I have been experimenting with doing some macro work with my IR converted cameras recently for a photo challenge hosted by my local camera club and I will confess, this hasn’t been going as well as I had hoped it would. This image of a bright red rhododendron in my front yard is the best I have been able to capture so far.
The biggest problem has been with the issue that can arise with IR converted cameras and hot spots. Basically a hot spot is a section of the image that almost blows out from being over exposed. Some lenses are very good for IR, some are not, and my Tamron 90mm macro lense is one that is NOT good for IR. I have been experimenting with different lense / bellows combinations and have yet to find the perfect combination, but the cool thing about doing things you haven’t done before is that you get to learn from what doesn’t work, and perfect what does. It helps you grow as a photographer.
This image was actually captured with a lens that is very good for IR, the Nikon 18-70 kit lens, sort of the gold standard for DX converted bodies. I added in a lot of extra detail as well as added a lot of grain to make it look a little more grungy. I am quite pleased with the result, and which it might not be considered a “beautiful” image by many, I find it very compelling.