Photographing house with infrared film

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Doug Kanter, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. Doug Kanter

    Doug Kanter Guest

    Having exhausted other methods of determining where the outer walls of my
    home are missing insulation, I'm wondering about photographing it from the
    outside with infrared film (35mm). My idea was to crank up the heat inside
    for a few hours, use minimal lighting (which I suspect might throw off the
    results), and then get outside with the camera. It can't be this easy,
    though, right?

    Any thoughts on this idea would be appreciated. By the way, current temps
    here are ranging between 20F and 40F.
     
    Doug Kanter, Dec 22, 2005
    #1
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  2. Doug Kanter

    Scott W Guest

    Won't work, film captures near IR (in the 0.7 to 1 micron range), your
    house will radiate only thermal IR (no shorter then around 5 - 6
    microns).


    Scott
     
    Scott W, Dec 22, 2005
    #2
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  3. Doug Kanter

    Doug Kanter Guest

    I'm beginning to understand why so many houses aren't insulated correctly.
    Short of making holes in the walls, there's apparently no good way to
    determine where heat is escaping.
     
    Doug Kanter, Dec 22, 2005
    #3
  4. Doug Kanter

    m Ransley Guest

    You can hire someone with thermal imaging, usualy 300$ in my area, The
    thermal cameras I have seen are near 10,000$. Regular film cameras wont
    work, film is the wrong wavelength. Many digital cameras are IR
    sensitive but in a range similar to IR film with a 700nm. filter. It
    would be great if they could be converted or done cheaply , thermal
    imaging is to expensive. my sony w5 is mildly IR sensitive, I can see
    it picks up the IR beam on TV remotes and my gas stoves flame looks
    different.
     
    m Ransley, Dec 22, 2005
    #4
  5. Doug Kanter

    simon Guest

    What you need is a thermographic survey..
    This is a technique used to locate 'hotspots' in electrical installations -
    but can also be applied to insulation checks among other things....
    Try a google search for that term....

    http://www.irtsurveys.co.uk/
    is just one that I found.
     
    simon, Dec 22, 2005
    #5
  6. Doug Kanter

    dj_nme Guest

    A FLIR camera, with a cryogenicaly cooled sensor is about the only sort
    of off the shelf imaging system that can do that.

    Possibly a digigcam that has had the IR block filter removed could also
    be used for detecting escaping heat.
    The suroundings would have to be fairly cold (Winter would be the best
    time to try it), in order to get enough contrast.

    I haven't tried it, so I just don't know if it would work.
     
    dj_nme, Dec 23, 2005
    #6
  7. Doug Kanter

    Diluted Guest

    from what ive read, IR film captures reflected infrared light, not heat
     
    Diluted, Dec 23, 2005
    #7
  8. Doug Kanter

    Marvin Guest

    Converting the digicam to the longer wavelenghts would require changing the lens (glass or
    plastic lenses don't transmit the longer IR wavelengths), and the sensor (the sensors in
    digicams aren't sensitive to the mid-IR light), and the electronics that go with the
    sensor. You could keep the case, if it is big enough to hold the different components.
     
    Marvin, Dec 23, 2005
    #8
  9. Doug Kanter

    Marvin Guest

    What you call "heat" is - in this case - light in the near-infrared. And it can be light
    that is emitted or reflected. In looking for hot spots on a house, from poor insulation,
    it is the emitted light that matters.
     
    Marvin, Dec 23, 2005
    #9
  10. Doug Kanter

    dj_nme Guest

    I would guess that due to low sensitivity, the IR film would have to
    used at night during Winter to have the maximum contrast to show up the
    weakspots in the insulation.
    My guess is that a digicam with it's IR block filter removed could also
    be used in the same circumstances for similar results.
    Maybe a camcorder (or a Sony F828) set to "nightshot" might also work.
    An el-cheapo low-res digicam can be bought for next to nothing (maybe
    even a hacked single-use digicam would suffice) and the filter removed
    after the lens has been unscrewed.
     
    dj_nme, Dec 23, 2005
    #10
  11. Doug Kanter

    Scott W Guest

    You just are not going to see that long of IR, does not matter what
    time of year or how cold it is.

    Scott
     
    Scott W, Dec 23, 2005
    #11
  12. Doug Kanter

    m Ransley Guest

    I have a sony with " super nightshot" and its the wrong wave length for
    heat emissions.
     
    m Ransley, Dec 23, 2005
    #12
  13. Doug Kanter

    dj_nme Guest

    I thought that it would have been worth a go, especialy if your've
    already got a camcorder with nightshot, or digicam with nightshot (like
    a Sony F828).
    No harm in actualy trying, because it won't cost anything (except a few
    moments standing outside at night, in the cold).
    If you have tried and it didn't work, perhaps only a FLIR type IR camera
    with a cryo system would be the way to go.
     
    dj_nme, Dec 24, 2005
    #13
  14. Doug Kanter

    Doug Kanter Guest

    This is all too much. Earlier today, I called a contact in the physics
    department at R.I.T. Someone must know how to do this.
     
    Doug Kanter, Dec 24, 2005
    #14
  15. Doug Kanter

    m Ransley Guest

    I do use it outside at night often to see animals , and no heat
    emissions of any structure has ever been evident, the wavelength needed
    is up around 2-5000 for heat emissions, IR photography around 700nm
     
    m Ransley, Dec 24, 2005
    #15
  16. Doug Kanter

    dj_nme Guest

    Now I (and others who've followed this thread) know what you know about
    this.
    Thanks for sharing, after initaily just giving a flat "no, it won't
    work" type reply with explanation of your actual experiences.

    I would have tried it myself with my Sony camcorder, but the winters
    where I am rarely go below 15 degrees Celcius (it is Summer here, and
    hovers between 28 and 38 degrees) and I wouldn't expect the temp
    difference between an uninsulated building and the surounding (during
    winter) to have much contrast, even at night.
     
    dj_nme, Dec 24, 2005
    #16
  17. Doug Kanter

    Marvin Guest

    There is no light emitted in the wavelengths recorded by a digicam at the temperature of
    the outide of the house. That is why thermal imaging is done at longer wavelengths.
     
    Marvin, Dec 24, 2005
    #17
  18. Doug Kanter

    Marvin Guest

    If you have an AC going, thermal imaging can still be useful. Cool areas in parts of the
    house would show where insulation is poor.
     
    Marvin, Dec 24, 2005
    #18
  19. Doug Kanter

    dj_nme Guest

    What I meant is that I wouldn't expect my camcorder to be able to pick
    up the contrast, considering the mildness of our Winters and so I don't
    expect it to work in Summer with the aircon going.
    Also that habit that most Aussies have of building brick houses would
    tend to make the idea of in-wall insulation redundant.
    Perhaps in an area where it gets cold enough to snow, there should be
    enough contrast for even a relatively insensitive camera could produce a
    useful thermal image.
     
    dj_nme, Dec 25, 2005
    #19
  20. Doug Kanter

    Marvin Guest

    Not only wouldn't it work in your winters, it wouldn't work in an Antarctic winter.
     
    Marvin, Dec 25, 2005
    #20
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