I get contacted on a regular basis from people considering having a camera converted, and often they aren’t sure whether they should go with a converted camera or use an external filter. Last week I was ask how long an exposure would be needed to shoot in Deep Black & White with a wide depth of field. I inquired further what they meant, and the idea was to shoot at f22, ISO 100 with a Deep B&W filter on a converted camera. This is not something people normally do. Normally people will shoot with a low numbered f-stop and a high ISO, which Will produce an image. Since I’ve never tried what was suggested I really had no idea what I was in for.
I have a Deep B&W filter and since it looked like a nice day outside , and I had some time, I thought “Hey, why not find out?”
Well…….. I probably should have checked the weather app on my phone.
Umm, …yeah here’s why
But I didn’t, so let’s just go with it.
I drove to Forest Park here in St. Louis, to the Muny Pavilion, one of the great locations I use for our Intro to IR Workshops here. Just so you know, this is what the location looks like shot with an IR converted camera.
This was made with a Life Pixel converted Canon 7D MKII, using a ND filter, at f22, ISO 100 for 2 seconds.
So, what will it take with an unconverted Canon 7D MKII, using a Deep B&W filter at f22, ISO 100?
Let’s give it, …say 30 seconds. That should do it, right.
I could have been shooting at night, nothing.
So, I decided to try longer, and my interest and patience in this test were already weaning, as the temperature was feeling awful.
I decided to move way up, 3 minutes. Surely a 3 minute will have to work.
Still black. And something is starting to smell, and I think it’s me. I then started adding one minute on for each of the next exposures. I’m not going to bore you with 3 black images for 4 minutes, 5 minutes, and 6 minutes, but they were just like before a nice shade of really, really dark.
At 7 minutes, I thought I saw something. When I processed the RAW file using my RAW editor, I was able to up the brightness enough to get this.
If you look carefully, you can start to see something emerging. Really, it’s there, look again. See it?
After 25 minutes of testing in this insane heat, I still don’t have anything worth using, and I am really sure what I am smelling is me, and it ain’t pretty.
So, I kept going, adding one minute to each exposure, until I got to ten minutes. Yes, a ten minute exposure.
And here it is.
This is with the RAW file brightened as much as Digital Photo Professional will allow.
In Photoshop, I was able to get a bit more out of it.
The image is extremely grainy, and there a few areas where the pixels blew out.
So, what did I learn after 52 minutes of standing outside in the heat?
- You can use a Deep B&W filter on an unconverted camera to create an image at f22, ISO100 if you are willing to have a very long exposure, and then end up with a pretty much useless looking image in the end.
- I really should have thought this one through before deciding to try this. AND
- I really need a shower.
Now if I am ever ask this again, I can tell someone the answer to this question. However, I really wish I would have gone with “I dunno”