Discussions (76)

DIY Infra Red Filters

view profile

Victor W. is a group administrator Victor W. says:

Hiya all,

I know, one of my scarce posts I make now and then ;-)

Finally got my dSLR back after 6 looooong weeks from being sent away for warranty repair. Fingers crossed it doesn't pack up again!

Anyway, I haven't been upto much photography, (lack of camera!), but have been putting together some bits that some of you may, (or may not, who knows?), find useful.
This first is how to make your very own infra red filters.

DIY Infrared Filter

I've made mention of this technique before but never really went into much detail. It's an old'un but a good'un.

Slide or 'transparency' film of old, (and still currently), was usually displayed by projection.

Anyone have to sit through those family slide shows of the family holidays? OK, just me as an old git then, you young'uns don't know what you where missing :-)

This film is usually identified by the process marker 'E6' and is a positive process so that anything white would be clear on the film and anything black would simply be black. They actually look great because you view them with light showing through, (transmissive), almost like a stained-glass window rather than reflective light from prints. Large format slide is simply exquisite to view, (OK, just me as an old git again then).

Because these 'slides' were displayed via a projector they are clear to infra red light otherwise they would melt under the intense heat of the projection bulb.

So if you purchase a blank slide film and send it for processing it will be returned as you can see from the picture above completely black. Plus completely clear to infra red light!! Very handy.

A double thickness, (ie two overlapped pieces), is as good as any 720nm commercially available filter. If you want bigger pieces then purchase a '120' slide film and if you want really big bits then you can still obtain large format slide film, (5 inches by 4 inches).

You can use this to make your own Infra red filters for the lens of your camera, (small pieces on your camera phone/compact works well), or as I have done in the picture below make an Infra red flash.

Infrared Studio Master Flash/Strobe

This infra red flash has proved handy as a master studio flash to trigger my studio flashes very reliably, (this can fire a standard optical trigger in broad daylight from about 50 foot away), without showing in the final exposure.

You could of course use an infra red converted flash on an infra red converted camera and take 'night' shots without the flash showing up. Handy for night wildlife photography or even shooting in a nightclub or such without causing disruption.


Well there you have it, an old technique but still handy.
Originally posted at 3:55PM, 27 March 2010 PDT (permalink)
Victor W. edited this topic 61 months ago.

view photostream

Rachel Rayns says:

very very cool.
61 months ago (permalink)

view photostream

Victor W. is a group administrator Victor W. says:

Hiya Rachel :-)

Thanks very much, good to see old tricks are still appreciated.

Nightmare getting this processed, sent back the first time because two films were in one process packet, (too difficult to seperate two films!?!?!?!), then sent back a second time because the film is as they stated, "Customer Fault - Film is Blank", (this despite clear instructions!), and they bl**dy well cut it. Angry phone call and offer of replacement films they finally got it right third time but then charged me extra! (Apparently because it ISN'T cut!?! How can they charge extra for NOT doing something?)

Believe it or not from a so called 'Pro' lab too!

Probably would've been easier to process it myself but I haven't done any E6 in a few years. (Completely fluffed up my last E6 and haven't done one since).
61 months ago (permalink)

view photostream

gottanew1 says:

Glad to see you kept busy
I was expecting to see some pin hope camera images in the interim
Whats wrong with a "Pro "
only cost me $29 --anyone can be a PRO
but I'm better known as an unpublished author
61 months ago (permalink)

view photostream

steveblackdog says:

Good to see you back Victor and to hear you got your camera back.
Though I'm not so happy about being reminded how old I am :-)
Not processed E6 since I was in school and well remember how often it went wrong. Dont suppose it would work with C41, have several rolls of that lying around, couple of decades out of date though.

Strange to see the Miranda name on the flash, still have one of their cameras,a re-badged Cosina really. Have even thought of getting new batteries for it, but think I'm too hooked on digital now:-)
61 months ago (permalink)

view photostream

Victor W. is a group administrator Victor W. says:

Hiya Art,

Yeah, sort of busy. Pinhole camera is another thing in the pipeline, (a large 10x8), but digital has made a lazy sod out of me ;-)
(Really could do with restocking that darkroom!!)
Ha! Yeah, 'pro' definately has changed it's meaning. It used to signify that you knew what you were doing but I get your point, I've got a 'Pro' next to my Flickr name and I often don't know what I'm doing half the time :-D


Hiya Steve,

Thanks very much mate :-) Ha! Did slide film make you feel old?!
I'm afraid it doesn't work with C41, (despite seeing several people still trying it!), it really has to be E6 slide. Same here with the E6 home processing, completely fluffed my last one, (and still blame the kit I got), so haven't tried again since.
Yeah, I have an old Miranda camera too but digital has made me rather lazy despite purchasing some more film cameras, rangefinder and steel processing reels. DIgital's "instantness" is miles easier when doing flash work, perhaps I ought to try them side by side and use the digital as a proofing polaroid?
61 months ago (permalink)

view photostream

scalespeeder says:

Hi Victor!

Great work, fascinating article, glad to see you've got your camera back!

Cheers, Rob.
61 months ago (permalink)

view photostream

Victor W. is a group administrator Victor W. says:

Hiya Rob :-)

Good to finally have my camera back mate, really missed it, (sad old git I am!) I've spoken about this subject before on other groups but thought I'd put some more information up.
61 months ago (permalink)

Would you like to comment?

Sign up for a free account, or sign in (if you're already a member).