False Color Infrared Images with the XDP Filter

MaxMax.com, the people who converted my 350D and will do my next camera, also sell filters. I’ve been testing a number of their infrared filters of late and the first one I will talk about is their unusual XDP filter.

Infrared image with the X-Nite XDP filter, straight from the camera

Infrared image with the X-Nite XDP filter, straight from the camera

With basic processing in Photoshop

With basic processing in Photoshop

With more extensive processing

With more extensive processing

The XDP filter, in a nutshell, lets you shoot false color Infrared Ektachrome-like images on a digital camera.  MaxMax is somewhat cagy about this filter, but do say on their site that it is a dual band filter, with one in the infrared around 1000nm and the other much lower (but they don’t say how much lower). From looking at the resulting histograms it is clear the filter is at least dual band.

Visible light for comparison

Visible light for comparison

What you get with this filter on an unconverted camera is an image where the bright foliage comes out red whilst everything else is in the blue-purple range. The green channel has much less exposure.

Infrared image with the X-Nite XDP filter

Exposure is about the same as that required with a Hoya R-72 filter on the same camera. So on the Olympus E-30 this is about 6 seconds, f3.2 and 100ISO whilst on the Canon 400D it is 30 seconds, f5.6 and 100ISO, which are pretty close. This is interesting, because I have found a 1000nm filter seems to need about 5-6 stops more exposure than an R-72 on the same camera body. This clearly shows the addition of another peak somewhere further down the spectrum, which I suspect is quite low in the visible blue part of the spectrum.

Infrared image with the X-Nite XDP filter

The resulting images do need some work in Photoshop and lenses prone to hotspots are likely to show them with this filter. You should use an eyepiece covering or activate the eyepiece blind.

The resulting images are quite striking. Further work can be done with channel swapping, etc, to provide whatever colors you want.

If you use this filter on a camera which has been converted to infrared with an internal filter, such as an R-72, then the result is simply to restrict the IR exposure to around the 1000nm range, giving a longer exposure and a more pronounced IR effect.

Infrared image with the X-Nite XDP filter

Infrared image with the X-Nite XDP filter

Infrared image with the X-Nite XDP filter

Infrared image with the X-Nite XDP filter

Infrared digital photography

Infrared image with the X-Nite XDP filter

Infrared photography of bushfire affected area

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  1. this is very cool stuff. Max Max did my IR conversion stuff and i am extremely happy with my results every time i use the two IR cameras they converted. Now this is something new to me and i’ll check it out. thanks. jerry

  2. I tried to find the XDP filter on the maxmax.com site but came up empty. I used this search term: xdp filter site:www.maxmax.com

  3. There is little info on this filter on their site. It is mentioned in the filter FAQ:
    maxmax.com/aXNiteFAQ.htm
    and can be ordered from the filter order page:
    maxmax.com/aXRayIRFilterOrderMain.htm

  4. There is little info on this filter on their site. It is mentioned in the filter FAQ:
    maxmax.com/aXNiteFAQ.htm
    and can be ordered from the filter order page:
    maxmax.com/aXRayIRFilterOrderMain.htm