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02-03-2020, 12:40 AM   #1
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Infrared Filters still used?

Are these filters a thing of the past?

From my understanding you can do IR 3-4 ways;

1) Get the camera converted to IR
2) Buy a IR filter and use that
3) Use the IR filter option in Mono (K-1 at least supports this)
4) Convert an image to IR in PP

I'm curious if the filter side of IR is worth pursuing or does our cameras do a decent enough job now that it's not necessary?


TIA!

Bruce

02-03-2020, 01:17 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
Are these filters a thing of the past?

I'm curious if the filter side of IR is worth pursuing or does our cameras do a decent enough job now that it's not necessary?
For sure analog filters were more important in the past when there were no digital options.

"Decent enough" is a subjective assessment based on the photographer's goals and the specific results they expect.
IR-like images can be approximated but again, it's a simulation that most viewers can't tell the difference. Only you, and other IR specialists will know and see the difference.

If for you, film is a thing of the past, then to a large degree IR filters are a thing of the past. But using a filter with an IR modified digital camera will get you results that are different than without a filter and for that minority of specialists, these filters are not a thing of the past.
02-03-2020, 01:43 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
For sure analog filters were more important in the past when there were no digital options.

"Decent enough" is a subjective assessment based on the photographer's goals and the specific results they expect.
IR-like images can be approximated but again, it's a simulation that most viewers can't tell the difference. Only you, and other IR specialists will know and see the difference.

If for you, film is a thing of the past, then to a large degree IR filters are a thing of the past. But using a filter with an IR modified digital camera will get you results that are different than without a filter and for that minority of specialists, these filters are not a thing of the past.
I guess that is a very sensible reply

I might go googling and see if I can find any image comparisons of digital cameras using IR Filter vs using IR option in camera or PP (not an IR camera conversion as that's too expensive). I'm curious to know how good the software side of IR is now compared to a camera with a filter.
02-03-2020, 04:53 AM   #4
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IMO, a glass filter affects the light that hits the sensor, creating a different image than one taken without a filter which is then manipulated in post processing to simulate the effect of a filter.
This has been prven true to me at least with CPL, ND, and colored filters, though I have not tried it with IR filters. I need to find an I R filter to try on my K-1.
I look forward to seeing the results of your experience with IR filters.

02-03-2020, 06:10 AM - 2 Likes   #5
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I love my IR-converted K-5. I had a 590nm filter installed, which admits a fair amount of visible light also (good for false-color IR). I also own a true IR filter (which I bought for use with film), and can add that when I want the maximum effect.

Simulated IR PP can produce nice results, but there's nothing like the real thing. When I had the conversion done I was concerned that I would get tired of IR quickly. The opposite happened.
02-03-2020, 06:57 AM - 7 Likes   #6
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A few years ago my old Pentax-K-r was sitting in the cupboard doing nothing, so had its sensor converted to IR. To each his own, but the cost (about the same as buying a typical compact P&S camera) was worth it. I presume that a skilled Photoshopper could get this sort of IR effect (or better) from a normal shot, and it might also be possible to achieve using a filter on the lens - although it might also require a tripod and a long exposure. However, my K-r gets more use now to capture hand-held IR images in the camera followed by a minute or two in Nik software.

Philip
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02-03-2020, 08:36 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrB1 Quote
A few years ago my old Pentax-K-r was sitting in the cupboard doing nothing, so had its sensor converted to IR. To each his own, but the cost (about the same as buying a typical compact P&S camera) was worth it. I presume that a skilled Photoshopper could get this sort of IR effect (or better) from a normal shot, and it might also be possible to achieve using a filter on the lens - although it might also require a tripod and a long exposure. However, my K-r gets more use now to capture hand-held IR images in the camera followed by a minute or two in Nik software.

Philip
Wow, lovely picture!
02-03-2020, 10:38 AM - 5 Likes   #8
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In my understanding one cannot fyllu replicate IR by PP. Somewhat simulate, yes.

I got myself used and cheap *ist DL and removed the IR hot filter (the one that blocks infrared light) from the front of the sensor. Usually its replaced by clear glass to maintain AF accuracy, but since it seems to be hard to get the right sized piece of glass and im shooting manual anyway i left it without it. Couple of (because the quality variations) cheap chinese IR-filters to use on the front of lens and i think the results are quite good!

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

02-03-2020, 11:52 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
1) Get the camera converted to IR
2) Buy a IR filter and use that
3) Use the IR filter option in Mono (K-1 at least supports this)
4) Convert an image to IR in PP
#1 Yes
#2 ?? Unless converted, your K-1 has minimal IR to the sensor to work with
#3 See above comment on #2
#4 Result is essentially the same as using a strong red filter with panchromatic film. The effect is its own thing. Remember...no IR for the exposure means nothing in the capture.

As noted above, an IR-converted camera either with or without filters is how it is done.


Steve
02-03-2020, 12:04 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Prohibitiory Quote
Wow, lovely picture!
Thank you, Aggy. Possibly not far away - it's at Weston Turville Reservoir, near Wendover.

Philip
02-03-2020, 01:59 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
#2 ?? Unless converted, your K-1 has minimal IR to the sensor to work with
Just recently bought an inexpensive IR filter to try. On my K-1 on a sunny early afternoon in autumn (51 degree N) , it's about ISO800, 0.5s at f/4 for a proper exposure of fall foliage using a Neewer 720nm filter. Not too different from analog times ...
02-03-2020, 02:05 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JensE Quote
it's about ISO800, 0.5s at f/4 for a proper exposure of fall foliage using a Neewer 720nm filter. Not too different from analog times ...
Indeed, very similar to how IR-sensitive film is way more sensitive to visible light.

One of the things I really enjoy about the converted camera is that the greater sensitivity means handheld shooting is perfectly feasible.
02-03-2020, 02:05 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
Are these filters a thing of the past?

From my understanding you can do IR 3-4 ways;

1) Get the camera converted to IR

If your want a true IR photo, you need a filter to block visible light to which converted cameras are still sensitive. So yes, you need one.

2) Buy a IR filter and use that

You need film or a DSLR which is sensitive to IR. Many DSLRs employ a UV/IR blocking filter which prevents good use even with an IR filter. To get around that, the camera is converted per (1) in which case the blocking filter is removed. Now you need an IR filter to block the visible light as mentioned in (1).

3) Use the IR filter option in Mono (K-1 at least supports this)

This is a pseudo-IR picture made by combining the RGB information to look like an IR shot but no IR light is involved so it's not a true IR picture (if you take a shot of an IR source like a TV remote output, it won't show as lighted since the camera can't see the IR light).

4) Convert an image to IR in PP

This can't be done since there is no IR information recorded by the camera. You can create a pseudo-IR photo as in (3) but, again, it's not a real IR photo.

I'm curious if the filter side of IR is worth pursuing or does our cameras do a decent enough job now that it's not necessary?


TIA!

Bruce


The best option is to have a camera converted and use it with an IR filter. You can put an IR filter on a non-converted camera but if it work, you'll usually need to use a long exposure at large aperture to get enough IR light through the UV/IR blocking filter in the camera. Results will vary with camera type from so-so to unusable, but even so, you need an IR filter, and it's best to convert a mirrorless camera since you won't be able to see through an optical viewfinder (consider the K-01 a good choice for conversion).

Last edited by Bob 256; 02-03-2020 at 02:10 PM.
02-03-2020, 02:09 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgski Quote
IMO, a glass filter affects the light that hits the sensor, creating a different image than one taken without a filter which is then manipulated in post processing to simulate the effect of a filter.
This has been prven true to me at least with CPL, ND, and colored filters, though I have not tried it with IR filters. I need to find an I R filter to try on my K-1.
I look forward to seeing the results of your experience with IR filters.
From my understanding no PP can achieve what a CPL can do.


QuoteOriginally posted by JensE Quote
Just recently bought an inexpensive IR filter to try. On my K-1 on a sunny early afternoon in autumn (51 degree N) , it's about ISO800, 0.5s at f/4 for a proper exposure of fall foliage using a Neewer 720nm filter. Not too different from analog times ...
Not seeing a picture here JensE, keen to see! Can anyone else see JensE's image?


QuoteOriginally posted by Bob 256 Quote
The best option is to have a camera converted and use it with an IR filter. You can put an IR filter on a non-converted camera but if it work, you'll usually need to use a long exposure at large aperture to get enough IR light through the UV/IR blocking filter in the camera. Results will vary with camera type from so-so to unusable, but even so, you need an IR filter.
Thank you Bob, I feel better educated now.

All that I really now wish to know is how bad the software side is compared to the real thing. I've still to google comparisons, I think it would be interesting to see the differences.
02-03-2020, 04:14 PM - 3 Likes   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
From my understanding you can do IR 3-4 ways;

1) Get the camera converted to IR

2) Buy an IR filter and use that

3) Use the IR filter option in Mono (K-1 at least supports this)
4) Convert an image to IR in PP
The last two choices simply don't work, anyone who has shot in IR will know the difference instantly.

That cuts things down to two options, a more manageable number. Get your camera converted for IR photography, [which will void your warranty] I don't think there are many services that still do this for SLR cameras here in Australia. Through any repair technician of good repute should be able to handle it. You still have to buy a filter* if you want to photograph things in normal light again, IR contamination in colour images is an acquired taste. Getting an IR filter such as the Hoya R72*2 will be by far the cheapest option for achieving the look you are after. The filter is quite dark and visibility with live view is improved with faster lenses, shutter speeds aren't anywhere near the practical range for hand-holding so using a tripod will be essential. There were quite a few IR films produced Kodak, Look up Kodak HIE*3 or Aerochrome, I suspect you will probably enjoy seeing the results from either film.

Be warned that lenses focus differently in UV or IR*4, so if you ever intend to use it for portraiture be mindful of this if you ever focus manually, fortunately Live view takes this into account.



Kodak Aerochrome, a rather unusual colour infared film. I doubt there is anything quite like it currently on the market*5.



* A UV/IR cut filter such as the Hoya A-77 - though Tiffen,Hitech and Kolari make suitable hot mirror filters.
*2 which is where I and undoubtedly many others started the journey into NIR photography.
*3 This film was absolute hell to work with, it was extremely sensitive and it had no halation layer at all which produced some very interesting effects. But this also meant you had to load and unload your camera in complete darkness, and make sure your camera was absolutely light tight.
*4 Except for apochromatic and Super-apochromatic lenses which by virture of their extensive optical correction, will focus all light on the same plane.
*5 Filters do exist that can mimic the look it produced though.

Last edited by Digitalis; 02-04-2020 at 04:06 AM. Reason: Cleaned up formatting. Added links.
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