Fuji X100s 830nm Infrared and Long Exposures

It just keeps getting better….


Pawleys Pier, 830nm 300 seconds, f/16, ISO 200

Pawleys Pier, 830nm 300 seconds, f/16, ISO 200, 8 stops of ND with the 10 stop B+W 110 ND filter

 Normally you do not see much in the way of Long Exposure  photography in the Infrared world.  The reason is that it is necessary to use Neutral Density filters (ND) to cut down the amount of light reaching the sensor to enable very long shutter speeds.  The infrared spectrum will reduce the the effective value of any ND filter that you attach to your lens from between 20% to 30%.  Have you ever taken a photograph of a person wearing a pair of sunglasses in infrared and noticed that they are totally clear?  This is the effect that I am talking about.   The general rule is that the cheaper filters suffer much greater loss in infrared and the variable ND filters do not work well at all (yes, even the expensive Singh Ray).  

B+W 110 10 Stop ND

B+W 110 10 Stop ND

Should you desire to pursue this style of photography I strongly suggest that you purchase and use B+W ND filters which loose around 20%.  I am also told that Lee filters do not loose too much effect as well but I have not yet tested them even though I own them all.

The B+W ND filters display the ND values on the side of the ring, but the easiest way to understand them is to simply look at the 3 digit number.

  • 110 equals 10 stops
  • 106 equals 6 stops
  • 103 equals 3 stops
  • 102 equals 2 stops
  • 101 equals 1 stop
Fuji X100s

Fuji X100s

I am using the Fuji X100s for the images in this post.  It is a 16 mpix camera that is a rangefinder styled system.  I includes an internal, drop down 3 stop nd filter that actually gives about 2 stops of reduction when used in the infrared spectrum.  I had the camera recently converted via Kolari Vision, http://www.kolarivision.com to what they call the Dual Spectrum conversion.  This is where the internal UV/IR blocking filter is removed and a strong UV filter is put in its place.  This gives you the same capabilities as any Full Spectrum conversion except that it will not work with any IR or UV filter that combines multiple spectrums that include UV.  This means that the 047b in camera Faux Color or Super Blue filter and the UG1 UV/IR dual band filter will Not work.  All of the others work fine from 590nm up!

Plus you can convert the camera back to normal visible color with the addition of a filter on the lens to block UV and IR.  With the Full Spectrum filter you need to stack the B+W 486 reflective UV/IR blocking filter with the LDP http://maxmax.com  CC1 absorption filter.   With the Dual Spectrum conversion you need only add the B+W 486!

So, I have ALL of the normal IR filters sized for 49mm which is what the X100s uses including the B+W 486.  I am using the B+W 093 820nm IR filter for this camera almost 100% of the time though.

Another nice thing about the X100s is the fact that it has aperture priority mode with a shutter speed up to 30 seconds and a BULB MODE that goes up to 60 minutes!   Where the X100 really excels is the fact that is gives a count up timer in the viewfinder or on the back LCD panel for timing your bulb exposure!

The camera is so small and easy to handle that it is a pleasure to work with and as you can see, the images are stunningly sharp!

I will be posting more long exposure images here in the future and discussing the various post processing recipes with you.  Now, one last image.  Here is the same shot with only the 3 stop internal filter engaged in the X100s.  The shutter speed at ISO 200 and f/16 was 1/6 second.  Not nearly long enough to slow the water down or blur the cloud movement but it would likely work for slowing down the moving water in waterfalls!

Pawleys Pier, 830nm IR, 3 stop internal ND, 1 second, f/16, ISO 200

Pawleys Pier, 830nm IR, 3 stop internal ND, 1 second, f/16, ISO 200

If any of you all out there shooting in Infrared work in long exposures please drop me a line or comment and we can share data about the various ND failures and successes!

You can also consider signing up for one of my (along with  Jamie Davidson) Infrared/Color Workshops.  We take you to amazing locations in the South East Coastal area for world class photography and INTENSE post processing classroom training!  You will find posts here talking about each workshop as it approaches!

15 comments on “Fuji X100s 830nm Infrared and Long Exposures

  1. Pingback: Fuji X100s 830nm Infrared and Long Exposures / ...

  2. I believe one of the reasons for the sharpness of the X100s is it does not have an Optical Low Pass Filter. The lens is sweet, too, so the combination makes for some sharp images. A great camera.

    Re long exposure with infrared, I shoot it from time to time and have met with mixed success. Part of my problem is if I want to use my Nikon 12 – 24 lens, I cannot stop down beyond f5.6 without picking up a hot spot, so all my shooting is done at 5.6 which limits me right off the bat in terms of long exposure. I stack a B+W 10 stop with a 6 stop, and that helps compensate for not being able to stop the lens down to .16 or .22. I recently did that on an ocean shot, and it calmed the waters a fair amount, but not to where it looked like a lake. But, still a nice effect. On the wish list is a new wide angle lens that has no hot spot. Soon, I hope.

      • Actually, not sure if there is a perfect answer for me. As you well know, there are a lot of great lenses out there, but some just don’t work for IR, period. And others, like my 12 – 24 will work fine at certain f stops. So, I use it for what it does well, and when it falls short in certain applications, well, that’s life in IR world. I hear that the Nikon 10 – 24 supposedly does not hot spot in IR, but I haven’t been able to test one yet, nor see any shots taken with one. I also hear that that lens has a lot of CA, which I hate.

  3. Pingback: Fuji X100s 830nm Infrared and Long Exposures | Mark Hilliard › By TOMEN

  4. Pingback: miXed zone: XF 18-135, Zeiss 50mm and more | Fuji RumorsFuji Rumors

  5. Hello,
    I read on your blog that you had a few IR conversions done by Spencer’s Camera. And, I decided to give to get my brand new Sony NEX 7 camera conversion to full spectrum by Spencer’s (as he was the cheapest). I have yet to receive the camera or hear from him, although he was very prompt in replying to my emails until my camera was sent directly by the vendor and charged my CC for the conversion. Several emails sent to him have generated no response. And, I seem to be experiencing the same issues one finds all over the internet – google search for “Spencer’s Cameras complaints”. I thought I should leave a comment here so that any of your readers are aware of likely problems. I am sure many have had better experience dealing with this store, and some may have had issues with other stores as well. It’s always a good idea to search for customer complaints for the vendors, so that one is aware of likely problems, if any. By the way, I got inspired to try my hand at infra red photography after reading your blogs. I hope I receive my camera back, else its good bye to infra red photography 😦

    • Sorry to hear of your problems. The secret to getting him to reply to you is to send him a txt message to his work phone which is a cell. If you don’t hear back from him in a week send me an email and I will try to contact him for you. How long has he had your camera?

  6. Today I received an email and USPS update saying the package was picked up today and will be delivered on Apr 20. The camera was delivered to him on Apr 1. I suspect you may have already spoken to him as he seems to have shipped it on a Saturday 🙂 Thank you.

  7. Hi. Can you please elaborate?

    When you said that you had your UV/IR filter got removed from your Fuji X100s by Kolarivision.com and a strong UV pass filter got inserted – what EXACT name of the filter did they insert for you ( example was it UG1, UG11 or ??)?

    I would appreciate your response.



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