Fuji X Pro 1 720nm IR Conversion


Here it is…

Fuji X Pro 1, Brookgreen Gardens, 720nm B&W processed.  Fuji X 35mm lens.

Fuji X Pro 1, Brookgreen Gardens, 720nm B&W processed. Fuji X 35mm lens.

frontnolensWell, it arrived!  After months of consideration after I got my X-E1 I finally decided to send off the X Pro 1 for  Infrared conversion.  It went to Dan at LDP (maxmax.com) and the cost was $500.00.  YIKES!  yes I said $500.00!  Dan explains that the X Pro 1 is the most difficult conversion that he does!  It required him 1.5 days to do the conversion and lots unsoldering/soldering to get to the sensor.  Still, better than sitting on the shelf or an attempted sale on Ebay, plus  I really like the camera and the hybrid viewfinder is just perfect for IR.

I had to decide between 720nm and 850nm so decided to go for the 720 in order to have a little color ( I really like the bronze tones right out of the camera at 720nm).  The total time for shipping – conversion – shipping was 8 days, door to door.  Very fast!

Importantly, the Fuji X Pro 1 camera White Balances perfectly. For these tests I white balanced on a green shrub in front of my gallery.  The process to do so on the camera is simple and fast!

The scope of THIS post is to talk about the conversion itself and to give you some sample images testing each of my normal Fuji and Voigtlander lens set that I use.

  • Voigtlander Heliar 75mm f/1.8 Lens
  • Voigtlander Ultra Wide-Heliar 12mm f/5.6
  • Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 Lens
  • Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4.0 Lens Zoom Lens
  • Fujifilm XF 18mm F2.0 Lens
  • Fujifilm XF 60mm F2.4 Macro Lens

My first image out of the camera was with the Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 Lens.  It is stunningly sharp with great contrasts and tones without any processing at all! This is simply a perfect IR image right out of the camera.

Fuji X Pro 1, Brookgreen Gardens, 720nm RAW un-processed.  Fuji X 35mm lens.

Fuji X Pro 1, Brookgreen Gardens, 720nm RAW un-processed. Fuji X 35mm lens.

OK, the original hot mirror can tell us a lot about the capability of the Fuji body to take IR with no conversion.  The strength of the internal filter from the X Pro 1 is quite strong!  It is actually 2 filters sandwiched together.  They are very much like the B+W 486 IR blocking filter and the LDP CC1 IR blocking filter back to back.  The 486 is a pink/gold  filter that extends a little further into the visible light spectrum before falling off and allows a little less IR to pass through.  The CC1 filter is wider at the UV end.  The two filters together will pass light to the sensor from about  300nm to 700nm.  You can see this in the image below. This is the same filter arrangement (hot mirror) that we normally see in the Canon DSLR line and on the Panasonic Micro 4/3 camera line.

X Pro 1 Hot Mirror showing both Wide bandpass side (gold tint) and the Lower UV side (Aqua)

X Pro 1 Hot Mirror showing both Wide bandpass side (gold tint) and the Lower UV side (Aqua)

X Pro 1 Hot Mirror showing the Wider bandpass side (gold tint)

X Pro 1 Hot Mirror showing the Wider bandpass side (gold tint)

X Pro 1 Hot Mirror showing the Lower UV side (Aqua) similar to the CC1 filter from LDP

X Pro 1 Hot Mirror showing the Lower UV side (Aqua) similar to the CC1 filter from LDP

If you were to look at the 486 and CC1 filters they are the same general colors and pass band to what we actually see here!  So , what does this all mean to you?  If you decide (and convince Dan) to have a full spectrum conversion done on your X Pro 1, you can convert it back to a normal color camera by stacking both of these filters (B+W486 and the LDP CC1) on the end of your lens.  The full spectrum Infrared conversion is one where the hot mirror (IR blocking filter) is removed from in front of the sensor and replaced with a piece of clear glass.  Then, the camera is programmed to the specific UV or IR band with the addition of the appropriate filter on the end of the lens.

Normally, the hot mirror can bee seen as the colored layer of glass under the lens as shown here where you can now see the 720nm filter installed.

Inside the X Pro 1 showing the 720nm filter.

Inside the X Pro 1 showing the 720nm filter.

Lenses that Work/Don’t Work with the X Pro 1 720nm IR conversion…

Lens Hot Spots

As you may know (or guessed), not all lenses work well in the Infrared spectrum.  This is due to many things, but most commonly, the coatings on the lens elements and the coatings on the internal lens barrel and how they reflect IR light energy.  The common failure then is in the form of HOT SPOTS in the center of the image captured by the camera.  These are always dead center in the middle of the image and present as large round white areas.  Sometimes, they can be overcome by using a wider aperture, but not always…

Lets talk about the lenses that I tested that work (or in 1 case mostly work)…

Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 Len:

Fuji X 35mm Lens

Fuji X 35mm Lens

WOW, what can I say?  This lens works perfectly in the 720nm spectrum at all apertures!  The camera auto focuses perfectly and fast, the images are sharp and there are no hot spots at any aperture!  Lets take a look.  This first image is raw out of the camera.  I have done not post processing for B&W or Faux Color but there is enough color in the 720nm spectrum to have some interesting Faux Color results.  These types of images will be covered in another post next week and we will spend a lot of time and effort teaching and going through each step in the recipe used to create them in Photoshop CS6 and the Nik filter set.

Fuji X Pro 1, Brookgreen Gardens, 720nm RAW un-processed.  Fuji X 35mm lens.

Fuji X Pro 1, Brookgreen Gardens, 720nm RAW un-processed. Fuji X 35mm lens f/8

Next, is the same image post processed using CS6 and Nik’s Silver EFX Pro for B&W…

Fuji X Pro 1, Brookgreen Gardens, 720nm B&W processed.  Fuji X 35mm lens.

Fuji X Pro 1, Brookgreen Gardens, 720nm B&W processed. Fuji X 35mm lens f/8

Voigtlander Heliar 75mm f/1.8 Lens:

vt7518bThis lens from Voigtlander is one of the sharpest, easy to use lenses that I own.  The fit and finish on this lens is something to behold.  The lens has an included clamp on lens hood that works very well.  The focusing is so smooth that it is scary… It is a PERFECT match for the Fuji X system (X Pro 1 and the X-E1) and works just as well here in Infrared!  I was very happy to discover this in my tests at 720nm!  There are no hot spots at any aperture.  It takes Take a look:

Voigtlander Heliar 75mm f/1.8 Lens at f/11.  Raw

Voigtlander Heliar 75mm f/1.8 Lens at f/11. Raw (notice the nice bronze coloring)

Voigtlander Heliar 75mm f/1.8 Lens, f/8 Faux Color Post Processing

Voigtlander Heliar 75mm f/1.8 Lens, f/8 Faux Color Post Processing

Voigtlander Heliar 75mm f/1.8 Lens, f/8 B&W Post Processing

Voigtlander Heliar 75mm f/1.8 Lens, f/8 B&W Post Processing

Fujifilm XF 18mm F2.0 Lens:

Fuji X 18mm lens.

Fuji X 18mm lens.

This lens works well as long as you do not go beyond f/8.  Past that it generates very discinct hot spot in the center of the image.  While this can be overcome in post processing  with Nik’s Viveza, it is still slightly disappointing…  Still, when used at f/8 or wider the lens generates pleasing sharp images that make it worthwhile to carry in your camera bag!  Here are the RAW test samples for you to consider.

Fujifilm XF 18mm F2.0 Lens at f/2

Fujifilm XF 18mm F2.0 Lens at f/2

Fujifilm XF 18mm F2.0 Lens at f/4

Fujifilm XF 18mm F2.0 Lens at f/4

Fujifilm XF 18mm F2.0 Lens at f/5.6

Fujifilm XF 18mm F2.0 Lens at f/5.6

Fujifilm XF 18mm F2.0 Lens at f/8

Fujifilm XF 18mm F2.0 Lens at f/8

Fujifilm XF 18mm F2.0 Lens at f/11

Fujifilm XF 18mm F2.0 Lens at f/11

Voigtlander Ultra Wide-Heliar 12mm f/5.6

Voitlander 12mm

Voitlander 12mm

Another great lens from Voigtlander.  This one has a built in lens hood and while it will take screw in filters they need to be wide angle versions.  It also has that super smooth focusing feel but since it is so ultra wide at 12mm you can focus it pretty much at infinity and it will always be in focus.  I love this lens on the X Pro 1 and X-E1.  For 720nm Infrared, it works great until you hit f/22 then it gives a faint hot spot.  This is just fine with me as I rarely go beyond f/11 or f/16.

Take a look at the samples:

Voitlander

Voigtlander Ultra Wide-Heliar 12mm f/5.6 at f/8 RAW

Voigtlander Ultra Wide-Heliar 12mm f/5.6 at f/22 RAW with hot spot

Voigtlander Ultra Wide-Heliar 12mm f/5.6 at f/22 RAW with hot spot

Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4.0 Lens Zoom Lens:

Fuji 18-55

Fuji 18-55

This lens is such a disappointment to me…  It is without a doubt my favorite walk around Fuji lens on the X-E1 camera. I hardly ever take it off.   Sharp and clear with great contrast.  That being said it is all but USELESS for Infrared!  There is a major hot spot problem at ALL focal lengths at ANY aperture past f/4.  At f/4 it did take nice images but as you understand, useless for landscapes.   Bummer…..  I am beyond disappointed over this one.

Fujifilm XF 60mm F2.4 Macro Lens:

Fuji 60mm

Fuji 60mm

I am going to initially tell you to simply forget this lens for Infrared.  It has a seriously bad hot spot at all apertures.  I will also share with you that I might actually have a bad copy of it.  It gives a terrible hot spot on my X-E1 when shooting in color as well, especially when using a flash.  I think that I am going to send it back to Fuji for repair and see what they think.  Depending upon that I might re-evaluate it for Infrared later on!

Ok this is all for the initial post.  

The next post will focus on post procseeing and what can be acheived artistically with this new Infrared Fuji X Pro 1!

Please let me know what you think!

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52 comments on “Fuji X Pro 1 720nm IR Conversion

  1. Pingback: Fuji X Pro 1 720nm IR Conversion | Digital Photography - Fuji X-E1 | Scoop.it

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  3. Mark, Great experiment, I really like it even when I think now “nothing for me”. So on keep on experimenting I really like it. Regards,
    peter

  4. Pingback: Fuji X Pro 1 720nm IR Conversion | Fujifilm X Cameras | Scoop.it

  5. Hi Mark, I’ve owned an infrared dSLR before in the canon system but I’ve now fully switched to Fuji X (x-e1). It’s great to see the results you’re getting with your conversion. Was there a reason you decided to convert your X-Pro rather than X-E1? And how does the conversion affect the hybrid viewfinder? Obviously you still have your visible light optical view but does the electronic view closely match the IR output?

    Sounds like the best of both worlds :). Oh and if you get a chance to borrow an XF 14mm, could you test it for the hotspot? Is an amazing lens, I’d love to hear if it is suitable for IR too.

    Cheers,
    Ryan

    • Ryan, I chose to convert the X Pro 1 over my X-E1 due to the fact that the X-E1 has the electronic remote shutter release and as such has turned into my main camera. The IR works with the hybrid just like the LCD and displays the IR image perfectly when switched over.

      I have put out a request for anyone who has a 14mm lens locally to let me try it out with the IR. I will purchase one if it works!

  6. Mark, Thanks for posting that. I currently use the stock X-Pro 1 with R72 filters for IR. Can you give me an idea of the difference in sensitivity at IR since you got the mods done? Typical exposure? I have not tested the IR with my 14mm yet, but will do so when I have some sun. No leaves out here yet, so not best IR time of the year.

    • The good 18mm test shot was at ISO 400 f/4 and 1/800s. The B&W top image of the lake and oaks with the 35mm lens was at ISO 640, f/8, 1/800s. I didn’t really check the ISO I just picked up and shot. The B&W image was the 1st image shot with the conversion. As you can see, hand held images are the rule here!

      • I’ll try and run some IR tests with the 14mm next time the sun shines Mark. Thanks for the update on the exposures after the mods, that is a huge improvement! I think before the mod that R72 exposures needed about 2 seconds at f/5.6 ISO 400 or 800, so I always needed a tripod.

  7. I’ll check that out Mark. Although I have a Fuji X-Pro 1, I am not in the position to sacrifice it for dedicated IR work. However I am considering doing so with a Ricoh GXR M Mount (a sensor module for the GXR which takes Leica M series lenses). The M mount module is relatively inexpensive now, and a second one could be sacrificed for IR work and still retain the original for colour work.

  8. Pingback: Fuji X Pro 1 720nm IR Conversion | almaphotografica | Fuji X-Pro1 | Scoop.it

  9. Pingback: Playing with infrared! | Karim Haddad

  10. Hi Mark,

    just returned from out of town and saw this article. I knew you said you were going to do this some months ago so glad you finally went through with it. i am considering to do this with my x pro when the pro 2 comes out. i seem to have quite a sentimental attachment to the camera. Also, i did some IR and used the 18-55 so now part of your post make sense to me with the Hoya 72 filter. I will try again with the 35…wite balance set at 2500 you think?
    Hope all is well…

  11. Hi Mark,

    I’m looking into an IR conversion of a Fuji X Pro I. I have a few questions:

    – I did not see that the MaxMax.com offers the 720nm, but has a 715nm filter. What is the difference between the two IR filters, or are these filters the same thing?
    – You stated that converting the Fuji X Pro I was difficult for MaxMax. Would they be willing to convert yet another Fuji X Pro I or not? It’s not listed in their camera convert list. I know that it is more expensive because the conversion is more difficult.
    – When you talk about the various lens for the Fuji X Pro I that work for the conversion, are you discussing them in the context of using them in their normal state or did you have them any of them calibrated specifically for conversion with this camera?
    – With my converted Canon Rebel Xsi to infrared, I can’t use auto focus with any lens. If I understand you correctly, would I be able to use auto focus with any of the recommended lenses for IR on a converted Fuji X Pro I?

    Thanks for your help. And incidentally, I’m so excited to have been introduced to your blogs. I’m a relative newcomer to infrared, so I’m eager to learn. Think I’ve found a new photography niche passion in infrared. Love your blogs!

    • Patricia, 720 and 715 are the same. Call them and ask to talk to Dan and he will fill you in.

      The lenses were all tested on the IR body and I was looking for hot spots. Take heed of this as some of the fuji lenses DO NOT WORK IN IR!! Lens calibration is not really an issue for auto focus as the camera is using contrast focusing and it works regardless of the light spectrum!

      Yes, you will be able to use auto focus and hand hold as well!

      There is another company out there who is doing conversions on this camera. Their web site is: and they are offering what is called the 2 spectrum conversion which is basically a full spectrum conversion plus all of the other standards. If you tell them my name and web site they will offer you a discount.

      I have not used them yet but I will and I have heard good things about them.

      The other company (LDP) did my camera and even though it cost so much I am extremely happy with the work!

      Let me know which way you go!

  12. Mark, I believe you inadvertently missed giving me the link to the other website conversion company. Above you said: “Their web site is: and they are offering….” There is a missing link. Can you please provide it. Thanks.

  13. Pingback: Fuji X Pro 1 720nm IR Conversion | X-Pro 1 by F...

  14. Pingback: Fuji X Pro 1 720nm IR Conversion | Thoughts abo...

  15. Hi Mark!
    Great posts in your blog, very informative! I am pondering to buy a new lens for myy X-Pro1 and I noticed that you have both 55-200mm zoom and CV 75/1.8 lenses. I am quite much a prime lens guy but now that new zoom seems to be quite fantastic. I have experience on manual focus lenses too (CV and Super-Takumar) so that’s not a new area to me. Could you give some advice to me in this matter? Thanks a lot!

    Best wishes from Finland!

    Jonne

    • Thanks for the kind words. I have always liked the CV lenses, the 75 and 12 are just world class. But I have to tell you that since I got the 14mm Fuji I haven’t gotten out the 12! I am VERY happy with the 55-200 and highly recommend it! There is a company on EBay selling wired autofocus extension tubes for the Fuji now. I ordered a set and the wrong ones arrived today… Will let you know how they work when they reship…

      I would always choose the prime lenses from Fuji and CV for this camera until the new zooms arrived. The world has changed….

      • Thanks a lot, Mark! There sure are some interesting options… Have to ponder this little bit more. I have Ricoh GR for the wide angle (28mm is enough wide for me), so I think I am not going to purchase any widen angle lens for my X-Pro1.

  16. Hi Mark. Thanks for the skinny on IR-X-Pro 1 conversion. Did you ever find out whether you had a bad copy of the 60mm lens? Do you have any further info re it’s (potential) IR hot spot? Also any info on the 23mm lens vis-a-vis IR hotspot?

    • Osceola, the 60mm is simply bad…. ALL OF THEM. It will not work in IR due to the hot spot. It is also a tough lens to use in color with a flash that can reflect back at you and will generate a bad hotspot also. It is true of them all.

      I have not tested the 23mm. I have no plans to get one. Sorry.

  17. Pingback: Fuji X Pro 1 720nm IR Conversion | Photography ...

  18. Pingback: Union Bay Infrared | Grumpymonk :: 7 Shots

  19. Great post, look forward to the next one.
    I use a Fuji for “regular” photography, but I had a Lumix 4/3 camera IR converted. I mention this to pass along that I sadly discovered the 20mm pancake to be unsuitable for IR but it seems that the Oly 45mm is fine.

  20. Fantastic website you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any community forums that cover the same topics discussed here?
    I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get feed-back from other experienced individuals that share the same interest.
    If you have any suggestions, please let me know.
    Thank you!

  21. I use converted nikon for IR landscape work and x-e1 for most of my social photography
    Hot spots mostly seem to occur if one uses lenses with plastic blades for the diaphragm, fuji 18-55 does, 35mm does not. The price is usually the clue!
    If you use an IR filter in front of the lens not a problem at all and the hot filter in x-e1 lets a lot of IR through, moreso than lumix or later nikons
    Nikon af-d lenses use metal diaphragms but a lot of af-g don’t.
    Hope that clarifies the hotspot question

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