Experimenting with the B+W 093 infrared filter

Since I am shooting more and more infrared images these days, I thought to test the B+W 093 filter. It’s a much stronger filter the 092 since it blocks the entire visible spectrum and it looks completely opaque.

(a very important note here, you should never look at the sun through an infrared filter, you will probably don’t see anything through it, but since IR light passes through it it’s extremely dangerous for your eyes !!!)

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(Leica M8, Voigtlander Super Wide Heliar 15mm f4.5, B+W 093 filter)

I didn’t really had the time to take good images, but just tried a few shots to see how the 093 filter renders sceneries. It has a much stronger IR effect than the 092 and since all visible spectrum is blocked, you can’t produce “false color” IR photos, just black and white.

More dramatic and a pure looking infrared look will come out of this filter, but there is a disadvantage over the 092. Even on the Leica M8, handheld shooting is very difficult. In bright sunlight I got shutter speeds of about 1/8 at ISO 320, while with the 092 I could shoot at 1/24 at ISO 160 (at f/5.6 aperture).That means that in order to fully take advantage of this filter and produce sharp images able to printed large, you should use a tripod.

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(Leica M8, Voigtlander Super Wide Heliar 15mm f4.5, B+W 093 filter)

If there’s wind, you will not be able to capture a clear image of trees, since leaves movement will cause them to appear blurry. Due to the focus shift of the IR light and the fact that I want large depth of field, even with my 15mm and 21mm wide angle lenses I will choose an aperture of about f/5.6 and smaller, so it takes more caution and good weather conditions to achieve maximum quality. For more static subjects, like landscapes (with trees on a certain distance), fields, architecture this filter will work fine. I chose a 52mm size 093 filter to fit my Voigtlander 15mm, since I am thinking of doing wide angle images, like buildings with specific textures. If you also want to keep the option of “false color” IR, the 092 would be a more convenient choice.

That’s all for today, I will try to shoot a few more images with the 093 filter during the next days and upload the results.

(c)2012 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

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