Years ago I used to dabble in infrared photography, using Kodak false colour ektachrome film.
Having recently bought a model R full frame mirrorless camera, the temptation to go infrared started to niggle…
Available for the R is an adaptor that allows use of the full range of full-frame EOS lenses - in fact 2 versions of the adaptor, a plain one, and one with a drop-in filter holder. And it is the latter that aroused my attention, first of all buying it with a polariser, the behind-the-lens position meaning that a single polariser could be used for any lens, long telephoto to the widest angle - and with the added
benefit that rotating the polariser is a fingertip operation without moving a hand away from the camera body: so delightfully easy compared to trying to rotate one deep within a lens hood!
The adaptor with polariser is expensive compared to even the best of standard polariser - until you want to use with multiple lenses, not needing multiple polarisers if you have lenses with different size mounts, and even usable with wideangle lenses without a filter mount ring.
What then struck me was that the drop-in filter adapter could be used for infrared filters, again allowing swapping lenses without needing multiple filters, so the idea of having the camera converted to be IR capable was born.
And so I did it. My R is now full spectrum, from infrared through ultraviolet. I presently have the following drop-in filters:
Visible-only spectrum to allow normal use.
Same combined with polariser.
IR+blue filter which gives interesting, pleasing, images straight out of the camera just setting a custom WB. (Incidentally also used in crop analysis work, though I don’t do that)
Proprietary filter fairly closely mimicking Ektachrome false-colour IR effect straight out of the camera (again just setting a custom WB).
590nm filter, removing shorter wavelengths and requiring post-processing (e.g colour channel swapping) to give fantastical images.
850nm IR only filter giving monochrome images in a spectral area the human eye can’t see. (And I’ve made a simple flashgun adaptor to also be only >890nm for invisible night photography, though not sure what use I have for it yet!)
I had the camera modified by Kolarivision, from where I also bought the filters (and their website here [link] shows the effects all the above can produce). I chose them out of apparently 3 key players having explored details with the three (one other was my initial preferred choice for the conversion, but there seemed to be a communication difficulty or unwillingness that sowed a seed of doubt as to wisdom of proceeding).
With regard to image appearance, for anyone unaware, a significant factor in infrared landscape photography is that green foliage reflects strongly in the infrared, so as IR is recorded simply as part of red, leaves appear red instead of green (or depending on the filter characteristics added to the green appearing yellow), or in monochrome appear light instead of dark.
The one difficulty I had to overcome before going ahead was that For the R adaptor Canon only make 3 drop-in filters, and no bare holder, so I had to use the ridiculously expensive clear drop-in filter, and not being demountable I had to verify that I could remove the clear filter and be able to fit available IR filters. Once that was achieved I went ahead. I can of course provide details if anyone is interested in doing likewise - though it would be nice if Canon were to make a demountable holder to save the hassle.
Other than test it I haven’t used the capabilities for real yet, this just opening the door for me to get back to playing, which I look forward to doing in time…