• Cameraderie, a friendly photography forum, join now for free! Welcome! 欢迎! स्वागत हे! ようこそ!

Infrared Gear 18-135 Fujinon and infrared

The 18-135mm Fuji zoom is reputed to be an excellent lens for shooting infrared. Indeed, that's the reason I purchased one. Many Fuji lenses suffer from fairly bad to truly awful "hotspots" that render them unusable in infrared photography, which is too bad, because Fuji bodies are readily adapted to that photographic discipline and, unlike some other brands, have an auto white balance wide enough to embrace the needs of infrared shooting.

But alas, its reputation notwithstanding the 18-135 is unsuited for any IR photography in color. It is manageable when shooting IR in black-and-white, but it has a color shift vignette/hotspot that is nigh impossible to correct. Here's an example, showing OOC jpeg, jpeg after white balance is corrected, and jpeg after red-blue channel swap (a typical IR processing technique), and a black-and-white conversion, which though not egregiously bad does have a substantial brightening toward the center:
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


The phenomenon is consistent across apertures and focal lengths, which is too bad.

I'd be interested in seeing others' pictures made with various Fuji lenses in infrared. The problem with the 18-135 was a real surprise, and a sad and expensive one.
 
For comparison, here is a picture I made a few minutes ago in a similar place in the woods and under similar conditions, using the same 720nm converted X-E2 body and same settings, but using an ancient (pre-AI!) 24mm f2.8 Nikkor. (And yes, it says 8mm, because I didn't go deep into settings and tell the camera I wasn't using the Rokinon fisheye, which by the way is also excellent for IR.)
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


As you can see, color is uniform, with no hotspots, vignetting, or color shift. And this from a lens more than 50 years old.
 
Last edited:
That is disappointing. I mainly use the Oly 14-150, the Samyang FE and the Sigma 30mm on my GF1 and have not noticed problems like yours.
The Fuji lenses are inconsistent in their IR handling, with some notoriously bad performers -- the 10-24, 18-55, and 60 macro all come to mind -- and some supposedly excellent ones, such as the 14, the 35 f1.4, and the 55-200; I've found the last two acceptable. The big surprise is the 18-135, which has a great reputation for IR, but, well, see above. If I had known, I wouldn't have bought it, because I got it specifically for shooting infrared. Now I'm hoping the inexpensive Chinese lenses work well for IR.If the one I ordered -- 25mm f1.8 -- works out, I'll try one or two more. Manual focus is better than spending hours trying to fix pictures with magenta blobs in the middle!
 
I realize that these results are not what you are trying to get but I actually like the way they came out, especially View attachment 198743.
Thing is, I'd rather it be my choice -- and one picture with a pink middle might be innovative, but when that's all that comes from the lens it would get old, beginning with the second pink-bellied picture. Meanwhile, this morning I wondered about some of my other fixed focal length Nikkors and the Fuji adapter, and was pleasantly surprised by this picture, made with an 85mm f2 AIS Nikkor and unprocessed except for auto white balance and red-blue channel swap:

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


There's considerable color variation among the various lenses, but this 85 has no hotspot at any aperture. I'm more and more thinking that the simpler the lens design, the greater the likelihood of infrared success -- the 85 is 5 elements in 5 groups, and to get simpler than that you'd have to use a Tessar.
 

Latest posts

Latest threads

Top Bottom