Same world, other light

Filmed in infrared with my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k and a Cokin infrared filter. I used a Nikon 50mm f1.8 and a Viltrox NF-M43X Lens Mount giving me 1 stop extra. Wide-open and at 3200 ISO I got an ‘ideal’ histogram. Less grain and a better black & white result.

Filming in IR with the BMPCC 4k

Infrared (IR) light starts in the high-red area of the visible spectrum at around 750nm and goes up beyond 1000nm. This light is not visible to the naked eye. The IR cut filter on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is weak and is susceptible to some IR pollution under certain circumstances. I wondered if I could film in infrared with this camera. I used a Cokin 720-89B Infrared filter. This filter only passes light at 720nm (high-red) and above. These are my first results. I did not bother to remove the noise as this is simply a test.

The lens I used is an 8mm f4 from SLR Magic.


Infrared and the Nikon D2h

One of the blogs I follow is Dan Jurak’s excellent Alberta Landscape Photo Blog.

Amongst other things Dan photographs with a modified digital camera so it is extremely sensitive for infrared.

This gives eerie and wonderful images where blue skies are dark and the green foliage white.

Most digital cameras have some sensitivity for IR but you need an IR filter to filter out the visible light. As this filter is almost black you need a long exposure to get an image that is completely red and needs some postprocessing in Lightroom, Photoshop or other.
I have a preset in LR to quickly make the general modifications before going to Photoshop for more detailed work.

With a modified camera where the IR filter is removed you can shoot like with any other camera.

To check if your camera is sensitive to IR put it in bulb-mode in a completely darkened room and point your remote controller from you television for example, to the lens and press some buttons. You should see some light streaks on you image.

I like IR but in my opinion it does not work with every scene.

I guess analogue IR black and white film is both very hard to find and extremely expensive so that is not an option for me.

Modifying a cheap camera myself would be an interesting project and there are lots of cheap digital cameras on sale.

But the sun is shining. Nature is filled with green grass and green leaves and the sky blue.

I would rather be outside shooting than opening some camera with a zillion minuscule screws and then screw it all up.

I have an old Nikon D2h and its unmodified sensor is very sensitive to infrared.

With the Cokin P007 IR (89B) I can shoot on a very sunny day at, for example, f6,3 at 1/5″ and that is rather impressive. It shows how sensitive the sensor of this 2003 camera is.
I use a strip of black velcro around the filter holder to prevent light leakage.

Railway (2015) Nikon D2h with 24-120mm and Cokin P007 IR (89B)
Railway (2015)
Nikon D2h with 24-120mm and Cokin P007 IR (89B)


Infrared (IR)

Infrared is invisible radiant energy, electromagnetic radiation with longer wavelengths than those of visible light. Most of the thermal radiation emitted by objects near room temperature is infrared. And your television remote will probably work on infrared too.

I have this old Nikon D2h. This 4-megapixel camera is outdated (2003) albeit it is still a very good camera. I can’t set the date anymore and once in the blue moon it misfires. But it shoots at 8 frames per second so it is ideal for sports photography.
Yet I don’t use the camera much anymore. Only when I feel like doing some infrared as the camera is very sensitive to IR. I have no use for a modified camera so this is the second best solution.

Back in the old days of film I shot a few rolls of real IR-film for school projects and I came to love the eerie way the results look like.

So on a sunny day I’ll use the Cokin IR 007 filter (-6 stops) and then process the RAW-files in Lightroom with a preset I made.

Maybe I should do this more often and go out and look for scenes that work very well in infrared.