Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cover Photo October Issue Journal of Zoology

The new October Issue of the Journal of Zoology is out now. The cover photo is mine, as I am also a co-author of the paper: "Effects of aposematic coloration on predation risk in bumblebees? A comparison between differently coloured populations, with consideration of the ultraviolet" by R. J. Stelzer, N. E. Raine, K. D. Schmitt, L. Chittka

[click on image to see a larger one]


(reproduced with permission from the Zoological Society of London)

Stay tuned, more will follow on that fascinating subject...

More info on this very interesting field may be found on my site http://www.pbase.com/kds315/uv_photos

Friday, September 17, 2010

Nichia UV LED torches for fluorescence photography

Well, since we're at it, let's have a look at UV induced visible fluorescence and how these UV LED torches perform there as compared to a Xenon flash.

Test done under identical conditions, ISO400, f5.6, 41mm quartz fluorite lens, except a Baader UV/IR blocking filter in front of the lens, ISO400, 15sec exposure.

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1) UV Led 390nm, Baader U-filtered ´


2) UV Led Nichia 365nm P6, no cut filter in front of taking lens 


3) UV Led Nichia 365nm P6, baader U-filtered, no cut filter in front of taking lens 


4) UV Led Nichia 365nm P6, Baader U-filtered, Baader cut filter in front of taking lens 


5) Xenon UV enhanced studio flash@400Ws filtered through Schott UG1, 3 shots, Baader cut filter in front of taking lens 


Here the Nichia really excells, since both the 390nm and 405 turned out to be of no use, since there is way too much visible light content (>400nm) in the output to be useful for stimulating visible fluorescence (the visible light content of the UV LED actually overlays the fluorescence, thus spoils the result). If the 390nm UV LED is filtered through a Baader U-filter, there is not enough UV left to stimulate fluorescence (#1)

#2 shows the result of using the Nichia LED w/o cut filter in front of the taking lens nor was the beam filtered. The little but noticeable visible light content of the LED beam plus the reflected UV both spoil the result.

#3 is an interesting result as the Nichia beam was Baader-U filtered and it even shows red and NIR stimulated chlorophyllum fluorescence (>650nm) as well as visible fluorescence. There might also be a reflected UV content, but that cannot be determined.

#4 shows the result of Nichia UV stimulated pure visible fluorescence (400-650nm), this is the result desired.

#5 shows the comparison shot if a Xenon flash is used to stimulated visible fluorescence. Since quite some UV is needed for that, three flashes had to be fired within 15sec open shutter. There is IR leakage from the Xenon flash, so this shows the advantage of the Nichia UV LED for stimulating visible fluorescence.


Stay tuned, more will follow on that fascinating subject...

More info on this very interesting field may be found on my site http://www.pbase.com/kds315/uv_photos

UV Led or Xenon flash for reflected UV photography?

I have been asked a few times, which strong UV source I would recommend for reflected UV photography. Well, since UV LEDs are getting more and more common now, even the Nichia 365nm NSCU033A is now availble as a torch, here a test which might be helpful.

Test done under identical conditions, ISO400, f5.6, 41mm quartz fluorite lens.

[click on image to see a larger one]

1) Xenon UV enhanced studio flash @400Ws, 1/160sec: 


2) 3x UV LED torches (365nm, 390nm, 405nm), 15 sec painting with light: 


3) Nichia 365nm NCSU033A P6 torch, 15 sec painting with light: 


4) "Spiderfire" 390nm UV Led torch, 15 sec painting with light: 


5) "Ultrafire" 405nm UV Led torch, 15 sec painting with light: 


I tried to get as close as possible to the Xenon result, as that one covers the Baader U-filter bandpass 310-390nm the best, due to its even spectral distribution. In #2 I tried to simulate that by using three UV Leds in parallel (a bit hard to handle and evenly target, three torches in one hand).

No wonder actually, that the 405nm UV Led torch does not bring out the UV pattern as well as the others. The 390nm works acceptably well, although parts of its energy is being cut off by the filter already and the 365nm Nichia does pretty well considering, but the result looks rather monochromatic.

So there is nothing better than Xenon (or sunlight of course), but the 365nm or 390nm comes quite close, but at much longer exposure times. And I have not even talked about the prices of these torches...

A practical aspect:

UV torches are very easy to use, can easily be hotshoe mounted but need rel. long exposure times, so not suited for moving objects or if wind is present where shorter exposure times would benficial. For inside or studio work, they are easy to use and tehlonger exposure times can be even helpful if painting with light is desired.

Xenon flashes are bulky and heavy, need to be modified for suitable UV output (partly removal of the UV blocking gold layer on the Xenon tube, removal of UV blocking Fresnel platic front covers etc.). Candidates being Nikon SB-14, Metz 45CT series (high voltage trigger, safesync needed), Vivitar 283 (some have high voltage trigger, safesync needed, check with multimeter), Vivitar 285HV (have safe trigger voltage around 8Volts). Advantage is the high UV content, but downside is that painting with light is not possible, but choosing longer exposure times and firing multiple flashes is. Xenon flashes have a high IR content, so in some cases a suppressing IR filter (but UV transmissive) might be needed in front of the Xenon flash (such as Schott BG38 or 39 or 40, 40 works best). For inside or studio work, Xenon is still the best source to use IMHO, as it allows UV, VIS and IR as well as multispectral work, since the Xenon spectrum is very wide and even. There is even an expensive Quantum flash for UV, which also allows to mount filters into the reflector front (QF80). No mod. is needed for that one (and the very rare Nikon SB-140 btw. which sometimes comes up on the used market as it is no longer made), but it comes at a steep price.


Stay tuned, more will follow on that fascinating subject...

More info on this very interesting field may be found on my site http://www.pbase.com/kds315/uv_photos

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Helianthus tuberosus (Topinambur)

Last summer I took quite a few "in situ" shots of that flower using my butterfly vision (BV) filter, since found out that bees and bumblebees seem to be very fond of visiting Topinambur flowers (Helianthus tuberosus, also called "Jerusalem Artichoke") [the roots were used in former times here to make that famous Topinambur liquor]. So today here a few shots, to reveal in more detail, how that flower looks like and the very prominent UV pattern it has. 

[click on image to see a larger one]

Human Vision (400-700nm): 


Ultraviolet Vision (310-390nm) using Xenon High Power UV Flash: 


Ultraviolet Vision (310-390nm) using Nichia 365nm UV Torch: 


(Simulated) Butterfly Vision using XBV2 filter: 


Here now some detail full format shots of that very same flower, but using that special russian quartz fluorite lens I had used before:

Human Vision (400-700nm): 


(Simulated) Butterfly Vision using XBV2 filter: 


Interestingly enough, a few minutes later I noticed, that the anthers have grown out and ripened, I guess they liked the light:

Human Vision (400-700nm): 


(Simulated) Butterfly Vision using XBV2 filter: 



Stay tuned, more will follow on that fascinating subject...

More info on this very interesting field may be found on my site http://www.pbase.com/kds315/uv_photos

Friday, September 10, 2010

Russian Mars Lens meets Rudbeckia fulgida

Well, some long time ago I had mentioned that I was able to "liberate" the two last survived multispectral quartz fluorite lenses from the russian mission to Mars. Made by LOMO and designed by GOI, they represent (to me) a top result of the designers under Prof. Volossov who headed the optical design department of GOI in St Petersburg. Transmission of that lens is flat approx. 65% for 230...1000nm. Center resolution is approx. 80lpm

Long story short, here now some results using that no-focusshift lens...

[click on image to see a larger one]

Human Vision (400-700nm):



Ultraviolet Vision (310-390nm):



(Simulated) Butterfly Vision using XBV2 filter:



Here a detail crop showing the very high resolution of that lens:




Stay tuned, more will follow on that fascinating subject...

More info on this very interesting field may be found on my site http://www.pbase.com/kds315/uv_photos

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rudbeckia fulgida 3d Stereo Butterfly Vision (simulated)

Today about Rudbeckia fulgida stereo shot using my XBV2 butterfly / bee vision filter, which maps in UV (ultraviolet) into the human visible range as blue but at the same time leaving the green and red channel intact, so it simulates the vision of a butterly.

This is s LRL stereo presentation which allows parallel and cross eyed viewing simultaneously.

[click on image to see a larger one]

Human Vision:



(Simulated) Butterfly Vision using XBV2 filter:


Stay tuned, more will follow on that fascinating subject...


More info on this very interesting field may be found on my site http://www.pbase.com/kds315/uv_photos

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Quartz Soft Focus Lens does Butterfly / Bee Vision

A quick test today confirmed, that my f1.0 Quartz Soft Focus Lens is able to reproduce also ultraviolet. This was proven using my XBV2 butterfly / bee vision filter, which allows to map in UV (ultraviolet) into the visible range as blue, leaving the green and red channel intact.

[click on image to see a larger one]

Human Vision 


(Simulated) Butterfly Vision using XBV2 filter (UV mapped in as blue) 

So you see, that the famous Rudbeckia UV "bullseye" pattern is correctly being reproduced and also the strong UV reflection from the central pitch black center (for us - hence the common name "Blackeyed Susan")  most prominently visible at the leftmost flower.

Stay tuned, more will follow on that fascinating subject...

More info on this very interesting field may be found on my site http://www.pbase.com/kds315/uv_photos

High Speed Xray Lens for Soft Focus Macro

Today about using a very special, f0.75/50mm high speed lens from an old Xray machine on a modern DSLR. I designed and had made a focusing mount for that lens, but focusing range is quite limited to macro only, due to the very short register length.

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Due to its extremely shallow Depth of Field (DOF) and lacking color correction, it produces some very dreamy images.


Stay tuned, more will follow on that fascinating subject...

More info on this very interesting field may be found on my site http://www.pbase.com/kds315/uv_photos