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Aerochrome substitute – which one is better?

Can we get a perfect Aerochrome substitute with today’s digital cameras?

Since several years I’ve been using filters and full-spectrum cameras to emulate or copy the look of a discontinued film by Kodak named EIR or Aerochrome. Its hallmarks are the strikingly red and magenta vegetation and the stark contrasts.

In 2019 Kolari Vision, a US-based firm specialising in converting normal digital cameras into full-spectrum and IR cameras, released a filter called IR Chrome (link), which mimics the look of Aerochrome quite well.

It’s the closest anoyne has come so far to a real Aerochrome substitute – well, at least for cameras with Bayer sensors, which include Nikon, Canon, Sony et cetera.

Sigma, on the other hand, uses a different type of sensor called Foveon. It catches light almost like film does. And in full-spectrum mode, the sensor turns green vegetation to lavish red and magenta, very similar to Aerochrome. And you don’t need an additional filter.

So to get an easy and accurate Aerochrome substitute you must either use a Kolari IR Chrome filter (link) or a Sigma camera. But which one of the two is better?

Here’s the comparison. There’s no post-production involved, the images are straight out of the camera.


IR Chrome plus polarizer (Nikon D3200 full-spectrum):

IR Chrome aerochrome substitute

Sigma SD1 full-spectrum plus polarizer:

sigma aerochrome substitute

The Sigma Aerochrome substitute produces much richer color tones and contrasts. The red tones range from orange to red and dark magenta. Personally I like it much better than IR Chrome, which shows kind of a uniform red tone in the vegetation. But that doesn’t mean that the latter isn’t a good product. It’s the best Aerochrome substitute so far for all digital cameras except Sigma.


  1. Boris
    am 21.03.2020

    What happens when the IR Chrome filter is placed on the Sigma SD1?


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