Mobius Varifocal Zoom IR

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Dashmellow

Dashmellow

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Yeah it's a bit long, but I also liked the music in combination with it. Sort of calms me down after a day's trucking in our busy and nuts traffic.....hahaha.

What do you mean with linking to dct? How's that work?
I mean posting the videos here on the forum. Maybe you already did that somewhere here and I've missed it but I only knew about them because another member posted them here.

What music is that?
 

MarcoM

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I'm very surprised and sorry to hear that as so many including me report receiving the 3MP. Maybe if you contact Banggood and mention that you ordered based on reports in the feedack section in your message they will work something out with you. Even if not, the 2MP lens should be fine on this sensor. I don't think you will see much of a difference.

Thanks for reporting this so others will know.
I am not going to bother for a few bucks. I just wanted to let other people know.
Thanks



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Dashmellow

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I am not going to bother for a few bucks. I just wanted to let other people know.
Thanks



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Since my last post I got to thinking it could be interesting if you were to spend the modest price for the other lens you could do a side by side comparison. Then again, you might not want to bother with something like that either. :)
 

Matt_V939

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Just a quick update. I ordered from banggood the 2mp lens that @Dashmellow mentioned. And I received a 2mp lens not a 3 mp lens. So it may be worthwhile to order the 3 mp one
....
Well, I ordered the 3mp (which funny enough is CHEAPER than the 2mp...go figure) because it was in stock when I posted my comments and the 2mp was not (of course I could not wait to order a lens which will sit on my table for months before I will ever decide to install it...but hey, I am affected by a compulsive gadged buying behaviour..).
Now the situation is REVERSED, the cheap one is out of stock (due to this thread?) and the 2mp more expensive one now is in stock...
 

MarcoM

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Since my last post I got to thinking it could be interesting if you were to spend the modest price for the other lens you could do a side by side comparison. Then again, you might not want to bother with something like that either. :)
Just followed your suggestion and ordered the cheaper 3mp. Now it will be a long wait. Then I'll check them both.


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dirkzelf

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I mean posting the videos here on the forum. Maybe you already did that somewhere here and I've missed it but I only knew about them because another member posted them here.

What music is that?
Yeah I did post somewhere here, don't know exactly where, and the music, I have NO idea hahaha just like weird unusual tones.... So I pick one even without knowing where it came from.
 
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Dashmellow

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This post is a shout-out to @SawMaster who asked about a month ago, "I wonder if using the Mobius in web-cam mode with a portable LCD display and IR illuminator could work as a 'poor man's night vision' device." The answer is an emphatic YES, but with a caveat or two. The Mobius uses an AR0330 sensor which generally is not known for its stellar low light performance and so a fairly powerful IR illumination source is a requirement. Nevertheless, under IR lighting with a dedicated IR lens with no cut filter like I'm using here the AR0330 sensor opens up a whole new world of possibilities and produces some surprising night footage with impressive results. And to answer your original question about the LCD display Phil, what you will see in the footage that follows is what you would see on an LCD display whether you choose to record or not. In this case, I used an LCD display to set up the shots and what I saw on the screen is pretty much what I captured on video.

For the footage shot here I used an older, out of service CCTV camera as an IR illuminator source but without engaging the camera functionality. The camera has 42 IR emitters that can work up to 100 feet away for this standard CCTV camera but that can not really provide that kind of range with a Mobius camera using the 2.8mm to 12mm ƒ1.4 lens. Here the infra-red beam is projected only about twenty feet to the action seen on camera and the camera itself is about 20 feet from the subject in the first clip and 10 -12 feet from the subject in the second clip. I am still going to do some longer range testing with the IR illuminator set up, so stay tuned. For these videos, I simply clamped the camera onto the railing of my deck and pointed the camera down into my back yard. (a 5-6 acre field bordering thousands of acres of forest)

I've mentioned here and there that I often use the Mobius camera platform to observe and study wildlife, occasionally working with kids from a local environmental group and so I thought it might be interesting to demonstrate the IR illumination capabilities of this camera set-up by filming a Red Fox who hangs out near my house all the time, both day and night and has been doing so for at least two years now. This wild animal has somehow figured out that I am not a serious threat to him and he therefore shows himself more than any other fox I've ever seen around here. He feels like an old friend and I am always happy to see him...and he helps keep a lid on the local mouse, chipmunk and vole population for which I am always grateful. This was why I decided he'd be a good subject for this test and felt confident that I could entice him to show up for the camera using some chicken parts and a couple of hard boiled eggs for bait. This was the first and only time I have ever intentionally put out food for him yet on both occasions in the following videos he showed up within about 10 minutes after I left my recording set-up and went inside. I believe he may have been observing me set up my equipment from the shadows.

In this first clip you will observe some highly typical behavior for the Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes). He approaches the food source, takes some and the retreats to a safe distance to consume it. Often a red fox will repeat this pattern multiple times or perhaps circle around and approach from a different direction. While it may seen like this animal is behaving this way because there is a pool of light he is entering and leaving he cannot see it. The scene you are observing in the video is happening in pitch darkness and only can be seen by the video observer because of the IR Illumination. I've observed this animal engaging in this exact same behavior in broad daylight when he feeds on pears that drop from a tree some thirty feet from my house. (foxes are omnivores) He will come and grab a ripe pear and then retreat to just beyond the edge of the lawn (still in plain sight, but in slightly taller grass) to consume it and then come back for another. Foxes are VERY territorial. Notice at the very end of the video clip that he briefly stops to mark his territory before leaving the scene. Foxes communicate a wealth of information with their scent including their sex and breeding status as well as indications of his specific individuality. This marking behavior will be very important as you view to the second video clip.

In this video I left the camera exactly as I've had it focused when I use the varifocal lens in my vehicle. In my truck for example, objects within 10 to 20 feet are in tack sharp focus as seen in many of the screen shots in this thread but here with the focus set for daylight the same the video is not quite as focused as it might have been. This is a common issue with IR video and photography because infra-red light wavelengths focus on a different plane on the sensor (slightly in front of or behind) thereby causing a focus shift. IR Focus Shift is the condition that occurs when images that are sharp and in focus under in daylight conditions are out of focus under artificial IR illumination lighting at night and vice versa. In the second video I've corrected the focus for IR and optimized for a close shot.

Be patient watching this clip. After the fox takes some food the first time there is about a 60 second dead period before he returns and then two more similar periods of shorter duration.


So here, in this second clip, something quite remarkable happens. Much to my surprise (and probably the Red fox's too) a Gray fox first appears. He is deep into the Red fox's long established territory which he has recently marked with his scent. Once the gray fox leaves, the red fox makes an appearance. One might expect a confrontation in a situation like this with snarling, aggressive body language and vocalization until one of them backs off. Yet, instead of a confrontation, amazingly, these two very territorial animals that would ordinarily face off with one another take turns cautiously sharing a relatively abundant temporary food source. Notice that the Red fox modifies his typical behavior. Where he might ordinarily grab some food and retreat immediately to a safe place to consume it, here he consumes as much as possible at the source because of the competition for this food resource. Note how he has an instinct to run away with some food but repeatedly checks that impulse.

You'll notice a few jump cuts in this video as I've done that to eliminate some of the longer dead sections of the video with no action as well as to conserve bandwidth. Also notice that I've optimized the focus and the action is taking place about ten feet from the camera with the lens set to its maximum magnification. (I've spoken often about the miserable 3 Mbps/768kbps bandwidth I have to suffer with out here in the countryside so just so you know, the first clip with a duration of 4:13 minutes took me two hours and eleven minutes to upload to YouTube! :arghh:

Anyway, observe the differences between these two beautiful and amazing animals. The Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) is a smaller more compact and muscular animal with distinct facial markings, a black tipped tail with a wide head and strong neck. Gray foxes have retractable claws like a cat and like cats they can climb trees unlike the Red fox. The Red fox is a much larger, more elongated animal with a narrower longer skull. Their coloration can vary dramatically but they have black legs, black tipped ears, a beautiful fluffy tail of course, and they tend to be more agile than the gray fox.


BTW, here is my basic set-up. I draped the camera and tripod in camouflage material and put the other equipment on an insulated foam pad as the dew was fast forming on the ground. For the actual shoot I tidied everything up with everything underneath the tripod and camo cloth and the camera itself was more carefully hidden. Notice when the gray fox first arrives on the scene he carefully checks the whole thing out and then decides there is nothing to fear after a brief retreat.

camo.jpg

Here is the CCTV camera I used for the IR illuminator, clamped to the railing on my deck up above.
CCTV.jpg

I expect to do more IR night videos like this and further explore the possibilities. I have a friend who is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and professional naturalist and she and I have some plans to collaborate on future wildlife documentation. It's fascinating and great fun. And this varifocal lens has got to be the best 7 dollar and fifty cent photography investment I've ever made! :)












 
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SawMaster

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Nice vids and does give me an idea of the possibilities :cool: I'm wanting longer range and am prepared to make an appropriate illuminatior ;) The problem with embedded IR LED's is that usually they are the cheap ones with low output and have nothing to focus them into a beam pattern except the LED dome. Better is easily achievable there and it seems the cam will do fine when given enough illumination. Now to find the time, money, and materials to make it happen :D

Phil
 
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Dashmellow

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Nice vids and does give me an idea of the possibilities :cool: I'm wanting longer range and am prepared to make an appropriate illuminatior ;) The problem with embedded IR LED's is that usually they are the cheap ones with low output and have nothing to focus them into a beam pattern except the LED dome. Better is easily achievable there and it seems the cam will do fine when given enough illumination. Now to find the time, money, and materials to make it happen :D

Phil
This was just an initial experiment with IR emitters on a camera I happened to have handy. These emitters have a pretty good output though. They reach out a good 85-100 feet with the CCTV cam. I do think with an appropriate high powered IR torch you could get pretty good range with the Mobius camera/lens set-up.
 
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Dashmellow

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@SawMaster, just keep in mind what I said about the AR0330 sensor in the Mobius. There are limitations about what it can do regardless of how powerful an IR source you've got. Still, I think it has much potential.

Also, I wonder if you are familiar with this P60 850nm IR drop-in from Solar Force? Something like this might work for what you want at a modest cost. Three of these in a tri-head torch or something of that nature could be interesting.

https://www.solarforceflashlight-sales.com/products/solarforce-infrared-red-ir-night-vision-bulb-for-surefire-6p-9p-g2
 
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SawMaster

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I had already been thinking "Exmor" with this :D Which is one reason why I want to try for results with the G1W form factor (begin with the -HC and later try an -S model). I know there are differences but this approach will allow familiarization and some experience gained before making the 'big jump'. And if I've got my WR-1 sorted out and it proves reliable then I'll have a Mobius free to play with to get better color and contrast adjustability :)

My end goal is a portable compact NVD which will do good at 100m or more and not cost an arm and a leg to buy or use. The commercial/surplus stuff on the market at cheap prices all have issues of some sort and I believe this approach can get me the results I seek at a similar price plus it will be fun to play with :cool: And since SC doesn't use front plates on cars this could give me something discreet and useful as a supplemental rear dashcam. When I get the basics sorted out I'll do some through-glass experimenting as windshield reflections might be a problem, and that will require an external illuminator too.

Lots of thoughts here but I'll definitely need help and advice along the way given my very limited optical knowledge :whistle: Now if they'd just hurry up and deliver my lens....

Phil
 
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I haven't seen the innards of a recent G1W camera but some of them had the lens module just glued to the PCB rather than screwed on. Although the G1W-H is basically a clone of the original GT300W and LS300W they are cheap because they are not built to the same standards. I have some concerns that this varifocal lens mounted on a G1W variant might lead to an easily damaged module housing where it could break away from the PCB if your goal is a "portable compact NVD". One of the things I like about this lens mounted on the Mobius is that it makes for a compact, very strong little package that fits the hand very comfortably if I want to use it that way. I guess it will depend on how you intend to use yours. Perhaps you might need to at least bolster the integrity of the lens module housing on the board with a small dab or two of hot glue or something like that.
 
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Dashmellow

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Sometimes this IR lens surprises me with images that have an unexpectedly unique beauty to them. It's like dash cam art, if there can be said to be such a thing. I thought I'd post this one from the drive home yesterday evening, Halloween.
IRmobi.jpg
 
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Matt_V939

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Well, we should open a contest here voting for the best "dashcam pic"...
 

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