Infrared Photography with an Unconverted Nikon D7200…
This tutorial is for people who have been scouring the internet to find out if their Nikon D7200 can take infrared photos and how. Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any likes, broken cameras, over edited HDR photos, and or passing relationships achieved by using the following methods.
Like many people who own a D7k and are looking to get into infrared, I searched high and low to find out if infrared photography was possible with my unmodified D7200. What I found? Nothing. There is almost no discussion concerning how or if it is possible to use a D7200 for infrared photography. The bits and pieces that I found usually involved what seemed like a know-it-all ProTaug™ proclaiming that “all new cameras have ir filters that are too strong”, suggesting that you are much better off getting an older model camera and modifying it. Now, while it is true that it might be a good route to take, it is certainly not true that it is impossible to do this without modifying your D7200. I will be going through my brief experience with taking infrared photos using a infrared filter and my Nikon D7200.
Huh? Chapter Five? Yea Chapter Five… Chapter Two, Three, & Four, consist of your prior knowledge on how cameras work. So from here on out, you know about Lightroom, basic camera configurations (Aperture, Shutter-speed, ISO), and how to screw a filter on your lens.
I used a HOYA Infrared (R72) screw on filter. The quick on this filter is that it filters out most normal (non-infrared) light, while letting through infrared light in order to create an infrared image.
Now, I’m assuming you came here because you are interested in taking infrared photos with a D7000, D7100,or D7200, and know how awesome it can be. So please remember that using other cameras with these methods might not work.
You might be saying to yourself, wait, I thought we were doing chapters. Well… this ain’t no book! ;)
Step 1: frfr
So this is going to be familiar to anyone who has used an nd filter for long exposures. With this setup you are going to have to use a tripod (due to long exposure times), compose and focus with the filter off. Now, I have seen that some people are saying they can achieve focus with the filter on. For the sake of the internet, let’s just say they are crazy. The filter is incredibly dark by nature (hence the need for long exposures) and it will be quite a struggle to focus with it on. After you achieve focus, make sure to carefully screw on the IR filter to avoid moving the camera which will almost certainly cause your camera to lose its focus.
Step 2: Taking the picture
On a sunny day this is my go to config., 30sec , f8, ISO 200. It’s always best to use the lowest ISO as you want to avoid any unnecessary grain. Now don’t be scared, your first image may come out extremely dark, if not black (if it came out black, you need to get more light on that sensor…adjust your setting accordingly). Below is a sample of one of the first images I took which were underexposed.
Too Dark? No problem, you can boost the ISO to 400+, take a longer exposure, or open up your aperture. If you do open up your aperture, make sure what you want in focus, is indeed still in focus(due to your smaller depth of field). Take your time, until you get something that looks closer to this…
This might look blown-out to the average ProTaug™, but I assure you this is what you’re looking for… or at the least what I am looking for out of a unconverted D7200. This is definitely not the best photo, the bush on the right is totally out of focus due to its movement with the wind during the long exposure, but that’s not our focus ;) right now. I’m looking for that white foliage that comes with infrared photography.
Part 3: A.K.A Step 3
OK, we took the picture, now what? Well now it gets processed.
There’s some things we have to do before the edit. First we have to create a custom white-balance profile that we can apply for any IR photos processed in the future. The reason being, Lightroom’s white-balance controls are too limited in terms of range.
1. Download Adobe DNG Profile Editor: Here’s the link for my Windows peeps… https://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/product.jsp?product=195&platform=Windows
2. Mac dudes… search it out.
3. Once you’re ready to go, open up DNG Profile Editor… Load up any old *.DNG and then we are gonna click the “Color Matrices” tab…
and slide the Temperature slide, all the way to the left.
After your done sliding, go to File, and select “Export D7*** Profile” giving it an appropriate file name. These are the directories to save this profile to:
For Mac: /Library/Application Support/Adobe/CameraRaw/CameraProfiles
in order for the profile to show up in Adobe Lightroom.
4. Now we can pull up the photo we want to edit in Lightroom.
5. Apply the new customized white-balance profile…
Once you do, your IR photo should look much more defined with an orange-ish hue.
You will notice that the telltale “white foliage”, is more apparent.
5. Well, this step is up to you. You can squeeze artificial color by messing with temperatures and other settings, export to your fave filter machine (Nik Collection), or take it black and white and really play with tones and detail…
This is what I would do with it:
Go crazy, have fun!
This guide is less of a guide, and more of an answer to the question “Can I use my Nikon D7200 for infrared photography without modifying it?”. That’s a YES. I skimmed through it, so if you happen to be looking for minute details, you can basically follow other guides out there to supplement what you have here. One thing that I found, was that there were absolutely no sample RAW files for people to at least play with and see how it’s done… I’m here to end that. Below are multiple RAW files all taken with a D7200 and that HOYA IR filter I mentioned, so have at it! Obviously you can’t sell them… but I’m all for learning, so download away!
//EDIT: Forgot to mention that all of these shots were taken with a Sigma 17–70mm Contemporary lens.
Best Wishes! Stay Creative!
- Ariel Ruff