UV Photography Info needed

Discussion in 'Night, InfraRed, and UltraViolet Photography' started by randyr5, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. randyr5


    Jan 14, 2006
    I've been shooting IR for a while, but am fascinated by some of the UV images I have seen here. My question -

    What is needed to get started with UV? Thanks,

  2. kds315


    May 30, 2006
    Dr Klaus Schmitt
    UV photography - Cookbook style

    I'm sure I get flamed for this but here it is:

    UV photography -Cookbook style:
    1) get a suitable lens, uncoated or single coated, simple lens design like a
    triplet. You have to try things out, some work, some don't. EL Nikkor
    enlarger lenses are not bad, get a 75 or 80mm >older< full metal type or the
    3.5/63mm (rare and expensive now). Needs a focusing mount or mounted on
    a bellows. Good for close up, not for infinity. Ideally a UV Nikkor 105mm (ca.
    $4.500) fluorite-quartz lens but this one is out of production. Tack sharp,
    also for visual and IR. There is a currently available replacement plus two
    other quite similar lenses.

    2) get a suitable filter. The new 2" Baader U-filter (I call that >UG11xx<)
    ist the best you can get, 300...400nm tranmission range, IR perfectly
    suppressed which is important for most DSLRs due to their high IR and low
    UV sensitivity. Be prepared to expose ca. 8 stops more than normal. My usual
    setting on an sunny to overcast day is 2..4" @ f11 ISO200 using a Nikon D70.

    3) get a suitable UV enabled camera. My finding is that the Nikon D70(s) is
    the best value for money for UV. D80 and D200 are said to work well either,
    but need the internal filter removed first. CANON shooters - sad day, does
    not work with Canon DSLRs, their filters and used chips do NOT allow UV.

    4) Use a sturdy tripod to allow 2...4" exposure time, sometimes much longer
    though. UV is strongest 90 degrees to the sun, don't shoot in bright sun due
    to high IR content (no longer a big problem with the UG11xx but you might
    still get hotspot effects or IR flare.)

    5) for comparison shots I shoot visual light first and then attach the
    filter and shoot UV with exactly the same framing. Be careful not to move
    the camera. If using an older lens, focus closer. This needs to be tested
    out, my finding is that the f8...f11 position on the DOF scale might work.
    Shot RAW files or high resolution JPEGs. PRO's do RAW, but for simple
    testing JPEG will do.

    6) Upload pictures and process pictures. They will look very red, but what
    you see is UV, depending on camera, mainly in the green and somewhat blue
    channel (D70). So either you process them to black/white or whitebalance,
    then adjust to taste. UV has no "color" so you may do what you like.

    7) enjoy the sometimes strange and exotic results!

    This is in condensed form the result of some years of research, Bjoern Roesletts
    findings and excellent site http://www.naturfotograf.com/index2.html,
    many own tests and a lot of errors and dead end streets.

    I have plenty of filters, lenses etc available, since I tested so much for the last years.
    I also have special calibrated lenses now for UV, some results published here:

    My UV work and lens testing can be seen on pbase:

    Hope that helps, if not, ask me,


    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  3. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  4. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Great info Klaus.

    I have a question if you don't mind me highjacking the thread for a moment.

    I am currently using a point and shoot camera for IR work and am curious if such a setup could work for UV as well. Some of these are listed as sensitive to 340nm.
  5. kds315


    May 30, 2006
    Dr Klaus Schmitt
    There is only one way: try it out!! This is a journey full of surprises anyway!
    340nm is quite good, that could do. Get a UG11XX filter and give it a try. Or maybe the older much smaller and cheaper (1 1/4") UG11x....

    Good Luck!

  6. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    I will probably try it just to see what I can see.:smile:
  7. kds315


    May 30, 2006
    Dr Klaus Schmitt
    Make sure you have a filter which blocks IR otherwise you think you see UV but it is IR - the sensors are so much more sensitive to IR than UV!!! So best to use the UG11xx which blocks IR perfectly.
  8. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Got it. Thanks Klaus.