Leica M8 plus Leitz IR Filter

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by carbon_dragon, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. The following pictures show what I got when I tried taking IR pictures with the M8 on a tripod with the Leitz IR filter. The lenses were the Voigtlander 25/4 non RFC and the Leica 35/2 ASPH. I'm reasonably satisfied with the results, but I'd like some comment -- both suggestions for getting more of an IR look, and anything else you'd like to offer. Thanks.
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  8. these look excellent to me. Here are some of mine with M8, Hoya R72, Tungsten WB (all JPGs), using a 35/1.4 pre asph lux, and a canon 28/2.8:
  9. I like them, but the trick with this stuff is simplicity. WE don't quite get the drama here that we get with Kodak HIE. We don't get the halation effect either, and I like that effect. But HIE is tough to use too and discontinued. I still have some in the freezer and a light meter calibrated for it, but not sure when I'll use it now.
  10. Nice IR photos, both. The effect seems a bit like the Konica 750nm film, available up to 3 or 4 years ago. Personally I find the HIE too overblown in IR effect and very grainy (in big blow-ups), whereas the Konica film gave a nice effect and had less grain. It suits some images but not all.
    Worthwhile perhaps to try different IR filters on the Leica M8, as that can vary the effect a bit. I am not too sure what the nm cut-off is with the minimal Leica sensor IR blocking, but clearly the Leica is a good IR camera as it passes a lot of the IR radiation.
  11. I think deciduous foliage (in season) would add more to the effect.
  12. I agree. Winter is entirely the wrong season for this, but this is the season I have now. I'll try it with both spring and fall and see what the results are then. I also will try some other filtering to see if more heavy duty IR filters give you a higher effect, but I've had this IR filter for years and never really used it much so I wanted to give it a try. Wish I knew what the characteristics of this thing are, but nobody seems to know.
  13. David I've been using the Leitz IR filter for years both with film and on my M8. From what I could find on the filter it appears to render IR in the 1200 nanometer range. You can compare that to the B+W IR filters that list the nanometer range they are effective in. The Leitz filter, on the M8 gives what I call a hybrid IR look that I really like because it tends more towards a true B&W look with a little IR mixed in. I also use a Hoya IR 72 on my 21 Elmarit and really like the look of that as well. To get an IR look like HIE the only combo I've found so far is a Lee IR gel I cut to fit in the shade/holder on my 35 Lux and that gives the grainy, halated look that HIE has. Don't limit yourself to scenics and landscapes, one of the first things I did with my M8 IR combo was go to a county fair and the images were published in LFI. I also went to a cemetery at night during the Day of the Dead in Oaxaca, Mexico and did some photos. One of the pics is now on the Photo Story page of LFI. Have fun with the combo and experiment in PS with your images as you can change the look both in the RAW file convertor and by using Channels, Curves and histogram.
  14. I found it surprisingly hard to handle the focus shift with the M8. There is no IR mark on the lenses (even to use as a starting point) and the rear screen is hard to see in daylight and not very high in resolution. So I find myself focus bracketing. I did do some handheld exposures, but most of the exposures I did required a tripod. It's hard to believe that anything like taking pictures of a fair would be practical. Of course with wideangle lenses you get a little better depth of field, but if you switch to higher f-stops, you tend to lose the ability to handhold. It didn't help that I was in cloudy weather most of the time.
    With the original HIE film, I found you went from taking pictures of just anything because the novelty was so powerful that everything looked good, to being more selective and subtle because once the novelty wears off, you find you need good compositions that would have worked with traditional black and white to get satisfying photographs in IR too and that's good because the IR adds just a touch of additional mystery. I think it's that way here too. The M8 is like discovering a new IR film with it's own special characteristics.
    I looked at the LFI website. It's interesting but I can't see much. I don't seem even to see the current issue. I suspect it's because the browser on this computer is somewhat limited.
  15. David use hyper focal focusing, since there is no IR mark, and think outside the box when it comes to subjects for IR. I've never had to focus bracket and have found some surprising results in varying my subject matter.
  16. With the 35/2 I was focusing, then focusing a bit closer and noting the depth of field scale, then snapping the shot, then trying to use a loupe on the digital screen to see if I had a good focus. That worked reasonably well, but in the end, I decided to focus bracket too since digital film is cheap as it were. With the 25, it's a scale focusing lens, so you scale focus, try to leave a little slop, use small apertures and a tripod and that pretty much worked. But had I been hand-holding, I'd have been at 2.8 or 4 and then focus would have been a lot more critical. Once you put a heavy IR filter on the M8, you're really marginal for handholding at ISO 320. That's a lot better than most digital cameras, but it makes focus more difficult. That said, I was getting better toward the end.
    One thing that helps is that the M8 is really about ISO 200 sensitive when it says 160 and 400 when it says 320 so often I can roll the compensation to -2/3 of a stop and get what I think are good raws for photoshop.
  17. "I'm reasonably satisfied with the results, but I'd like some comment -- both suggestions for getting more of an IR look, and anything else you'd like to offer. Thanks."
    Not sure then David what it is you are seeking in this post as you seem to be reasonably happy with what you are doing as long as it is practical. If that is the case then just go have fun.
  18. Well, I'm leaving a record of the M8/IR filter combination because I looked for data on this filter for years without much success. Also, I'm by no means an expert in infrared photography, especially with the M8, so I thought I might get some tips as to how to do it better. One thing's for sure -- doing it in the spring is going to be a lot more comfortable than standing out there in the 30 degree wind was so I hope to make more attempts.
  19. Nice, not too strong effect. Has anyone used an M8-IR combination for haze reduction in landscape photo ? Examples perhaps ?

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