Rollei 35mm Infrared 400 film

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by dr._karl_hoppe, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. Back in the day—50 years ago—I shot several rolls of the old Kodak IR135 infrared film with a red Wratten No. 25 (A) filter. The prints and negatives have long disappeared, but I recall getting some interesting landscape views. I see that Rollei makes a 35mm infrared film, rated at ISO 400/27°. I'm curious as to what anyone's experience has been. My old notes indicate that I shot the IR135 at ISO 10/11°, or 1/30 at ƒ/5·6 (for landscapes), then bracketed ±3 ƒ-stops, "just in case." I'm wondering how I should expose this Rollei IR stock. My interest is primarily landscape in daylight. Any thoughts?
  2. The current IR films are not sensitive nearly as far into the infrared spectrum as the old Kodak infrared films. The old IR135 was good to about 850 nanometers. HIE135 was good to about 900 nanometers. HIE was also much faster than any infrared film currently available.
    The Rollei infrared film is nominally rated for 820 nanometers, but it's three stops slower than visible light at that wavelength. Sensitivity starts to drop rapidly at 730 nanometers. So while it's a 400 speed film for visible light, it's less than 100 speed film for infrared light.
    The Rollei film will certainly work with a Wratten No. 25 filter, which passes anything above 580 nanometers. But since it has a much higher sensitivity to visible light than IR light, and less reach into the IR, the IR effect with a 25 filter will be much weaker than with Kodak IR135.
    For a stronger effect, you could try a Wratten No. 89B filter, which passes above 720 nanometers. But it's almost visually opaque, so you would need to use a rangefinder camera. Exposures would be long!
    You could also try 88A (740 nm) or 87 (780 nm) filters, but you're getting to the point where the filter starts to transmit light awful close to where the Rollei film goes totally blind. The 87C, 87B, and 87A filters are totally pointless with the Rollei film, they won't let in anything it can see.
    (All of those filters were useable with Kodak HIE.)
  3. Sounds like I may have to use a Wratten No. 89B to get the results I remember from the old Kodak infrared films. I'm using Leica rangefinder cameras, so being opaque won't be a concern. I just have to locate an old series VI version.
  4. Opaque filter works fine just takes longer. And the sensitivity is not as good. I shoot it at E.I. 4-12. with an 85b as for other filters the Ilford one for the 200 they make is OK at 64 but we are not talking about those extended sensitivity films. The MACO?ROLLIE films with an s on the end are also pretty good in extended IR. but remember that the IR dyes are sensitive to heat. When I was in the Air Force a friend used to give me the short ends of films from 35mm through 4x5 rolls. and those were 900+ nm.
    As for the Red 25.. I would go 29 if hand holding at the most. Tripod is what is now needed.
  5. Chinese made 720nm filters are available on eBay for low prices. Considering I am only doing it for fun, I didn't want an expensive filter.
    I have used a 720nm filter with a D200, which does have some sensitivity in that range.
    The filter I have barely transmits visible light. If you try, you can compose with an SLR.
    (The eye has a fairly long tail in the IR. I used to work in a lab with 780nm laser diodes, which were easily visible, even from scattered light.)
    I suspect the results from the Rollie film are similar to that from the D200.
    About 40 years ago, I had a roll of HIE and, I believe, an 87C filter. After finding out that the filter I had didn't transmit until past where HIE was sensitive, I returned the filter. About a year later, I threw away the film that had not been refrigerated for a year, but instead sat in my warm dorm room.
  6. Crap happens. and then we miss it. Many Digital cameras can be easily converted to 900+ but it may not be cheap unless you are willing to dig into them yourself and remove an internal filter. Kodak and NASA have them made that way. ;)
  7. Yes, for professional use, such as spies or science it is worth the cost to do the conversion.
    For us who would shoot a few IR pictures for fun, it is a little too expensive.
    There might be some cheaper, point and shoot, cameras with not so good filters.
    I haven't looked very hard, yet.
  8. #88A = 715nm (Heliopan) or Hoya 720nm gives the best result with this Rollei IR-400(S) film. In fact it is an Agfa Gevaert Aviphot film with extended NIR till 750nm then going down in sensitivity till 820nm. Shoot on an E.I. 6-12.
  9. Thanks for all the advice. Looks like the cheap Chinese filters are the way to go. I have to dig my old Weston Master V out for the metering, along with the trusty Tiltall tripod. If I get any decent results, I'll post a few in a new thread.

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