Irix light pollution filter review
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Review: Irix Edge Light Pollution Filter

Previously we talked about the launch of this new Irix filter , the accessory that would revolutionize astrophotography and night photography as we know it. We are talking about the Irix Edge light pollution filter.

Irix Edge light pollution filter in night photos

Anti-pollution filters have been around in astrophotography for some years now. But it is now with the launch of the Irix Edge light pollution filter that photographers have access to a tool that allows them to take incredible photos instantly. Now we night landscape photographers can also have light pollution very much under control.

Irix Edge filter review against contamination

For astrophotographers and night photographers, fighting against the lights that light bulbs give off in cities, that do not match the dominant light and contrast poorly  to both the sky and the objects to be portrayed, has always been a challenge.

Irix Edge filter against pollution in action

Dominant light colors as the main problem

Cities have been lighting up for many years with incandescent bulbs. This type of light bulb is well-known and contains a tungsten filament that is heated by the current to produce light.

This type of bulb no longer exists in many cities and towns. They consume a lot of energy and produce little light compared to the latest generation bulbs. Tungsten lighting has given way to neon, fluorescent, halogen or LED lights, which, unlike incandescent lights, create more light with less power consumption.

All of these light sources emit light with cooler or warmer temperatures, depending on the type of bulb used. These dominant colors will directly influence our night photography, whether in the center of the city or in the countryside miles away from cities or towns.

first samples of the Irix Edge filter against contamination

Example of light pollution in RAW

Why use the Irix Edge light pollution filter?

Today, in the digital age, it is easier to correct the color casts of images with various post-processing techniques. Unfortunately, we will lose color information in many cases and preserving the entire range of color and contrasts saved in a RAW file  will always produce a higher quality image. That is why the use of the Irix Edge light pollution filter is essential.

We have been working with the Irix Edge light pollution filter for some time, manufactured by this brand of lenses and filters that in a very short time has become a benchmark. The filter is designed not only for the Irix 15mm f2.4 lens, but for any lens with a front thread diameter of 67, 72, 77, 82 or 95mm.

Irix Edge light pollution filter

  • Avoid yellowish effect in night photos
  • Retain scene color fidelity at night
  • Designed with high quality optical glass
  • Improve the contrast and sharpness of your photos
  • Available diameters of 67, 72, 77, 82 and 95mm

Irix Edge filter results against contamination

Example of light pollution corrected by software.

Compensate for the white balance yourself and avoid automatisms

Who has not gone out to photograph a night scene and has found yellow or orange tones in their photographs due to the reflection in the clouds and the atmosphere of the light pollution of cities and towns?

Reflex cameras allow compensation for different color temperatures in scenes using kelvin or also in scene automatisms. Automations do not usually work well in compensating for the color temperature in night photographs in-camera. It is better in this type of camera to correct them in the digital development.

Before having this filter we have always tried to compensate the kelvin of our camera with the temperature we had in the scene or simply by changing the white balance using software on our computer. But since we have worked with the Irix light pollution filter, we have realized that it is all much easier and that the result is of very high quality.

    In this article we are going to show you RAW images where you can see how the yellow hue produced by the warm lights of cities and towns is eliminated. In addition, you can see how it must be an essential element in the  backpack of any night photographer.

    We will also show you an example where the filter is not always recommended. That situation is when is LED lights are used in the city, with cooler color temperatures, and the filter does not work in the same way, due to the environmental color. In the same way, since it has a compact size, it is always advisable to carry it with you and try it on the scene to photograph.

    1. Consider the atmosphere of your scene

    Not all places are the same, since the weather, the atmosphere or the time of night are going to be fundamental components to test it and see the effect it produces on our image.

    In this example, you can see two images with the same parameters, undeveloped or unprocessed images. These images are unaltered from the RAW files, so you can see the difference between a photo with a filter and another without it. The two images are taken only with the difference that one had the filter and the other did not.

    Irix Edge filter post-production against contamination

    Irix Edge filter-free photography against pollution

    When to use the Irix Edge Pollution Filter

    Photo with Irix Edge filter against pollution

    2. Take care of the equipment configuration

    Consider the photograph below. It is taken without any type of filter and with a color temperature setting of 3800 kelvin. With these settings, we are giving indications that a warm color temperature predominates in the scene, due to the lighting of nearby towns.

    This configuration will serve to compensate for the dominant yellow in the scene. Even so, the values ​​are high and we would have to correct it in digital development.

    This other image was taken later. In this case, we incorporate the Irix Edge light pollution filter.

    3. Work with quality filters

    Irix’s circular anti-contamination filter is very comfortable and easy to install. Simply by screwing it on the front of the lens we can start working with it. It is very important that these filters are of the highest quality.

    Irix 15mm f / 2.4 Blackstone
    Irix 15mm f / 2.4 Blackstone
    • For Full Frame and APS-C sensors
    • Focus click to infinity to find it easily
    • Innovative focus lock mechanism
    • Superior Optical Construction: Neutrino Coating
    • Special seal resistant against dust and humidity
    • Attach 30 x 30mm gelatin filters
    • Electronic chip for confirmation of aperture and focus
    • Preserves the EXIF ​​data of each photograph
    • Blackstone: Al / Mg body and reflective markings on the barrel

    The Irix filter belongs to the super endurance series, so it is much more resistant, which is an incentive, due to the low light conditions in which one usually works in night photography. It has an anti-glare coating that prevents the appearance of reflections. It is also constructed with a “nano” coating that repels water and oil.

    4. Avoid foggy days

    We have to bear in mind that not all locations are the same. It’s important to consider whether there are clouds and haze or if the atmosphere is clean. The type of lights that have been installed in the nearest city or town is also important. All these are examples that will allow us to know if the anti-light pollution filter will be effective or if we have to do without it.

    No Irix Edge filter against contamination

    With Irix Edge filter against contamination

    Irix Edge Light Pollution Filter
    The Irix Edge Light Pollution Filter

    5. Detect the blue-dominant sources

    Nowadays, due to energy savings, LED lights are being installed that consume less energy, but which can give us excessive bluish or cold dominants in the image. With this type of lighting it is not advisable to work with the light pollution filter.

    Here are two photographs taken in a location in Tuscany with the same color temperature setting. Behind these ancient cypress trees are villages with different types of illumination.

    Made with Irix Edge filter against contamination

    Taken without Irix Edge anti-pollution filter

    As we said at the beginning, we do not really know what we are going to find when we arrive at the location.

    In most cases we will find ourselves in situations in which light pollution will reduce contrast and give us a yellowish tone to the image, this filter being very effective, but we can also find ourselves in situations where the light is colder and does not have as much effect. Even so, it is an essential element in our backpack.

    If you have ever done night photography, either with or without a filter, we would love for you to share it with us 🙂

    (This article was translated from the original post on blog.foto24.com)

    Written by Sarah

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