I'd been using my first DSLR for a while when I stumbled across some images of Infra Red photography and was amazed by the strange perspective it gave of the world. There were 2 routes I could take to start producing shots in IR, first I could dismantle my camera and remove the IR cut filter or use an R72 filter on the front of the lens.
Conversion is a permanent option so I bought the lens filter and I have been delighted with the results.
The filter is a very, very dark red which blocks out most of the normal spectrum of visible light so when on the camera the viewfinder and LCD screen are useless. This means you have to compose the picture and set the focus before attaching the filter then carefully put the filter on making sure you don't adjust the focussing ring. With virtually all visible light now blocked from the camera sensor you need to increase exposure lengths dramically to allow sufficient IR light through to create an image. How long depends on the camera being used and how sensitive it is to IR, but as an idea on a D5000 it can be up to 20-30 seconds. Obviously this means a tripod and cable release are needed so using the filter eliminates any chance of getting shots of anything that is moving or any candid snaps of people.
Images produced are coloured red, but with a quick bit of tweaking in Photoshop to the RGB levels and a bit of finishing off in Lightroom the IR images really come to life. Many of the pictures available on the internet are of trees, grass and lakes but IR works really well in a more urban setting as well. The thing to do, as with most photographic techniques, is experiment and find what subject works for you.
To get the best out of using it you also need to set a custom white balance on the camera and be prepared for plenty of practice before the technique of IR all falls into place, but when it does work the images you can get are stunning.
A lot of my filters are made by Hoya and I've always found them to be of great quality so I have no problem in recomending the R72 to anyone looking for an inexpensive way to try IR.
When I started to get into photography late last year, I saw some IR photos and thought they looked very cool. Especially ones of snow scenes. So, early on this year, I decided to get myself a lens and try it out.
This model is for cameras with a 52mm lens and screws on to the end (check the lens to see if it has threads for this). Don't screw it on too tightly or the thread might get damaged on the camera (at least for superzooms they usually seem to be plastic).
When you switch on the camera, don't be surprised to see a blank picture on the LCD. If you are indoors, the light won't be right. They work best outdoors and when the colour settings are experiment with. To start of, try setting your camera to black and white mode. After that, experiment with the colour settings/AWB and see what looks good for you. Also use a long shutter speed as it really improves results.
While I was in Spain, I got some interesting shots of the sun in various colours. (Of course, don't look directly into it... use the LCD.)
The lens is great. Does what it is meant to and the price is good. From my research, I found that it is a good brand, too. A Japanese company, which is well known for making optical equipment.