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Thread: IR filter vs Converted Cam

  1. #1

    Default IR filter vs Converted Cam

    Hey all.

    So I was looking at some infrared photos and would like to try playing around with it. Most of them seem to be shot with converted cams.

    I was wondering if the effect when using IR filters will look similar to those shot with converted cams?

    I don't have any old dslrs to convert so if using a filter can achieve some decent results, I might get one.


    Please advice! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member limwhow's Avatar
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    Default Re: IR filter vs Converted Cam

    Hello Doctor Inferno,

    The disadvantages of a non-converted camera is:

    • Difficulty in focussing - with the IR filter on, the View Finder will be siginificantly darkened and it's hard for you to see once it's screwed on. You'd have to frame the scene and focus before screwing on the filter.
    • Exposure time is significantly prolonger - a few 10's of a second. Thus it aside from using it on landscape with little movement, it is also hard to shoot moving subjects.
    • In view of the above points, it is also an elaborate, deliberate exercise in setting up the camera with the IR filter on tripod whenever one wnats to shoot. Thus one will lose out the spontaniety and the rapidity of capturing the scene.


    I believe that once you get more involved in shooting IR, it becomes an eventuality to have an old camera body converted for that will make shooting IR so much more enjoyable. Haha... this last part is my personal opinion.
    I hope this would be of some help.

  3. #3

    Default Re: IR filter vs Converted Cam

    Thanks for the tips, much appreciated! Will keep them in mind.

    I've never tried IR photography before, so I thought I'd get a filter first to try out the "IR effect". I'm curious whether the outcome of the images when using IR filters will differ from using a converter dslr?

    Like I just had a look at your IR shots, really neat stuff! I especially like those with white-ish trees and blur/purple skies, I was wondering if that effect is achievable with IR filters?

  4. #4
    Senior Member limwhow's Avatar
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    Default Re: IR filter vs Converted Cam

    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Inferno View Post
    Thanks for the tips, much appreciated! Will keep them in mind.

    I've never tried IR photography before, so I thought I'd get a filter first to try out the "IR effect". I'm curious whether the outcome of the images when using IR filters will differ from using a converter dslr?

    Like I just had a look at your IR shots, really neat stuff! I especially like those with white-ish trees and blur/purple skies, I was wondering if that effect is achievable with IR filters?
    Thank you for your kind compliments.
    IR photography essentially does this: It filters off a certain chunk of wavelength of lights according to the filter type you choose, and by doing so, it leaves what is commonly termed 'false colours' in the remainder of your photos. As Near Infrared rays are mostly emitted from the clouds, the living foliage of vegetations and some Far IR from heat giving human bodies, you will find that the lighter parts of the photos are these. Thus like you described, if we use an IR filter of a higher cut off, e.g. 720nm (R72 filter), then your trees will be white, those with lower cut offs at around 680nm (ELP) or a 600nm (Goldie) filter will give golden foliage. A 535nm filter will give purplish-blue foliage.
    But the end result is often one derived from extensive post processing.

    A raw IR photo usually needs to be post processed to a certain extent depending on one's preference.
    This will give you the final result.

    Allow me to show you one of my latest IR shots of this interesting bridge in Batam using my 535nm IR-converted camera.
    Here is the raw file:


    notice that the foliage are all purple, and the sky is greenish.

    and here is the post-processed photos:


    A vast difference from the raw file.

    There are several types of IR shooters.
    • Some like their IR photos raw without an form of channel mixing and post process. Many of these will use IR filters of high cut off, say around 900nm and these essentially give almost black and white IR photos and the only thing that tells that these are still IR photos are the almost pure white foliage.
    • Some IR shooters like to have minimal processing and they will simply do channel swap and that is all.
    • Other shooters love to play with colours, the wilder the better. And these will tend to use IR filters of lower cut off 4.g. 650nm, 600nm or even lower, cos these filters give their pictures more colours.


    Hope this helps a little more.

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    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: IR filter vs Converted Cam


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