One more post with infrared photos taken with the Fuji X100 and Hoya R72 IR filter. This time, I decided to raise ISO settings in order to be able to shoot handheld with the IR filter. Using f/2.8 and ISO settings from 2000 to 3200 I was able to get shutter speeds of 1/30 which allowed me to shoot without the tripod. My Leica M8 can shoot at 1/30 speeds at f/4 and ISO 160 due to the weak IR filter in the camera. Still, the high ISO performance of the Fuji is very good (miles ahead from the M8), so despite the fact that you get noise, it can produce good handheld IR photos for web publishing. For large prints, I will try to not exceed ISO 400, which means that shutter speeds are low and besides the need for a tripod, there can be blur on moving objects, like tree leaves for example.
The image above was shot from my car, and it was a very fast capture. I could not get out from my car, since the birds would fly away, but I am happy I could get this image even at ISO 2000. Short depth of field is due to the f/2.5 aperture.
This is how the image comes out for the camera, using custom White Balance.
Shot wide open at f/2, using auto focus was quite successful. With the Leica M8 making a short Dof photo like the ones above is really a hit and miss effort. It requires focus bracketing, and most of the time I avoid it.
This was taken on a tripod with ISO 200 at f5/.6,so exposure was long (2 seconds). With base ISO setting, the X100 can produce a very clean infrared image and I have been able to produce great prints at 60cm x 40cm sizes, not bad for a 12 megapixels camera !
So, will I replace my M8 with the X100 for IR images ? Well, obviously not. To be honest, I would like very much to use the X100 for all my IR work, its very suitable for me to carry only one camera, but the M8 can do false colour IR, can be used handheld at base ISO, and its far more sensitive to infrared light than the Fuji (don’t forget that this was actually a design flaw !). The X100 is a much more versatile camera than the Leica and if I am not doing IR work, I will almost always take the X100 with me when I just want to have a small camera with me. It’s a superb camera even for today’s standards !
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