Infrared ???

terryxc 7 7 England
30 Oct 2012 9:20PM
After looking at some amazing infrared shots, i've been thinking of having a go at it myself, i was looking at the hoya R72 infrared filter.
I'm new to photography and maybe i'm pushing things too far to quickly, i have a canon 600D camera with EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II, EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II lens kit, my next lens will probably be a 100mm macro.
As most shots where taken with Nikon camera's, i was wondering if there was a problem with canon and infrared.
Do i need a camera upgrade, do i just need a specific lens for infrared or would the R72 infrared filter work fine with what i already have ?

Thanks in advance for any help


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Overread 11 4.1k 19 England
30 Oct 2012 9:30PM
The problem with any DSLR and infra red photography is that in front of the sensor itself there is an IR blocking filter. Now this means that if you use an IR filter on your lens (so that only IR light comes in) you have to take very long exposures to build up enough light to get a shot (the IR blocking filter does not block 100% of IR light).

This means that you'll need a tripod and scenes/shots which suit a slightly slower shutter speed.

You can use a DSLR for normal speed photography with IR light, however you have to have the sensor modified. The IR filter is removed and then replaced either with a clear glass filter or an IR only filter. If you go for the former, clear glass, then the camera works as normal, however you'll need an IR blocking filter on any lens to use it normally; but it also means you can use an IR only filter and take normal exposures with IR light.
If you go for an IR allowing filter instead of the blocking then you can use the camera only for IR photography; however it means that you also don't have to use any filters on the front of the lens itself.
Paul Morgan 18 19.4k 6 England
30 Oct 2012 9:34PM
Lenses can be a bit hit and miss as well, some could show hot spots.
terryxc 7 7 England
30 Oct 2012 10:10PM
How long would the exposures take ?
obviously need to read up a lot more on this subject, before deciding which way if any to go

Thanks guys
conrad 15 10.9k 116
30 Oct 2012 10:18PM
Your kit is suitable for use in combination with an R72 filter. But since such a filter would block a lot of light, your exposures, even in full daylight, would be comparable to those needed for night photography, hence the advice above to take a tripod. Also, since you won't see much through the viewfinder, it's advisable to compose without the filter on, then adding the filter, determining the correct exposure, and firing the shutter.

The method described above of removing an internal filter from a camera would make the camera a dedicated infrared camera, and is a costly service, performed by specialised companies, so this is something that you may not want to consider until you find yourself absolutely addicted to infrared photography. Experimenting with an R72 filter does seem the wiser route to take at first.
terryxc 7 7 England
31 Oct 2012 12:07AM
Thanks Conrad
From the bits i've read, this is going to be a lot of trial and error, so at the moment i don't think making my camera a dedicated infrared would make sense, happy to know that my kit is capable of doing IR though, and at around 40 for the hoya IR R72, its better to spend 40 and learn a few lessons than lose a camera. Maybe if i really caught the bug then get another camera and make one dedicated to IR.

Thanks again for your input, much appreciated
User_Removed 9 4.6k 1 Scotland
31 Oct 2012 9:53AM
Just as a very rough guide - if a scene would need a shutter speed of 1/250th without the IR filter then, all other things remaining equal, it might need 2 minutes with the filter. But it really is a case of trial and error.

One thing to be sure of - close the eyepiece shutter on your viewfinder or you will find all your images fogged.
thewilliam 11 6.1k
31 Oct 2012 10:42AM
With my old Kodak DCS760 bodies, the IR blocking filter was inside the lens throat and secured by a couple of screws. This made IR photography easier.

Bear in mind that you can't see through the #72 filter. You'll have to have the camera on a tripod and frame the shot before attaching the filter. The permanently modified bodies allow "normal" viewing.
snapbandit 15 2.3k 3 Northern Ireland
31 Oct 2012 10:44AM
I have a couple of recent IR images in my portfolio HERE & HERE (R72 filter with the relevant f-stop, shutter speed & ISO used in the exif data) which may give you a rough guide to the exposures to experiment around.

Using a smaller aperture (higher number) to get a larger DOF will help to get around the focussing problem where IR light does not focus on the same plane as visible light (lenses used to have a IR mark to help this, but seems not any on the more modern lenses Sad )

As LeftForum says be sure to close the eyepiece shutter (if your camera has one) or cover it with something opaque as IR light will fog your images.


Joe B
Dave_Canon 13 1.6k United Kingdom
31 Oct 2012 2:40PM
I tried using an R72 filter with my old EOS 20D but a typical exposure in bright sunlight is 30 seconds. Apart from needing to use a tripod and not being able to see the image in the viewfinder, I found that landscapes were spolied by the fact that clouds and foliage move in 30 secs and are thus blurred. I then spent almost 300 to have the 20D converted to IR and it works really well now. I can use the internal metering and normal exposures to produce colour or B&W IR shots. The 20D was spare as I had already bought another DSLR. If you want to see examples or find our more about IR photography, please look at my website. Just click on my name and then click on Visit my website.


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