IR Photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by zuma022, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. zuma022 macrumors regular

    May 18, 2008
    I've been playing around with the Hoya filters for a while and I really like the IR effect. I'm considering converting, or better yet buying a converted camera. Does anyone have any experience with this?
    I have an XSi and I thought I might buy an old XT to convert. Or if there are any p'n's that don't give much of a hotspot that would be an option too.

    Any recommendations from where or what cam to buy?
  2. seenew macrumors 68000


    Dec 1, 2005
    What's your current setup, including filters? I've been interested in trying out IR before, but I didn't know whether it was worth it to invest in filters or just buy/convert another camera.
    Could you post some shots you've taken, too, so I can get a good idea?
  3. nuwomb macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2008
    i am on the fence with this one.

    I have a hoya filter somewhere...or it broke. I used it with my nikon coolpix 5700 back in the day. I loved infrared. I still do. I love the colour enhanced ir huge. I kept my nikon d40x just to convert one day. will do the conversion or send u the parts to do the conversion yourself. Not sure where you can buy converted camera's already.
    I like the idea of not having to use a tripod - something you have to do with the hoya filter.
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The cheapest way to get into IR is to buy a manual film camera and load it with IR film. The camera will set you back maybe $80. I've shoot IR transparency and BW Negs all you need is an old Nikromat or the like and an IR filter over the lens

    If you want digital then what they do is remove the filters that are in front of the sensor. The people who do this are "" They can do the work for you are they have instructions and parts on how to modify your camera yourself. They will do it for about $350 or sell you the part for $180. Plus you'd have to supply a camera.

    Like I said, film is way cheaper. (and it's "full frame")
  5. zuma022 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 18, 2008
    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    seenew: I have a Fujifilm S6000fd and Canon XSi. I use the Hoya R72 filter, tripod is a must on regular cameras. Because of the long exposure it severely limits what you can shoot in my opinion adn that's the main reason I'm looking into a converted camera.
    Here's a few thumbnails of mine, false colour and black and white:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    nuwomb: Thanks. I've heard of them, but haven't found anyone with any experience dealing with them yet.

    Chris: That's actually a great idea! I haven't even thought of going the film way. I'm going to look into that.
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    While I absolutely agree with you in recommending film, over time the cost of film and development can start to build. Not to mention the cost to either print and scan or develop and scan (even if you buy your own scanner).

    A used Canon XT is about $300 on eBay (or so it seems). Then you have the $325 or $180 fee from lifepixel, depending upon whether you want to do it yourself or have them do it. I'm going to attempt to do it myself but I'll have someone watching me who is way more qualified to hold a screwdriver than I am! You're up to $625 if you have someone do it. That is your final cost no?

    Then there's the film way. You can find a film camera for say $80, then there's the filter (red #25 I think) then the film. For Kodak HIE I think you'll be hard pressed to find much of it. I think Kodak discontinued it some time ago. Ilford put out that nearly shameful but passable SFX or whatever and I think that's up to about $8.00 a pop. I know when I was unable to develop my own I had a lab do it for about $5.00 a roll and I believe the was the hookup price. I understand we're still talking about less than $100, but if someone were sure they'd want to shoot a lot of IR or would make up for the cost of going digital over time, then I think digital is the way to go.

    Nothing beats using film, sorry kids but that's my honest opinion. I have owned or at least used quite a few digital cameras/backs and found them to be all quite great, but there is something I can't do with digital ... use pyro developer and do platinum contact prints with 4x5, 5x7, 8x10, or 11x14 negatives. Then again, the market for these pieces of art is so small there's virtually no appreciation (read: money) for them.

    I'm not trying to start a film/digital war, but having given consideration myself to converting a digital camera and considering the alternatives such as using film, I simply couldn't justify the cost over time.

    OP: if you do decide to convert an old XT or whatever camera, I would recommend if you're at all capable, do it yourself. It seems rather straightforward (despite the fact I'm scared to do it), but if you save that money by doing it yourself you can get the "deep" B&W filter upgrade for another $50.00.
  7. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    DSLRs made IR so much more accessible and far less expensive. I remember carrying around a cooler with my IR film, shooting a whole roll on one shot and hoping one would turn out.

    Thank god for digital cameras. I used to have one of the hoya IR filters and all was good except you really can't see what you shooting with such an opaque filter. The converted cameras are nice as the IR filter replaces the current UV filter in front of the image sensor and is behind the view finder making it easier to correct a shot. Of course the down side to this is you have a camera that can only shoot IR. That is the one reason I have not gotten one myself. I just can not justify the extra money at this point. Maybe you can though and if you can I would say get a convered camera for sure.
  8. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    ^^ My only justification is that I upgraded my digital camera. Otherwise, I personally couldn't really justify the extra cost. Though I think I can grab a cheap d40 or d70 (which is what I plan on converting) for under $400.
  9. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    Avoid the D70…*chronic "CHA" and "FOR" errors.

    To back up that statement: I've seen it on 3 different D70 cameras, one was a D70s, and one had been "repaired" by Nikon for $200+ (the repair was for this error). All those cameras used approved cards for their entire lifetime and were handled with some care (not perfectly, but not poorly). All the cameras were owned by different people.
  10. zuma022 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 18, 2008
    I'm not sure what to do yet. I think I'll keep my eye on ebay for an old XT, the silver ones seem to go pretty cheap. ;) Initially I thought I might do it myself, but I don't own any soldering equipment, so I guess I'll have them do it. I want to stay with canon though, because I own a bunch of lenses already.

    I think priority still is a UWA lens, and then maybe I'll look into IR. I'd love to have it, but cash doesn't grow on trees unfortunately.
  11. valiar macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2006
    Washington, DC

    I have converted an Olympus E330 about a year ago, and have been very happy with it.
    Here are some examples:

    The main reason I went with an E330 is its Live View. It makes perfect focus possible every time, with every single lens.
    And no other inexpensive DSLR did not offer Live View at the time.
    Typical Canon/Nikon IR modifications involve modifying the mirror box/AF sensor. Focus is sometimes still slightly off.

    Incidentally, I am selling my E330-IR (my budget needs a bailout :).
    Feel free to PM me if you are interested...
  12. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    Canon made a 20Da for shooting astronomy which I believe had no infrared filter in front of the sensor right from Canon. Last time I checked, used prices were still high though as they aren't all that common.

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