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Author Topic: 600D with infrared filters (not converted camera) - anyone had any success?  (Read 4348 times)

21tones

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I have a 600D/T3i and want to get the infrared effect I used to get with infrared film way back... I can't afford to get a camera just for this, and get it specially converted. I've bought a couple of 720mn filters from E-bay to try and get the effect I want.
I've used custom white balance, long exposures etc, on sunny days but am not seeing any typical effects e.g. white grass. One of the filters, a Green L, has just been reviewed in Digital SLR magazine, and was considered to work.

I haven't tried messing around in software yet as, according to the article, it should be possible to see the basic effect, in camera, on the LCD.

Although I did the test with a TV remote control to assess whether my 600D, could see IR wavelengths, and it could, I don't seem to be getting anywhere with this!

Has anyone had success with a normal, rather than converted, 600D?

Thanks

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gferdinandsen

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I have a 600D/T3i and want to get the infrared effect I used to get with infrared film way back... I can't afford to get a camera just for this, and get it specially converted. I've bought a couple of 720mn filters from E-bay to try and get the effect I want.
I've used custom white balance, long exposures etc, on sunny days but am not seeing any typical effects e.g. white grass. One of the filters, a Green L, has just been reviewed in Digital SLR magazine, and was considered to work.

I haven't tried messing around in software yet as, according to the article, it should be possible to see the basic effect, in camera, on the LCD.

Although I did the test with a TV remote control to assess whether my 600D, could see IR wavelengths, and it could, I don't seem to be getting anywhere with this!

Has anyone had success with a normal, rather than converted, 600D?

Thanks


I used to use a Hoya R72 filter on my 5D2 (now I have a converted 40D) and I never experienced any problems.  What I found was it was best to shoot in manual to get the correct exposure.  Also, I set the White Balance to 2700k, it makes it easier in post processing.  Be prepared for longer exposure times, even if you up the ISO settings.

Here is an out of the camera (5D I), no post-processing, example of using an R72 filter:
http://www.gregoryferdinandsen.com/Images/SAV2009/Savannah_Forsyth_Park_R72_Jul09_005.jpg
« Last Edit: August 20, 2013, 07:57:48 AM by gferdinandsen »
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I did a test of a few unbranded or no name brand IR filters off ebay in the past. For unmodified cameras they can be hit and miss. Some let through too much visible red which swamps the IR effect. I recall a Pixco one was very bad in that respect.

If you want a white-ish preview on screen, then doing a custom white balance helps.
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21tones

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Thanks for your replies. I am using a custom white balance (based on grass in sunlight). But when I do that I get a nearly normal colour photo with some slight colour taints in places, but no infrared effect. If I don't use custom WB I get a strong red cast but no IR effect. gferdinandsen thanks for posting your photo. Overall, it looks similar to what I get i.e. not a noticeable/strong IR effect. But yours does achieve the whitish foliage in the low level vegetation immediately surrounding the far side of the pool. I'm not getting anything like that.
I'm disappointed in that this filter was the suggested one in a recent camera magazine article, but I just can't get the results I'm looking for.

randym77

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Use a real infrared filter, and be prepared to do some post-processing.

IME, newer Canons filter out infrared light much better than older ones (like the 40D).  Expect really long exposures and more color than you used to get.

The infrared photos you see these days are almost always heavily post-processed.  You don't get that white foliage look straight out of the camera.

Hillsilly

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Can't comment specifically on a 600D, but could you be underexposing the image?  Use the custom white balance and increase exposure until you get  lightly coloured grass and leaves.  See how your results look then.  FWIW, my trees tend to look slightly yellowish straight out of camera.  In PP, I then make the image B&W or swap colour channels for faux colour.  As mentioned above, you'll never get an IR image perfect in camera. 

If you're not getting the right results, just pick up a Hoya R72 filter - At least then you'll know if you are currently using dodgy filters. 
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21tones

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Hillsilly
The histogram looks right. When I have overexposed it and got highlight blinkies the grass doesn't look any different. Perhaps I should try some PP. I don't expect it to look perfect in camera but everything I have read indicates I should see the IR effect in camera.

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randym77

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Try using Photoshop's auto tone or auto levels, or equivalent in whatever software you use.  IME, that will make the foliage white on infrared photos.

If that doesn't work, I'd guess the infrared filter inside your camera is too good for the screw-on filter you are using.  An exposure long enough to let in enough infrared also lets in too much visible light.  (It might be that the magazine that recommended the filter tried it on an older camera, with an internal filter that let in more infrared than yours.)

A better screw-on filter would probably work.  They make different versions, that let in different amounts of visible light.  Some people prefer some color in their infrared photos.

Hillsilly

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If it helps, this is what my out of camera images typically look like.  You can see the IR effect in camera.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 08:04:23 AM by Hillsilly »
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21tones

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Hillsilly
thanks for taking the trouble to post some images. I appreciate it. The second image, in particular, shows that it is possible to get the classic IR effect prior to PP. I'm getting nothing like that. It must be the filter I've bought. I did intend yesterday to try some PP but am now having download problems ( the subject of another post). It's not going well with my photography at the moment!

randym77

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I'm guessing those out of camera images are from a camera that has been converted to IR.  Not least because most little kids won't stay still long enough for an infrared image from a non-converted camera.  ;-)

I shoot IR with both a converted camera and non-converted cameras with a Hoya RM-72 Infrared Filter.  With the converted camera, the images do look like Hillsilly's directly out of the camera.

With an IR filter, there tends to be a lot more color, especially with newer cameras.  This is what my photos look like directly out of the (unconverted) camera with an IR filter.  The tree is taken by a 40D, the ruins with a 5D Mark II.  I like the 40D images much better.  Its internal IR filter is not as good as the 5D's, which is good if you're doing IR photos.

21tones

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randym77
thanks for posting your pictures. Again, I appreciate you making that effort. On both your unconverted cameras I can see the white foliage on the trees that I was expecting to see when using my filter. I have tried a bit of post processing now. I'm getting absolutely no effect. Ironically, taking a straight shot, converting to black and white and using Lightroom's infrared preset is giving much more of a typical effect!
I'm returning this filter!!!
Thanks for all your help.

randym77

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It's good that you can return it, because I think you need a real IR filter.  Try one - IR photography is really interesting and fun.

The filter I use, the R72 (sometimes called an 89B) is probably the most popular.  It will give you that white foliage look, with a little post-processing.

If you want a stronger effect, the 87C filter will produce strong contrast, a more black and white image, with minimal post-processing.

A 665nm filter (sometimes called an enhanced color filter) allows more visible light than the R72, which means the images will have more color.  Some photographers consider it the best of both worlds, though the IR effect will be more muted.  You'll need more post-processing to achieve the traditional IR look.

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Hillsilly

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I'm guessing those out of camera images are from a camera that has been converted to IR.  Not least because most little kids won't stay still long enough for an infrared image from a non-converted camera.  ;-)

I cheated and used a Fuji X-E1 for these.  Whereas my 1DsMkii typically wants exposures in the 2 - 5s range, I can happily snap away with the Fuji at 1/30 - 1/60s.  Its Ok for hand held shots and I'm starting to get into it more.  But OOC, there's not much difference between my Canon and Fuji.  But as you've pointed out and the reason I can't comment on the 600D - every Canon model handles IR differently.  Interestingly, unlike your photos, I need to do some extensive work to get green and other colours in my photos if I want to re-colour them.  I'm a Hoya R72 user.

« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 05:19:02 AM by Hillsilly »
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randym77

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I cheated and used a Fuji X-E1 for these.  Whereas my 1DsMkii typically wants exposures in the 2 - 5s range, I can happily snap away with the Fuji at 1/30 - 1/60s.  Its Ok for hand held shots and I'm starting to get into it more.  But OOC, there's not much difference between my Canon and Fuji.  But as you've pointed out and the reason I can't comment on the 600D - every Canon model handles IR differently. 

Thanks for sharing that info.  It supports my experience that newer Canons have much better internal IR filters than older ones, and that means you need longer exposures with newer cameras than with older ones.

I also use a Hoya R72.  Your 1DsMkii (first released in 2004) needs 2-5 seconds.  My 40D (first released in 2007) needs 1.5-2 minutes (the image I posted is a 2 minute exposure).  My 5D Mark II (first released 2008) needs 5 or 6 minutes (the image I posted is a 5.5 minute exposure).

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