IR with or without autofocus

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by winger, Jul 17, 2005.

  1. winger

    winger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,898
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    southwest PA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I know the infrared assist in some cameras can mess up IR film. Does this only happen if you use the autofocus? Or is the IR assist "on" at all times? I have a Pentax PZ1P and am pretty sure it has some type of assist 'cause I could see a red beam when shooting in a cave this spring. So, would it be safe to try HIE in it as long as I don't use the AF ('cause I rarely use AF anyway)?
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,943
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    You probably should use manual focus anyway, unless your autofocus camera can compensate for the IR focus shift.
     
  3. winger

    winger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,898
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    southwest PA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    So the "IR assist" will only interfere if use autofocus?
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,943
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Isn't the IR assist for AF in low light? I don't believe it is related to shooting IR film.

    With most lenses, IR light will focus at a different point than visible light.

    On a manual focus lens for a 35mm camera, there is usually a red dot on the focus scale for IR focus. To focus with IR film, the normal practice would be to focus conventionally, look at the focus scale on the lens, and then move the focus ring from the regular focus index mark to the red dot. The image will look slightly out of focus in the viewfinder, but it will be in focus for IR film.

    Unless the AF program on your camera can make this adjustment automatically for IR, you shouldn't use AF for IR film.
     
  5. winger

    winger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,898
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    southwest PA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The IR assist is for low light for AF. I ask mostly 'cause I don't normally use AF, but wonder if it would prohibit my using this camera for IR film whether I'm using Af or not. I've seen it recommended to not use cameras that have the IR assist with IR film, but if the camera only uses it when autofocusing, then I wonder if it really isn't a problem.
     
  6. bjorke

    bjorke Member

    Messages:
    2,032
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Location:
    SF & Surroun
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I think you're confusing IR focus assist with IR sensing of sprockets for the motor drive in cameras like some EOS's and Contaxes. I bit the bullet and ran some HIE through my G2, it didn't seem to make much difference.

    David is right though, standard AF will focus in the wrong place for IR. Your lenses probably have a red dot to mark the correct offset.
     
  7. winger

    winger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,898
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    southwest PA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't use autofocus and wouldn't with IR film anyway (I've used HIE before and know how to focus). I don't know if my Pentax PZ1P will mess up the HIE. That's what I'm trying to find out (preferably without shooting a roll as an experiment).
    Since it has the IR assist with AF, does it also use IR for anything else that would then mess up HIE?
     
  8. kaiyen

    kaiyen Member

    Messages:
    331
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    bay area, ca
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For what it's worth, I've found that, when using a red 25, enough visible light gets through that the subject still looks in focus, even with AF. I see no significant loss in sharpness.

    allan
     
  9. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

    Messages:
    2,016
    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, M
    Shooter:
    Large Format Pan
    How does your camera count the film? When you open up your camera back, is there a little opaque looking window inside? If so, this is the IR sensor used for counting the sprockets on the film (and is what has the possibility of fogging the Kodak HIE IR film).
     
  10. winger

    winger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,898
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    southwest PA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    Thank you - I'll check. You're the only one who 'got' what I was asking.
     
  11. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

    Messages:
    4,049
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have to say, I was a bit confused as well, your orginal question delt with the IR focus beam and not the IR counter in the camera, which is what everyone answered you about, if you were asking about the frame counter IR beam, it sure would have clearer if that is what you had said.

    Dave
     
  12. winger

    winger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,898
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    southwest PA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sorry, but I had been lead to understand that the 2 were the same. That if your camera had the IR to assist with AF, then it also used it in a way that would interfere with HIE.
     
  13. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

    Messages:
    3,984
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    London
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    IR focussing assist and IR counting of sprocket holes are not the same thing. IR counting of sprocket holes will cause problems because it shines the IR on to the film edge: only a little in some cameras, a lot in others. From what I have read, the amount of fogging varies even between individual cameras of the same make and model. IR focus assist does not shine IR light on the film, it shines it on the subject, so will not be a problem.

    Happy shooting, Bob.
     
  14. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,444
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have not heard anything about the Pentax AF line and fogging of film - I think the best thing to do would be to put a roll through the camera and find out. The IR Focus Assist beam turns OFF when you make the exposure, so it will never fog the film. I would be suspicious of your Pentax PZ1P because it is an older camera, and if it uses IR for frame counting, the beam may be stronger (it seems that most manufacturers have cottoned on to the idea that people want to shoot IR with their cameras, so they've reduced the intensity of the IR frame counting beam). I have a 1st generation XPAN, and despite concerns about the IR frame counter, I have had no fogging that ever intruded into the image area on the film, just a little fog between the sprocket holes. The older Canon AF SLRs had this problem in spades, but I believe it has improved.