Infrared Film Question


TPF Noob!
Dec 4, 2007
Reaction score
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
So, I'm basically 100% a photography beginner, and I'm looking to shop for a girlfriend for christmas. She's a pretty decent photographer, and has briefly mentioned Infrared Film to me. I've done a little bit of research but I'm still not sure if it will work with what camera she is using.

She is using a Canon EOS Rebel Ti. To me I would just think stick the film in and your good to go. But I've noticed on some websites that certain cameras don't work well with Infrared Film. I have a couple questions, if anyone could help that would be outstanding.

1. Will Infrared Film work with a Canon EOS Rebel Ti?
2. Are any modifications neccessary?
3. Can the film be developed at a local photo lab? ( not walgreens, or walmart im assuming )
4. Any other information you can provide would be helpful.

Thanks in advance!
It depends on the film. Films like the Illford inferred films will work fine on pretty much any film camera. Most often these films won't be developed at local photo labs and need to be sent to pro labs or black and white labs.

Also you need a filter. Inferred film is sensitive to many bands just check the manufacturer datasheets on their websites. To get an inferred type effect you'd need at the very least a #25 Red filter, however deeper red or even true IR filters are much preferred.

However Kodak HIE on the other hand has specific requirements as there's no anti-halnation layer on the back of the film, meaning that it won't work if the camera has a window to see what film is loaded, or has an inferred exposure counter. The film canister must be in darkness at all times. Lots of people also refuse to develop HIE because of this or charge a handling fee.
The film advance system on Canon EOS Rebel Ti uses a LED/laser (?) for measuring the travel of the film advancement. It does not affect most films but it can/will with IR films. I have read that LED/laser may bleed in the image area of the negative.
Fogging from the film advance mechanism is possible, but does not always occur (just ask Terri).

As for your girlfriend, this all depends on how much you want to spend. Kodak HIE is available in 35mm. It's a beautiful film, if a bit testy. It weighs in at around $13.00 to $15.00 a roll, and was recently discontinued by Kodak. It's something every film photographer should try at least once (before it's all gone). On the other hand, Ilford makes a film called SFX that can be loaded in subdued light, produces nice results, and is very user-friendly. It's also significantly less expensive. Either way, she would need a red filter in order to take advantage of these films. You'd need to find out what the size of the filter ring is on her lens. Don't confuse it with the focal length of the lens (i.e., it might be a 50mm lens, but have a filter ring size bigger or smaller). You can find the filter ring size by looking at the front/font sides of the lens. It's usually printed either on the front or just around the ring, and is often next to a weird symbol that looks like the greek letter phi. There are three common red filters. The 25, the 29, and the 89B, ranging from lightest to darkest. The 25 or 29 would be good choices for either film. The 89B is more difficult to get the hang of and tends to be more expensive but will maximize the IR capabilities of the film. All of this stuff can be ordered online. "Pro" shops (and even the occasional Ritz/Wolf camera) will carry HIE if they haven't sold out of it since the discontinuance. They may or may not carry Ilford SFX. In any event, all of this (film and filters) is available online. Try B&H (, Adorama ( for the film and filters, or Freestyle Photographic ( for the film. It will not be possible to develop the film at a local lab. It will have to be done by a pro lab, either locally or via mail. If your girlfriend has a legit interest in black and white photography, she shouldn't consider that too much of a hassle. Oh, and tell her to sign up here after you buy her the stuff.

Hope that helps.
Hey guys.

What I think I'm gonna do is call a couple local 'pro' photo shops I know of in the area. And ask them first if they even develop that type of film. Then ask if they stock the film.

I've got a question about the filters though, since i'm not quite sure how they work. Lets assume I would need a 58mm filter ( I can check this when i can take a closer look at her camera, but thats a decent probability right? ), that means I would need something like a "B+W 58 mm 090 Light Red Glass Filter" which runs me $24.95. Not too bad, then however many rolls of film I wish to purchase. My question is, how is it that this filter is attached?

Thanks for your help everyone, it means a lot.

I'll be sure to show her this website after christmas ;)
The filter just screws onto the front of the lens.
ohh it screws on, well that makes sense lol.

I'm sorry cameras aren't my thing.

Thanks a lot for your help Max :)
Sure. Also bear in mind that not all pro shops also develop. In mid-to-large cities there tend to be separate shops and labs, which are often preferable in development quality to all-in-one shops.
The B+W 090 is about equivalent to the Wratten 25 filter that Max mentioned. You can see through it quite easily - an advantage when using an SLR. The deeper red B+W 091 can also bee seen through. The 091 is about equivalent to the Wratten 29. How much you can see through the deeper red/infrared filters like the 092 and 093 differs a little from person to person.

The 091 or Wratten 29 work well enough for some people to stick with them. A small part of the true infrared look is the fluorescence of some vegetation - this means that the greenery is fluorescing deep red light, as well as reflecting a lot of infrared. The deeper infrared filters actually cut a large part of the fluorescence.

As Max already mentioned, Ilford SFX is one of the easiest infrared-flavour films to deal with. It is fairly easy to get and easy to use. It would be a good starting point, but if you wanted to give your girlfriend a selection of films to try you could get some Efke IR820 and some Kodak HIE. There's some of it left. B&H are sold out at the moment - they sold their stock of over a thousand rolls within a few days of the official announcement of its discontinuance (not only is our freezer now full, but so are my friends' freezers). The Efke IR820 is good stuff, but it is slower (ie it needs more exposure) than HIE.


Most reactions