Fujifilm X-Pro 2 IR Photography

If you’re an original Fujifilm X fan like me, than you’re probably aware of how IR sensitive their cameras can be. They aren’t quite full spectrum cameras, but you can capture some unique shots with just a large R72 infrared filter and step down/up rings like I did the other day at Morikami.

The last time I shot an IR photo was with my original launch Fujifilm X-Pro 1 after reading an article about how some sensors can be more IR sensitive than others. At that time, I used my Fujinon XF 35mm F1.4 R to take some sunny and rainy day photos as an experiment to see how capturing just IR light could be used creatively. After my experiments, I quickly moved onto other forms of photography and never really found the time to give IR a try again, until the other day when I was curious to see if my Fujifilm X-Pro 2 was as IR sensitive as my original X-Pro 1.

To my delight, the X-Pro 2 was able to easily capture IR photos at speeds that most photographers can easily hand-hold without having to raise the ISO much. The X-Pro 2 also continued focus accurately and quickly throughout my day shooting IR with my Fujinon XF35mm F2 R WR and Fujinon XF56mmF1.2 R attached.

Shooting IR can be a little strange at first because the images appear red or brown before being white-balanced with something green, which makes much of your image white with a hint of colors like purple on various plants. If you try to open up the raw files from a white starting point like I did, you will find that the brown/red tint begins to return; but it can also make other aspects of the photos stand out, which is why I gave it a try. There really is no right way to process IR files because it’s more of an art than an exact science, but many people will convert IR photos to black and white to get a unique rendering.

I created two albums on 500PX so that you can see what I did with the RAW files the X-Pro 2 produced with a R72 IR filter attached, and what they can look like when converted to B&W, which is common. You can see the IR album here and the B&W album here but, since I have become a big fan of Fujifilm ACROS, I decided that the most unique result I could come up with would be Fujifilm ACROS IR photos. Hopefully you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed creating them and check the albums in the future because I hope to add some long exposure shots in IR at some point in the future.


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  • Steve Matko

    You are not really getting a true infrared effect with a camera that still has the IR blocking filter installed. The filter merely gives you a tinted image that does not look any different from filter options in PS. In any case one needs to be able to WB before any shooting and the sun needs to be out or everything will look very flat. Sun, Cumulus clouds, green vegetation and shadow zones are a good mix.
    In the case of my X-T1, the WB procedure by Fuji just sucks compared to Panasonic’s way. You need a White Card and lots of light to avoid the stupid “Under” warning. My Panasonic GX1 balances perfectly against Grey/White cards, my hand or some green vegetation or the sky if I choose so. Not so the Fuji. Maybe the X-T1 IR behaves differently but I don’t know. I hope they will change the WB procedure with a future Firmware update.

    • That’s simply not true. Fujifilm has produced IR sensitive cameras since the X100 http://infraedd.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/cameras-fuji-x100-hoya-r72-filter.html

      You can’t see through an IR filter, but your camera can if it is IR sensitive. Some cameras completely block IR, while others let enough in that you can capture IR images without modifying your camera. What you’re talking about is a full spectrum camera, which I briefly mention. Pictures out of this kind of camera get a little bit more detail from IR light and do not have to bump up the ISO as much, but most people will never own one.
      As for WB I did use a white card and green grass, but when I manipulated image a little it brings back the uncorrected WB look to varying degrees.

      These are 100% IR images and even if my camera was converted to a full spectrum camera it would be prone to lose white balance under manipulation. This camera will white balance fine with a card or grass.

      • Steve Matko

        Yes I have a full-spectrum IR GX1. And the result, no matter which of the three filters (590,665,830) I use are rather spectacular, compared to the flat shots I get from the X-T1.
        And I do not loose my Custom WB when I edit my IR shots in Aperture, unless I touch the WB in the software. That’s an Adobe problem, and others. The images look exactly like I shot them (without any pink or purple tint) then I enhance them. There are articles that show how to preserve WB for IR shots. (http://tinyurl.com/jlnq39u)
        Despite what you may think, slapping a IR-Pass filter onto a lens will not let one more ray of IR get through to your sensor if the Hot-Mirror assembly is still in front of it. It merely shifts the light spectrum away from the ‘visible’ to the IR spectrum of your filter, which results in a mixed bag of colors,
        Any image you show in your article can be achieved in PS doing a fake IR.
        If you really want to have fun with IR, a full-spectrum conversion is the way to go.

        • Still not accurate… There are IR filters and IR cut filters. The R72 blocks all but IR light from getting through to the sensor. http://www.hoyafilter.com/hoya/products/specialeffectsfilters/infraredr72rm90/ if you’re using a camera that has the IR block removed then you still need a filter like this otherwise you will have color photos with color shift.

          IR will come up as B&W when white balanced, but playing with it to make the image stand out more will cause a shift even though white balance doesn’t move. Also not everything reflects in B&W in IR photos so it’s normal to see pink and purple. It really depends on the plant/foliage.

          The only cameras that shoot in just IR out there are cameras that have the IR block replaced with a filter like the R72 on the sensor.

          • Steve Matko

            I guess in the end it only matters if one is satisfied with the outcome and the range one can tweak the IR image. I have done this extensively and I do not like what I see when people slap an IR-Pass filter on their non-converted cameras. I have done so myself, and think it is a waste of time. No matter if there is a little bit of IR passing through on these cameras.
            You can check out my IR Album on Flickr under Mikofox.

          • I know exactly how this whole process works. IR is FALSE color since we can’t see it. The major difference between a full spectrum camera and a camera that is IR sensitive is how far up into the IR spectrum it can reach. Most of the time, this only slightly changes the photos, but sometimes, it changes them a lot, depending on how you play with the image. Cameras that see from Ultraviolet to Infrared are often used in science to determine things that are invisible to the naked eye, and this is done through color manipulation.

            The R72 filter stops anything below IR from entering the camera, but the camera will have limited to no sensitivity with this kind of filter attached, without removing the IR block. You mentioned color shift, but there really is no color to begin with, and the only valid argument in that area is the old adage of every piece of glass in front of the sensor distorts the light entering the sensor. I have been looking into IR sensitivity since the first digital Leica was criticized for having false color from being overly IR sensitive. I have owned the M8-M240 without feeling it was a problem, but when the public realization was made, the problem was considered so bad by some that they would not use their camera without an external IR blocking filter attached. Hell, for a while, Leica was giving filters out with the camera, and it made Leica go back to blocking more IR with each successive camera.

            High levels of digital sensor IR sensitivity largely began around the time Leica/Kodak started tinkering with sensors for sharpness. I would say any camera that can shoot at 400-800 ISO and 1/30 around noon is very IR sensitive, while cameras that require their ISO to be bumped up to 3200 and beyond are not. Many of my noonish pictures are within this realm, but as the day went on or light became limited, the ISO did climb. A camera with higher sensitivity or the IR block removed would not perform this way because you would have plenty of shutter speed to use before having to raise the ISO above base ISO at noon.

            No matter… You have some beautiful photos on your flickr, and of course, you’re going to have more spectrum to manipulate than I do with a full spectrum IR converted camera, but you’re still dealing with the same false colors that I have to work with. It’s all in how you edit your files, and someone that has studied IR with the intent of finding an IR sensitive camera to shoot, will better understand the performance of a camera from limited processing, which is ultimately my goal. I don’t post a lot of highly processed files on the web because I’m largely trying to demonstrate potential or a starting point rather than showing finished “Art.”

            This discussion eventually leads into the subjective and objective nature of art, but my writing never covers this because I respect all forms of photography that go beyond point and shoot snapshots.

          • Steve Matko

            Actually I agree with your last comment completely and thank you for your technical input. Just from my own tinkering with IR I prefer the output and WBalancing of my full-spectrum, albeit less sharp, less professional GX1 over that of my X-T1 any day. But I’ll give it a few more tries and see if I can post-process the Fuji files to look less flat. I do treat my IR photography as an art, so some images may look overdone to some or even myself.

  • nwcs

    The only thing I don’t like about using Fuji for IR is that there are even fewer red photosites on the sensor than a typical bayer. So you’re resolution is going to be rather poor. The near infrared (720nm) makes up for it a tiny but since the other photosites get some info but that is one place where a luminence only sensor will shine.

    • I think I have a few very sharp photos in my albums, but I definitely see a difference shooting IR when the ISO climbs. I would like to try the IR X-Pro 1 that Fujifilm made for law enforcement at Morikami.

      • nwcs

        I wonder if it’s like the X-T1 IR where they changed the cut-off filter or if it’s one where all the photosites can get the IR energy?

        • My understanding is that the camera has had the IR block removed and replaced with a filter to screen out below 700nm light. It’s why I would like to try one.