Workflow Infrared

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by chuck_foreman|1, Aug 23, 2020.

  1. Hi All,

    I was considering experimenting a bit. I bought a roll of "Infrared" film from Rollei. As being the king of procrastination I bought this over a year ago, I recall at the time reading that a dark red filter is required A ..25? sometrhing and that this effectively reduced the the working speed by 6 stops . I have a a deep redf filter, not sure of the stop reduction but I could measure it. I assume though in most cases a tripod is required. Has anybody tried this film? A work-flow and examples would be helpful. But more intwersting would be your personal feedback.
  2. It depends on the film's sensitivity. Some films (don't know about the Rollei) are just a little sensitive to IR so putting a deep red filter on it can result in NO exposure. You need to look at the film and find out the light frequency range it is sensitive to and select your filter based on what effect you are looking for. My googling tells me that Rollei film is sensitive up to 820nm. So an R72 filter might be a good one to try. A 920nm filter wouldn't work. And a 25A filter might work but maybe wouldn't be as heavy an IR look as you would want (it might be too subtle, or maybe not I don't know).

    Remember to load the film into the camera in the total dark (I use a changing bag, but not all bags are IR opaque). And unload the film in the total dark too and put it into the plastic film container it came in also in total dark). Some IR films that aren't as IR sensitive can be loaded in daylight.

    Not all developing tanks are IR opaque either, I guess you'll find that out when you develop it. Note that IR film creates a focus shift (the IR light doesn't focus at the same point as visible light). And light meters are often not perfect for estimating exposure depending on sensitivity and filters present on the lens. Lenses used to have IR focusing marks to shift focus after focusing with the rangefinder or the SLR system. Either use one of those, try to estimate it, or stop down.

    Depending on how much IR effect you have, you can expect blue things (like the sky) to be black and vegetation (because they radiate in the IR spectrum) as brighter and that tends to confound a meter too because leaves look like medium grey to the light meter.

    It's a pain in the A, but the results can be worth it. That said, digital IR is worlds easier. Most cameras need conversion to remove the IR cut filter, though some cameras like the Leica M8 do not. Just put an IR filter on the M8's lens and instant handheld IR photography. Anyway, have fun. Read the film's instructions and maybe do some googling on what ISO to shoot the film at.
  3. Bracket generously. I think the Rollei stock is good to about 750 nm at least, but maybe as much as 820. I really don't remember. The red #25 might not provide enough infrared effect. The less aggressive 720 infrared filter might give closer to the infrared look but you might need longer exposures. The "glowing effect" of Kodak's HIE infrared won't happen since the Rollei has an effective antihalation layer.
    I have a roll of this film somewhere so maybe I'll run it through a camera soon and share results. I have #25 and #29 red and the R72 filters to try with it.
    Surprisingly, a CDS meter might work better than the later silicon meters, but I'd still recommend bracketing. I can aim an infrared TV remote at my SRT 101 (CDS) and the meter needle will jump slightly when I activate the remote.
    petrochemist likes this.
  4. Ok now I remember my initial hesitation was related to the fact that .. a "red " filter is not enogh. An "infrared" filter is required An R72. . A perusal of our favorite auction site (financial procrastination) shows afforable variants from China, but shocked at the prices of commerical filters.. Talk about gun shy I am pocketbook shy? 60+ for a filter??.. Nonethelss. I am interested in any feedback and also an understanding of the nanometer numbers.. I guess this is a wavelength on the color spectrum?
  5. Yes. Visible light ranges from 400 mm (violet) to 700 mm (red). Infrared wavelengths are just beyond 700 with sensitivity going out as much as 900. I think the Rollei might go to 820.
  6. I did some digital infrared with an R72 filter I paid less than ten pounds for if I recall correctly. The quality seems fine.
  7. You can't really judge IR exposures from visual light readings. If the light source has lots of IR & little visible you might find IR film requires less exposure than a meter suggests other light sources (like LEDs bulbs, fluorescent lights...) the illumination is almost entirely missing in IR.
    Sunlight also varies considerably in the ratio of visual & IR, bracketing widely is essential.

    The nanometer numbers are indeed related to the spectrum, With normal long pass (IR) filters hey are a somewhat simplified indication of where the transmission changes from blocked to passed. Filters are assumed to have a perfect transition where everything below the cut off is blocked & everything above is passed - in reality this normally takes place over a region around 20-30nm either side of the quoted number but some like my 960nm filter are MUCH more gradual (its transition is over 100nm either side).

    Infrared as a whole goes from ~700nm to 25000nm IR film & modified digital cameras can only capture the very shortest wavelengths of this region.
    With Film the maximum recordable is around 800 to 900nm dependent on the film used, converted digital cameras typically see to about 1100nm (the point where silicon becomes transparent to IR).

    FWIW, I've used a wide variety of cheap Chinese IR filters, I've had no issues with them. It may be that they are optically less precise than top of the range filters but I've not seen any improvement when using a proper Hoya R72. they seem the ideal for finding out which cut off you like best.

    I only shoot IR with digital, which makes things considerably easier, allowing me to use all sorts of strange filters that transmit portions of IR, visual & UV. Metering for these with film would be impossible & focus often wouldn't be practical either. To add to the complications both of these vary with the lens being used (UV transmission of lens varies hugely) so live-view is a great bonus.

    I'm always impressed by those who manage good results shoot IR the old way!
  8. You can also use an R72 with extended red sensitivity films like Ilford's SFX 200 or Rollei 80S. I think both films are sensitive to about 750 nm. Not really an infrared effect, but different. Here's a shot from a roll of SFX with an R72 filter. I overexposed which added to the grain.
    I will revisit this location with some true IR film while the grass is still green for comparison.
  9. As well as I remember, the Rollei film says 820nm, but that is at the end of the curve, after it has fallen off many stops.

    But yes, a red filter will get you mostly red. A 720nm filter is probably a good choice, mostly IR, but only the near IR.
    Maybe enough to turn trees white, though. (Then again, a green filter might do that.)

    I have a roll in the refrigerator that I haven't tried yet.
    I also have one of the Chinese 720nm filters.
    I have used it with a DSLR, with fairly long exposure, because DSLRs have good IR block filters.
    I bought it to have fun with, as the other ones are much more expensive.
    (Too expensive for fun.)

    But yes, buy the filter, try it out some on a DSLR, then use it with film.

    Note that it is said that the eye sees 700nm to 400nm, but it has a long tail on the 700nm end.
    If it is bright enough, you can see out to 750nm or so.
  10. The 87C infrared filter effectively blocks all visible light, but can be very pricey. I bought a polyester version to fit my Cokin filter holder and it was fairly reasonable. Haven't tried it with film (got one roll of HIE that I've been hoarding), but I've had some success using it with digital.
  11. carbon_dragon likes this.
  12. I noted the Chinese sell reasonably priced

    Zomei Infrarot IR Filter 720nm Für Canon DSLR Kameraobjektiv

    something for DSLR ... would this be sufficient? Hoya wants 30+ as do most name makers
  13. That looks (and costs) much like the R72 filter I bought. Here's an example, shot with it on a 20mm lens with a Nikon D1X. Exposure was around 1.5 seconds at F/8: IRexPN.jpg
  14. I have a Hoya R72 filter which works fine on my Fuji X100s but when I used it on a Canon 60D depending on which lens used gave a central hot spot. The effect converts well to mono but the filter gives a strong red colour cast and the results are always unpredictable. A faux infrared effect can be obtained using the HSL colour sliders in Lightroom if the original Raw file is mainly green.
    FernsMono_P1000808-469 (1 of 1).jpg

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