Introduction to infrared digital photography, reviews, costs, prices.

Decades ago I enjoyed doing infrared digital photography with my Leica cameras and the traditional red infrared filters. I lived in the jungles of Peten, Guatemala for a year and had plenty of opportunity for unique images.
But the reason why today I am still interested in infrared photography has two grounds: one is that I am still in Guatemala after over 40 years. And second, infrared photography is employed in museums and art history research.

Costs would include the filters. Prices of filters made in China are cheaper, but filters made in Germany are better.

Atitlan lake, infrared photo
Atitlan lake, infrared photo, with betterlight.

Infrared fine art photography with large format digital cameras.

Large format digital camera backs are RGB CCD sensors. Their filters are on the lens to begin with, not on the camera. So you simply do not use that filter to get started. Everything else is explained on the BetterLight web site. Since FLAAR has this camera system we will be doing further experiments with it.

Infrared fine art photography with medium format digital cameras: Mamiya.

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Phase One now offers a medium format digital infrared camera system. This is so popular that one Phase One dealer sold three of them within the first weeks of them being accounced. This is because prior to the Phase One it was a challenge to get a major brand name medium format digital camera that was specifically outfitted for infrared photography.

What I most like about Capture Integration is that they can retrofit your present medium format camera. You will need to ask if they can handle an old Kodak, Leaf Aptus or Leaf Valeo, or Hasselblad. MegaVision did it themselves bu their market is primarily medicine and other highly specialized markets.

The other advantage of Phase One, quite bluntly, is their CaptureOne software is generally acknowledged to be the best. The reason is because Phase One is, and always has been 100% digital. Hasselblad, in distinction, is
The Phase One P45+ IR system is good for both black-and-white digital fine art photography as well as infrared fine art photography. If you have questions about the medium format infrared digital photography system you can contact Capture Integration directly at info@CaptureIntegration.com.

Infrared fine art photography with adapated Nikon digital cameras.

As is described already on over a hundred web sites, you can have your Nikon or some other brands of cameras retrofitted to become dedicated  infrared digital cameras. We are considering trying this with our Nikon D100 as we also have a Nikon D700 and a Canon EOS 5D for regular color digital photography.

Infrared fine art photography with Fuji digital cameras.

Fujifilm S3 Pro UVIR and Fujifilm S5 Pro are cleverly outfitted by Fuji to do infrared for things such as crime scene photography.

False-color infrared photography.

Once you start to produce regular infrared photographs, then you can turn them into fine art false-color digital images.

FLAAR will provide glossary on infrared photography, bibliography, etc

FLAAR has four photographers in-house on staff in addition to Nicholas Hellmuth. Of these Eduardo Sacayon will be working together with Nicholas on the infrared photography project. There will be the following reports:
Infrared Photography with Large-Format Trilinear scanning camera backs (BetterLight). FLAAR has this camera already in-house (FLAAR has been a beta-tester for BetterLight panorama and circumferential rollout cameras since 1997).

Next we will prepare a Glossary of Infrared Digital Photography” in both English and Spanish (FLAAR staff tend to be bilingual or tri-lingual (usually German plus Spanish and English).

Then we will prepare the first comprehensive annotated bibliography of books, magazine articles, and web sites on fine art digital infrared photography. The first installment of this is a review by Eduardo Sacayon of the book by Rocky Nook on infrared digital photography.

Eventually we will have our Nikon D100 retrofitted to an infrared digital camera. But we begin with the BetterLight since this is the camera we have already. And it can do infrared easily.

 

First posted February 13, 2009.

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