Author Topic: Not an IR camera, but just as awesome!  (Read 1752 times)

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Offline Ben321

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Not an IR camera, but just as awesome!
« on: January 29, 2019, 05:04:07 am »
This is a UV camera smartphone attachment (much like the FLIR and Seek thermal IR camera smartphone attachments). Not sure what wavelength (UVA or UVB) it uses. It's called the Nurugo SmartUV. The official website for this product is https://www.nurugo.com/pages/nurugo-smart-uv and it costs only $290.

There are other options for UV imaging, such as a normal digital camera modified by replacing the IR blocking filter with a UV passing filter (just like IR modded camera where the IR blocking filter is replaced with an IR passing filter). Such modifications are quite expensive, as the filter alone can cost about $200. Alternatively, Sony makes a UV sensitive analog video camera (with composite video output) called XC-EU50, but it costs at least $600 at the cheapest (if you want it new), and can be even more expensive depending on where you buy it (though if you accept "used" or "refurbished" you can get it for under $600).

So it seems that the Nurugo SmartUV is the cheapest option right now for UV imaging. Though I'm not sure what its spectral sensitivity is, so I sent Nurugo this email.
Quote
I looked at your website for this device, and am very impressed that there is actually such a low-priced UV camera. I could use it for scientific purposes. However, for scientific purposes I will need to know a few more specs than what is on your webpage.

What are the actual pixel dimensions of the UV imaging sensor?
What is its spectral sensitivity (wavelength of peak sensitivity as measured in nanometers, and bandwidth as measured in nanometers)? A graph of its spectral sensitivity would be nice.

Also I noticed that your website specifically mentions that it can't record video. Video recording would be a nice feature. If that's something you could easily add into the app, I would recommend that. Also releasing an SDK to allow others to write software for it would be nice.

I hope they reply.
 
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Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Not an IR camera, but just as awesome!
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2019, 08:37:10 am »
The picture on the website says it responds to "350-390nm UVA". That's about the response I'd expect from a silicon sensor. Further down the page it says the image resolutions are 600x480, 800x450, 1200x700 and 1600x900 - none of which ring any bells as 'standard' image sizes but imply that the sensor is either 800x450 or 1600x900.

I have a couple of Fujifilm IS Pro cameras, designed for forensic use from UV to near-IR, and they have similar response in the near-UV (although I have no doubt that the Nurugo RmartUV is more sensitive and has a proper UV-rated lens). You can do some interesting stuff (including seeing a clean-shaven Ultrapurple in 'ultrapurple' with a smear of sunblock on one cheek):



Clicking on any of the images will open a larger version accompanied by notes.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 12:31:07 pm by Ultrapurple »
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Online Fraser

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« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 01:07:58 pm by Fraser »
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Online Fraser

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Re: Not an IR camera, but just as awesome!
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2019, 01:12:04 pm »
USB camera for $135 from a company that know what they are doing with UV imaging.....

https://maxmax.com/shopper/product/15903-xniteusb2s-uv-usb-2-0-megapixel-hd-monochrome-camera-uv-only/category_pathway-9506

Reading the specification and comments on this camera will provide you with information regarding the limitations imposed by the required filters and lens material. Quartz lenses are required for best UV band coverage but they tend to be very expensive as can ve seen below the text on the camera.

I suspect the camera is actually a pretty standard monochrome sensor array that does not use micro lenses and has no IR filter fitted. The camera format is certainly a common type. The required UV filtering is then added to the optical path but the standard glass lens limits the UV response. You could possibly make your own version of this camera if you can source the required UV filters at a decent price.  The advantage of buying from max max is that they provide the UV response plot for their solution.

The company also sell an industrial camera, but that is much more expensive.

Note the comments on the previous link regarding Fuji’s poorly thought through UV responsive camera solutions that were basically a marketing ploy.

Also note the comments about cheap Chinese UV LED’s ...... basically, do not believe their specifications. Decent UV LED’s are quite expensive.

Fraser
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 01:33:05 pm by Fraser »
Cogito, ergo sum
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Not an IR camera, but just as awesome!
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2019, 01:29:11 pm »
Some interesting UV imaging related items in the companies shop ......

https://maxmax.com/shopper/uv
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 01:30:49 pm by Fraser »
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Online Vipitis

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Re: Not an IR camera, but just as awesome!
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2019, 10:53:00 pm »
While we are at the topic. Let's admire the idea and function of hyperspectral cameras. The website Fraser linked as a very nice concept that I have thought about before but never seen actually being done.
We had a talk a very long time about the Specim and their hyperspectral "cameras" (more like a scanner). I am still unsure about how their sensors work, but I believe it to be similar to using a silicon sensor and different filters(if it's 9 like I learned a week ago or if it's 13 like the one shown by Fasers link, unsure) and using some guesses to figure out the transmission and reflectance in between.

E: just saw he Specim website is hosting a contest for application of their IQ camera. It does sound like they are looking for commercial/research ideas but I will write up a proposal to use it for art(not art restauration/inspection - fine art photography).
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 10:55:12 pm by Vipitis »
 

Offline Ben321

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Re: Not an IR camera, but just as awesome!
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2019, 04:38:29 am »
USB camera for $135 from a company that know what they are doing with UV imaging.....

https://maxmax.com/shopper/product/15903-xniteusb2s-uv-usb-2-0-megapixel-hd-monochrome-camera-uv-only/category_pathway-9506

I suspect the camera is actually a pretty standard monochrome sensor array that does not use micro lenses and has no IR filter fitted.

Bit of warning with this company. This camera they have is a UV-passing-filter modified version of their standard "monochrome" camera. I can tell you right now though it is not monochrome. I bought their full-spectrum monochrome camera (only modification was full-spectrum, by replacing the IR-blocking filter with clear glass), with intent to tape on external filters over the lens. When I got it in the mail, my first check was to plug it in and use software to view the camera's level's controls (brightness, contrast, etc). When you turn up the saturation, you get a normal color image. So this means that the CFA is still in place (complete with its ability to degrade wavelengths outside the visible spectrum). What SHOULD have happened is when moving the saturation slider, there would be no change in the image.

So these cameras simulate being a monochrome camera by just having the saturation setting in their firmware set to 0, but that is easily adjustable with any VFW or DShow webcam software that lets you adjust the device's software controls like saturation. Needless to say, I returned the camera and got a refund.

In my email explaining the situation asking for the refund, I learned something interesting from the guy there. These cameras are NOT manufactured from the ground up by MaxMax. MaxMax is simply selling cameras made by another company. And on their website they clearly are a Chinese company that makes cheap products of questionable quality. It does not surprise me at all, that in order to make a cheap monochrome camera, they just reconfigured the firmware settings on a color camera, instead of spending more for a true monochrome CMOS image sensor (these cost more because they are not as popular as color CMOS sensors, so fewer get manufactured, and thus they are more expensive). That's just the kind of stupid stunt that crap-quality corner-cutting Chinese companies tend to get involved in.

I just wish MaxMax vetted their equipment sources better, since MaxMax does seem to be a legit company, not a Chinese cheap knockoff making company.

So I would NEVER recommend any of the cheap UV (or IR, or full spectrum) cameras coming from MaxMax. This Nurugo SmartUV cellphone attachment looks more like what I would recommend, as it is a purpose-built UV camera, made from the ground up via a Kickstarter (and now with their own official website).
 

Offline LET

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Re: Not an IR camera, but just as awesome!
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2020, 01:24:58 pm »
I have bought the Nurugo camera, the design is good, I like it. Now I would like to see if it's indeed sensitive to 350-390 nm spectrum. Do you know any way to see if it's indeed sensitive to those wavelength ? I thought about taking a picture of something that can be revealed only within that spectrum but I don't know what. Any help would be appreciated.
 

Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Not an IR camera, but just as awesome!
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2020, 01:41:44 pm »
After a long wait and saving my pennies I managed to buy a Nikon UV-Nikkor 105mm f/4.5 lens, the 'holy grail' of UV photography because it works from 1.3µm to 190nm - near-IR to well into UV-C territory. Its elements are quartz, not glass, and made to a higher precision than normal 'commodity' lenses. Although it's fully compatible with the Fuji IS Pro I have yet to try it with those cameras, pairing it instead with a Nikon D600 that has had a full-spectrum conversion.

The mid-1980s lens cost me more than either of my 640x480 25/30Hz thermal cameras. And that's for a used lens over 35 years old.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 12:29:11 pm by Ultrapurple »
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Offline SilverSolder

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Re: Not an IR camera, but just as awesome!
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2020, 02:59:57 pm »
After a long wait and saving my pennies I managed to buy a Nikon UV-Nikkor 105mm f/4.5 lens, the 'holy grail' of UV photography because it works from 1.3µm to 190nm - near-IR to well into UV-C territory. Although it's fully compatible with the Fuji IS Pro I have yet to try it with those cameras, pairing it instead with a Nikon D600 that has had a full-spectrum conversion.

The mid-1980s lens cost me more than either of my 640x480 25/30Hz thermal cameras. And that's for a used lens over 35 years old.

They don't mak'em like they used to!  :D

I have several older Nikon lenses (for plain old visible light) that still perform very well on modern bodies.  That said, some of the latest lenses are pretty awesome.
 

Online Vipitis

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Re: Not an IR camera, but just as awesome!
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2020, 04:06:43 pm »
I got a Watec WAT902H Ultimate in the 1/2 variety afaik. It also comes with a Tamron CCTV lens at is 8mm, 1/1.2 manual focus, auto iris and has IR label on it. It's CS mounted, but I tried to adapt it via C to mft using a spacer.

While this decade old CCD was meant as a starlight camera, I would love to test it's UV potential. a good UV pass filter costs 120€+ you can get cheap astro filters that are meant for solar imaging as well(Baader,etc). But there isn't quite any DIY trick like using film for IR pass.

Sadly my capturing setup is very poor, but it does give me an analog Output that I can capture and works for near IR with some odd gain modes.

my end goal is to do some multispectral imaging in nUV, Vis(or nIR) and LWIR and out them in chromatic order. So UV will be the blue channel. visible(broad-spectrum) should be green and LWIR will be red. Mix them to something useable and see how close they are to the real world(or how far). I done some crude test to use a Ge window as a cold mirror and reflect visible (with a tint) but pass LWIR to use a common optical path and lenses behind it with camera cores. I haven't test a coated Ge window for UV but I expect it to be fairly reflective.
 

Offline rockwell

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Re: Not an IR camera, but just as awesome!
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2020, 05:37:59 pm »
I use a Sony NEX 5 with the filters removed in combination with a Novoflex Noflexar 1:3,5/35 lens + Baader U-Filter CWL 350nm + Hoya infrared (R72).
This combination fulfils my UV foto wishes very good.
The Novoflex lens is sometimes very cheap on Ebay due to the reason that this is a rather old lens but it has very good UV capabilities.
After the NEX modification (which can be found online) this camera con only be used in manual mode.
 

Offline mahony

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Re: Not an IR camera, but just as awesome!
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2020, 08:56:36 pm »
I have bought the Nurugo camera, the design is good, I like it. Now I would like to see if it's indeed sensitive to 350-390 nm spectrum. Do you know any way to see if it's indeed sensitive to those wavelength ? I thought about taking a picture of something that can be revealed only within that spectrum but I don't know what. Any help would be appreciated.

You can buy a bunch of LEDs in various wavelengths. They usually have a quite narrow spectral bandwidth so you can roughly check sensitivity in and out of band. I.e. get a 305nm, 365nm, 450nm and some red ~620nm and check if you can see the LED light with the camera. Be aware that usually visible band LEDs are much brighter than the UV ones so even if out-of-band supression is quite good you may see some light coming through. ;-)

By the way: PCO makes some decent UV sensitive cameras but not really made for hobby budgets.
https://www.pco.de/scientific-cameras/#section-41
As the sensitivity is from 200nm up to 1100nm you need good filters to have high out-of band blocking. Something like this:
https://www.semrock.com/FilterDetails.aspx?id=FF01-302/26-25
Having OD >5 out of band (means less than 0.01% passes through).
« Last Edit: September 18, 2020, 09:06:39 pm by mahony »
 

Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Not an IR camera, but just as awesome!
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2020, 10:08:45 am »
A very simple way to see if your camera is reasonably UV sensitive is to take it out on a sunny day and photograph a dandelion. They have has a strong 'bull's eye' pattern that only reveals itself in UV. Many flowers look quite different in UV and this is easily spotted with a UV-sensitive camera, yet doesn't show up on a normal blue sensitivity.
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Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Not an IR camera, but just as awesome!
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2020, 10:42:29 am »
These aren't dandelions (duh!) but they show a typical example of how flowers look different in UV and visible light.

The UV image below was taken using a Baader-U filter (which passes 380-320nm and blocks everything else, unlike many "UV-pass" filters which also pass a lot of near-IR) with a UV-Nikkor 105mm f/4.5 lens on a Nikon D600 body modified for full spectrum. It's by no means a "good" UV image, just something I casually snapped in the beer garden of a pub I was lunching at.

The visible light reference photo was taken with a Nikon D850.

People often look a bit different in UV too - you see lots of spots and freckles that are invisible to the naked eye. Sunscreen makes the skin appear extremely dark. There's an introduction to ultraviolet photography here and this forum is where the world's leading experts hang out with beginners like me. There's a technical intro along with a discussion of suitable kit here.

Right, I think I've strayed far enough from thermal imaging for now (although one could argue that ultraviolet is just really, really hot...)
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 10:45:59 am by Ultrapurple »
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Offline Ultrapurple

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Re: Not an IR camera, but just as awesome!
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2020, 11:52:05 am »
OK, I said I was going to leave this topic but I did get round to mounting the UV-Nikkor lens on the Finepix IS Pro forensic camera and do a comparison, which you can read here. Spoiler alert: the full-spectrum converted D600 is more sensitive to UV than the older IS Pro.

Not quite thermal imaging but I used a UV-pass filter and a long exposure to see what I could see when using a 40W CO2 laser to cut some thin plywood into the panels needed for a small box (just as a test exercise). I quite like the result of the UV photo.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2020, 11:54:31 am by Ultrapurple »
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