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Nikon D800 and infrared photography? I have my doubts it works


I had some single wavelength filters to test today on my D800. I read around infrared photography is still possible with D800, although all modern DSLR cameras do have UV and IR filters mounted in front of the sensor. See by yourself in the post picture: in the infrared area (above 710 nm) I do not see what I expected, i.e. white leaves due to reflected infrared light. Do you have any suggestion? Exposure times until 20 secs, ISO up to 1400, lens 50 mm f/1.4G. Did you test IR on D800 by yourself? Click below for a panel with the full pictures, sky inclusive.


Posted by lorenzoborghi on May 11, 2013
9 Comments Post a comment
  1. 05/11/2013


    Nice pics. However, I am not sure they are really infrared photos. The filter you use does cut out certain wave lengths to aspects of your image and makes them stand out. However, is not infrared imaging also have to do with thermal imaging.

    I would suggest that the heat sources you are trying to bring forth are not as pronounce as they might be. I am not sure if it is your filter or setting, because I am not a photographer, so unfortunately I cannot help that way.

    I can suggest using the same filters in a dark room. Light a candle then blow it out. See what the filters do to the image….it should make the top of the candle glow if the infrared filters are correct. Just a thought.


    • 05/12/2013

      Thanks Jim for your comment. Light for “infrared” photography is commonly assumed above 710/720 nm. We are in the “far red”, light usually the human eye cannot detect. DSLR camera can detect from UV to IR, but they are usually filtered out by filters mounted in front of the detectors to avoid photo aberrations. Plants do reflect “far red” light and this is the kind of light I should be able to shoot with a 710 nm filter. However, if the Nikon inner filter mounted in front of the detector cuts off most of the IR light, it is probably not possible to do infrared photography with the D800. Or it does require extremely long expositions to accumulate the few IR photons that go through the filter. About thermal photography I think the wavelengths from a blown candle are even higher, maybe above 800/850 nm – I will give a try! Have a nice week end!

      • 05/12/2013


        Thanks for the excellent response. It is interesting how cameras have evolved and how much detail can be gleaned from one picture. Thanks again.


  2. 05/19/2013

    FYI: Here is the information I received from Spencers Camera in Utah:

    “Thank you for contacting us. We have converted more than a dozen Nikon D800 cameras to IR with great success. We are the only conversion provider that has access to authorized Nikon calibration software enabling us to produce very sharp auto focus after the conversion has been performed. The D800 imaging sensor is very sensitive to IR (into the 1300nm range). Our D800 customers are very happy with the results. Please let us know if you have any other questions or if we can be of service.

    Thank you,

    Clarence Spencer

    Spencer’s Camera & Photo
    696 Grove Drive
    Alpine, UT 84004

    • 05/19/2013

      Thanks for sharing Leping Zha. Although I will not go through conversion “just for” IR photography, maybe somebody else might find this option interesting.

  3. 11/7/2013

    Some D800-IR examples in Lloyd Chamber’s web blogs:

    • 12/8/2013

      Oh yeah, IR worked on D800 with a long pass IR filter and not with a single wavelength filter, the one I first tested. Thanks for linking it 😉


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