Kodak EIR: A Roll of Film No Amount of Piggies Can Buy!


Long lost but never forgotten, Kodak EIR may be completely discontinued and rarer than Charizard, but poke your nose in the right places, and you may just unveil a little gem.

In the Lomography world we are constantly trying to push the boundaries by composing the most surreal images using techniques that would have be highly frowned upon during the peak of analogue photography in the mid 1900’s. X-pro, double exposures, film soups, splitzers, sprocket rockets, etc. has all become the norm and using a camera conventionally is becoming a thing of the past.

One method that I recently stumbled upon is colour infrared, the thing that makes it so unique is that it is nothing like any other film out there. The results are incredible when exposed correctly.

Credits: chilledvondub

The availability of this film let’s say is pretty scarce. Kodak stopped producing the film a long time ago and any 35mm format rolls you may stumble upon these days would sell on auction sites for big cash. But wait, there’s still hope! A keen customer by the name of Dean Bennici bought out large quantities of sheets of Kodak EIR uncut to roll and cut into films himself. Now he has pushed out 1000’s of rolls supplying film enthusiasts all over the globe. Due to legal reasons Kodak insisted he listed them as second hand so they couldn’t be held liable for any faults or imperfections to the film, but Dean decided to rebrand the product and called it Aerochrome. This film is definitely a investment but its the kind of product you may only ever get to use once, so its worth it!

Credits: chilledvondub

Regardless of the reward of finally getting hold of a roll then having the pleasure of shooting with it, this film teaches you a lot. Lomography law states you should take your camera out with you all the time and shoot everything and everywhere without care of the end results, but this film remains segregated from this rule. It requires math, science, great care, and a great subject.

When shooting Kodak EIR:

  • Rule 1 – The film must be loaded and unloaded in complete darkness, therefore shooting multiple rolls on the go without a changing bag or complete opaque facility it’s not going to happen.
  • Rule 2 – Due to Kodak EIR catching light from a Infrared spectrum its requires a filter similar to traditional B&W IR photography either yellow or orange will do the job.
  • Rule 3 – Metering is key, this film is incredibly sensitive and requires precise exposure time, f stops and correct speed rating. Users preferences vary between 200-400ISO. So unfortunately toy camera users to avoid spoiling such an incredible this one isn’t for you.
  • Rule 4 – Focusing is another factor that needs great attention, high quality lenses on analogue SLR’s will have a IR scale situated on the lens next to the focusing ring and depth of field scale to aid you to set the focus to the right point. It is quite a common occurrence for people using this film to forget about that factor when shooting with Kodak EIR, so ensure you’re mindset to remember that detail before pressing the shutter button.
  • Rule 5 – Testing your lab or having your wits about you with you own processing kit. This film is designed to be processed in an old Kodak process but works exceptionally well in E6. Like all slide films, it can also be cross processed but you’d have to take this into consideration whilst shooting before getting it developed. Most importantly is to ensure the film isn’t exposed to any form of IR light. You’d have to ask the technicians turn off any IR sensors their equipment may possess as it will fog and potentially ruin your film.
Credits: chilledvondub

So after forking out an arm and leg and treating the film like a baby, what are you meant to expect? You could say the most surreal looking images with the most unusual colour shifts. Vegetation like grass, trees, and even clothing made from an organic material glows red with huge intensity. Blue water and clear blue skies take on a dark vivid almost black colour and skin tones turn yellow resulting in people looking like real life Simpsons.

Credits: pussylove & 5thdimension

In summary, this film really does appeal to a wide audience. Both Lomographers and film enthusiasts can thrive using this film. It provides crazy colour casts with huge contrast almost like a redscale film on steroids for the likes of a Lomo lover. Then hitting the nail on the head and really putting your camera and knowledge to the test using this amazing film appeals to all the film fanatics out there.
This will definitely be one of the more rewarding film you’d ever shoot on and is definitely an honour to say you have used it. Whens its all gone it will be sorely missed.

Credits: lomodirk, uptv & goatofrocketh

written by chilledvondub on 2013-03-11 #gear #120 #review #colours #e6 #eir #unusual #aerochrome #kodak #ir #mediumformat #rare


  1. guanatos
    guanatos ·

    great article! the steps are really helpful :)

  2. muhamad_haiz_shamsudin
    muhamad_haiz_shamsudin ·

    Holy infrared batman! Thanks for the tip! Any idea if it's still available on ebay and such?

  3. chilledvondub
    chilledvondub ·

    @muhamad_haiz_shamsudin - Google Areochrome for sale and you shall find Dean's website you have to contact him directly and arrange a payment with him personally

  4. kangiha
    kangiha ·

    Great article, I posted a shot here that shows you what the infrared fogging ends up looking like if you're curious www.lomography.com/homes/kangiha/blog/94134-ir-light-in-the… Cheers!

  5. kangiha
    kangiha ·

    and really nice shots!

  6. feelux
    feelux ·

    Awesome read + photos! Thanks for the tips! :)

  7. chilledvondub
    chilledvondub ·

    @feelux - thanks a lot :)

  8. chilledvondub
    chilledvondub ·

    @kangiha - thanks for that post! it really does spoil the image thats such a shame

  9. christiscursed
    christiscursed ·

    Great article but when you say 200-400 iso you're a little off. It has to be exactly 200 for processing in e6 and exactly 400 for processing in c41 chemicals. If you're off on that you could completely over or underexpose this rare expensive film.

  10. qrro
    qrro ·

    I use this at ISO 320 and developed in C41

  11. chilledvondub
    chilledvondub ·

    @christiscured - rated at 400 developed in E6 worked fine. The person responsible for the production of this film even prints on the canister of the film for it to be rated at 400 and developed E6. If i used a dark red filter i would rate it at exactly 200 ISO to maybe compensate for the 1 or 2 stops provided by the filter. Either way you can't pin point the exact ISO so don't troll (y)

    @qrro - 320 is a safe speed! i'd imagine you still get huge contrast without the film being blown out

  12. rbruce63
    rbruce63 ·

    Hi, did you had it processed in a mini lab or was it "dip and dunk"?

  13. chilledvondub
    chilledvondub ·

    @rbruce63 - was developed a pro photolab so neither mini lab or in a processing kit :)

  14. lazybuddha
    lazybuddha ·

    Nice article. A couple of points, firstly the film is rated at 400 ISO for E6 and about 320 ISO for C-41 but you're right it's impossible to be precise because IR light is affected by very many factors such as latitude, time of day and height above sea level. Secondly, Dean Bennici didn't rebrand EIR as Aerochrome. EIR is the colour infrared chemistry that until a few years ago was commonly available in 135mm format only. Aerochrome is the colour infrared chemistry that was designed for use in aerial photography and was only available for industrial and military uses and came in 400ft rolls. Although they are very similar they are not the same chemistry. Here's my article if you're interested;

  15. ihave2pillows
    ihave2pillows ·

    What's the major difference between Aerochrome and the EIR?

  16. chilledvondub
    chilledvondub ·

    @ihave2pillows - I will most likely be corrected and trolled for this but as far as I'm aware they're the same. I've used Aerochrome 120 format which was hand rolled and cut from a large stock of Kodak EIR. And i have used a genuine Kodak EIR 35mm and from what I recollect the film was similar in thickness. emulsion etc. When you buy a roll of Aerochrome 120 on the film canister it's labelled as Aerochrome (EIR).

    I have read somewhere that Dean Bennici who pushed out all this Aerochrome had to rebrand it as Kodak didn't want to be held responsible for any imperfections people may encounter shooting it, as he was producing the rolls off his own back. But like someone posted before apparently that isn't true, but regardless of what people claim to know they both provide vivid glowing pictures capturing light from the IR spectrum with a false colour outcome.

    Although i can correct the previous comment on one point EIR isn't the name for the colour infra-red chemistry, its merely the films name Kodak Ektachrome Infrared (EIR) the chemistry process is actually called AR-5 which is a Kodak process using Kodak EA-5 chemicals (which are also now practically impossible to get hold of) All the info for the film is available on the Kodak website, where you can download the pdf tech sheet.

    But going back to your original question the major difference Aerochrome and EIR is the format as far as I'm aware.

    Which ever you get your hands on, it's going to be a joy to shoot on :D

  17. ihave2pillows
    ihave2pillows ·

    Woah! Thank you for spending time to answer my question :) You're wonderful!

  18. blackowl7
    blackowl7 ·

    There used to be a shop called Pastel Photo Labs, I think it was in Madison Heights, near Detroit that would print IR Color negative film, so they might do the color positive also, Their price was quite reasonable at the time, but that was several years ago.

  19. gongadin
    gongadin ·

    Dean Bennici did not rebrand EIR and call it "Aerochrome". Aerochrome and EIR are two different film stocks, both produced by Kodak. Dean Bennici bought large amounts of Aerochrome stock and cut the Aerochrome stock down to 120 size, spooling it all by hand. To shoot EIR it's best to use a light orange filter and rate the film at ASA 200. To shoot Aerochrome it's best to use a yellow filter ( any shade of yellow) or a light orange filter, and rate the film at 400 ASA. You can use red and green filters but the results aren't worth it in my opinion. I've only had experience with Kodak EIR through buying expired film and Aerochrome through buying it in 120 format and 16mm format from Dean Bennici. I know that the Photography Project is selling a 35mm infrared film that they're calling Aerochrome, but I've never used it. I don't know if they've rebranded their film or not. The 2016 expiry date on their film makes me suspicious - Dean Bennici cornered the market on Kodak Aerochrome and the freshest stock he found expired in 2011.

  20. joepad
    joepad ·

    Just a correction. I have shot hundreds of rolls of Kodak EIR and it does not have to be loaded and unloaded in total darkness, and you focus normally too. The reason for this is that the color emulsion layers protect the IR sensitive layer of the film, so it won't fog and the color layers allow normal focusing. Only Kodak HIE had to be focus adjusted as well as loaded and unloaded in total darkness.

  21. photobob
    photobob ·

    This summer I finally exposed my one and only roll of Kodak EIR that I had purchased locally, many years prior. I was really impressed with the results and my initial impression after having shot many rolls of B&W infrared was that this film is much easier to achieve consistently good results. I've posted a few images over on my Instagram (www.instagram.com/bob_st.cyr/) page.
    Thanks for the information in this great little article :)

  22. altprocess
    altprocess ·

    I recently purchased three rolls of frozen Kodak Ektachrome 2236 EIR film (and two rolls of frozen Kodachrome 64). The technical spec sheet published by Kodak specifically states to use a dark yellow filter (#12) and NOT to use the infrared focusing lines. I'm sure any yellow or orange filter will work as you suggest. Michael Freeman's Amphoto workshop book on film also says not to use the infrared marks on the lens used for BW infrared. Thanks for the article.

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