Revisiting The 047 Filter: In Camera Faux Color!

More Tiffen 047 Infrared Filter Experiments!


Tiffen 047 Tri Band Filter

I am going to revisit the Tiffen 047  and 047B filters.  This is a very nice filter to keep in your camera bag as they enable IN CAMERA FAUX Infrared images as long as you follow a few simple rules!  They only have a 4 stop hit on exposure and work quite well with the camera hand held!  The only requirement is that the camera MUST be a Full Spectrum conversion, no other will work with this filter.

What do I mean with the term IN CAMERA FAUX images?  Well, typically when we create a Faux Color Infrared image, we do so by swapping the Red and Blue color channels.  Then we adjust the hue of the reds and blues to get the tonality that we desire.  This is a pretty easy process with a good photoshop plugin that you can download here for free!  But, with the 047 filter we can get the same results IN CAMERA by carefully setting our camera white balance!

The 47B is a tri-color correction filter (3 bandpass segments) that is dark blue in color.  But, the Wratten 47 Filter is Better.

Response Curves For 47 & 47B Filters

Wratten 47 vs 47B side by side comparison shows that although 47B is darker blue, it leaks green light where 47 blocks it. I suggest we purchase Kodak Wratten 47 (tiffen glass)  because it will generate much better blue skies!  One thing that really irritates me when shooting Infrared images is when the filter in use generates greenish/blue skies!


Wratten 047 Filter Curve



The Victator, Somewhat Normal Skin Tones From An 047

OK, let’s talk about White Balance (WB) for a moment.  Normally when we set the WB on an Infrared camera system, we point it at a source of green (grass) and use that for the correct WB.  This would generate an on camera monochromatic view of anything green in future pictures.  This will NOT WORK with the 047 filter.  Here we need to point the camera at the BLUE sky and set the WB on this.  Otherwise we will generate an extremely green image.  But with the BLUE generated WB we get great red/yellow tones in the leaves and blue in the sky and water! If you are going to include people in your image, you will get some what normal skin colors that are easily adjusted (if necessary) with minimal post processing (as in the left image)!

Here is an old image right out of the camera with a 047B filter that I used in the introduction post several months ago, no processing at all!  The point here is to show you the greenish cast to the grass.  I did the WB on the grass and this is the 047B filter that has some green leakage!  Even with the green tint, the Faux characteristics shine through with no computer work at all.  This can be useful especially during travel where you do not have the luxury of having a computer and photoshop with you! But the green cast is easily removed using NIK Viveza, selecting the grass and leaves (1 click) and reducing the green slider!  It takes about 30 seconds (please pass me a tissue…).


047B Test Image, Grass WB

So today I got out the 047 filter, Olympus E-PL1, 14-150mm lens and went out looking for images.  As I said in the introduction, as long as your camera system is Full Spectrum Infrared, it doesn’t matter what brand it is! Please keep in mind that these are TEST images and have little if no artistic impact other than showing filter capabilities!

What I did with the following three images was the RAW conversion using Capture One V6 and in Photoshop simply run my NIK noise reduction software (Define 2.0) then lastly use NIK’s Viveza to slightly change the hue of the sky and leaves.  Total time per image was about 2 min!  What more can you ask for?  I will let the images speak for themselves…


047 In Camera Faux Color IR, Pawleys Marsh



047 In Camera Faux Color IR, Pawleys Marsh



047 In Camera Faux Color IR, Pawleys Marsh


This last image is really what I am looking for from the 047 filter.  It gives the appearance of a 590nm Goldie filter but it is all done in camera!  Look at the detail in the clouds and leaves!  This was so simple and produces great Faux Colors without the computer work time in post processing!  The filter costs about $45.00 in 58mm and can only be found from Tiffen or Kodak (Wratten).  Even Kodak suggests to purchase the Tiffen version.  I am so pleased with today’s results with the 047 that I am going to have to start using it more regularly!



7 comments on “Revisiting The 047 Filter: In Camera Faux Color!

    • As in all things photographic, it totally depends upon the ambient light and subject. With a converted camera such as my Full Spectrum E-PL1 the internal metering is reliable and accurate. I tend to keep the aperture around f/8 and the shutter will fall as needed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s