrome (ARW file run through Monochrome2DNG, thereafter processed in Photoshop as a b/w image),

Attached Image: S202003140636.jpg

Now, the Nikon D3200 (standard Photo Ninja edit),

Attached Image: I202003144115.jpg

Whilst both images in principle carry the identical information of the UV pattern of the composite flower head, the monochrome image does have crisper detail but loses out on elements in which colours differentiate features.

Here is 100% crops of the two side by side.

Attached Image: comparison_monochromeNEX-5N_vs_D3200_UV_Nikkor_BaaderU.jpg

Do note these pictures were taken with two different samples of the UV-Nikkor and focused separately, so this comparison should not be directly pixel-peeped. The excellent imaging quality of the UV-Nikkor was well known in advance, likewise the fact it will never be a bokeh champion. There is no free lunch for UV either.

#26 dabateman

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Posted 15 March 2020 - 20:36

View Postnfoto, on 15 March 2020 - 16:33, said:


At night, with nobody around, I sneaked out and grabbed a few of them for my own nefarious purposes.

I imagine you all in UV black, sneaking across the road with high note piano music.

View Postnfoto, on 15 March 2020 - 16:33, said:

Here is 100% crops of the two side by side.

Attachment comparison_monochromeNEX-5N_vs_D3200_UV_Nikkor_BaaderU.jpg

Do note these pictures were taken with two different samples of the UV-Nikkor and focused separately, so this comparison should not be directly pixel-peeped.

No can do, I zoomed right in to look at them. The Sony looks great and reignited my desire for a monochrome camera. But the colors of the Nikon win me over. I think I would use monochrome with many filters to always pump out a UV color image.

View Postnfoto, on 15 March 2020 - 16:33, said:

There is no free lunch for UV either.

What! You will no longer be serving hot dogs and maybe meat burgers for lunch at the non-annual UV forum luncheon?
I will miss those imaginary get togethers.

#27 nfoto

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Posted 15 March 2020 - 21:16

Black attire rarely comes out pure black in UV ... However, as I live in a rural area, getting the window of opportunity to sneak outside is easy after nightfall.

Do remember the flowers are organic creatures thus they tend to move or wilt if photography takes to long to accomplish.

I did a quick search and to my pleasure found suitable adapters for my NEX-5N to allow putting a flash trigger or PocketWizard on it. That way I can utilise my heavy-duty Broncolor studio flashes with uncoated Xenon tubes which output loads of UV. I ordered it shipped from the UK in the hope they have stocks and don't rely on refilling from the Chinese, which otherwise would constitute a bottleneck in these Covid-19 times.

Any "free lunch" here would be grilled or smoked salmon at best. I try to keep away from meat. Anyone from our UVP community is most welcome to join.

#28 nfoto

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Posted 16 March 2020 - 17:12

By the way, here are the setup I used for the comparison shots. The Sony leaves plenty of room for rear-mounting a filter when the lens is in F-mount .... These UV-Nikkors have served me well over decades of heavy use, by the way. The oldest is from 1991, the other about 10 years "younger". I fear new lenses in general are not made to withstand similar use these days.

Attached Image: U202003164156_UV-Nikkors.jpg

Now, if only I could find a remote control for the NEX that allowed me to control the camera by a Stackshot controller, I would be happy.

#29 Andrea B.

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Posted 19 March 2020 - 17:44

I imagine you all in UV black, sneaking across the road with high note piano music.

Yes !! And I love the high note piano music accompaniment !! Great image.

******

I'm also getting more interested in a UV monochrome cam. But I have never completed my experiments with the Leica Monochrome which did seem to be OK for UV, although I'm not at all sure how low it can go.
Andrea G. Blum
Often found hanging out with flowers & bees.

#30 nfoto

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 17:51

One of my current favourite lenses on the Sony NEX-5N monochrome is the Voigtländer 25mm f/4 SC Skopar. It is tiny by today's standards, yet beautifully built and blends perfectly in with the overall impression of the small NEX-5N body. Handling is easy as there is an extra add-on knurled ring for setting the distance. Focusing is swift and precise on the lens, but the focus peaking on the NEX isn't accurate enough so one frequently has to switch over to an enlargement mode, which is implemented in an awkward fashion by Sony.

Apart from its minimum focused distance of 0.9m, like other rangefinder-era lenses, I find little to complain about with this Scopar. Stephen Gandy on his web site claims only 600 of these lenses were made by Cosina in Japan, yet I found easily a mint sample by simple eBay search and paid less than 200$ for it as well.

Childhood's End

Attached Image: S202003210648_childhoods_end_CV_25mmf4_NEX5-Nmonochrome.jpg

The above is a heavily cropped infrared image and really shows why this 25mm lens is so endearing to me.

I haven't tried it for UV, but will do later when (if?) the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and/or more sunlight becomes available. Still very early in the Season over here and snow still can be seen in some places. Given the complex optical formula off the 25/4 and it being multicoated, my hopes for it as a UV lens are pretty low.

#31 nfoto

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 22:01

One occasionally can get outside the front door to take a pot shot at the dandelions, now slowly coming into bloom around here. We still have cold nights with temperatures dropping below the freezing point thus Spring is hesitant.

I played with the really ancient Micro-Nikkor 5.5cm f/3.5 from the early '60s on my NEX-5N. The combination does UV surprisingly well, although it never will replace the functionality and performance of the Coastal 60mm f/(4 APO. I intend to test the 5.5cm lens further, though, even going to the step of using the camera on a tripod.

No sunshine today, but no rain either thus I got a few shots with the 5.5cm Nikkor and the SUNEX Fisheye 5.6mm f/5.6 lens.

Attached Image: E202004300723.jpg

Yes, I know the NEX-5N is monochrome, but in itself that will not guarantee the outcome is likewise !! Hand-holding the camera with exposure 1/6 sec at ISO 400 is a recipe for unsharp images, however who cares, Neither I nor the dandelions did.

#32 colinbm

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Posted 01 May 2020 - 00:32

That is very artistic Birna

#33 nfoto

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Posted 01 May 2020 - 15:14

View Postcolinbm, on 01 May 2020 - 00:32, said:

That is very artistic Birna

Sometimes it's hard to resist ....

However, lest anyone think the SUNEX only makes nice dandelion shots, here is another test example to indicate its UV potential. Again hand-held 1/20 sec ISO 400 with the NEX-5N Monochrome.

Attached Image: T202004300720_UV_Sunex_Fisheye5,6mmf5,6_BaaderU_NEX-5NMonochome.jpg

I set the focus to approx. 20 cm distance this time, as this is a pretty good balance point between getting up close, and having a reasonable depth of field. Setting focus is a little awkward as basically the SUNEX is a fix-focus lens and one has to loosen grub screws in the casing to adjust its focus. Unlike visible light and IR, in UV the SUNEX does show quite pronounced field curvature (in addition to the "fisheye effect"). Thus one should put the main subject towards the centre of the frame for best rendition.

#34 dabateman

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 00:25

You should paint those toe nails. I wonder if different nail polish have different appearances in UV.
Have a secret UV message.
Could add to an interesting shot.

#35 nfoto

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 08:53

Nail polish is no-no in the C-19 epoch according to authorities. Makes cleaning your extremities less effective. Thus this will have to wait, I'm afraid.

#36 nfoto

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 19:16

The NEX-5N Monochrome is not equally sensitive in IR, which was anticipated. Still no problem shooting IR hand-held with B+W 093 (Wratten 87C equivalent if memory serves).

Attached Image: S202005060760.jpg

The tiny Voigtländer 25 mnm f/4 Scopar SC continues to deliver even in IR. It's very sharp and there is absolutely no hot spot. It can be tricky to focus wide lenses on the EVF mirrorless camera, but that goes with the territory I suppose.

The first photo was taken when I was patiently waiting for the contrasting scenery below,

Attached Image: S202005060763.jpg

#37 colinbm

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 06:22

That boat has been stripped of everything except fibre-glass......when does it hit the water....?

#38 nfoto

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 07:01

Probably never -- it has been sitting there for years ....

#39 nfoto

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Posted 10 May 2020 - 11:21

Another example with the NEX-5N monochrome and the Voigtländer 85mm f/3.5 APO-Lanthar S. IR.

My girlfriend Ruth and I are navigating a dense and partially impenetrable riparian forest along River Glåma, in the vicinity of my new home outside Oslo. As usual Ruth leads the way along a hidden path. The riparian forests here are flooded on a regular basis and that makes them pretty inaccessible with lots of windfalls, trunks undercut by currents, lush vegetation, and what have you. This picture was taken in a forest patch less dense than most other areas. Quite refreshing nature this close to the capital of Oslo in fact.

Attached Image: S202005090801_riparian_forest_CV85mmf3,5APO-LantharS_NEX-5NMonochrome.jpg

#40 Andy Perrin

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Posted 10 May 2020 - 17:27

Nice! Very contrasty. Was this recent?