Shooting with a Infrared Filter

I first shot Infrared photography with an infrared filter and started this in 2006. I was using the hoya R72 filter and in less than a year I became very unhappy with the results I was getting with the filter. While I did get some good images with it I really wanted to get a camera converted. I was also seeing many color infrared shots and that is what I felt I wanted. In 2007 I had a canon 30D converted and I still use it to this day. I have just converted my second camera a 5D mark II and i love this camera the quality of the mark II for the money is so great. Im now finding myself shooting more and more with the filter again and this is due to many reasons. While I love having the converted cameras and find I keep many more images that I shoot with them then I do with the filter there is something about the results of the filter that seems more like art than the images I get with the converted cameras. I think the reason I stopped shooting with the filter was because its hard to get good results with it. The infrared filter is black and you cant see through it so you need to compose your shot before the filter is placed on the lens.  The exposer times are more of a guess and require taking many shots just to get a correct exposed image. I usually start at F 8 for 45 seconds and go from there. Im now using a 5D mark II for my filter shots as this is my main camera these days. The 5D has a 50 iso setting so my exposures are longer than they use to be when I was using the old 5D as the lowest ISO was 100. If you’re using a camera with ISO 100 I would start at about F 8 for 30 seconds and go from there.  It’s not uncommon for me to take 10 images of the same composition with the filter and if im lucky I get something I like.  When you get it right though it’s an image that you will love.  There are other issues with shooting with a filter also and due to the coating that is on some lens they leave a hot spot right in the middle of the image. This can sometimes be fixed in PS but requires some time and effort. Here is a website that lists what lens are good and what are bad also look here for more updates as new lens come out. There are some lens that can also act different at every F stop and focal length. Ive shot with both good and bad lens for infrared and have found that every image is different and sometimes I get a hotspot and sometimes I don’t. My two main lens now are the Canon 17-40 and the 24-105 and both are great for infrared. While I would never give up my converted camera there was a time I thought I wouldn’t be using the infrared filter anymore. I now never leave home without the filter. If you want to start shooting infrared the filter is the cheapest way to get started but get ready for some disappointment in the results until you get the hang of it. The learning curve is well worth the end result.

My Infrared website


Hoya Filter

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