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Full Version: R72 infra-red filters on unconverted cameras?
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I know some of you have had cameras converted for IR use...but have you had any success by just popping a R72 filter on a "normal", unconverted digital camera?
I'm wondering, if you have, then do any of you know which cameras/sensors respond to this particularly well/badly? How much exposure compensation have you found you had to dial in?
As I say, I'm just enquiring if any of you have done this with an unconverted camera...?...
(...do I hear an incoming Matthew at this point..?!...Big Grin )
Doesn't work at all on rebel or Rebel XTi, haven't tried it on my 50D but web sources say not.

My old Fuji 3800 worked well but needed a 3 second exposure typically, so nothing moving or windy.

I have seen exceptional work on the Nikon D70 / D70s with the R72 filter alone. Subsequent Nikon bodies are too heavy on IR filtering to be useful. My D200 - useless/ Cannot speak for Canon.

I have become convinced that the only way to do IR is with a converted body. For one - an unconverted body will not allow you to see the image in the viewfinder or shoot in speeds less than a millenium. For IR (a specialty use if there ever was one) - buy a cheap old school digital body that works with your lenses and pay somebody a few quid to convert it. Jerking around with filters is a waste of your time.
Thanks chaps. Yes, sure, as regards conversion...was merely wondering if some DSLRs had a naturally "less successful" IR screening to allow non-conversion IR shooting to be done at all; I'm happy enough for it all to a pain in the jacksie: after all, it was pretty hit and miss with IR film+development in days of yore. Am surmising from responses already, that older models would be more likely to allow it to be do-able. Just woolgathering really.
Better late than never, I suppose, so I'll add my thoughts as well.

Cameras are pretty varied when it comes to the strength of their IR filters, but generally the newer ones are the most difficult to use for stock IR images. Even with a weak filter, expect multi-second exposures in bright daylight. Keith uses a different approach, working with Sony cameras with the IR-friendly 'Night Shot' modes, but these have arbitrarily long shutter speeds that have their own challenges and need an investment in neutral density filters.

With my old Olympus E-510, boosted to iso1600 and with image stabilization, I could just barely get a hand-held IR shot. But because there are two filters working diligently to obliterate all of the incoming light, the result is an image with a very narrow tone range that needs a lot of care (or a very heavy hammer) in post-processing. Nothing ethereal and subtle about it, at least not in my results.

The best camera for IR work, converted or not, is one with a live-view LCD. (Compact, newer SLR, m4/3, whatever.) For unconverted cameras with a lens-front filter this will let you actually see and roughly compose the image from a massively amplified signal. If you're lucky, you might even be able to focus. With a converted camera, you can see no matter what, but focusing from the image sensor (manually and/or with contrast-detect AF) removes the IR-shift that phase-detect focusing can suffer from.
As Matthew mentioned, I used a Sony F717 until it died and now have his old F828.
These cameras, as part of their IR night-vision gimmick, will rotate the IR-blocking filter away from the sensor.
I use a 760nm eBay filter to remove visible light, and on sunny days I add 2 ND4 filters--this is because it was discovered that early Sony IR cameras and camcorders could see through clothing so they limited the fastest shutter speed to 1/60 (F717) and 1/30 (F828), plus the aperture is always at F2 in this mode.
The combination of wide aperture and slow-ish shutter can be difficult, but I still manage to get some good stuff sometimes.

These are contrast-detect AF cameras, so once you remove visible light with a filter the system works well.
IR and visible light will not focus at the same place.
When I tried IR without the proper filter the images were a muddy mess.

What I like about IR with my Sonys is the narrow range in exposure.
Out-of-camera results are very bland and green, with no true blacks or whites.
A narrow histogram.
I desaturate, then work various selected zones using levels.

I can't imagine using a regular DSLR with an IR filter (removes visible light).
Tried it with my Sony A300 and shutter speeds were around 5 seconds, which is death for landscapes--blurry foliage.
Many sincere thanks! Big Grin