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Archive 2013 · Infrared Filter
  
 
RedOak
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Infrared Filter


What is a good recommended Infrared Filter for Photography?

I'm wondering if its possible to get it in square shape and slide it in front of a lense instead of a circular "screw on" as well. Is it better or should i go with a Screw On?

Edit: being clear, i'm looking for a recommendation of brand (Hoya, B+W...) as well as, get an idea of what's better in "shade"; Dark Red, Light Red... all these others.



Thoughts? Suggestions?



Mar 01, 2013 at 08:34 PM
RedOak
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Infrared Filter


Which also brings to question; is it advisable to use a ND filter (of various strength) with IR filter?


Mar 01, 2013 at 08:39 PM
mpmendenhall
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Infrared Filter


What camera/lens are you planning to use this with? IR-modified sensor or not?

How far into the IR you want to go depends on what "effect" you want. A 630nm cut (B+W 091 "Very dark red") passes the extreme red from the visible spectrum; the result is dramatically darkened blue skies and black foliage, but not the stereotypical "IR" look. A B+W 092 (695nm long pass) filter transmits only a miniscule amount of visible (you can still dimly see bright light sources through it once your eye dark-adapts), and provides the typical "false-color" IR look, since the camera color filter still has slightly different response per pixel color. A Hoya R72 (720nm long pass) gives similar results. A strong IR filter like the B+W 093 (830nm long pass) will give monochromatic IR results (all camera color filters have about the same leakage) with yet another look. As you go deeper into the IR, necessary exposure times will increase dramatically (this depends a lot on what camera you are using). Also, lenses may show very different behavior from visible-light results (sometimes excellent visible-light lenses fail terribly in IR, with poor sharpness and terrible contrast/flare; cheaper, simpler lenses sometimes do better).



Mar 01, 2013 at 08:50 PM
RedOak
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Infrared Filter


Wow, loads of information on that post Mpmendenhall thanks;

To answer your question i'm looking at a Nikon D800 as my workhorse. Although i do have a Canon 5D on my desk right now (Mark1) which might also do the trick.

I'm less interested in a IR sensor, since its very restrictive on the body. That's why i'm wondering about the filters instead.




Mar 01, 2013 at 11:15 PM
mpmendenhall
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Infrared Filter


With an unmodified sensor, you will be very limited in what you can do --- since the (unmodified) camera sensor has an IR-blocking filter built in. There's no point even trying with a strong IR filter (like a B+W 093), since you don't get enough light through to the sensor even with multiple-minute, high-ISO exposures in broad daylight. The nearer IR, like the 695nm long-pass B+W 092, might be marginally useful (I've tried these on an unmodified 5D), if you're patient enough for tripod-only, higher ISO shooting in broad daylight. With the 5D, getting focus right will be tricky (no live view to see what the camera sees with the filter on, which will probably be different from the visible-light image). Modern, un-modified DSLRs are poorly suited for IR work.

If you want to try out IR, your best starting point would be to find one of the point-n-shoot cameras that already has a weak built-in IR filter to start with (I don't recall specific models, but you can find this info online). If you like the results, you can move up to a sensor-modified DSLR (removing the IR-blocking filter) with Live Vew, which will give you hand-holdable shutter speeds in daylight.



Mar 01, 2013 at 11:34 PM
mpmendenhall
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Infrared Filter


I just went outside to grab a quick sample shot of what you can get with an unmodified 5Dc, using a B+W 092 filter:





this required 0.5s exposure at f8, ISO1600 in bright sunlight, so don't expect to do much without a tripod. There was just enough visible light in the viewfinder to focus (with the lens open to f2.8) after letting my eye adjust to the darkness. This type of filter gives you the characteristic "false color" IR images, where the different types of foliage have distinct (alien) colors. With this filter, the red channel pixels get much more light than Green/Blue, so the red channel is completely blown out in order to get useful Green/Blue pixels; I could have exposed the image ~6 stops faster to use the red channel, at the expense of seriously degrading image quality by losing most of the data from 3/4 of the pixels (green and blue).

Another gratuitous IR test shot, because threads are no fun without pictures:







Mar 02, 2013 at 12:07 AM
ZoneV
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Infrared Filter


Hoya R72 would be possible too - but with an unmodified camera the exposure times would be long. With unmodified camera and IR pass filter the multiplication of IR cut of camera and IR pass filter transmission results with only a small rest transmission.

Modified cameras make much more fun :-)



Mar 02, 2013 at 12:38 PM
mpmendenhall
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Infrared Filter


ZoneV wrote:
Hoya R72 would be possible too - but with an unmodified camera the exposure times would be long. With unmodified camera and IR pass filter the multiplication of IR cut of camera and IR pass filter transmission results with only a small rest transmission.

Modified cameras make much more fun :-)


+1 on the Hoya R72, and the usefulness of modified cameras. I need to get myself an R72 in a more useful filter size. The R72 on the Canon 5D partially alleviates the B+W 092 problem of either blowing out the red channel or having no green/blue; with the R72, the R channel is still ~3-4 stops too "hot" compared to G, B, but you can still get all 3 within a somewhat usable range at once. A camera like the D800, with considerably larger dynamic range, can probably handle this exposure difference fairly gracefully.

Here's a similar scene as above, re-shot with a Hoya R72:







Mar 02, 2013 at 05:38 PM
RedOak
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Infrared Filter


interesting stuff! There is much to learn about this method of photography.

So essentially, converting a sensor is the way to go then. I suppose thats more costly tho? (not counting the extra body). How exactly do you make a conversion like that tho? do camera stores do it?



Mar 03, 2013 at 02:37 AM
 

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mpmendenhall
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Infrared Filter


There are several companies that you can find online who do camera body conversions, typically in the $200-$400 range depending on specifics. Adventurous tinkerers can also do this themselves --- or at least wreck their sensor trying. Sometimes you can find already-converted used bodies for sale. Try a web search for "IR camera conversion" to get results for many services, then check for actual user experiences with each service on photo forums.

A second, less common, option is to get one of the Sigma DSLRs (and you'll need to buy lenses for it, too) --- these have a user-removable IR-blocker.

However, before you spend big bucks on a converted DSLR, you might want to play around for a while with a cheap compact camera (many of which have weaker built-in IR blocking than DSLRs --- internet search for specific models) plus filters to learn for yourself what kind of photos you'll get. Once you know what kind of results you can get with different filter options, and start feeling limited by the image quality of the camera, then you'll be in a better position to figure out what converted DSLR upgrade is best for you.



Mar 03, 2013 at 02:44 AM
ange
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Infrared Filter


If you do go with 'mpmendenhall's' suggestion to start with a P&S & Hoya R72, try to get a model that is sharp wide open. I can get very acceptable shutter speeds with my un-modified Oly c750 (1 to 2 seconds at f/2.8 & f/3.2 respectively), but since the Oly is so sharp wide open, it works well for IR (that is, in great light with a tripod).

I tried my wife's Canon A 570 and while I can get the same shutter speeds, the camera produces softer images wide open. Too bad, because the A570 does focus quicker.

Very cool about the Sigma DSLR's and the removable IR cut filter. I didn't know about that. One of the older Sony P&S cameras would be great too, since they had a night scene mode that moved the IR cut filter out of the way. I wish they were still made that way.

MPM...loved the IR shots. Especially that last one with the R72. Nice color.

Andy




Mar 03, 2013 at 03:02 PM
ZoneV
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Infrared Filter


At the bottom of my German language infrared site you find several DIY infrared camera conversion links.

For my own infrared camera I have invented a way to use exchangeable infrared filters with bright viewfinder. But this is probably a bit too experimental and risky for most users.



Mar 03, 2013 at 07:46 PM
greggn
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Infrared Filter


If you like the look of IR then skip the "unmodified body with a external filter" route and purchase a modified body or have an older, back-up body converted to full-time IR. The ability to shoot handheld, low-ISO fast shutter speeds is priceless.


From my 830nm converted 5DII:





Mar 03, 2013 at 08:53 PM
mpmendenhall
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Infrared Filter


I just picked up a Tiffen 87 IR filter (out of personal interest due to this thread). This is a "Wratten #87" filter, which is equivalent to Schott RG780 glass (also available as the Heliopan RG780 (87) filter), a 780nm long-pass filter --- so a considerably deeper IR cut than the Hoya R72 (720nm long-pass). On an un-modified 5D, the result is almost monochromatic, with a closer balance between the RGB channels than the R72 (Aperture.app is capable of setting a white balance, at T=2000K, tint=-91 --- weaker IR filters produce results out-of-range for this setting). There is significant color shift towards the corners, probably due to angular dependence in IR transmission of the camera sensor package. You also really get the "bright white glowing foliage" look typical of deeper-IR shots. This is at the expense of further reduced light: in near-maximum sunlight, I needed 20s at f8, ISO400 for this shot:






With my B+W 093 filter, an even deeper 830nm long-pass, yet another stop of light is required for equivalent exposure (now 20s at f8, ISO800). The results are basically completely monochromatic, including eliminating the color shift:






Once desaturated to pure monochrome, the 780nm long-pass results on an unmodified 5D are nearly indistinguishable from the 830nm long-pass, at 1 stop faster exposure, so this is probably the best filter choice to produce the "stronger IR cut"-look monochrome images.

With a modified camera, one could get much more usable shutter speeds (greggn's example above took 1/125s @ ISO400 in similar outdoor sunlight to what took 20s @ ISO800 on my unconverted camera --- 12 stops faster!), and also likely less color vignetting (from the angular dependence of the removed IR-blocking filter).



Mar 04, 2013 at 10:01 PM
runamuck
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Infrared Filter


Hooya R72 and start from there. You will need a tripod.


Mar 05, 2013 at 05:33 AM
burningheart
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Infrared Filter


This is the best reference I have found listing IR filters, it also has color and UV filters listed. It was invaluable for me when I shot black and white IR film, color infrared slide, infrared slide (using DR-5 processing) and later moved onto digital IR and full spectrum. Not all filters are available anymore.

http://www.markerink.org/WJM/HTML/irfilter.htm

The manufacturers that are missing from the list are Lee, Singh-Ray and Tiffen.

IR filters missing from the chart are

Heliopan RG645
B+W 665
Lee 87
Singh-Ray I-Ray
Tiffen 87

Singh-Ray doesn't specify its rating but states "Transmits over 90% of near-infrared light between 700 and 1100 nanometers while blocking virtually all visible and UV light". I have found that the Sing-Ray is close to the Hoya R72 and B+W 092, but seems to allow a little more red through than they do.

Heliopan has the most complete set of filters available to choose from but I found that they now refer to them using the Schott-Glass Equivalent. I was able to obtain all the Heliopan's from RG645 upto and including RG1000 but many had to be special ordered and after approaching several of the big photo stores only Helen at Adorama was able to help me.

As far as I recall on the only square filters available were the the Kodak Wratten, Lee Polyester, Cokin and I could be wrong that Lee had a square glass one. The drawback of square is there is a possibilty of light getting in through the edges.

As you can see from Michael's images each filter has differences. They are all good in their own way.

I still use filters(all 19 or so I have) on the lens for differing results on my tripod mounted modded full spectrum camera and focus using live view, but if I am shooting action I use my RG715 modded camera so I can see what I'm shooting.

Pricing wise most people go with a Hoya R72.



Mar 05, 2013 at 09:48 PM
mpmendenhall
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Infrared Filter


burningheart wrote:
This is the best reference I have found listing IR filters, it also has color and UV filters listed. It was invaluable for me when I shot black and white IR film, color infrared slide, infrared slide (using DR-5 processing) and later moved onto digital IR and full spectrum. Not all filters are available anymore.

http://www.markerink.org/WJM/HTML/irfilter.htm

The manufacturers that are missing from the list are Lee, Singh-Ray and Tiffen.


Thanks for the reference; that's a useful compilation.
Tiffen filters are easy to place on the chart, since they name all their filters by Wratten #.



Mar 05, 2013 at 10:29 PM
mpmendenhall
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Infrared Filter


The cheap ($15, shipped) Chinese "IR760" filter that I bought off eBay arrived today. Based on the sale description, one might assume this is supposed to be equivalent to a 760nm 50%-cutoff long pass filter, placing it deeper than the Hoya R72 (720nm) and very close to the Tiffen Wratten #87 780nm long pass.

Out of the box, the first thing you notice is how light it feels --- this is an extremely thin slice of glass. Viewing a lamp through it, you see the bulb in dull orange (instead of the pure, deep red that proper 720nm IR filter produces, or the near-complete-black of a 780nm filter), indicating a large amount of shorter-wavelength visible light leakage. Also, the dull orange image dims a lot when looking through the filter at a steeper angle, indicating a very broad rather than sharp cutoff edge. On the camera, it lets through a lot more R than G,B, but not so much as to completely blow the R channel when G,B are a couple stops underexposed. The effect produced isn't "bad"; the filter just isn't remotely like what an actual 760nm long pass would be:







Text from the back of the obviously over-generic “FILTER DIGITAL FILTER box:
“The filter will select which light rays will
enter your camera lens. it will allow you toremove
unwanted reflections from non-metallic surfaces
such as water ,glass,etc
Constant use of this filter isrecommended for
clear pictureas well as a lens protector”
[sic]



Mar 16, 2013 at 01:01 AM





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