Nikon D300 Infrared Photography Tests

DIMi takes the D300 digital camera out to shoot infrared landscape images and we see how it goes.
As you know by now, I love infrared photography. So we make sure we put every camera that comes through here for testing through an infrared test. This time we had three cameras with us, the Nikon D300 being one of them.

I must say that the D300 is a simply lovely camera and is almost enough to make this little Canon user consider switching. It handles brilliantly and the images are, straight from the camera, simply stunning. But how does it handle IR?

As is usual for our tests we used a Hoya R72 filter and a solid Manfrotto tripod.

An image from the red channel and a 100% section from the middle of the image.
Another image from the red channel and a 100% section from the middle of the image.

Nikon D300 digital camera infrared tests

We started off with trying to zero in on the correct exposure. So we started at 100ISO, f2.8 and 4 seconds.
Nikon D300 digital camera infrared tests
This is clearly under exposed.

Nikon D300 digital camera infrared tests
Going to 8 seconds get all the channels off the underexposure blockup point, and so you could work with this image but to minimize noise we want the histogram humps up the top of the histogram.

Nikon D300 digital camera infrared tests
15 seconds is about right for the red channel if we are converting to monochrome from a single chanel.

Nikon D300 digital camera infrared tests
Going to 30 seconds is over exposure for the red channel, but is still a bit low for the green and blue.

From these I have prepared the best image I can from the green and from the red channel. There is not much to pick between them.

Nikon D300 digital camera infrared tests

Nikon D300 digital camera infrared tests

The shots below were taken on another day at another location in stronger light.

This is the exposure that gives the best red channel: original and after mono conversion from red channel and then levels.

Nikon D300 digital camera infrared tests

Nikon D300 digital camera infrared tests

This is the exposure that gives the best green channel: original and after mono conversion from green channel and then levels.

Nikon D300 digital camera infrared tests

Nikon D300 digital camera infrared tests

This is the exposure that gives the best blue channel: original and after mono conversion from blue channel and then levels.

Nikon D300 digital camera infrared tests

Nikon D300 digital camera infrared tests

Interesting note: The AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED we have been using exhibits a subtle hotspot, but only in the blue channel.

If you are in the US and want to buy a Nikon D300 I can recommend B&H Photo in NY.

Leave a Reply

  1. Hi, is it possible to take IR photos wit nikon d3000 and if yes will be same effect as nikon d300? please help

    • I haven’t tried it but I am sure you can because I have not found a digital you could not.

      Try a Hoya R-72 filter, 15seconds, f4 and 100ISO and see how the image looks.

  2. hi~
    sorry for asking a question 2 years later …: ) I’m about to buy a d300s (maybe a 2nd hand d300). And i’m looking forward on IR shots, do I need to modify anything on my d300 for IR picture?
    Thank you

    • You have the choice of either modifying the camera or not. Leaving the camera normal lets you use it for color and then put a Hoya R-72 or similar filter on the lens for infrared. Your exposures will be long (30 sec) so you’ll have to use a tripod but it works brilliantly so long as you enjoy blur of moving objects. If you modify the camera by having the IR filter fitted internally then the camera can only be used for infrared. You get nice, short exposures though and can shoot IR with flash, etc. Which to depends depends on how into infrared you are.

  3. Thanks for the sample photos.

    I have a D300 and the 72 filter. Questions:
    What is best ISO to use? I saw you were using 100.
    Any wisdom of focus and Framing? Like do it before you put on the filter or aim and shoot?

    I am bringing my 1st IR shots into Photoshop CS4 tonight. Any words of wisdom?

    loved your shots. Thanks again
    Dunc