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Self-converted Nikon D70 & Aerochrome test

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#1 Christoph

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 10:58

I bought a cheap used Nikon D70 and removed the IR cut filter. This is relatively easy even for someone like me who's all thumbs. The problem is at most that you have so some trouble with the focus shift. But when I use f/11, everything comes out as sharp as it should be. Here are some impressions with two Aerochrome styles. 1. Lee 115 plus GRB3 and 2. with Orange-X1 combo and subsequent channel swap. I still think that the Nikon D70 is an excellent camera that is best suited for IR photography.

Lee 115 plus GRB3:

Attached Image: red1.jpg
Attached Image: red2.jpg
Attached Image: red3.jpg

Orange-X1:

Attached Image: aero1.jpg
Attached Image: aero2.jpg
Attached Image: aero3.jpg

#2 colinbm

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 11:54

All great photos Christoph.
What makes the Nikon D70, the best for IR ?
Did you replace the hot mirror with quartz ?
What is this Orange-X1 combo please ?

#3 Christoph

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 12:18

From my experience the D70 is overall the best IR camera that I've ever used... :smile: The camera has great grip and is robust, it's so easy to make good photos, all the lenses work great, battery-time is great --> I can take it to the mountains and never worry about a second battery... And I've read that it has some of the best IR sensitivity in all Nikons which seems to be true --- I can only compare to what I know: Nikon D7200, Nikon D3200, Sigma SD1--- SD1 has so many problems (such a diva this cam :grin:)... Nikon D7200 is kind of too small for my hands, too many functions for me, battery life is not good, and honestly, I sometimes can't see a big difference between 36mp images of D7200 and the 6mp images of the D70. Nikon D70 produces crystal clear images, has nice grain --> I claim that I can tell if a photo was taken with a Nikon D70 or not. I don't have that with other cameras. So there is something special about the picture. Maybe it's the grain.

I didn't replace the hot mirror with anything. I simply removed it and then reassembled the camera. This can cause problems (focus, protection from dust) etc.... But it was a try and so far I had fast and clean results. With f/11... used two Nikon lenses (50mm f/1.8 and a manual Nikon 28mm f/2.8)

Orange-X1 is just the Hoya Green X1 with an Tiffen Orange 16

#4 colinbm

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 12:28

Thanks Christoph, have to see if I have a orange #16....

#5 Christoph

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 12:30

The Nikon D70 is probably the easiest to DIY convert. It was a first for me: Required about 20 minutes to do it... But only because I had to re-check the ribon cables... so if you do it 2, 3 times, you can probably do this in 10 minutes... Life Pixel - Nikon D70 & D70s DIY Digital Infrared Conversion Tutorial - Infrared Conversions, IR Modifications & Photography Tutorials | Life Pixel IR

#6 Christoph

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 12:32

View Postcolinbm, on 30 April 2021 - 12:28, said:

Thanks Christoph, have to see if I have a orange #16....

Don't go deeper than Orange 16, maybe Tiffen yellow 12 will work also...

#7 colinbm

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 12:44

So you are effectively photographing with only the right half of the X1.

#8 Christoph

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 12:48

View Postcolinbm, on 30 April 2021 - 12:44, said:

So you are effectively photographing with only the right half of the X1.

Now I understand... :grin: Yeah, it kind of cuts the X1's curve... I sketched it here: The best Aerochrome emulation so far? -Hidden Realms

Edited by Christoph, 30 April 2021 - 12:55.


#9 colinbm

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 13:04

Stacking Green X1 with Orange #16 will give you this to photograph with....?

Attached Image: X1 + O16.jpg

#10 Christoph

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 13:04

Yes! :smile: SOOC you will have IR in all channels.... most in B - there is only IR... But if you then set about -30 in the blue tones (Color mixer) in the PS Raw converter, and then swap the channels (B->R, R->G and G->B) you will get the result above...

Edited by Christoph, 30 April 2021 - 13:08.


#11 colinbm

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 13:05

Yes, we cross posted...

#12 colinbm

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 13:07

Have you tried longer & shorter yellow & orange long pass filters...?

#13 Christoph

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 13:12

I tried a darker orange (I think it was 21)... Won't work well... Vegetation comes out too uniform and pink, sky too green. I'd guess that everything between yellow 12 and orange 16 works...

#14 colinbm

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 13:13

I'll prayer for some sunshine tomorrow.

#15 Christoph

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 13:26

Good luck--, if you need any help/advice, let me know :smile:

#16 Andrea B.

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 17:18

Christoph, a good example of photos from an old DSLR, the D70. In lots of light (to lessen potential noise), the D70 did/does make lovely photos.

I always thought that the D300 also had a beautiful "draw" in IR.
Andrea G. Blum
Often found hanging out with flowers & bees.

#17 colinbm

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 05:22

Bit of a heavy day....
X1 + OG550 channel swapped to GBR.

Attached Image: 2021 05 01 X1 + OG550 CWB swap to GBR web.jpg

#18 nfoto

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 08:03

I too have fond memories of the D70 from times now lost. However, the modifed D40x was a big leap up the quality ladder. Its UV response is top notch.

#19 Christoph

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 11:16

View Postcolinbm, on 01 May 2021 - 05:22, said:

Bit of a heavy day....
X1 + OG550 channel swapped to GBR.

Attachment 2021 05 01 X1 + OG550 CWB swap to GBR web.jpg

The praying apparently did not help ;-) Is this only with channel swap? You need to adjust the blue tones first. It’s really nuances. The X1 makes (as opposed to just orange) the output colors darker (because less IR) and the effect of shifts in the Color Mixer (Adobe raw) become much more effective.

#20 colinbm

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 11:57

Yes only channel swapped to GBR.
I'll see what I can get, I only have Ninja & SPP.
I use IrfanView to do the swaps & save for web.

Edited by colinbm, 01 May 2021 - 11:58.