Questions regarding infrared filters and camera conversions

Started Sep 21, 2014 | Questions thread
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Sunpilot Forum Member • Posts: 85
Questions regarding infrared filters and camera conversions

I apologize for the long post, but I have more than one question.

I am interested in delving into IR photography.  I've already decided to purchase a dedicated camera to convert, and not to convert my primary (6D) camera.  I have been doing research and I believe that a mirrorless camera would make a great starting point simply because they are much easier to focus and expose properly compared to a dslr type camera.

My questions concern which filter/s to use.  I have many options.  I can have the original filter removed and replaced with one that passes IR, but there are several IR passing filters available...

Filters in the 830/850nm range only pass true IR with no visible light, giving me no option to shoot and render a false color image, but giving superior b&w images.

Then we have the mid-range filters, about 720nm or so, which let IR pass and a small amount of visible light, offering some false color imaging.

Then there are the filters that pass the shorter IR waves, in the 590-665nm range...they obviously allow much more visible light to pass, and offer a more surrealistic false color image.

My problem is I see merits in each filter range. They each offer something different.  So, my conclusion is I need the ability to use whichever filter range I want for a specific shot, I don't want to get one filter and then find out it doesn't suit my tastes...question arises...what's the best way to achieve that?

I can opt to get a full spectrum glass installed and that would give me the ultimate range, depending on which filter I screw on the lens.  Or, I could get a 590 or 665 filter installed and shoot with that, and have the ability to place an additional shorter wave-length filter on the lens...say a 830 for better b&w.   With the full spectrum, I need some filter at least.  With a fixed filter I can use it without external filters, or install an extra one to give me a different range.

I would be interested in hearing your opinions.  I'm not sure how each filter changes the dynamics of the camera (does one range offer better focusing, exposures, etc.)  Does a full spectrum give adequate results when coupled with an IR or even UV filter?  Does piggybacking (having a filter installed over the sensor, and another on the lens) degrade the performance or image quality?  I'm not worried about visible light, as I have a great camera for that spectrum already.

My last question concerns opinions on which mirrorless systems are best for conversions.  I am not looking for top of the line, but something reasonably priced with a decent lens catalog available.  I have no experience with mirrorless systems, so I am looking for a used camera for now..if I get serious, I can always upgrade later. I want to balance an inexpensive camera (I have to fund the conversion) with a decent picture taking ability.

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

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