Anyone tried the Chinese IR filters

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by bluedog, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. bluedog

    bluedog Member

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    I am looking to try some infra red photography and have found that the price of a reputable 77mm R72 filter is around $300. Chinese ones are only around $30. I suspect that image quality will suffer with the cheap filter. Just wondered if anyone has tried them and what sort of results you got.
    Any comments appreciated.
     
  2. Maris

    Maris Member

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    Yes, I have the Chinese IR680 and IR720 filters in the 77mm size. The price is great and so far the optical quality looks fine.

    Because I could see (sort of very faintly) through these filters when inspecting a sunlit landscape I though they may be useful with ordinary panchromatic film as well as IR film. Preliminary results on Fomapan 200 with the IR680 filter indicate a sunny day exposure of 8 minutes at f5.6 yields a rich negative. The IR720 filter also seems to need 8 minutes at f5.6. Is this because Fomapan 200 reaches into the IR or do the Chinese filters leak too much visible?

    More experiments need doing!
     
  3. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    I haven't used them. I buy sheets of optically plane IR filter plastic from Edmund Scientific and cut it on my bandsaw. It has worked beautifully for me. They've changed their catalog, but I think this is it:

    http://www.edmundoptics.com/onlinecatalog/displayproduct.cfm?productID=1918

    They are not as severe as the "real" IR filters, but I prefer less severe images. I like to have a bit of visible light record. This stuff is perfect for that; a really inviting kind of image, and the price is better than the Chinese ones, by far.
     
  4. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    If you find the Edmund filters interesting -- In the above, I forgot to mention that this filter material is extremely hard. I tried to score it and snap it. Don't do that! Flying shards went all over the place. I cut them with a bandsaw, paper rubber cemented to both sides, with the desired shape drawn.

    Also, it is not advisable to keep them where they are in UV light when not in use.

    They also make red, green, and blue filters in the same material. All are extremely tough and durable.
     
  5. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I have a no-name R72 clone (about $50 for 77mm in 2006 on eBay), works beautifully. No softness issues unlike with my nasty generic CPL. It's uncoated as far as I know.
     
  6. DramaKing

    DramaKing Member

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    I've got a 49mm 720nm filter that gives great results. I got if off eBay from a Chinese dealer for $20. I don't have a genuine R72 filter to compare it to, but I think the quality isn't much worse, certainly not in the light-blocking ability. You might, however, want to take extra measures to avoid flare.
     
  7. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    hey bowzart,

    is the red, green and blue filters similar to the types of filters that photographers usually use? like the red 25a, standard green, standard blue filters? or are they the filters used for color separations work, like the RED 25, non-a?

    I'm not technical at all, and the whole wavelength chart thingie doesn't work for me, but since I'm a student, the costs of these 4"x5" filters are a great savings over traditional screw-in filters. I'm looking to get a LEE filter holder, so to use the 4x5" on the screw-in adapter eventually. along with ND-grads(for color/bw work).

    thanks and merry christmas!

    -Dan
     
  8. cmo

    cmo Member

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    If you want a cheap IR filter a Cokin "P" series filter costs ca. 50 US Dollars. Quality is very good.

    (Yes, I do have a tendency to ignore chinese products...)
     
  9. Prest_400

    Prest_400 Member

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    I wonder about ND filters. I've wanted to have a ND grad (screw mount) and nothing but Chinese is available below 20$; At least in 49mm size.
    Common colored filters (81A, K2, etc) can be found used at a decent price being hoya, for example. But used screw mount ND grads seem to be hard to find.
    Sometimes I forget about it, because I've got a good CPL. Polarizers darken the sky reducing contrast, but, not always.
    The worst of that, is that one of these cheapies may give horrible flaring and ghosting and a wonderful color cast in the ND area. And, using them in a sunset with sun there, better not.
     
  10. Raphael

    Raphael Subscriber

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    Yes, I do

    Hi folks,

    I bought a set of these famous cheap IR filters a few month ago, principally because the seller was one of the rarest to provide an R72-like in the 43mm filter size ( for my rangefinder lens).

    I m rather satisfied by theses products, they are "honestly" and cleanly builded.

    Here are two shots taken with the 52mm R72 IR filter, with a Fuji GSW645 camera, on Ilford SFX200 120 film. The embedded Fujinon 45 mm lens is a sharp one, and I don't think the filter affect too much the overall image quality, given we are talking about an IR film (fluffy grain :smile:).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Happy new years to all Apugers :smile:


    P.S : I had to mention theses pictures are *prints* scans, so there is a quality loss.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2009
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Just FYI, you can say the same thing about a Hoya R72. You can see the extremes of light and dark through them, especially if you block out all extraneous light and let your eyes adjust. Skies go black, making clouds pop, and grass and trees appear light.

    Any exposure of a panchromatic film with these filters in place means one of two things (or both):

    1. The filter is not doing its job of cutting off certain wavelengths at 100% (and few filters do). Some light that should theoretically be blocked is making it through. In long enough exposures, this may be enough to actually give the film some density, as you have experienced.

    2. The film is responding mildly to wavelengths beyond its stated spectral sensitivity, which stacks up in a long exposure.

    Number one seems far more likely to me...but I suppose there might be a possibility of number two happening, for some odd reason of which I am not aware.

    To the OP, there is a 4x4 Lee #87C gel filter from Freestyle for about $30. The filter cuts off at 775 nM instead of 720 nM like the R72, so aside from the aforementioned "leakage" it would not work with Ilford SFX, but would be fine with IR820C, Rollei IR, or HIE (if you still have any). If you don't want to go the whole route of getting a square filter holder and what not, you could cut this into a 77mm diameter and pop it on top of a clear filter, or remove the glass and replace it with the gel filter.

    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/5331007-Lee-4x4-Filter-for-Gel-Snap-Infrared-87C-100x100mm-Opaque
     
  12. thracian

    thracian Member

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    I'm personally are using only Chinese filters like: UV, CPL, Soft Focus, Infrared.
    Because i spend all my money in cameras, lenses, not in filters.
    Look for personal use like hobby this filters do this job great, but for professional use you must buy better filters like Hoya.
    I have publish one photo created using cheap chinese IR720 filter, here:
    http://xr-photo.blogspot.com/2010/01/unreal-forest-wide-wallpaper.html
     
  13. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Thanks for the example.

    What I would like to see is the Chinese-made filter compared to a Hoya filter.