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MaxMax IR Conversion
Review By Scott Quier
There are any number of companies that will modify a digital camera such that it's sensitivity to visible light is greatly reduced and its sensitivity to near Infra-Red light greatly enhanced. Based on my experiences with a friend's modified camera, I elected to go withMaxMax.
Why and how to go IR?
MaxMax offers two different IR pass filters for their conversions, a 715nm and an 830nm. I selected the 830nm conversion based on this statement on the MaxMax website:
The advantage of a 830nm filter is that the red, green and blue channels are more evenly exposed than at 715nm. ... When you more evenly expose the RGB channels, the camera can resolve better. Also, the infrared effect is more dramatic at 830nm versus 715nm - skies are darker and clouds whiter.
What this means could be a surprise to some - it was to me! (Don't get me wrong, I love the result, but it was a surprise.)
Here we see a screen shot of Adobe Camera Raw histogram for a sample image before and after the application of a custom white balance.
The histogram above is for this set of images. The one on the left is a straight JPG conversion of the Canon RAW file, no other processing applied. The other image is with a custom white balance (CWB) applied.
Applying the CWB couldn't be easier. Just click anywhere in the image with the ACR White Balance Tool. The results you get will be nearly identical, regardless of what area you select for sampling.
This is a representative histogram of an image captured using a MaxMax 715nm modified Canon XTi. Note that the response curves for the three color channels are not nearly as uniform as that of the 830nm modified camera. This, then, allows for the swapping of the Red and Blue channels to have an effect on the image.
On the left, the image straight out of the camera. On the right, the image after swapping the Red and Blue channels using the Channel Mixer.
Some things I have learned:
These are some daffodils, just as they are starting to bloom, presenting beautiful, bright green leafs/stems and brilliant yellow flowers. As you can see, greens and yellows are very bright when viewing reflected near-IR light.
Impressions of the service:
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