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How to Get Started with Infrared Photography

Welcome to the world of infrared! Choosing a conversion can be quite daunting, we are here to help simplify and explain the process.

Step One – Choosing a Camera

The first step of the process is deciding which camera to convert. Many times, choosing an old camera you don’t use anymore can be a great way to go and can bring new life to old equipment. If we don’t support your camera, or if your camera is not the best for IR, it is worth converting a new one, or ordering a custom order camera from us here.

You can read more about Choosing a Camera for the pros and cons of various camera systems. You can also read our Brand Comparisons to see a general guide to how different brands perform for color infrared, and also How DSLRs and Compacts handle color. We also have a page on Camera Reviews where we review how different cameras perform once converted to infrared.

Step Two- Choosing a Filter

The next important decision is to choose which filter is right for you. We have written an article, Choosing a Filter with samples from the different filter choices, as well as tips and considerations for using and shooting with the various filter options. If you want the option of using multiple filters, you can read our article on the Full Spectrum conversion to see if that is a good choice for you.

Step Three – Ordering a Conversion

You can order a conversion here.

Step Four – Mailing the Camera

After you order a conversion, you will be redirected to a page with our shipping address and instructions.

Step Five – Setting up your Camera

After you receive your camera, there are few things to setup to take the best photos. The first thing you should do is measure a custom white balance with your camera, even with the B+W filters. Every camera sets a white balance differently, please refer to your camera manual for the steps on how to do this. For the 720nm and higher filters, you should measure the white balance using green grass or foliage as the target. For the 590nm and 665nm filters, you should measure the white balance using a gray card or sheet of white paper. This is best done on location prior to shooting. If using a point and shoot or mirrorless camera, you are done! You can get out and start shooting. If you are using a DSLR, you should also check your exposure. The camera meters visible light, which may be inaccurate depending on lighting and filter type, so you should take a few test shots outdoors to determine if you need to dial in a EV compensation. A rough guide to how much the different filters will need to be compensated can be found here. With a DSLR, you should also check your various lenses for focus accuracy to see if there is a focus shift between them. If you have a DSLR that supports microadjustment, you should take the time to calibrate the focus for each lens you will use.

Step Six – Process your photos

You can find several guides for processing your photos in our tutorials section, we have tutorials for all of the different filter options, as well as how to perform a channel swap in different programs. Try our false color action suite plugin for photoshop, it can simplify the processing very nicely.

Step Seven – Share your experience

Now that you’ve taken some great photos, we’d love to see them! We are happy to feature customer galleries and sites on our customers section, just email us if you are interested. If you converted a camera we have not previously reviewed, let the world know how it performs! We are always looking to expand our reviews section. If you were happy with our service and products, please take a minute to let the world know, we work hard to bring you quality content and products, your word of mouth helps keep that possible.

Related articles:

Choosing a CameraChoosing a filterWhen to go Full SpectrumOrdering, Already Converted CamerasTutorialsCamera Reviews

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