D800 and IR filters

Started May 29, 2013 | Questions thread
John4 Contributing Member • Posts: 801
Re: D800 and IR filters

rfeuer wrote:

I have the D800 and want to do IR photo's.  I just want to use IR for B&W pictures only would he Hoya r72 be the best choice for B&W.

Two things:

1.  You may not get good IR results from the D800.  Keep in mind that the sensor on digital cameras generally has an IR filter which passes visible but *blocks* IR.  As cameras have matured, the effectiveness of this filter has generally improved.  To this camera you want to add an external filter which passes IR but blocks visible light.  Thus there is sort of a battle of the filters.  If both filters are effective you have very long exposures.  If the built-in sensor filter is more effective, i.e., the ratio of IR passed to visible passed is less than the reverse factor for the supplementary filter, it won't work.  It may be better to use an older model with a less-effective IR filter.  I've been using a D70 with OK results and just now have had it converted to full-time IR imaging by having the built-in IR blocking filter replaced with an IR-pass visible blocking filter.

2.  You need to do some research, as the results you get are dependent on the filter you use.  The R72 is a popular choice but it does pass a little visible.  Using this fact is what allows R72 images to be post-processed into images with the pale blue sky.  You may have seen such images.  Although interesting they aren't B&W, which is what you said was your goal.  Of course you don't have to do this kind of PP, but the IR effect of the R72 is a little less dramatic than images taken with a deeper IR filter which passes *no* visible.  IMO.  See the Lifepixel site for more info on a dedicated conversion and how their various filters render a scene.

Regards, John

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