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“IR filters: which should I buy?”

IR filters

A reader of my blog recently sent me an email. He told me about his plan to buy a Nikon D3200 full-spectrum and asked for suggestions for various IR filters and where he might purchase them.

So here’s my answer which might be interesting for other readers as well:


…it really depends on what color palette you like and how much you want ro rely on post-processing.
I really don’t like post-prod (I do it in like 1 minute) so I focus on filters that just give me the look I want. The time-consuming aspect in my work is the waiting for perfect weather/cloud conditions which is also more fun and rewarding than post-processing for me.

So let’s see what I can recommend…
The R72 is 720nm… there’s only one thing I don’t like about it: vegetation (especially conifers) will come out yellowish-white at times so I prefer the 760nm IR filter which filters out more color, and vegetation will be white in most instances.
Zomei has 760nm filters, they are cheap but work well. You find them on ebay, used and new.

I don’t like the 590 to 650nm filters — images just look weird and unnatural and with my workflow, vegetation will come out orange-ish/reddish but no really yellow which I would prefer.
So I use mostly Tiffen Blue filters instead (I think the 47B) – almost all my photos in my gallery with blue-yellow palette were shot with that filter.
I’d also buy on ebay… I’ve actually bought all my stuff on ebay.

Zomei also has monochrome IR filters (850nm). Try out using a fog filter (Tiffen) for the Simon Marsden effect if you like that. I think most of my monochrome pictures in the gallery were shot with an additional fog filter.

If you want the Aerochrome look I’m sure you’ve heard about the “IR Chrome” filter made by Kolari. It works well but colors fall flat – in comparison to Sigma full spectrum. But yeah, post-production can help.

I hope that helps. If you need infos about how specific photos in my gallery were shot, let me know.

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