I really love infrared images. The look of white foliage with black skies and the dramatic contrast it provides can produce wonderful images. I have shot many infrared images with the Leica M8 and the B+W 092 filter and the results are great. Infrared can transform a dull scenery to a great image. I also have shot a couple of infrared films like the Ilford SFX200 and Efke IR820 with the Leica M. Great images also but I found the grain to be too much.
So, after looking at some wonderful images on the Internet made with medium format cameras I decided to purchase a few rolls of medium format Rollei IR film. Before i go out and practice analog infrared photography I had of course to shoot a test roll to find both the correct ISO and the developing time.
For that reason I chose the Mamiya 645 Pro TL camera which offers more automations (and an exceptional light meter) from my Fuji GSW690, and also gives me 15 frames per roll, plenty enough for testing.
Bracketing of course was necessary. With the Hoya R72 I chose to shoot at ISO 25,12 and 6. The developing time was 6 minutes at 20C using the Kodak D76 developer. A 5 minutes presoak was also done before using the developer.
My results showed that three out of four times ISO 6 was the best choice. So, it’s about 5 to 6 stops factor for the Hoya R72 (Rollei IR is a 400 film). I also got a couple of good looking images at ISO 12, but still ISO 6 was the best. According to the available light and scenery I decided I should bracket for ISO 12 and ISO 6 when shooting this film at the future. That means 4 images per roll for the Fuji GSW690 and just two images per roll for the Gaoersi 617 camera (i don’t have a IR filter for the Lee Holder but I would sure like to take some infrared images with a panoramic camera, so it’s in my wishing list).
The grain or course is much less evident of the 6×4.5 negative, the tonality is better and I can only predict that with 6×9 format things will be much better. If you look at the images you will see that lightning conditions were not optimal for infrared, not enough sun but I was eager on testing this film so that on a good day I will be ready !!
More images with the Rollei IR coming soon (if the weather allows it of course !!)
(c)2011 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved.