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We’ve taken a brand new 7D, removed the low-pass filter, and replaced it with a 715nm infrared filter. Instead of capturing three different colors of visible light, the camera now sees three different wavelengths in the near-infrared spectrum.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with IR photography, the look is very different: you’ll want to read up on shooting in IR and the post-processing required for the images.
You use this camera just as you would a normal SLR: autofocus works, live view works, and in-camera metering generally works. Exposure times are as short as you would have shooting the camera normally.
There is one big plus: 1080P high-definition IR video. Your images or footage will have to be converted to grayscale in post processing – unless you’re going for the interesting false color look.
Lenses behave differently when used for IR. Some great visible light lenses aren’t great in IR; Canon neither tests nor optimizes for IR functionality. Here’s a list we’ve been able to assemble, although it’s incomplete.
Good for IR Photography
- Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L
- Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS
- Nikon 18-200 VR
- Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L (I not II)
- Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS
- Canon EF 28-135mm/3.5-5.6 IS
- Canon EF 28mm f/2.8
- Nikon 35mm f/2.0
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
- Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L
- Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
- Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS
- Nikon 85mm f1.8
- Canon EF 135mm f/2L
- Canon EF 100-400mm f/4-5.6L IS
- Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro
- Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 L
- Tamron 28-300mm XR
- Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro
- Canon 400 f5.6
- Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5
- Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
- Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L
- Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye
- Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L (I or II)
- Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
- Canon EF 20mm f/2.8
- Canon EF 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
- Canon EF 24mm f/2.8
- Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II
- Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5
- Canon EF 28-70mm f/2.8L
- Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5
- Canon EF 35mm f/2
- Canon EF 35-80mm f/4-5.6
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
- Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Macro
- Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS
- Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS
- Nikon 70-300mm VR
- Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
- Sigma 10-20mm f/4.0-5.6 EX DC HSM
- Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5
- Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX
- Sigma 30mm f/1.4
- Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8
- Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 AF XR (IF) Di-II
- Tamron 70-300mm Macro
- Tokina 12-24mm f/4
What’s the difference between 715nm and 830nm conversions? Not a whole lot. The 715 conversion lets in red visible light, the 830nm conversion doesn’t so there are a few differences:
- Exposure time on an 830nm conversion will be about twice as long the 715 conversion (both cameras autoexpose accurately, though). This can be the difference between ‘need a tripod’ and ’don’t need a tripod’.
- The 830nm conversion uses all three channels (R, G, B) fairly equally, while the 715nm uses mostly the red channel. In theory this should make the 830 images a bit sharper. In practice, maybe, maybe not.
- The 830nm conversion has a “more IR” look: skies are darker, clouds whiter.
- You can get images with a 730nm in artificial light, but indoors (especially with fluorescent light) there’s not enough IR floating around to really get a picture with the 830nm conversion.
You can find more information and a few thumbnails comparing shots from the two versions HERE
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