Trying infrared film

Discussion in 'Alternative Techniques & Photo Gallery' started by Firelance, Oct 7, 2004.

  1. Firelance

    Firelance TPF Noob!

    Apr 8, 2004
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    I'm wondering weather I should go and try out infrared film. I saw some pictures done with this kinf of film and the sky turned out black while the clouds remain white.

    How does this infrared technique work? What kind of influence does it have?

    I also heard about the fact that it's rather difficult in use...

    Any information is welcome!


  2. oriecat

    oriecat work in progress

    Jul 7, 2003
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    Portland OR USA
    There are a couple older threads talking about IR, either here or in the General section. Try a search first and see if you come up with anything. All I really know is you need to use a #25 red filter I think.
  3. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
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    If you are curious about a film, of course you should go try it! :D IR film can be a joy. Don't be intimidated.

    There is a good thread right here in this alternative forum about half way down, titled (appropriately): "shooting infrared film". Great info and a link or two provided by various members.

    The look of infrared film is unique and ethereal and well worth exploring. Go for it!
  4. BernieSC

    BernieSC TPF Noob!

    Jul 3, 2004
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    South Carolina
    Yeah just try it. Its beautiful film, all you have to do is remember, load your camera in complete darkness make sure you cover the back if it has a film info window and if you use an infared film counter you can't shoot infared with it, and use a red filter. Make sure the lab you take it to knows how to handle infared developing.

    Shoot landscapes, water, sky foilage.
  5. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental We're supposed to post photos?

    Nov 8, 2004
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    The biggest drawback to IR film is light meters don't work on IR. Reliable exposures are a matter of guesswork, luck and experience.
  6. Jamie R

    Jamie R TPF Noob!

    Oct 17, 2004
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    "I'm wondering weather I should go and try out infrared film."

    Interesting Freudian slip. IR photography does have a reputation for being weather dependent, doesn't it?

    Quit wondering - go out and get some Maco IR820aura/C or Kodak HIE. If you can find Konica IR750, you're in luck.

    The IR effect which you achieve is dependent on the IR sensitisation of the film and the filter used. For instance, if you were sad enough to use Maco 750IR with a Red 25, it would be the equivalent of IR photographic hiri-kiri. No discernible IR effect whatsoever.

    Kodak HIE on the other hand, is highly sensitised and responds well to even an Orange 85b filter! With a red 25, its effect is very pronounced.

    Let's not go into the Konica. Say if you find a stashl, we split it, eh? You and me *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*

    Metering has many variables, but don't let those confuse. With Kodak HIE, set your meter to 400 ISO with the red filter on and just meter away. gives times for this method. In winter, you might want to down-rate to 320 ISO instead of 400, or even 200 ISO. There is a degree of trials involved before you feel confident.

    A dedicated IR light meter exists - a mere snip at $600 for a film that may become discontinued faster than the spring equinox comes around. The Kodak film is easiest to get results; and easiest to blow results by development. Beware of high contrast development.

    Regarding the Maco 820aura - rate at ISO 100 with red 29 filter (minimum). A Wratten 87 will work better with the Maco 820aura, however blocks out 4-5 stops of light. In summer, you can handhold Kodak HIE; the Maco820aura - probably in dreams only.

    For the Maco film, if you aren't confident in metering with a red filter through the lens, then use the basic exposure guideline. In summer this runs at f11 1/8th sec for Maco 820c with red 29 in 'sunny 16 conditions'. Bracket a stop either side and keep a record. For winter, extended exposure in the northern hemisphere (f11 1/4 - 1/2sec is more like it) - not fog like British weather - for bright winter weather.

    There is a wealth of reading on

    and sensitivity data on:

    Give it a try: it'll change the way you see photography; deepen your love for the invisible wavelength of light occupied between 750nm and 820nm.
  7. motcon

    motcon TPF Noob!

    Jul 18, 2003
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    b&w ir film is absolutely beautiful. the kodak ir film (hie) captures the highest range; up to 900 nanometres (nm) (technically near 1000 nm)

    and can be rated at a rather 'normal' speed. the konica film gives mediocre ir results, at best, and is so slow it's almost not useful (typically around an ei of 12 (yes, 12) with a red #25 on). the maco is a nice film and you may find it worth the experiment. the ilford version (sfx) reads only to 740nm; a 'high contrast funky' film, if you will.

    i find the kodak hie best rated at 200 ei, then slap on the #25 filter. the science and math behind the wavelengths and what you can meter will defy what i, and many others have found: you can, fairly accurately, meter ttl with a decent camera.

    i just threw this together, so disregard any spots, etc.

    kodak hie rated:

    it's an amazingly wonderful film. just one caution: be wary of the, 'omg that's so cool' shooting technique. the film will produce some interesting effects (white leaves, charcoal eyes, etc). always keep composition in mind. 'form follows function' kind of thing.

    you can produce some decent ir photos in winter months, but the reality is that the closer the sun (summer) the more pronounced the effect. you may be disappointed with outdoor shots in the winter.

    the film is a beauty in the studio.

    one more item of mention: you may want to bracket your shots until you get the feel for the film and ei.

    have fun w/it.

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