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The first images we took with the IR JB-1 was a bit blurry :-)  It did have a nice pastel/impressionist look to it, but not much in the way of interesting details.

After playing with the focus a bit, we were able to start getting some better results.  We made "half circle" adjustments and then back up if we went too far.  Finally, we were able to zero in on the exact spot where we had the sharpest focus for the setup.

Infrared images are really quite interesting since they reveal a whole different perspective of our surroundings.  Reflected IR is different for different surfaces and colors.  It is also different for things which are organic and man-made.

These are some examples from just looking out the window.  We'll have more once we play with it some.  We hope this quick project will inspire some of you with older digital cameras that are collecting dust to give them a second life.  Maybe you'll be surprised as we are by some of the really cool images that are just out the window!!!

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Digital Infrared Photography on A Budget

By Wan Chi Lau

We had known that CCDs were sensitive to infrared (remember the Sony camcorders that could shoot through clothing?) and that most have an IR filter to block the light.

Recently we read an article on MAKE magazine about how to convert a cheap digital camera into an infrared digital camera by Zach Stern.  Zach's beautiful photos inspired us to give the project a try.

We decided to take our little JB1 stealth camera and see if we can turn it into an IR sensitive stealth camera, better to detect the body heat of that agent hiding in the foliage :-)

The results were surprisingly good for this little camera.  We have attached larger images to most of the photos in this article.  Just click on the ones of interest to see the big version.  


1. Dissassembly

2. Remove IR coating/Make filter

3. Reassemble Camera

4. Final Adjustments

5. IR Photo Gallery

Project Summary:

Initial Impression- need to disassemble camera

Usability- daylight shots only

Durability- no moving parts

Price- $10

Related Review:

1. JB 1 Stealth Camera

Related Project:

1. Wide angle lens on a budget

2. Macro lens on a budget


Photography by Wan Chi Lau
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