How Infrared Filters Work

What It Does

Infrared, Exploring the World Beyond Visible Light
Ever wonder how to get those otherworldly effects where leaves are white in black & white photos instead of gray? An Infrared filter is the key. These filters are specifically designed to block visible light and only allow infrared light to pass through into the lens and camera. Infrared photography yields very interesting, sometimes stunning, and creative results as objects in a scene can reflect infrared light very differently than normal light. A prime example is foliage. Leaves reflect a good mount of visible light but they reflect even more infrared light which is why they appear brighter in color infrared or while in black & white. Due to the nature of infrared light, filter factor and exposure compensation vary widely from visible light and depend largely on the lighting conditions of the scene.

How It Works

Infrared light starts in the high-red area of the visible spectrum at around 750nm and goes up beyond 1000nm. This light is not visible to the naked eye. Looking through the R72 filter it looks almost opaque because the filter is only passing light from the very high red edge of the visible spectrum and infrared light. Works well with digital cameras, especially mirrorless cameras or DSLRS with no IR blocking filter in front of the sensor. (Please check your camera's owner’s manual)

Transmission Curve Chart

This filter only passes light at 720nm (high-red) and above. Gives more predictable results than filters that only pass Infrared light above 850 or 900nm. The Hoya R72 is constructed using high-quality optical glass from Hoya mounted in a precision milled aluminum frame that provides rigidity.

Consistent quality, made in Japan

This filter can be paired with colored black and white contrast filters such as the R25 (red), K2 (yellow), O (orange) or other color filters to change the color rendition or contrast effects. Check out our latest in-depth blog about Infrared photography here