The Real Infrared! If you want to see what shines in the colours you can't see, this is it.
The Real Infrared! If you want to see what shines in the colours you can’t see, this is it.
This is as close as you can come to Kodak High Speed Infrared, that’s fresh and new. All you need is a suitable camera (120 is easier to load), something to steady the camera on, because the exposures are long, and the right filter. This film doesn’t cut off until 820nm, so you can get wonderful infrared effects. Foliage will be light and shiny, the sky dark, and people will be luminous and translucent. Make sure your clothes are thick and wooley, if you are in the picture. Otherwise, your naughty bits might shine through.
The photos in this review were shot with a Rollei 3.5f and a Fuji GW690III.
If the film is 35mm, you must load your camera in a changing bag. There is no antihalation layer on the film, and the leader on 35mm will pipe light and fog half the roll. 120 film allows loading in very dim light. It has a paper backing, and the film is not exposed on loading. Keep the film cool until you’re ready to use it.
Anyway, put your loaded camera on the tripod, and put on the cable release. Focus on your subject, then back of the focus point to the infrared mark (longer wavelength, different focus point) or first depth of field mark. Put on the filter (Hoya R72 or Kodak Wratten #88A or #87) and make the exposure. The exposure will be about a half a second at f/16 in bright sunlight. Calculate from there.
Here’s the exposure data for your light meter:
- Unfiltered = ISO 100
- Yellow filter = ISO 50
- Orange filter = ISO 25
- Red filter = ISO 12
- Dark red filter = ISO 6
- Opaque red filter (that Hoya R72) = ISO 3
The fiercer the filter, the greater the infrared effect. Don’t use a RG830 or a Wratten #87C; these are too dense, even for this film, and only work on real Kodak High Speed Infrared (cut off 950nm).
Efke ir820 can be developed in normal black and white chemistry, like stock Kodak D-76 for about 7 minutes at 20C (so says the darkroom tech at the photo shop). Just make sure of total darkness, and watch out for infrared frame counters on automated developing machines.
For Holga users, put this film in the camera, seal the leaks really well,including the red window, use the red filter, put it on a tripod, guess the advance turns, and use 4 1/100 second exposures in bright sunlight (more or less) at the f/11 stop.
If you want infrared effects, I highly recommend Efke ir820 and don’t be afraid to experiment!