We test the Canon 5D with a Hoya R72 filter and find the image quality is stunning but exposures are long.
The Canon 5D digital SLR is a wonderful camera with a full 35mm-sized sensor and great image quality. But how does it go at IR photography?
Green Channel, 100ISO
Well, we can say two things right up front: the 5D has a very strong IR blocking filter, so the exposures are long; and that the exposure metering system is not IR blocked significantly, and so there is a large difference between what the meter says is a good exposure and what is actually required.
All images in this article were taken with the Canon EF 24-105mm F4 L IS lens.
The result of using the autoexposure system. This is the blue channel at 100ISO, 1/6 second and f4
The red channel, 100ISO, 1 second and f4
100% sections of the center of an image so you can judge image noise. Starting exposure was 15 seconds at f5.6 and 100ISO:
From these tests we can say that noise is very well controlled on this camera, despite the long exposures involved with this camera unmodified for infrared photography and that noise reduction might as well be turned off. We also noticed that mirror slap was more noticeable on this camera than on most other dSLRs we have tested lately, so one needs to use mirror lockup more on this camera than one might be used to on other cameras. This was especially in exposures of around 4 seconds duration.
This shot was taken from the green channel, 3200ISO a d 1/4 second and f4.
Another shot from the green channel, this time 15 seconds at f4 and 200ISO
Blue channel, 1 second and f5.6 at 400ISO
Green channel, 4 seconds and f5.6 at 400ISO
Green channel, 15 seconds at f5.6 and 400ISO
Green channel, 1/2 second and f5.6, 3200ISO
This is a lovely camera for infrared photography, even unmodified. Noise is low, so even high ISO settings can be used, the image size is nice and large, allowing decent sized images and the tonal handling is good.
Noise will be examined in more detail in several separate articles.