Filter Infrared Infra

Filter Infrared Infra
Digital + SLR infra-red photographs? ?

So I’m very interested in taking a some experimental infrared shots, I have a very good canon AE-1 (film/SLR) and a Nikon D80 (DSLR), i usually use photoshop to edit my photos digitally – have done so for the 5 years I’ve been taking photos but even knowing how to get my photo’s just how I like them I want to try something new. I use a lot of black and white or expired film in my SLR but want to try some infra-red.

So how does one go about this? Is it possible to get differnt types of film that takes infrared or a filter? or is a whole new lens needed?

Infrared photography is not all that hard, it is not all that easy either..!

This is long so hang in there Grass Hopper…

Film first. You will need – a tripod. Infrared film. A Film Camera. IR filters of either the Kodak 87C or Hoya RM-90 kind, a 25A or 29A red filter and a straw to deep yellow filter if wishing to shoot in color, and.. a hand held light meter (but if your camera goes low enuf in ASA – ISO you can meter thru it with NO filters to get a basic exposure starting place).

There are basically 3 kinds of IR film on the marker anymore. Kodak makes 2 and Ilford 1. The Kodak films are their High Speed BW and E-6 color slide film. Ilford has a semi IR film called SFX-200 and this is a extended red sensitivity BW film.

The IR film is quite sensitive to light, even when in it’s film can. Load and un load in as dim as light as you can find. heat will fog the film too so be careful on a sunny day with a Black Camera.

With the Kodak BW film in your camera, pick shots left or right – 90′ – from the sun, other angles work as well but you want strong shadows if you can for the contrast effect. IR light does NOT go into shadows too well… Examples to be shown..

Many camera lenses have a small hash mark on them to show where the IR focus point is. If your lens does not have this, use as small of a f stop as you can to improve depth of field (DOF). Pick a scene, focus, set light meter to the “suggested” speed the film says and take a general reading pointed at what you want to try on. Place the 87C filter carefully over your lens, don’t move anything and expose at the setting you took.. Shoot 1 over and 1 under. Continue this way till roll is gone on different subjects.

You could try the 25A and/or 29A filters you have on the same scene, but here you “could” meter thru the camera now but still expose with a small f stop and bracket – Examples -.

These are early IR shots with Kodak High Speed IR film and a 87C filter.

For color slide IR film much is the same, however the filters are now different. If a 87C filter is used, the pic will be a dull red across the board. If no filter, quite blue.. This is where the yellow filters come into play. Exposing the film is like said above and bracketing is a must. IR radiation is not the same all the time and even from pic to pic. It changes a lot even from the angle you shoot..

The color images show the effects of no filters, which have a lot of blue in them but green vegetation is still red, to using a 87C filter where EVERYTHING is now blood red. The best EFX were with pale yellow filters.

The Kodak color IR film was developed for the US Army for aerial photography for the help of detecting camouflaged emplacements. Many uniforms and other things did not reflect IR like foliage did, and they stood out like a bare butt at a dinner party..

Now – DIGITAL – Much here is the same, however, almost ALL Digital Cameras made for regular shooting have a IR Cut Off Filter over the CCD or CMOS – the chip that sees – in the camera. This filter CAN be removed on many cameras, but the job is around $400 and about the same, to go back..! The Sigma Foveon camera has a filter the user can remove and put back on at will. The only one I know of so far to offer this.

Fuji makes a couple of cameras where this filter is left off at the factory and is meant to be a IR or UV camera. For regular images they take lousy pictures in daylight and really mess up colors. A lot of image processing work is needed to bring one of these images back into the “norm”.. so they do not make a good “regular” camera.

In a Digital Camera with the cut off filter in place, you can ‘force’ the camera into IR by placing a 87C over the front lens and making “long” exposures. Because only IR is now going into the camera, the filter can not stop it all, and a picture IS produced. But at a cost..!

For 1, the exposure will most likely have a lot of noise because the exposure was a “time exposure” and 2 – you drove chip into over drive trying to – see something.. Examples are here…

Forced IR with a Fuji S-2 and a 87c filter.

These were done with a Fuji S-2 digital with a standard 50mm lens and a Kodak 87C filter over the lens. With digital, you can just walk your way into a good exposure by looking at your screen after each shoot and increase or decrease as needed. Keep your ISO low to help reduce noise from the chip being wigged out. You will NOT hurt anything here tho..

Forced IR with a Fuji S-2 and a 87c filter.

There are 3 images in this string, above, taken with a Fuji S-3 IRUV camera and you will be able to see immediately the difference. Very much like film, BW and or color.. One thing about digital that many don’t think about is Custom WB.. If you make the camera think “Green” is white.. You will get some mighty – different – looking shots. Take

hoya Infra-red filter Demo

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Tiffen 6.6x6.6


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New Schneider 6.6x6.6


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Leica HOOET E-39 Infra-Red Filter ........... MINT w/Box


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Rollei Bay-6 Infra-Red Filter


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Leica E.Leitz New York A-36 Chrome Infra-Red III Filter  #1


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Tiffen 77mm 10-Stop HM IR ND  Filter  3.0 - APEX Infra Red Blocker + Hot Mirror


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