Infrared Fail

Went out during lunch today to do some experimental shots with infrared photography using an R72 filter. The resulting photos were shitty in almost every way.  We be humbled, holmes.  Clearly I'm doing something - probably a lot of things - wrong. Not sure what exactly, but I do have several things to try.

Update 11/07/13 - I resolved one issue.  To fit a standard sized filter on the X20, you have to use an adapter (the left-most doodad in the picture) that steps up from the X20's oddball 40mm lens size to a more standard diameter.  In my case, it steps up to 58mm.  You screw the adapter onto the X20's lens, and then you screw the filter onto the adapter.  Easy peasy.  As you can see, the adapter has slits that are supposed to minimize its obstruction of the view through the optical viewfinder when zoomed wide.  Unfortunately, they also allow light to get in behind the filter.    If you're using a standard clear or even a polarizer filter, perhaps this is not an issue.  But it played havoc with my IR filter!  Light was reflecting off the back of the filter causing non-IR light leakage, lens flares, and images of objects behind me to reflect off the back of the filter and into the picture!  Duct tape to the rescue!  One problem down, many more to go...


  1. So what does filtering IR do for a photo? On a side note do they make filters that will show the ultraviolet that butterflies can see?

  2. When it's does well, it gives other-worldly colors. Check it out:

    The challenge is that once you filter out all the visible light, you're not working with much light at all. So it's hard to get a good exposure (a tripod is a must), sharp focus, and a noise-free image. Then there's a lot of post-processing to do on it because straight off the camera, an IR photo has a really bad reddish tone and terrible contrast. I haven't even gotten that far yet; mine have been pretty unusable. But I haven't messed with it much yet, and the weather hasn't been very good for it (bright, sunny days work best). Hopefully this weekend I can get something that's at least shareable...


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