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03-18-2009, 10:53 AM   #1
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Talk to me about Infrared film and processing it

Today in class the teacher talked to us a little bit about infrared photos. The teacher just gave us a brief interview of what it is and how it looks like. He didn't give us any detailed info on how to process it and stuff like that.

So I decided to do some digging on the internet and found out some more infos about infrared. One of the thing that worried me was that some camera don't work well with infrared film because the body sometimes leaks small amount of infrared light and the image can be "fogged". I heard this was true on some canon camera and nikon where better, but nothing on pentax film bodies.

I have two pentax film bodies, the K1000 and the ZX-L.
I was told that since the ZX-L had a clear plastic opening on the back of the camera I needed to tape that up. No problem, but how about any other leaks on the camera? How about the K1000? Has anyone tried infrared film on any of those two camera?

How about processing the film? Do you use the same chemical as the traditional black and white film? Do you process it any differently? I also read that even if the room was dark(typical room for rolling the film) it is recommended that you should use a bag to roll the film while inside the darkroom because infrared is more sensitive to light. The light from a watch or the glow in the dark clock can damage the film. How truthful is that?

Do I still need an infrared filter on the lens as well? According to Hoya's website they sell infrared filter to go with infrared film but they also said that you can use color filter to enhance the image as well. But they did not say anything about if I need to stacking the color filters on top of the infrared filter.

I know this is a lot of questions and thanks in advance for anyone who answers my question.

03-18-2009, 12:50 PM   #2
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Your K1000 is the best bet.
DX windows will leak IR, and some of the plastic camera backs will as well.
AF isn't a good bet with IR film because the IR focus point is different from visible light.
Many older lenses will have an IR focus mark as well as a visible spectrum mark. It's the little red line to the left (on Pentax) of the focus mark.

Handle IR film in complete darkness. This means learning how to load your camera in the dark. If you have a dim green safelight, you can probably get away with using it for loading.
Don't wind the film tongue all the way back into the cartridge when you rewind (this is good technique for anyone who is self processing, it just makes things easier.

IR film is still panchromatic, so you will want an IR cut filter on the lens to stop visible light. This means compose, focus, refocus for IR, then install the filter and take the shot.
Focus and then adjust the focus point to the IR mark.

03-18-2009, 01:07 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Your K1000 is the best bet.
DX windows will leak IR, and some of the plastic camera backs will as well.
AF isn't a good bet with IR film because the IR focus point is different from visible light.
Many older lenses will have an IR focus mark as well as a visible spectrum mark. It's the little red line to the left (on Pentax) of the focus mark.

Handle IR film in complete darkness. This means learning how to load your camera in the dark. If you have a dim green safelight, you can probably get away with using it for loading.
Don't wind the film tongue all the way back into the cartridge when you rewind (this is good technique for anyone who is self processing, it just makes things easier.

IR film is still panchromatic, so you will want an IR cut filter on the lens to stop visible light. This means compose, focus, refocus for IR, then install the filter and take the shot.
Focus and then adjust the focus point to the IR mark.

When we roll the film in class, we do it in complete darkness, no safelight. I have no problem in rolling the film in complete darkness. I thought that the glowing light on the clock could damage the infrared film or something.

As far as winding the film back into the cartridge, the teacher has something to pull it back out. I know how to do that with the K1000, but I don't know how to do it with the ZX-L since it is automatic.

Thanks for the tip.
03-19-2009, 12:06 AM   #4
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What IR Film are you using?
most of them are not as sensitive and can be loaded with a green safelight or even under subdued light
The ZX should not be a problem, IR is blocked very easily by plastic and metal.

You develop normally, but need a deeerp red or a IR filter (Hoya R72, Wratten 89b, etc) in front of the lens to get the effect

03-19-2009, 12:56 AM   #5
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Did infrared film in my military service 20 years ago, so I have forgot most. I remember that it was not only very sensitive to light, but also to heat. Infrared radiation is basically heat. So store it cold, avoid strong heat sources, they radiate infrared that you don't see.

Even without a filter to block visible light, you will get interresting effects as you mix visible and infrared light.

It was quite fun.
03-19-2009, 01:00 AM   #6
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Oh, forgot. My five cents about taking film out of the film casset.

I alwasy rewind all the way, so that there is no risk that I by mistake dubbelexpose the same film once more.

Every time the film pass the soft material in the casset opening, there is some risk of scratches etc. So what I do? I take a beer openar and break up the casset and handle the whole film in my hand. Very easy. When I was a kid I used to open it with my teeth (at least some cassets worked that way), then I got conserned about the effect it had on my teeth. Beer opener is an important dark room equipment, especially as it can also be used to open a beer!
03-19-2009, 05:55 AM   #7
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I shot IR film from 1999 to about 2005, then started to just do it with Dslr's and converted P&S's.

They say You can load the film into a camera in subdued light, but I always loaded in a dark room, as recommended. When i stored the film for the trip to the lab, i would keep it in its black canister and use electrical tape around the lid, so as not to have the lab guy open it in day light.
I have heard the dimples on the film plate of the K1000 could do some damage to the film, so i used my old SP500 as my IR camera. Lenses have the IR marks for focus.

I used the 25 red filter mostly with very nice results. At least you can compose and focus with the 25.
I use the Hoya R72 for Dslr work, but now have a converted Canon G3 which does a really good job.
I shot at 1/125 Tv and F 8 or 11. No need to factor in an ISO. I then told the lab these settings and they developed accordingly.

Hope that helps.

Dave
03-19-2009, 06:07 AM   #8
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Can't answer on the IR but as for the film leader I always wind it all the way in. Never been a problem to load onto my reels whether stainless or plastic. Just use a bottle opener "church key" to pop the top and remove the film and load. I wind it so I know for sure that it's exposed.

I use to have one of those "film loaders" for the stainless reels but it was more trouble than it was worth. Just got the feel for it and never missed. And I use to process many, many rolls in one session back in the day.

03-19-2009, 07:37 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by titrisol Quote
What IR Film are you using?
most of them are not as sensitive and can be loaded with a green safelight or even under subdued light
The ZX should not be a problem, IR is blocked very easily by plastic and metal.

You develop normally, but need a deeerp red or a IR filter (Hoya R72, Wratten 89b, etc) in front of the lens to get the effect

Sorry I don't know what kind of IR film I will be using. I have no bought any. I heard my teacher talk about IR image and it got me intrested so I did a little research but haven't thought about what type.
When you say type do you mean brands or are there different types of them even within the same brand?

Thanks everyone for the info on IR.
03-19-2009, 10:47 AM   #10
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At the moment there are only extended IR films, not pure IR films anymore
I have used Ilford SFX, Efke Aura and those are cool.
google marco pauck infrared for a comparison of the film types
03-19-2009, 03:04 PM   #11
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So it can be developed in regular B&W chemicals...I didn't know that...

I got that from reading this page. Man...IR seems like so much effort...
03-20-2009, 12:20 AM   #12
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IR photgraphy is a real joy actually, not so much effort
Ilford SFX, or EFKE/MACO IR are normal BW films with "Extended" sensibility.

This is one of the types of photography in which SLRs are not the best cameras thoguh, since the IR filters make almost impossible to compose and focus.
I prefer to use RF cameras or TLR cameras for it.

Marco P page is gone forever but look at this one
CoCam: Infrared Photography - Infrared FAQ
03-20-2009, 12:34 PM   #13
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Bookmarked...but way to much to read at the moment
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