Mirrorless Infrared Photography

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

Shooting in digital infrared adds drama to landscape photography while letting you to shoot during the middle of the day because the best time of day for infrared photography is the worst time for traditional photography. You can see what I mean in the below “before & after” images shot at 12;38PM.

Is your camera infrared sensitive? Most of the mirrorless cameras that I’ve tried are but if you look at your TV remote in Live View (click it on) and can see light you’re almost ready to make infrared images. Caveat: A few readers of my book The Complete Guide to Digital Infrared Photography told me this isn’t infallible but it always worked for me.

 Once your camera is ready you have two options for capturing IR images. Use an infrared filter on your lens or have your camera converted for IR-only operation:

before.IR

Infrared filters may be the least expensive solution, depending on the size of the filter. A Hoya R72 Infrared filter (52mm) costs a little more than $50 but more powerful filters such as Singh-Ray’s I-Ray are $160. These filters are so dark they require exposures of one or more seconds. You’ll need a tripod and may have to focus with the filter off the lens, then put it back on to make the final exposure.

Converting a camera to IR costs more than 50 bucks and LifePixel, for example, charges $300 and up (depending on camera) to convert mirrorless cameras for IR capture. Once converted, you can shoot hand held and other than kicking up the ISO setting a bit higher than normal there’s no difference shooting a converted camera than a standard mirrorless camera.

 after.IR

If you put two IR photographs next two one another and one was made with a filter and the other with a converted camera, you may not be able to tell the difference. The only difference is what method suits your budget and how you prefer to shoot. Tip: The after image was shot with an Olympus E-PL1 with a filter.

Special Deal for this blog’s readers: If you want to save money when converting your camera to infrared, use the coupon code “farace” at LifePixel.