Early DCS infrared hack

Discuss older Nikon-based Kodak digital SLRs, including DCS 100, DCS 200, NC2000, DCS 400/600/700-series, etc. Ask questions, post general comments, anecdotes, reviews and user tips.
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Early DCS infrared hack

Post by Ashley_Pomeroy » Tue May 19, 2009 6:14 pm

This is something I posted to Digital Photography Review, but I thought it might find a place here. As per an earlier thread, I have bought a Kodak DCS 460. It is sensitive to infra-red, which tends to make the photographs look as if they have been stained with blood. Foliage in particular comes out a horrible dead-looking grey/green. I was unwilling to buy a 77mm hot mirror filter for my wideangle lens, because such filters cost £100+, but a quick look on eBay revealed that much smaller hot mirror filters are available more cheaply. At first I thought about buying a square filter and simply taping it to the front of the sensor - ignoring the possibility that the filter simply might not work unless it is outside the imaging pathway - but there doesn't seem to be enough space between the sensor and the shutter for this. Instead, I have taken a leaf out of Kodak's later DCS cameras, and I have mounted the filter between the lens and the shutter, thusly:

Obviously this is not work of a professional standard, and there is always the danger that it might fall off, and destroy the shutter. Nonetheless I was surprised to find that the results are generally good. Not perfect, but much much better than before, to whit:


Reflections tend to have a reddish tint, perhaps because the filter only reflects or blocks infrared radiation of a certain polarity. I literally made that up, I don't know. The second photo still has a reddish tint, but it's not offensive and would probably go away if I properly colour balanced the image. But I'm impressed with the results from a camera that dates from 1995.

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Re: Early DCS infrared hack

Post by Webmaster » Wed May 20, 2009 12:17 pm

Neat trick. Thanks for sharing!

(I agree there's a certain risk that the filter can come loose and destroy the mirror, shutter, or something. Be careful.)


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Re: Early DCS infrared hack

Post by Stan Disbrow » Sat May 23, 2009 7:01 pm


I think your reddish tint on reflections is a result of the IR filter having a slight tilt to it in its mounting. It's tough to get it mounted such that it's exactly parallel to the imager when you're in the DIY mode there! ;)


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Re: Early DCS infrared hack

Post by 30Cal » Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:34 pm

I've found that the hot mirror makes a huge difference (but at times, I like to take it off).

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