Are there Any Reasonabely Priced IR Cameras ???

chipster_2007February 22, 2010

I just had an energy audit done which will help me do a better job of sealing my home but I wish there was a reasonable IR camera I could buy to help asses the repairs and to use for future assessments. Is there anything out there to meet my, and I'm sure, others needs? The use of smoke to identify air leaks is useless.

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I think Wahl makes one for $1,300 but I wouldn't know a good one from a bad one.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 11:07AM
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They are rather pricey since the sensor must be cooled (Peltier devices) to have decent sensitivity.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 4:33PM
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You can special order 35mm Infrared film and use a 35mm SLR.

When using Infrared film there is a focal shift in the focusing. Nearly all 35mm SLR lens have a small letter R on the lens barrel slightly to the left side of the center focus index. When using IR film you must focus the lens in the normal manner, then shift from the normal focus index to the IR index before snapping the shot.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 4:58PM
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IR film for a 35 mm camera is sensitive to the shorter near-infrared light energy wave lengths while thermal imaging requires sensitivity to the longer far-infrared light energy wave lengths.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 8:57PM
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They make 35mm thermal imagining film. We have been using it for over 30 years to find heat losses.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 10:25PM
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Under normal field conditions, IR sensitive film in a conventional 35mm SLR camera will record the "reflected" near-infrared light energy (700 to 900nm wavelengths) from the sun rather than the "emitted" infrared light energy (900 to 14,000nm wavelengths) from objects which is what is required for thermal imaging.

If you know of photographic film that is sensitive to electromagnetic wavelengths over 900nm I would love to know what it is.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 12:01PM
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IR 35mm film is the wrong band for real thermal loss imaging.

I have seen the cameras for rent for ~$400 a day.

The older cameras used liquid nitrogen for cooling and were a real hassle to operate.

The newer ones use thermal-electric coolers and are far simpler.

Almost point and shoot, with decent calibration.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 1:38PM
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Having worked with IR cameras for the past 14 years, my advice would be to hire a thermographer (you'll find them in the yellow pages). There is no film that will record heat loss as previously explained (as a data point, Kodak has discontinued all of their IR film except for Aerochrome made for aerial photography).

The heat you're looking for is in the 5 micron to 14 micron range. A thermal camera that will record that range starts at about $9K and the really good ones (more sensitive) are in the $20K to $40K range.

Part of using an IR camera is knowing HOW to set it, and how to read the images coming from the camera. The best thing you can do is hire someone who owns and knows how to use the equipment.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 3:25PM
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