Infrared with the Fujifilm X-T1 and 35mm

I typically limit using an infrared filter to the winter season. While I like the blackened skies and crisp and contrasty whites and grays of infrared, I find the green => white rendering of foliage a forced distraction. Winter allows shooting infrared and producing very dramatic, but still natural looking, B&W images. Spring and summer infrared looks unnatural.    

But perhaps that is the point. Over the past week I re-discovered infrared and embraced the unnatural, dream-like quality of the images it produces. 

House in Pawtuxet Village framed by "frosted" foliage
I used to own micro-four thirds cameras and lenses and shot with an infrared filter. I found the blackened viewfinder, manual focusing, and long exposures technically exhilarating and, at the same time, a hassle. To make the process easier, I sent a Panasonic GX1 to for infrared conversion. However, after I had the camera converted, the process perhaps became too easy, and once the novelty of an infrared converted camera wore off, I stopped using it. Eventually I sold the converted GX1, along with all my other micro fourth thirds gear. 

Last week I discovered the Fujifilm X-T1 is a joy to use for infrared. Even with the severe light reduction caused by the mounted infrared filter, the X-T1's viewfinder adjusted and did not blacken out. Even with the light shift to the infrared spectrum, the Fuji still locked focus. In other words, I could look through the viewfinder and auto-focus as normal. I also set the camera to shoot in jpeg using the B&W(R) film simulation so I had a "what you see is what you get" preview of the infrared image the camera produced. 

I used the XF 35mm f/1.4. The 35mm is known for its extreme sharpness and the infrared filter, even my cheap Opteka, does not change this. Additionally the 35mm is "infrared ready" and displays no circular bright areas, or hotspots. With an infrared filter mounted, the exposures are quite a but slower so I used a compact Sirui travel tripod and an electronic remote release to complete my infrared package.

Stillhouse Cove, Cranston RI
Reeds at Stillhouse Cove with Providence in the distance
Ducks in Pawtuxet Cove
Cogshell Tower and rocks at Jenks Park in Central Falls, Rhode Island.
Central Falls City Hall


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