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IR Chrome revisited

The emulation of the old Aerochrome IR film has been a big topic on this blog. Now, having substituted my three older IR/full-spectrum Nikon models (D70 and D3200) with a full spectrum Nikon D7100 and focusing more on video work, I’m revisiting the methods to achieve this. Sigma SD1 is still my prefered method, but this DSLR won’t record video. So you have to take the other main route: via the IR Chrome filter by Kolari Vision (link).

The filter works great with the D7100, thanks to the camera’s option to select the preferred white balance manually with the right Kelvin unit. All you have to do is set the temperature to 10000 Kelvin. The trees come out red, the sky blue and everything else looks pretty normal. The hues are pretty similar to Aerochrome but not as strong and surreal as with the Sigma SD1 (link). There’s potential there so I added additional filters:

1. A circular polarizer (which is standard for me)
2. A red enhancing filter by Kenko
3. A Varicolor red-blue filter by Cokin

So what do these filters do? Take a look at the following videos for comparison (Flickr doesn’t embed properly right now so you have to watch them on my Flickr site). Keep in mind: I didn’t do any changes or enhancements in post-production, but I boosted the contrasts and saturations in the camera settings.

 
Here’s just IR Chrome (with polarizer):

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Here’s IR Chrome plus red enhancer (plus polarizer):

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And here’s IR Chrome plus red enhancer plus Varicolor (and polarizer):

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I must say that the red enhancer does improve the image: It eliminates the magenta-colored cast in the sky in favor of a more cooler, cyanish cast without losing the redness of the vegetation. The option with the Varicolor red-blue filter is also nice. It gives a more magenta-toned look, which is reminiscent of Richard Mosse’s work (link).

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