Lens filters - Is the expense worth the result?

Discussion in 'Alternative Techniques & Photo Gallery' started by TheChairman, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. TheChairman

    TheChairman TPF Noob!

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    So I recently had a roll of 2007 expired, but kept frozen Kodak HIE Infrared film come into my possession. I want to use it correctly and use an IR filter with it. Now, I only have this one roll, so investing even in a used Hoya r72 at around $40 is a bit of a stretch.

    On eBay, there are cheap Chinese made IR filters for less than $20. I was willing to pay up to $20 to rent one (but never found one available) so that's not bad considering I will get to own it. However, what sort of quality can I expect out of one of these cheap filters? Have any of you used them before for infrared or otherwise? I don't want to pay $20 for something to find out they just painted a cheap glass filter black and sent it to me. After all, there really is no way to tell if the filter works right or not until I have exposed and developed the roll.

    Here is the filter in question on eBay.
    58mm IR Infrared 720nm Standard Filter For Hoya R72 SLR | eBay


     
  2. timphotos

    timphotos TPF Noob!

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    I don't own it, but I hear many good things about the [h=1]58mm IR Infrared 720nm Standard Filter For Hoya R72 SLR, from user reviews. That being said, I don't know how much benefit you'll get by going with the more expensive filter...[/h]
     
  3. MLeeK

    MLeeK TPF Noob!

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    $40 is pretty cheap for a filter-it's not going to be the highest quality glass, but it's also not going to be a $10 piece of glass. Cheap glass will definitely have an impact on your image. You invest in good filters for the same reason that you invest in high quality lenses.
     
  4. TheChairman

    TheChairman TPF Noob!

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    That's the dilemma. I can get a used Hoya for $40, or I can get this cheap filter for less than $20. I don't foresee myself buying cases and cases of IR film in the future, so I don't know if it is worth the expense of buying the Hoya now, or just buying the cheap chinese filter to expose this one roll.
     
  5. MLeeK

    MLeeK TPF Noob!

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    Would you be happy with basic kit lens quality for this?
     
  6. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Why not buy a Lee polyester filter (link)? You can cut it to fit inside a UV filter, or simply stick it to the front or back of the lens with rolled up 'snot tape' (ATG) or double-sided tape, or doubled-over single-sided tape. The $20 filter is probably OK for what you want, however - you don't need stunning optical quality for HIE, it's such a grainy film.

    How are you going to meter?
     
  7. TheChairman

    TheChairman TPF Noob!

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    Yea, I would. In fact, I am using a 50mm kit lens with my AE-1 for this roll. I'm not looking to take anything for the cover of Time, but I would like for my photographs to actually look like infrared and not just black and white or negatives.

    Im most likely just going to get the cheap eBay filter. I guess I am just wondering if anyone has used one of these. Like I said, I dont want to get it and find out that they just spraypainted some cheap UV filter, or the coating is thicker/stronger on one part of the lens or the other, resulting in uneven exposure across the film. To be honest with you, I have NEVER seen a real IR filter in person, so I don't even know what to look for with it other than light leaks on the glass. Using this film is completely uncharted territory for me.

    As far as metering goes, I haven't gotten to that yet. Even when I use my vintage gear, I usually just take one of my modern SLRs with me and use the light meter to set the other camera. The only external exposure meter I own was made in 1947, and is more of a novelty than anything. Any suggestions about proper metering would be appreciated. I know there are a million websites about this, but for the sake of conversation.


     
  8. maris

    maris TPF Noob!

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    I have 6 cheap (+/- $20) Chinese IR720 filters in various sizes up to 82mm and they have worked fine for the last 1000 or so infrared negatives I've made. Infrared film does not look sharp like regular fine-grain panchromatic film unless you shoot it in 4x5 and 8x10 sizes. It's not the filters fault. The Chinese filters are uncoated so its good to shade direct sunlight off them. Actually that's a good idea for all filters.

    Incidentally Kodak HIE doesn't need an infrared filter for spectacular results. The standard technique was to use a #25 red. This filter works fine and it enables through the lens viewing and focussing with a SLR. Modern IR films all need an IR720 or equivalent filter which you can't see through. That's a nuisance!
     
  9. TheChairman

    TheChairman TPF Noob!

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    This is exactly what I was looking for, as far as a response. THANKS!

    I went ahead and ordered a 720nm filter via eBay anyways. At $9, I couldnt go wrong. We shall see what China offers, and my results will be posted here.
     
  10. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Do you mean the standard technique with an SLR? With a rangefinder or viewfinder camera an opaque filter isn't a problem, of course. I use a Rollei 35S or a Leica M6 with HIE, and a Mamiya 7 with the current 820 nm medium format films. With 4x5 it's not much of an issue to put the filter on after setting up, of course.
     
  11. maris

    maris TPF Noob!

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    Yes, the #25 red was perfect for IR pictures on HIE with a 35mm SLR. One could even hand-hold the camera because Kodak HIE was fast enough to permit decent shutter speeds on sunny days. The present crop of true IR films, Efke IR820, and Rollie IR 400, need an opaque filter (IR680, IR720, IR760, IR 820, IR 890, ...etc) that makes framing and focussing with a SLR problematic. Exposures on sunny days tend to run about 1 second at f16 so tripod mounting the camera is pretty well mandatory. Theoretically, if one had an f2 lens one could shoot at 1/60 of a second but the wide aperture offers little depth of field to mask a possible focus error caused by IR focus shift.

    Today I use tripod mounted SLR's, Mamiya RB 67 and Bronica GS-1, plus view cameras, 4x5 and 8x10, for IR work and screwing filters on and off the lens is a chore, a minor nuisance.
    As an alternative I use TLR's, Mamiya C330 and Seagull 4A-103A, which offer the advantage that the visually opaque filter is not in the viewing and focussing light path. But I don't get subtle
    depth of field preview/control with these cameras.

    The ultimate pest is to shoot IR with the Mamiya RB 67 fisheye lens. The sequence goes like this: focus and frame, unmount lens from camera, unscrew the clear rear filter, screw on the opaque IR filter, remount the lens on the camera, make the exposure, wind on, unmount the lens from the camera, unscrew the opaque IR filter, screw on the clear rear filter, remount the lens on the camera, look for the next picture. Phew! Kodak HIE, with its ability to deliver stunning IR pictures behind a #25 red filter, avoided a lot of filter and camera gymnastics. I wish Kodak (somebody, anybody) would bring it back.

    [​IMG]
    Forest Vine, Noosa

    Gelatin-silver photograph on Freestyle Private Reserve VC FB paper, image area 16.3cm X 16.4cm, from an Efke IR820 negative exposed in a Seagull 4A-103A twin lens reflex camera fitted with a IR720 filter.




     
  12. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I miss the "dreamy" look of Kodad HIE.
    They really should make IR film without the anti-halation layer.
     

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