A while back, my friends at Singh-Ray filters asked me if I’d be willing to test a new infrared filter. Late last week, I got a sample copy of the new Singh-Ray I-Ray 700nm filter to test and review. Here are my findings.
Why should you choose an infrared filter?
First, let me start by asking why one would want to use an infrared filter instead of converting a digital camera to infrared. There are several reasons why you might want an infrared filter:
You don’t have an extra camera lying around to convert to IR
You don’t want to spend $275-$400 to convert a camera
Filters are easy to pack when traveling, and work with all your cameras
You have a full-spectrum or dual-spectrum camera which requires filters
Long exposures are a simple way to get creative with your photography. As I’ve discussed before, a good long exposure requires three elements:
Something moving in the frame (to be blurred)
Something stationary in the frame (to anchor the shot)
Slow shutter speeds
The traditional ways of slowing shutter speed are to (1) use a low ISO setting on your camera and (2) to stop down the lens aperture (f/16 or smaller). However, if you want to use a long exposure in daylight conditions, those two settings won’t help you much. Consider the standard “sunny 16” exposure: 1/100s @f/16 @ISO 100. Hmm. Stop down to f/22 and you get 1/50s. Not very slow. Maybe your camera can be set to a lower ISO, say ISO 50. That will get you to 1/25s. Again, that’s slow enough to blur cars or fast-moving water slightly, but it’s a big constraint. Moreover, some DSLRs have a base ISO of 200, meaning that you are even more limited in getting a slow shutter speed. Continue reading Choosing the Right Neutral Density Filter for Long Exposures→