Infrared Adventures

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Infrared Adventures

Postby Maris » 08 Nov 2022, 10:31

The famous Kodak High Speed Infrared Film, alias HIE, is long gone. It delivered infrared pictures with just a #25 red filter. Efke IR820, again discontinued, did give nice results with Near Infrared filters.

Today the new infrared film choice is down to Agfa Aviphot Pan 80 and Agfa Aviphot Pan 200. Both are designed as panchromatic aerial films with enhanced red sensitivity to cut through atmospheric haze. I have bought them packaged as roll film under the names Rollei Retro 80S, Rollei Infrared 400, and Rollei Superpan. There appears to be a seller of the AAP 200 film in 4x5 sheets but that seller is in the Russian Federation. Want to go there?

Infrared filters from reputable manufacturers can be seriously expensive especially in big sizes. Or they can be cheap if bought out of China via eBay. I go cheap but the principle "pays yer money and takes yer chances" definitely applies.

Three of my filters, an IR680 an two IR720, are identical performers. Using them I shoot AAP 80 at E.I.= 3 and AAP200 at E.I.= 10.
The inevitable sequence is: meter, shoot, hope.

Another IR720 filter has 1.5 stops more transmission than the others. Seller knows nothing. Only burnt one roll of film to find out.

Another infrared filter turned out to be amazingly dense. It's probably an IR950 but the seller knows nothing. Needed one blank roll to find out.

I've just discovered Ilford Delta 3200 will deliver an image with some Wood effect when exposed behind a IR720 filter. Sunny day exposure was 8 minutes at f6.7. Maybe other films can glimpse infrared as well. Experiments continue.

A non-photographic psychedelic infrared adventure:
Take a pair of close fitting motorcycle goggles and fit into each lens three or four layers of Congo Blue theatrical gel (Lee C181) and one layer of Primary Red (Rosco 27 or Lee 106). The combination blocks visible light but lets through near infrared. At first the filters seem dark but the eyes adapt quickly, the pupils dilate, and one can go around all day visually tripping out on a strange and wonderful infrared world. Warning, don't glimpse the sun. A torrent of infrared through a dilated pupil is bad.

Mick Fagan
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Joined: 24 Sep 2015, 21:20
Location: Melbourne

Re: Infrared Adventures

Postby Mick Fagan » 16 Nov 2022, 16:58

Maris, have you actually done the motorcycle goggle trip thing? Sounds like it would be a giggle.

With regard to Infra Red film, specifically the Kodak film, this is the cheat sheet I used for quite some years and a reasonable amount of that film with great success. I never used a light meter or rated the film at any speed. Why? Well there is no speed rating for Infrared film, there is just a sensitivity to the Infrared part of the spectrum. If there is Infrared there, you will get it onto the film, if there is none, obviously you won't get much of an image at all.

Clear Sun Summer R72 filter 1/125 f/16
Clear Sun Winter R72 filter 1/125 f/11
Cloudy Bright R72 filter 1/60 f/11
Overcast R72 filter 1/30 f/11

These suggestions were given to me by Peter Hunter who worked at Kodak Melbourne. The original in-house instructions from Kodak worked very well at the latitude of Rochester USA, according to Peter.

These figures from Peter worked very well from approximately 38º Latitude (Melbourne's latitude) through to approximately 30º Latitude. I believe trial and error was pretty much how Peter arrived at these suggestions, whatever way he managed to get to these suggestions, they worked very well. I never used Infrared film while travelling, I couldn't handle the piping without a total blackout that my darkroom gave me.

I just looked at R72 filter box that my R72 filter came in, firstly the camera shop that sold it to me, went out of business in the late 90's, secondly, I paid $26.50 for it which included the 32% sales tax rate. :D

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Re: Infrared Adventures

Postby Maris » 18 Nov 2022, 13:43

Mick, I did the infrared motorcycle goggles experience about 40 years ago in Brisbane. Didn't buy the filters from John Barry but just stole them from all the lighting gel swatch books lying around the studio. The eye adapts amazingly well. The intense red view initially seen soon drifts into something recognisable as reality. The reverse happens when the goggles come off. I worried about eye damage but no, thank goodness.

Your infrared cheat sheet brings back nostalgic memories. But I don't see Kodak bringing back HIE. The latest infrared films have strictly near infrared sensitivity not deep infrared like HIE. There is a vague correlation between visible light and NIR so light meter based exposure decisions are useful, sorta. And the little red IR focussing index on the lens isn't really needed anymore.

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