IR with D40X

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by randi_willett, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. I've been thinking of having my camera converted to IR by Lifepixel, but because I'm a student in college the conversion is a bit too pricey for me at this current time. Instead I opted for getting a Hoya R72 filter to use with my camera. However, I'm having a problem with capturing an image altogether. I've read several online tutorials and discussions on how people have used set-ups like: RAW on f/11 at 200 ISO for 60 seconds to get an image, however whenever I try these setting I'm getting only 15 seconds and the image is extremely dark or it is an instance snapshot. I can't figure out how to get this setting to accept more light so the exposure is brighter. Could I have other setting wrong? The A (aperture) setting is the only one I can get a longer exposure time (i.e. 15 seconds)
    I would appreciate any sort of input. I'd really like to see what sort of images I can produce with this amazingly surreal technique.
    Camera: Nikon D40X
    Lense: AF-S Nikkor18-135mm1 3.5-5.6 ED
  2. Not sure if I understand. Are you using the camera on the A (Apperture priority) mode?
  3. I haven't used this exact camera but i think you really need to be in totally manual mode and then set your shutter to 'bulb' setting; 40-60 second exposures should give you useable images. F8 sounds ok. Also recommend a remote shutter control, or a cable release even, to minimise vibration effects.
    Have fun! :))
  4. I use a D70 for IR. The D40X and all newer Nikon bodies have a much stronger IR blocking filter which requires very long exposures to get any visible IR. Go outside on a sunny day, put it in full manual mode, high ISO, wide open aperture, and 4 seconds then keep increasing the exposure until you see something.
  5. You need to select M (manual) exposure mode, dial it down to bulb and use the ML-L3 remote (it's only $15). Other exposure modes can only go down to 30 seconds and only if the metering calls for it.
    Press the remote button once to open the shutter, count to 60 and press the button again to close the shutter.
  6. I got my D60 converted by LifePixel and absolutely Love it, I too tried with the Hoya filter first but trust me exposure over 30 secs ruins the sharpness of trees which is essential in taking IR shots. I saved and got a used D60, conversion cost including S&H is over $450 dollars.
    If playing with Hoya R72 filter, set the WB to "Bulb", you need CS4 to manipulate the image (options are unlimited). S 30sec, f 8 to 11, WB (incandesent bulb), ISO (200)
    I strongly recomend to save up and get the camera converted. Also they do tweek it for 18-70mm AF-S lens.
    Portfolio has couple of IR shots taken by the converted Camera (done in winter) can't wait for summer / spring when the greens are brighter.
    Hope this info helps
  7. Forgot I can't post links here, but do a search about do-it-yourself IR conversions and you could save a bit.
    It's not that difficult.
  8. Sorry to say, the last Nikon DSLR that CAN be used for IR without conversion was D40. As Walt pointed, it is safe to assume that any later models (including D40X) are virtually useless for IR without conversion.
    Here's my humble example using a stock D40. Ai Nikkor 28/3.5, IR90 filter (far denser than R72), ISO400, 10 sec., f8.0.
  9. Randi -
    if you're in the US - do a search for Jim Chen + InfraRed photography. He did my D70 & when I go to convert my D300 in not too far a future - it's to Jim Chen I'll be sending it.
    He's a lot cheaper & a lot faster than LifePixel.
  10. As said, it's not going to be any goo, you will get a dim noisy image. Now that you have the equipment, you can open up the aperture a bit, pump the ISO to 400 and take a long exposure to see what you can get.
    If you're technically inclined, you can dot he modification yourself. If you're not, then best to leave it to companies like lifepixel.
  11. With my D70 and Hoya R72 I used to get exposures around 1-8 seconds at ISO 200 and f8. I tried it once with a D2X and even wide open and ISO 800 I got a very dim very noisy horrible image. I second the suggestion for Jim Chen. I shot with an unmodified D70 for 3 years but after getting a new body I had Jim convert my D70 so now I can use it handheld.
  12. I'm going to try a few of the setting changes, like some have offered. I didn't know about the full manual mode seeing I haven't been using a DSLR for very long. I'm going to work on a few test shots tomorrow, after picking up a remote and seeing what the possibilities are with that.
    I'm not terribly worried about the exposure time, seeing as it's not windy where I live, I'm looking more for the classic dark skies and white foliage look in the pictures. I'll report back with a picture or two probably tomorrow or Friday.
    I've currently been working with IR film and loved the photos just not how testy the film is with heat and light. It seems that Digital IR is testy as well. These two techniques are quite different so it's another learning curve for me to take on.
    Thanks for the help. It is appreciated. I've heard from others that the newer DSLRs don't get the infrared picture, but I haven't seen any one trying with the D40X so I thought I'd try and see what I could get.
  13. The weather finally let up from raining, and I was able to get some pictures using my D40X.
    I was working on M (manual) setting on an F-stop of F/11 at around 60-90 seconds (I was working with the BULB setting). I didn't use a tripod and the remote control because I was in a rush and left without them this morning on my way to class, but I still wanted to test out the camera since it at "sunny" today after my last class at 2:30.
    The only problem I'm seeing is that the long exposures pick up the dust particles very well that are on the lenses/filter (at least I think that's what it is) and I'm have to up the exposure in photoshop. However, I do think that I may be able to use the camera once I get to understand thinks more. The pictures I have do look a little contrasty though. I'm hoping to find a way to fix them.
    Is there anything I'm doing that you guys think I could improve upon as far as settings in the camera go? I know that the compositions need to be much better exiquited, but I'm looking to improve my understanding first and then working with the photos. The nicest thing I noticed was the camera can focus itself with the filter on. On Thursday, if weather permits, I may work with the White Balance setting and see if the helps the contrast issues
    Thanks everyone. Here's the picture I took. I desaturated it and up-ed the exposure.
  14. Another photo

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