Shooting Infrared Using A Fuji X-Pro1 With A Rokinon 8mm F2.8 Fisheye Lens

I have devised a way of using the very popular Rokinon 8mm F2.8 fisheye lens that comes under several other branded names including; Samyang and Bower. The photo included is of no great interest. In fact it’s just a photo taken at the rear of a house. But, the significance of the actual image lies in the fact that it is an infrared photograph taken by using a 8mm fisheye lens on an unconverted Fujifilm X-Pro1.

8mm-Fisheye-F16-30secs-ISO200_1

Surely a filter cannot be fitted onto the front of the 8mm fisheye lens? So how did I do it, I hear you ask? The answer is after the jump, but lets just say that, this is going to be one of those try-it-at-your-own-risk kind of posts :)

The short answer is, I didn’t fit a filter to the front end of the lens at all. What I actually did was fit the filter to the rear of the lens! keep on reading to find our how.

8mm-rokinon-front

The hack!

I purchased a cheap 37mm circular R72 infrared filter I bought online for just under 8 GBP, a 39mm R720 IR filter would have been more of an ideal fit, but I couldn’t find any for sale). Now came the only real tricky part as I had to remove the IR filter glass from the filter ring. To do this you need a very small slotted screwdriver, (like the ones used for tightening frames of spectacles), or similar tool.

Now if you look closely at the filter you will see one or two cut-out notches. Lay your filter onto a flat surface and wear a stout glove on the hand you will not be holding your screwdriver in. This is in case the screwdriver slips and you end up stabbing yourself in the hand! Position the tip of your screwdriver into one of the notches on the filter ring and apply gentle pressure in an anti-clockwise direction until you feel it rotating. Keep doing this until it comes all the way loose. When lifting the actual piece of circular glass from the filter ring please ensure you do not smear it in any way.

Take the rear cap off your 8mm Fisheye lens and carefully set the now removed R72 piece of circular glass onto the rear of the lens. Couple the lens to your camera by placing the camera over the top of the lens, in order that the added piece of glass does not fall out. Switch on your camera, set the lens to the settings I’ve previously mentioned here, and you are good to go. Enjoy!

Samyang 8mm Lens without filter Place filter here

Settings

Ordinarily, (when not shooting infrared), but using the 8mm fisheye on my X-Pro1, I would stop the lens down to an aperture of F8 and set focus to 0.40m (1 foot, 4 inches). This gives me a field of focus somewhere in the region of 20cm, (8 inches), to infinity. But these settings changed dramatically in my attempts at infrared usage. I now found that I had to stop the lens down further, (to F16 to be precise), and set focus to 0.3m (1 foot). I found that keeping the lens to F8 for infrared photography resulted in very soft images. So through trial and error I found F16 produced the sharpest photos in return.

While this is only a prototype it does work and proved the concept, now lets see a manufacturer pick it up…

About The Author

John Garrett is a photographer based in Newtownards, Northern Ireland. He is a Creative Fuji X-Series Photographer. You can follow his Facebook here and his Flickr here.

  • http://twitter.com/sulian06 Sulian Lanteri

    great tip !!

  • David Kirk

    Interesting hack, however certain fisheyes and other lenses are designed to mount the filter in this way e.g the Nikon f2.8 16mm fisheye. Looks like the rear filter mount was something that was sacrificed to save cost. Its not true IR, but perhaps some of the deep red gels from Lee filters may soften he image less, or if I remember correctly a developed but unexposed bit of slide film transmits IR.

  • Kay O. Sweaver

    You know it would make a lot of sense if lens/camera manufacturers would start putting a filter slot at the rear of the lens instead of the front like old Bolex 16mms.

  • joe_average

    something better than the ol’ film trick, and cheaper than real glass filters is to use an IR plastic. ask the manufacturer for a sample at a very cheap price.

    http://www.eplastics.com/Plexiglass_Acrylic_Sheet_Infrared_Transmitting

  • Adl Chai

    I guess I will need a tripod to work?

  • Alisa Hill

    I was wondering how the filter stays in place. Does it rattle around? And, can the filter be properly aligned? If the plane of the filter is not parallel to the plane of the sensor, the focus will be affected. I suppose this is one of the reasons that you’re stopping down so much?

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