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Converting a Camera for Infrared Photography

The infrared-blocking filter over a digital sensor is typically coated glass, usually a separate layer, whose removal allows conversion of cameras to pure infrared shooting. But in a few cases, it is permanently bonded to the sensor (eg Nikon D2x), which precludes such conversion without special procedurs (e.g., solvents).

For infrared shooting, removal of the infrared-blocking glass should include replacement glass of similar thickness, lest strong focus error be introduced at all wavelengths. The replacement glass can be clear glass eg “full spectrum”—passing ultraviolet, visible light and infrared light, or it can be of a type that passes only infrared light—producing a camera that can “see” only infrared.

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Diglloyd Infrared Photography covers cameras and lenses for infrared photography.

The coverage explains all the issues involved in shooting in infrared, which do not change. It is not a review of any particular camera or lens, though many examples are included.

  • Guidance on workflow for infrared, including black and white and channel swapping for false-color images.
  • How infrared renders, and why certain spectral cutoffs matter: false color vs black and white.
  • Image quality issues to be on the lookout for in infrared.
  • Numerous lens evaluations in infrared.

View an overview of infrared as well as filter spectral transmission plus examples from an optimal lens.

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