K5 does infrared

Started Apr 30, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Vorda Forum Member • Posts: 78
K5 does infrared

Recently I have been inspired by member SRT201 to try infrared photography with my K5 ( http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=40977483 ). A couple of years ago I've tried taking infrared photos with K10 and IR 850mm filter and I had concluded that that combination simply doesn't work. Also K10 is know to have a strong IR filter.

So, after reading the above mentioned post, I've decided to buy cheap R72 filter and to give K5 a chance.

In the last moth or so, I spent a lot of time reading about exposure, focusing, flares, lighting and post processing. Some of the things have worked for me, some haven't.

Here are my findings (exclusively related to IR photography):

  • ISO 100, 200, 400 - no significant difference in noise.

  • ISO 1600 - fully usable, noise easily corrected in post processing (Noiseware).

  • f4 vs f5,6 vs f8 - no significant difference in sharpness (lenses: Sigma 10-20 f3.5 and Pentax DA* 16-50). And yes, f8 is the sharpest but one can easily live without it.

  • Exposure metering - as a rule of a thumb: it's the best to let the camera set it and than to manually increase it by 1-2 EVs.

  • Exposure - even if the frame is underexposed, it can easily be corrected in post processing (K5's sensor behaves similar as with regular shots - there are details in the shadows)

  • Autofocus - doesn't work at all

  • Cheap filters - mine causes strange blur line starting from the left down corner and going to the middle of the frame. But it costs less than 20$.

  • White balance - it can not be set in Photoshop (nor ACR nor ColorEfex). As far as I know the only thing that works is Pentax Digital Camera Utility.

I also have a couple of questions for those who know more about this topic:

  • Would I gain anything relavant in terms of "more cliched IR look" by buying original Hoya filter (like blue sky and really white foliage)?

  • Related to the first one, why can't I get a blue sky? It always turns out dark grey. IMO, it's got nothing to do with white balance, I've tried all combinations, or is there some other work flow?

  • My foliage is yellowish, greenish, almost never truly white. How come?

Any other tips/techniques/comments/critiques are more than appreciated.


 Vorda's gear list:Vorda's gear list
Pentax K10D Pentax K-5 Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +10 more
Panasonic Lumix DMC-F5 Pentax K-5 Ricoh Caplio R7
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