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The BMPCC can shoot infrared
  • Hello everyone. I just want to share that the black magic pocket cinema camera is capable of shooting in infrared. The IR cut filter on the camera is pretty weak and I was able to shoot in broad daylight with an 89B filter attached to several lenses (Sigma 18-35mm f1.8; Panasonic 14-42mm OS kit lens wide open). You can use 360 shutter angle and shoot even at ASA 200 depending on the scenery. Please see below for a few sample shots (beginning at 3:21). I plan to do more shooting in the future, but the IR looks great when converted to BW.

  • 12 Replies sorted by
  • This one, too, was shot on a Blackmagic Pocket and (in about 50% of the shots) an 89 IR filter:

  • Looks great - I like this look!

  • That's great, I'm actually waiting on 3 different strength IR filters (mainly for stills) and was going to try this on a Nikon Speedbooster. Nice shots too : ).

    I guess it makes sense, as people have always worried about IR pollution on the Pockets so the sensitivity is there. Me, I've not really needed IR cut filters with the kind of stuff I've shot yet (not shot much on the Pockets though).

    Will be interesting to see if it works as well on the Micro Cinema cams when they ship (have 2 on backorder).

  • @jamming629, do you get any usable colour from the 89B, so that you could create false-colour IRs with grading? I've just experimented with a 760nm filter, and while I can get just enough light @ F/2.8 / ISO1600 with a Speedbooster and 360deg shutter on a sunny day, it's pretty much monochrome (well red-tinted mono, will post a sample soon).

    If a 720nm can produce some colour (as well as a bit more light), I will get one.

  • No, it doesn't, it's more or less still monochrome.

    If you want to do false color, you'll need a camera without any IR filtering and let the visible light trough as well, like on a Red with the new exchangeable OLPFs.

    If you want photographs only, the Sigma cameras are a cheap option, since you can take of the IR-blocking filter by yourself.

  • @nomad, I can get some false colour from a 760nm on my Nikon 5300. We're probably talking about different degrees of colour, but on the Nikon there is enough shade variation to create interest or to manipulate. Whereas the 760nm on the Pocket is completely mono for me (although there is no clear sky in that shot). Samples attached.

    @jamming629 can you post a 720nm sample before it was converted to B&W?

    760nm_pocket.jpg
    643 x 550 - 79K
    760nm_D5300.jpg
    574 x 534 - 83K
  • ... I guess it works on the Nikon as its IR filter is better, so the balance of visible to IR is greater (and needs longer exposure). That's why a weaker IR like 720/680nm may give some colour to the Pocket.

  • Problem is, no IR-passing filter will let through much in the blue or even the green channel, you'll still mainly expose red. A mix of IR and the other two channels active is more interesting for false color.

    Try to grab a Sigma (they come cheap second-hand), take out the filter and you'll see what I mean.

  • Makes sense, but I'd like to get the Nikon result on the BMPCC (in 3D : )). But it's not looking good, others (see http://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=26457 Thomas Thiele) have tried filters down to 620nm and still (apparently) only got pretty much mono. If anyone has any unprocessed grabs of 720nm or lower filters, eg. from a 89B or Hoya R72, please post.

    I'm actually expecting two BMMCC's, will be interesting if anything has changed there IR-wise.

  • Just to update, I now have 720nm filters and they also don't produce any pseudo colour on the BMPCC. However they shorten the exposure time so the quality goes up.

    The poster I linked above found that 715nm gave him the best IR pictures with the lowest exposure, obviously it depends on the exact rolloff curve of each filter, but ~720nm seems to be the Pocket's IR sweet spot.

  • About 720nm is the sweet spot of all CMOS sensors, AFAIK. It works best for me not only on the BMPCC, but on Sigma and Red (IR-enabled version) too.

  • Micro Cine is also mono (Hoya R72):

    bmmcc_HoyaR72 (720nm IR).jpg
    640 x 360 - 115K