Infrared Gear The Meike 25mm f1.8 and infrared

The Meike 25mm f1.8 arrived about an hour ago, and the first thing was to test it to see how well it did infrared photography. The answer is not perfectly but well enough to be entirely usable. The short version: it's just fine in infrared color up to f5.6, and in black-and-white up to f8 and, depending on the subject, f11. This is shooting 720nm; I do not know how it will do 590 or 850. In that the camera is going soon to Kolari to get its 720nm filter exchanged for a 590, and in that I'm about to order a 49mm 850nm filter, I'll know those things in a few weeks.

But here's what we have now. You'll note the hotspot in color from f16 to f8, but it's all or almost all gone by f5.6 and the lens is good at apertures wider than that. The lone black-and-white was shot at f11 (and I really wish that Meike/7artisans/whoever made a 16, because that building thunderstorm would have been a lot more dramatic with a wider lens.) But these pictures aren't art, they're to see if the silly thing works.


In general, I really like the lens. It reminds me of a 1960s Pentax Takumar in size, feel, and smoothness. The aperture ring is kind of logarithmic, so the distance from f5.6 to f16 is about the same as that from f1.8 to f2.8. Slightly, but only slightly, annoying.

So: here, in order, are f16, f11, f8, f5.6, and f11 black and white. And yeah, I know my sensor is filthy, but I'll let the Kolari folks clean it up when they swap filters.
I have 'toyed' with IR 3 times over the last 15 years. Got 'back in' this time with my X100T and Hoya R72 but found a full spectrum converted GF1 and recently received a trio 590/630/850 filters which I'm yet to try.
I'm starting to think that 590 may be the sweet spot for color. (And I am wondering whether some lenses that are troublesome at 720 are less so with 590.) You may find 850 really tantalizing, as I do. Though this morning I started thinking about selling a couple of Fujinons to raise money for the 14mm Fuji. There's a shortage of wide angle lenses for Fuji cameras that are reliable in IR, and an effective 21mm is very tempting for the great big stuff one shoots in infrared.
By the way, the little Meike is no slouch in visible-light photography, either. Here's a 100 percent crop of a multiflora rose I shot in the woods yesterday. I believe it was shot at f5.6 but would not stake my life on it, because the shooting discipline is something like this: open lens wide, focus, stop down until it looks right, push the button. And because there are no click stops and the aperture scale is not evenly spaced, it's impossible to tell without taking the camera from the eye. It's more deliberate, but deliberate is sometimes good -- a discipline we had to have in the film days, but not so much now that storage is not limited to 20 or 36 exposures . . .


Anyway, thought it would be good to have a "control," non-IR picture in here someplace. And yeah, I know is says 12mm, which it isn't, and X-Pro1, which it is.

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