Sunday, 18 August 2013

Seeing Red

This must be from the very bottom of the Round Tuit pile. For many, many years I have wanted to be able to experiment with Infra Red photography. Long ago I actually bought a roll of 35mm IR film but never got round to using it for several reasons. More difficult to focus. Old lenses had two focus scales, one usually a red line for focussing IR. Unable to see the results until after processing. Few places where IR film could be processed.

At least 35mm, and other film sizes, could take IR. The vast majority of digital cameras have a filter built in to cut out the IR part of the spectrum. It is a case of stripping down the camera and replacing the filter or sending the body away to have it done professionally - at a price!

I say the vast majority as a few digital cameras have been made which were specially designed to be able to respond to the infra red part of the spectrum. One such was the Fujifilm IS-1 which was originally made for use by police forces and such like to photograph evidence. Their availability, only second hand, is scarce so when one became available a few days ago I jumped at the chance to get my sticky fingers on it.


The camera has a 28-300mm (35mm equivalent) f2.8-4.9 zoom lens. It came complete with a set of filters, three to let through various wavelengths of IR, one to block UV and IR so normal colour photos can be taken, and a couple of others. The following were taken with the middle range IR filter which looks completely black to the human eye and can be seen on the above photo.

The following are paired photos. First as taken by the Fuji followed by a greyscale version:







As a quick trial these were only given a minimal seeing to in Irfanview.
The only problem is it uses AA batteries and as with many of its age these don't last anywhere near as long as modern Lithium Ion cells


  1. the b&w have a real starkness to them. nice!

    1. They are a bit flat really, TWG, but it is yet another learning curve to keep the little grey cell awake. Today I used a different IR filter and I think I will be pleased with the new batch. Probably put some up on Tuesday.

  2. Exciting to find a new experimental device! I can imagine you rubbing your hands together in anticipation :) Can you use rechargeable AA batteries? Wouldn't they last longer? Interesting shots, and looking forward to more.

    1. It s Glo. Good job it's nice sunny weather at the moment as it needs good light for reasonable hand held results.
      It came with rechargables and I've ordered some spares.
      More tomorrow - Tuesday.

  3. Replies
    1. I've always liked b/w. Sometimes colour gets in the way of seeing the overall picture.

  4. Amazing IR photos - I look forward to seeing more!

    1. They are different Mick. The way vegetation comes out light and the blue sky looks black. More on Tuesday.

  5. I really wish you hadn't done this John. I will have to keep my hands in my pockets.
    These are pretty good. Amazing when compared to a Digital editing job.
    If you use a tripod you can focus first then pop the filter on.

    1. Reasonable Adrian - the results are always grainy, well more so than I am used to these days. At the moment it is using ISO 200 - get a really sunny day I'll try 80.
      Focussing will have to be with filter on really as different wavelengths focus at different points.

    2. It's not that old a camera. late 2005/2010 I'd guess. My Canons are that age and I'm amazed how little noise I get. I'll try some star trails and that will show the noise but I always shoot a couple of black frames at the end now and chuck them into the brew when I'm processing.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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