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HOYA Cokin IR Infrared Filters Review

HOYA Cokin IR Infrared Filters Review - Infrared filters are an easy way to take infrared photos without altering your camera. We find out how they perform.

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Cokin Infrared 007 (89B) in Filters

Features and Handling
Performance
Verdict

Hoya Infrared R72 (1)

An infrared filter will let you take infrared photos on a normal digital camera. These work by blocking all visible light, apart from that found above the 720nm spectrum. As modern digital cameras have an infrared filter built into them to block this light, the ability your camera has to record this light may vary from one camera to the next, resulting in longer exposures. Both the HOYA R72 and Cokin Infrared 007 filter block light below 720nm.

HOYA Infrared (R72) Cokin Infrared 007 Features and Handling

Cokin Infrared 007 (1)

Due to the amount of light being blocked by the filter, a tripod and self-timer is necessary to avoid camera shake, and to avoid noise the use of a low ISO is recommended. Once you've taken the photo, you simply need to transfer the files to your computer and desaturate the images. adjusting the brightness and constrast to your own personal preferences. 

HOYA Infrared R72 On Camera P6239735 001

The Hoya Infrared (R72) filter simply screws on the to the front of your lens, whereas the Cokin Infrared 007 filter requires a Cokin filter holder. Adding an infrared filter in this way is much easier, quicker and cheaper than having your camera (permenantly) converted to infrared, and ePHOTOzine member Nick_w explains the range of conversion options available in his blog. Infrared conversion of your own camera starts at around £250 (excluding VAT). 

Using one of these filters attached to your lens the camera will record images with a strong red colour cast, and we've shown the difference between a standard colour photo converted to black and white, to one using the filter below. 

Original Colour Image | 1/400 sec | f/7.1 | 12.0 mm | ISO 200 Orginal Converted To Black And White | 1/400 sec | f/7.1 | 12.0 mm | ISO 200
Original colour image | 1/400 sec | f/7.1 | 12.0 mm | ISO 200 Original Converted to Black and White | 1/400 sec | f/7.1 | 12.0 mm | ISO 200
Original Infrared No Processing | 3.2 sec | f/7.1 | 12.0 mm | ISO 200 Converted Test Original Infrared No Processing | 3.2 sec | f/7.1 | 12.0 mm | ISO 200
Infrared photo without processing | 3.2 sec | f/7.1 | 12.0 mm | ISO 200 Converted to Black and White | 3.2 sec | f/7.1 | 12.0 mm | ISO 200

 

The Cokin filter is round, and goes in the closest slot to the camera on the filter holder, to avoid light leaking in to the sides of the image, and when using the filters with a Digital SLR it is recommended that you cover the optical viewfinder to avoid any light getting in this way and altering the exposure time incorrectly. Using the filter with a mirrorless camera you shouldn't need to cover the electronic viewfinder (EVF) if the camera has one. Using a round screw on Hoya filter lets you fit the lens cap, the Cokin filter does not.

When cleaning filters, we used a clean lens cloth, and a Lens Pen FilterKlear, which has a flat cleaning tip designed to clean flat filter glass, compared to the standard lens pen which is concave. 

HOYA Infrared (R72) Cokin Infrared 007 Performance

Due to the amount of light blocked by the filter, focusing can be difficult, particularly if relying on autofocus of your camera, however when using the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II it was often possible to get the camera to focus correctly on the 2nd or 3rd attempt. (We did not have much success with a Panasonic Lumix GX7, due to a stronger infrared filter). The ability to focus using autofocus and the amount of light let through to the camera's sensor will not only depend on the camera used, but also the lens used. 

HOYA COKIN
P4170740 Hoya Infrared Converted To BNW | 3.2 sec | f/7.1 | 12.0 mm | ISO 200 Converted Test Original Infrared No Processing | 3.2 sec | f/7.1 | 12.0 mm | ISO 200
Infrared Converted To BNW | 3.2 sec | f/7.1 | 12.0 mm | ISO 200 Converted To Black And White | 3.2 sec | f/7.1 | 12.0 mm | ISO 200
HOYA Infrared Converted No Processing P4170746 | 2.5 sec | f/7.1 | 19.0 mm | ISO 200 P4170748 Infrared Converted To Bnw | 3.2 sec | f/7.1 | 19.0 mm | ISO 200
Infrared Filter Converted To Black And White | 2.5 sec | f/7.1 | 19.0 mm | ISO 200 Infrared Converted To Bnw | 3.2 sec | f/7.1 | 19.0 mm | ISO 200
P4170750 HOYA Infrared Converted To Bnw Flare | 1 sec | f/7.1 | 12.0 mm | ISO 200 P4170754 Lens Flare Infrared Converted | 0.6 sec | f/7.1 | 12.0 mm | ISO 200
Infrared Converted To Bnw Flare | 1 sec | f/7.1 | 12.0 mm | ISO 200 - Note flare Lens Flare Infrared Converted | 0.6 sec | f/7.1 | 12.0 mm | ISO 200 - Note flare

 

There is flare when using the filters with the sun in the frame, and this was not present without the filter, so care needs to be taken when shooting with a bright light source in the frame. Both the Cokin and HOYA give sharp results, and when used with the E-M5 Mark II, produce images with the expected infrared look, with foliage appearing brighter, giving an interesting look to black and white landscape shots. 

Value For Money

The HOYA Infrared R72 filter is available for £45 (WEX), while the Cokin Infrared 007 filter is available for £35 (WEX) making the Cokin particularly good value for money if you already have the Cokin filter adapter for your camera. 

HOYA Infrared (R72) Cokin Infrared 007 Verdict

The Hoya Infrared R72 is easy to attach to your camera, however the Cokin filter is available for slightly less, and is therefore good value for money if you already have the adapter. The filter system you prefer will mostly be down to personal preference, and the use of round filters is often the first thing photographers go to use as they are often sold for their ability to protect your lens. Buying one of these filters is an affordable and easy way to get into black and white infrared photography without the expense (and risk) of having your digital camera converted permenantly to an infrared camera.

HOYA Infrared (R72) Cokin Infrared 007 Pros

Easy easy to try black and white infrared photography
Good value for money 
Sharp results possible

HOYA Infrared (R72) Cokin Infrared 007 Cons

Suitable only for black and white IR photos - other conversion services are suitable for colour
Results in long exposures and your results will vary on what camera you use 

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

The HOYA Infrared (R72) and Cokin Infrared 007 both perform well, producing pleasing black and white infrared photos when used with the right camera.

 

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Comments


pink Plus
14 4.8k 7 United Kingdom
2 Jul 2015 1:28PM
11324_1435840128.jpg

Much less hassle to convert in PS (or similar) software. The inability to focus and frame is annoying and the long shutter speeds can often render clouds/foliage with too much movement.
Its a lot easier to take a 'normal' shot and process it afterwards.

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One method (starting with an RGB image) -- in the Photoshop dialog "Channel Mixer" select Monochrome, Preset pull-down: select Black & White Infrared.

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