Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2016/09/18

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Subject: [Leica] My modest infra-red attempts (M8, B+W 092, Noctilux)
From: shino at (Rei Shinozuka)
Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2016 13:08:45 -0400

When the giants of the LUG talk, I listen!

A couple of weeks back there was a buzz of interest about IR photography 
and the M8.  Well, gee, I still have one of those in my closet, and the 
last time I dabbled with IR it was SFX200 in my Rolleiflex 15 years ago, 
so I went out and ordered a B+W 092 filter to give it a whirl.

I'll bet you any reasonable person would say, "well you've got a 35 asph 
lux, why not set it at f8 and bring back some keepers?"  Of course, 
thinking exactly that, I went back to my safe place and chose the 
Noctilux at f1.0 for my inquiry.  And the voices continued: "The 
Noctilux is optically inferior especially at f1.0, it's too long -- more 
so on an M8, and you'll never be able to focus it.  Oh yes, and don't 
even think of trying it on human beings."

My improvident impulses prevailed, the results of which I've put on the 

 From this weekend, in upstate NY with friends:

 From last weekend, moments from freeing the B+W 092 filter from its UPS 
box, my very first attempts at exposing and focusing with the 092 filter.


Exposure: the M8 meter worked reasonably well with the 092 filter, I 
occasionally had to dial it up +1 stop.  Exposures with the 092 at f1.0 
ended up at 1/60 sec @ 160 or 320.
Focus: using the focus scale on the lens was a non-starter for me, too 
complicated and the numbers too darn small.  What I did end up doing was 
to locate a point approximately 3/4 or 2/3 of the distance to my subject 
and focus on that with the rangefinder.  After a little practice, this 
proxy focusing method worked surprisingly well even at f1.0.  And you 
always have the screen to check and adjust.
Composition: Non-issue--love the optical viewfinder!
Processing: Minimal.  I use Digikam on Linux.  The originals tend to 
look like sepia prints.  I try to reset a white point, then adjust 
curves to get back contrast, then dial back some saturation.  Images 
with sky look dramatic, with Star Trek orange skies, terrestrial objects 
more subdued.  I didn't do any sharpening or channel switching or 
anything sophisticated on these sets.

Thanks LUG for the inspiration and fun!

Replies: Reply from photo at (Nathan Wajsman) ([Leica] My modest infra-red attempts (M8, B+W 092, Noctilux))
Reply from photo.philippe.amard at (Philippe Amard) ([Leica] My modest infra-red attempts (M8, B+W 092, Noctilux))