A comment on my review of Rollei Infrared film triggered this follow up. In his comment, Neal Wellons pointed out, quite correctly, that, for infrared photography, using a rangefinder camera would be much simpler than a single lens reflex (SLR) which is what I had available for the article. The rangefinder route certainly would be more hassle free than the SLR, so I decided I should try out some IR in my Retina IIc rangefinder.
Rollei Infrared 400
Rollei Infrared is a high speed, panchromatic, monochrome film with sensitivity to visible light which extends into the near infrared (IR). FP4+ film, for example covers from 350nm (nanometres) to just over 650nm whilst Rollei Infrared film reaches just over 800nm from a low reading of closer to 400nm, so a 30% or so increase in the available wavelength.
I’ve been shooting film for almost 5 years now and was very lucky to have a father that introduced me to film photography – one of the greatest lessons he’s taught me is the intertwining of photography basics and the spirit of science. To that end, I thought I’d share one of my favourite film projects to date. For a while now I’ve been fascinated by the look of Infrared (IR) film.
I live in the great white north (aka Michigan) so the arrival of Spring means two things
1. We go to Florida, because Spring really arrives around the middle of May, not March 21.
2. When the sun finally rears its head long enough to make a difference the arrival of leaves on the deciduous trees, I load up some infrared film to soak up all the IR light from all the photosynthesis going on.
Infrared film photography has always intrigued me as a way of getting some unusual effects. I had a roll Rollei Infrared 400 which I had been wanting to try out for a while, but was just waiting for the right time and inspiration. An approaching typhoon off Japan yielded some rather dramatic cloud formations in an otherwise deep blue sky, and I though the time was right to give infrared a go.