When you look at Infrared photography, 720nm Infrared is a standard in the art form because it will work with both unconverted natural color cameras, as well as full-spectrum converted. When shooting 720nm IR with an unconverted, natural color camera you will need to shoot with a tripod, as longer exposures will be required. The length of exposure will depend on the camera you are using. An unconverted camera has an IR-blocking filter in it, and depending on how strong it is will affect the length of exposure needed. For this piece, I am reviewing the Kase magnetic filter. Full disclosure, Kase did approach me for this review and supplied the product. For this review, I used a full-spectrum Canon R5, with the Canon RF 16mm, Canon RF 100-500L, Canon EF 24-105L with EF-RF converter ring, and the Lensbaby Velvet 28.
They say in writing to never bury the lead so I will start by telling you the Kase Wolverine 720nm filter performed flawlessly. This filter is a magnetic filter utilizing a lens adaptor ring for the lens that allows you to simply touch the filter to the lens and then the filter is attached.
As someone who likes to utilize different lenses, I do hope Kase is going to sell the lens adaptor rings separately to make using their filter easier on multiple lenses. As I said, the filter worked great there were no issues with it or the magnetic connection. I tried to deliberately shake the filter loose and it didn’t come off once.
I did my testing with a full-spectrum converted camera. For those of you not familiar with a full spectrum conversion, the IR blocking filter, which is referred to as the IR cut filter is removed from the sensor and replaced by a clear piece of glass. My conversion was done by Life Pixel. Once converted, a full-spectrum camera is now able to capture the entire spectrum, including visible light, ultraviolet, and Infrared. To select what you want to capture, you just place a filter on the lens. By using the Kase 720nm filter I am then able to capture Infrared images. Now let's take a look at what you can make with a 720nm filter.
There is often a misconception about 720nm IR that it is Black and White; that is not true. Properly captured and white balanced, a 720nm IR image will have 4 color tones, Red, Yellow, Blue, and Cyan. The color tones will often be subdued or lower saturated, but they are there. These colors can be used to create some interesting false-color IR images. You can even pump up the color by following these steps.
Here's an example of a 720nm IR image.
This is a 720nm IR image, that was White Balanced using the RAW editor made for my camera, Digital Photo Professional.
You'll see the four colors I mentioned, are very subdued. What most digital artists like to do is a Red/Blue color channel swap. If you are not familiar with this technique I have a Youtube video you can watch to walk you thru it. You can watch it here.
Here it is with the channel swap.
Once channel swapped, you have red and yellow in the foliage, Blue and Cyan in the sky at very low saturation.
From here it is easy to make a dynamic B&W image like this.
If you'd like to learn an easy 3-step process for making B&W infrared images, you can read that here.
One of the things I like about 720nm IR is you can shoot it at any time of day. Yes, it's easier when you have bright light, but if you properly expose the image you shoot all day long. Depending on the time of day, you can get a slight glow on your foliage as I did with this image of lily pads in this fountain.
This was accomplished by slightly over-exposing the image.
Another nice part of being able to shoot all day is the ability to use shadows in your images.
When I shoot, I always shoot bracketed exposures to ensure I get the image I want, and in some cases, I will combine multiple exposures using layers and layer masks.
Shortly after receiving the Kase 720nm IR filter, I took a trip to Dauphin Island Alabama to scout out locations for a workshop I will be conducting in 2023. Dauphin Island offered quite a few great locations for Infrared.
If you are someone who likes to make long-exposure images, IR will work well for that too.
Whenever I shoot long-exposure IR I start with a clip-in neutral-density filter and then place the 720nm filter on my lens.
The rest is just like shooting any long-exposure image. This image was made at f11, ISO100. for 10 seconds. In post, I punched up the naturally occurring red tones and didn't feel the image needed to be channel swapped.
This next image was shot at f8, ISO50, for 10 seconds.
While walking through the Audubon Bird Sanctuary, I made this 720nm IR image and then finished it up with Glamour Glow in the NIK Collection.
In the evening, I made this image and converted it to B&W
This image of a squadron of Pelicans ended up making a nice B&W
And this may be my favorite image from the shoot, an interior room in Fort Gaines, a Civil War-era military fort, made first thing in the morning.
For this one, I made use of the yellow tones coming thru the window.
So, as I said at the beginning, the Kase 720nm IR filter performed flawlessly. The filter is well-made.
This is worth mentioning, during the day while I was shooting on the dock I accidentally drop the filter. It bounced on the deck and then fell into the ocean. I recovered it and it looked like nothing had happened to it. Not the way I intended to test the filter, but it did pass with flying colors.
So, if you are considering Infrared at 720nm, I think you'll like this filter.