Revisiting the UG1 & B+W 403 Filters

Expanding the Filter Experiments!

Several months ago I posted a short little article on the B+W 403 UV/IR band pass filter.  There has been a lot of activity on this recently so I thought that I would revisit the subject. When using a Full Spectrum Infrared converted camera system the 403 bandpass filter is a viable option for some very ethereal images.  BUT, you can ONLY use this filter group on a full spectrum camera. The reason for this is that any internal infrared pass filter will block the UV portion of the spectrum effectively blocking the effect that these filters can provide.

The hallmark of this filter family is that you get deep blue/purple skies along with stark white tree leaves and grass.  This can produce some very good and interesting images that is very removed from your normal infrared  work.


B+W 403


As you can see, the sensitivity of the UG1 is much less than the B+W 403.  This means that your images will require much more light entering the lens for a proper exposure so keep this in mind when you choose which version you are going to purchase.

Now, compared to the other Infrared spectrum’s like 590nm, 665nm, and 720nm, the 403 has a 8 stop reduction in its light transmission.  You will likely have to use a tripod when using this filter or hope for a very bright day!

For images using these filters you will get blue/purple skies and bright white monochromatic leaves. There is no channel swap needed and the only real post processing needed is to adjust the hue of the sky color.  For this I really like using NIK’s Viveza plugin.

Here are three examples that I took of the scene in my last post on the Tiffen 47 filters for in camera Faux Color Infrared images.  I did this so that you could compare between the 2 filter systems.


B+W 403 Processed To Adjust Hue Of The Blue

Look at the detail in the sky and leaves.  The bright whites give a very stunning image and the blues look very good.  I really like this image due to the sky detail and the blue water.

Please keep in mind that these three images are strictly test images for this post and not meant for artistic value!


B+W 403 Processed To Adjust Hue Of The Blue

B+W 403 Processed To Adjust Hue Of The Blue

As I said earlier, this filter can give a very etherial image that your viewers can loose themselves in.  The camera system will have a tendency to over expose a stop or two so take that into account as you setup and take your images.

White balance is done on Green leaves so look for a green tree or for grass and use it to WB your camera system before you start shooting!

Please let me know what you think of this filter.  It is a rather expensive filter as are all that are opaque to our vision!  Expect to pay over $100 for this any larger than 50mm.


5 comments on “Revisiting the UG1 & B+W 403 Filters

  1. Hi, i read both the articles about b+w 403 and ug1 filters and in the first you stated a 4 stop reduction while in this second you talk about 8 stop reduction: which statement is true?

  2. I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I am quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

  3. Hi Mark, thanks for the great article.

    Have you compared LDP’s XDP filter with the B+W 403 at all?




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