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If you are wondering why invisible infrared light is relevant to your filmmaking, you have come to the right place. For starters, keep in mind that digital camera sensors can pick up infrared light. Therefore, if you are looking to record your subject’s natural view, you will have to get an infrared lens filter that can filter out any infrared light.
If excess infrared light gets through, adverse effects like unnatural color tone, reduced contrast and other image-quality issues are introduced. This is the main reason why many cameras often incorporate an infrared video filter, also known as ‘hot mirror’, in front of the camera’s image sensor. There are different types of infrared filters for digital filmmaking.
When choosing an infrared lens filter, it is important to consider if you would shoot color or not. So, if you are planning to shoot only black and white, the 850nm infrared photography filter is one of the best choices out there. If you intend to shoot color occasional, then a better choice will be the 720nm infrared lens filter or below. On the other hand, when you are choosing between the 665nm, 590nm and 720nm, your primary consideration will be your aesthetic preference.
The Standard Infrared Filter (720nm)
It is one of the tried and tested infrared filters for digital photography. This infrared lens filter allows for great color for false color, and excellent contrast for your black and white shots. It is equivalent to the Wratten 89b and Hoya R72 infrared photography filter. It is an ideal infrared filter if you are looking to shoot black and white and some mild color.
This infrared photography filter generates the traditional blue skies and you can also process it for color. Although the filter is not very high contrast like the 850nm filter, filmmakers prefer this infrared filter for black and white over the 850nm. This is because it allows a bit more color for better processing.
The Ultra Color Filter
This infrared filter for digital photography lets in more light and produces the most vibrant colors. It renders golden yellow leaves, and bright blue skies. The black and white contrast is slightly lower compared to other deep infrared photography filters.
The ultra color infrared lens filter is ideal for vibrant color landscapes as it allows more flexibility than other filters in post processing. This infrared photography filter is also perfect for portraits. Its shallow IR reveals fewer veins compared to deeper infrared lens filters while still producing a dreamy look.
The Full Spectrum Filter
This infrared filter for digital photography makes the camera more sensitive to visible, UV and IR light, and allows you to switch between a variety of external filters in order to get the desired effect.
The infrared lens filter also allows you to go between standard shooting with a single camera and infrared shots at the same time. However, keep in mind that on DSLRs opaque infrared lens filters can block composition.