Because the Fuji IS Pro DSLR is sensitive to infrared and ultraviolet light as well as visible light, if you want to take 'normal' photos using just visible light, you will need a filter that blocks the infrared and ultraviolet light. The filter I purchased was the B+W 486 UV-IR Cut Filter.
The B+W 486 UV-IR Cut filter is quite reflective, reflecting a bit of red light. So you have to be careful when mounting it on your lens on a sunny day to prevent reflecting light into your eyes. And in use you should probably try and be careful not to reflect light into others' eyes.
The main problem with the B+W 486 UV-IR Cut filter (other than the cost) is that at wider angles you will get a green-cyan vignette effect around the edges of the image. According to B+W, this effect is likely to be visible on any lens with an angle of view of more than 60°.
This means lenses with a focal length less than about 20mm on a DSLR with an APS-C sized sensor, or 31mm on a DSLR with a full frame sensor will exhibit the green-cyan vignette effect when used with the B+W 486 UV-IR Cut filter. As far as I'm aware, this problem is not exclusive to the B+W 486, and is a problem for all UV-IR cut filters.
Here's an explanation of the problem from B+W's website:
Please note however that, in contrast to mass-colored (integrally colored) filter glass, the UV-IR barrier filter is based on thin-film technology. More than 30 interference coatings are vapor-deposited on one side, while the opposite side is MRC-coated. In wide-angle lenses, the laws of physics lead to shallower incidence angles for peripheral rays. For geometric reasons these rays have to travel further through the interference coatings than rays traveling vertically through the coatings in the centre of the lens. With increasing angle of incidence, this leads to a change in light color towards blue. This effect can clearly be seen by looking at an UV-IR barrier filter from an angle. The color of the reflected light changes, with a similar effect on the light traveling through the filter.
The green-cyan vignetting isn't very nice, but thankfully there is a free program called CornerFix that can be used to remove it.
To use CornerFix to remove the green-cyan vignetting caused by using the B+W 486 UV-IR Cut filter with the Fuji IS Pro is relatively simple, though it does add a few more steps to my normal workflow.
First you'll need the Adobe DNG Converter. When the DNG converter is installed, open it and click on the 'Change Preferences' button.
In the preferences window that opens up, click on the Compatibility drop down list and choose 'Custom...'.
Then tick the 'Linear (demosaiced)' checkbox and press 'OK'.
Press 'OK' on the preferences window as well, and you can now use the Adobe DNG Converter to convert your Fuji IS Pro RAF files to DNGs suitable for use with CornerFix.
CornerFix requires a reference photo to remove the green-cyan vignette cast from the photos. This is just a case of taking a photo of a white piece of card with the UV IR Cut filter and the lens and camera at the same settings used to take the images you want to fix.
Use the Adobe DNG Converter to convert the reference photo to DNG format. Open CornerFix, and then choose File > Open Image and open your reference image DNG. When CornerFix has loaded your reference image, click Lens Profile > Create
After CornerFix has done its magic, go to Lens Profile > Save as and save your profile.
I used the lens and camera settings as the profile name to make it easy to load the correct profile I need when correcting images, e.g. 18-70 @ 18mm f8 B+W486 no lens hood.cpf
If you use a few different focal lengths that need fixing, you'll need to take a reference photo and create a different profile for each focal length / lens. CornerFix does have a batch create profile option that makes this a bit quicker.
Now you have Adobe DNG Converter and CornerFix set up, you 'need' to sort your photos taken with the B+W 486 UV-IR Cut filter and exhibiting the cyan vignetting into folders by lens and focal length. (You don't 'need' to, but I find it makes things easier). Then use the DNG Converter to convert each folder of images into DNGs.
Open CornerFix and in the menu click Lens Profile > Open and choose the relevant profile you created earlier. Then go to File > Batch Correct Images and select all the files in the folder containing images taken with the same settings as the profile you have loaded.
CornerFix will then process all those images, creating a new DNG for each one, but with _CF appended to the file name. You can then delete the original DNGs and process the CornerFix'd DNGs as usual in ACR or any other program that supports DNG format.
I did a quick comparison using the Fuji IS-Pro DSLR with the B+W 486 UV-IR Cut filter, without any filter, and with the Hitech 85 Infrared Filter. I also took a similar shot using my Nikon D200, but this was using a wider lens so the results aren't directly comparable, I include it below though. The below images have also had a bit of processing, mainly a curves adjustment to increase contrast.
Crops (no sharpening):
You can see that there is a definite loss of sharpness in the Fuji IS Pro photo taken without any filtration, due to the different focus points of infrared and visible light.
I have read in a few places that the 6MP Fuji Super CCD sensor used in the IS Pro is roughly equivalent to a 8MP 'normal' Bayer sensor, and I would say this sounds about right looking at my unscientific tests. There certainly doesn't appear to be much loss of image data when comparing an interpolated 12MP image from the Fuji to a standard 10MP from my D200 anyway.
The Fuji has a definite advantage in dynamic range compared to the D200, I would say the IS-Pro probably has about 2-3 stops of highlight headroom whereas the D200 has about 1 stop (in the RAW files). Unfortunately, to make use of the Fuji's highlight headroom, it still requires merging multiple exposures in Photoshop, but you can generate the different exposures from one image and so not have to worry about moving people, cars, trees etc.
So far I have only been shooting RAW (RAF) with the IS Pro though, possibly when you shoot JPEG or TIFF the camera might manage the extra highlight data automatically to prevent blown highlights. I will try shooting RAW+JPEG next time I use the camera and see how it handles it.