Notes & Caveats
Near-IR focus will be different according to the wavelength of the source, potentially resulting in split or haloed focus. For best results you must either filter at the front of the lens with IR glass to choose the part of the spectrum you want to work in, or control the wavelength of your IR sources carefully. Mixed sources of light can also show up the same focus issue.
Not all lenses perform equally in IR. Some will exhibit hotspots, some will have internal reflection and flare issues, and some very modern lenses may appear darker than expected in IR due to their sophisticated coatings.
Frequently Asked Questions
DSMC 1 cameras require manual selection of OLPF type in all cases.
DSMC2 cameras will detect (on start-up only) the general type of OLPF fitted. RED original filters will select a single fixed calibration, KipperTie’s 3rd party filters will allow the user to select their choice of colour calibration, and allow the entry of custom metadata to describe the OLPF.
For diffusion filters, please select ‘Skintone Highlight’ as the calibration in the OLPF menu.
DSMC2: Click ‘none’, change to ‘3rd party’ and then select ‘Skintone Highlight’ and add custom data if required to describe filter type
For false colour filters, please select ‘None’ or ‘Low light optimised’ as the calibration in the OLPF menu.
DSMC2: Choose ‘none’, or change to ‘3rd party’ and then select ‘Low light optimised’ and add custom data if required to describe filter type.
Black shading is not affected by OLPF choice. If a change in OLPF calibration type reveals any fixed pattern noise, your blackshade was already incorrect. Follow the standard procedure for sensor calibration in this case.
DSMC2 – OLPF swapping is safe and reasonably trivial. Only one tool is needed, all screws are captive, and nothing that is exposed in the process is more sensitive than might be exposed during a lens swap. As a rule of thumb, if it is safe to swap lenses, its safe to swap OLPFs.
DSMC1 – OLPF swapping is simple but requires care and precision. Small loose screws mean that this is best carried out with the camera tilted back at 45 degrees, on a work bench, or at worst on a camera cart in a clean environment.
Due to the sophisticated coatings, cleaning OLPFs can be somewhat tricky. First of all assess in camera whether marks visible to the eye actually show up in your image. Don’t clean unless essential. The design of the camera is such that is much more forgiving than you would expect. Bear in mind that with any diffusion filter you will potentially see the filter particles if you shoot at a very deep f-stop, and it is often only at that deep stop that dirt on the filter also becomes visible.
A bulb type blower for dust removal should be the first tool. If that does not work, remove the OLPF from the camera and use canned air to blow the glass clean. Note: keep the can motionless and upright, and move the filter around, not vice-versa.
For grease and smears, any kind of lens cleaning fluid is acceptable. Our factory uses pure alcohol, but again, do this with the filter removed from the camera. Use multiple soft lens tissues, discarding after each wipe.
If you have a specific requirement for a different colour calibration, a different strength of diffusion or a particular wavelength false-colour filter, we can provide these. Minimum order quantities for colour calibrations and wavelengths will apply.
VV size filters will mechanically fit any DSMC2 camera body. The glass area is bigger, to accommodate the larger sensor size.
For future proofing and simplicity it is possible to use the VV size filter in an S35 camera. Numerous customers queuing for the VV upgrade have selected this option. KipperTie can provide custom self adhesive OLPF masks on request to eliminate any unexpected gate flare on S35 that may arise.
Red camera bodies are either DSMC1 or DSMC2. The OLPF design is incompatible between generations.
DSMC1 filters fit:
Epic Dragon (inc. monochrome), Scarlet Dragon.
DSMC2 filters fit:
Weapon Dragon, Scarlet-W (inc. monochrome), Epic-W, Helium S35
Red One, Red One MX, Epic MX and Scarlet MX are not supported.
DSMC1 filters are discontinued for all except false colour types.
Dragon and Helium sensors have a different pixel pitch, as such it is no longer possible to be explicit about sensor optical area by referring to the ‘K’ resolution.
S35 refers to a sensor size approximating 3 perf S35 film. This covers all DSMC1 and DSMC2 RED cameras, whether 5K, 6K (Dragon) or 8K (Helium) with one exception:
VV refers to a sensor size approximating Vistavision, or full frame stills film. This is presently only available in the Weapon Dragon 8K VV and VV Anamorphic cameras.
If you are moving from one DSMC2 body to another, your filters remain compatible. Only the VV upgrade requires a change of OLPF size.
If you have upgraded from DSMC1 to DSMC2 your filters will need to be replaced.
There is a strong secondhand market for all RED accessories, however we can offer loyalty discounts for those wishing to trade-in and upgrade. Contact us directly for a discount code.
For our purposes, infrared means near-IR wavelengths. Deeper than red light, and imperceptible to our vision, but still light that can be focused by typical lenses and captured by typical CMOS sensors. It is NOT representative of heat, and is distinct from thermal imaging which requires specialized lenses and sensors.
In common usage, IR light of this type is used for security cameras, for satellite and agricultural imaging, and for short range optical systems like TV remotes.
All regular OLPFS attenuate UV, IR and visible wavelengths to govern colour reproduction, making it as close as possible to a human experience of colour.
The Full Spectrum filter allows the camera sensor to see the entire range of wavelengths to which it is naturally sensitive. This means that you will have a colour image, whose colour is distorted by the presence of IR light. IR light is invisible to us, so its presence is hard to predict, but many light sources produce it. Additionally, many surfaces, especially leaves, skin, and man-made fabrics reflect a disproportionate amount of IR, creating unexpected brightness and contrast.
The IR spectrum filter removes all visible light from the image, but allows the camera to see infrared light (720nm to 950nm) which would otherwise be filtered out. The result is a monochromatic pink-hued and low-contrast image representing only this invisible light. Many objects have a very unusual appearance, blue skies become dark, skin becomes almost translucent, and direct IR light sources like LEDs become amazingly powerful and bright.
These are achieved using the Full Spectrum filter in conjunction with any number of additional solid-colour filters on the lens. Considerable post-production work is often applied to invert, swap and manipulate colour channels further.
This is most easily achieved with the IR spectrum filter, but is also possible with the Full Spectrum in conjunction with a 720nm IR pass lens filter.
The resulting image needs to be desaturated, and a heavy contrast curve applied. RED cameras are ideal for this, as the high bit-depth source allows for very aggressive grading without banding.
Most lenses allow IR to pass through, however there are many possible pitfalls. Some lenses exhibit more flare, internal reflection, and iris-shaped hotspots in the image centre.
The best performance is typically found where the lenses were designed with IR film in mind. Many decades-old stills lenses have a specific IR focus dot marked on the barrel. This is a useful indication that IR performance will be good.
If IR is being used in order to capture covert or wildlife images, where light levels are typically low, care should be taken to avoid modern cine and TV lenses, which often have IR cut coatings that can reduce sensitivity to IR by as much as four stops. For IR, old is good.
For false colour imaging, it is wise to invest in additional colour and perhaps IR pass filters, to give yourself greater creative control. Typically these are the kind of strong colour filters typically used for contrast control with black and white photography.
The main reason for soft images in IR is split focus. Due to the differing wavelengths, sharp focus is not possible for both visible light and IR light with the same focus position. In many cases cutting visible light completely, such as with the IR spectrum OLPF, yields much sharper images.
If using artificial IR sources, particularly LEDs, be aware that the LED wavelength can also cause this issue. 850nm is a good wavelength for shooting IR on RED, as it matches the peak of exposure response. However, many other IR wavelengths are available, and if mixed together in a scene, can cause soft focus.
850nm IR LED lighting is extremely efficient for this use case. It runs happily from field-portable power, and provides significantly more exposure than equivalent powered daylight LEDs with a daylight camera.
Only a dim red glow is visible to the naked eye, and almost all wildlife vision is equally insensitive to the light as human vision.
Contact KipperTie for information on rental of field-ready IR lighting kits.
We recommend purchasing from our trusted resellers or from this site wherever possible. Local resellers will give the fastest service and the full retail facilities you would expect. If time is not critical, or you have no local reseller we offer free worldwide 5 to 7 day shipping from our online store.
KipperTie are part of RED’s approved third party product programme. Look for the ‘RED Approved’ logo.
We are happy to offer technical support and advice directly by email. Please get in contact, ideally quoting your order number so that we can identify your exact product.
For product warranty and replacement issues, please contact your reseller first, or KipperTie directly if purchased online.