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INFRARED FILM COMPARISON, Part 2


Independent report and analysis by Gary A. Reese, College of Southern Nevada, Department of Media Technologies, North Las Vegas, Nevada USA

General notes

Each film was developed in Kodak Xtol for the time indicated in the notes below. Agitation was for 5 sec. each 30 seconds for times under 10 min. Alternately, it was 10 sec. each min for times over 10 minutes. For the 1:2 dilution, I used a tank twice as large as necessary to hold the reels.

EI is the exposure index (film speed). I used an incident light meter held at camera position with the dome facing the camera.

Filters include None, a red R25 and an infrared R72.

Analog Gain is the control on Nikon film scanner which allow the user to control the exposure. Adjustments were often needed to compromise on how the scanner handled excessive contrast in the negative. I used the control to balance the shadow and highlight detail rendered A perfectly exposed negative for scanning purposes would have contrast at a low enough level to not require the use of analog gain. The higher the setting, the more a film/developer combination would benefit from tweaking the development time to reduce contrast in a high contrast early morning light scene like I shot. This could be achieved through a) higher dilutions, b) less developing time or c) the choice of a lower contrast developer.

Film loading was as per manufacturer's recommendations or better.


Efke IR820 R25 filter, EI 5

Efke IR820 R72 filter, EI 1.5

Ilford SFX200 R25 filter, EI 50

Ilford SFX200 R25 filter, EI 50a

Ilford SFX200 R25 filter, EI 100

Ilford SFX200 R72 filter, EI 3-6

Kodak HIE R25 filter, EI 100

Kodak HIE R72 filter, EI 50

Konica IR750 R25 filter, EI 10

Konica IR750 R25 filter

Konica IR750 R72 filter, EI 4-8

Rollei IR400 No filter, EI 200

Rollei IR400 R25 filter, EI 50-100

Rollei IR400 R72 filter, EI 4-8.jpg

Rollei IR400 R72 filter, EI 4
 
 

Notes for specific film/filter combinations

Kodak HIE R25 EI 100, Xtol 6 min
Best EI probably 80 (not shot). Excessive contrast requiring analog gain of 1.75 to retain detail in highlights (gravel), but with no shadow details. No analog gain (as shown) retained shadow detail but burned out highlights. Surprisingly controlled grain (although the second most grainy) and excellent sharpness in Kodak Xtol developer.

Kodak HIE R72 EI 50, Xtol 6 min
Moderately high contrast requiring analog gain of 0.43 to retain detail in highlights (gravel), but with no shadow details. No analog gain (as shown) retained shadow detail but burned out highlights. Lower contrast with stronger IR filter is opposite of other IR films. Surprisingly controlled grain (although the second most grainy) and excellent sharpness in Kodak Xtol developer.

Rollei IR400 R25 EI 50~100 Analog Gain -1.25, Xtol 1+1 @7.5 min
Analog gain of -1.25 necessary to balance shadows and highlights. Wide useable tonal range in negative. Mushy APX type grain, but as sharp as Ilford SFX.

Rollei IR400 No filter EI 200~400 Analog Gain -0.71, Xtol 1+1 @7.5 min
Analog gain of -0.71 necessary to balance shadows and highlights. Wide useable tonal range in negative. Mushy APX type grain, but as sharp as Ilford SFX.

Rollei IR400 7.5 min R72 EI 4 Analog Gain -0.1, Xtol 1+1
Analog gain of -0.47 necessary to balance shadows and highlights. Mushy APX type grain, but as sharp as Ilford SFX.

Konica IR750 R25 EI 10~20 Analog Gain -1.2, Xtol 1+1 @7 min
Analog gain of -1.25 necessary to balance shadows and highlights. Wide useable tonal range in negative. Finest grain of the group.

Konica IR750 R25 EI 10 Analog Gain -1.05, Xtol 1+1 @7 min
Analog gain of -1.05 necessary to balance shadows and highlights. Wide useable tonal range in negative. Finest grain of the group.

Konica IR750 R72 EI 4~8 Analog Gain -1.3, Xtol 1+1 @7 min
Analog gain of -1.3 necessary to balance shadows and highlights. Wide useable tonal range in negative. Finest grain of the group.

Ilford SFX200 Xtol No filter EI 50~100 Analog Gain -0.7, 1+1 @7 min
Analog gain of -0.7 necessary to balance shadows and highlights. Wide useable tonal range in negative. Fine grain and high sharpness.

Ilford SFX200 Xtol No filter EI 50 Analog Gain -0.8, 1+1 @7 min
Analog gain of -0.8 necessary to balance shadows and highlights. Wide useable tonal range in negative. Fine grain and high sharpness.

Ilford SFX200 Xtol R25 EI 100 Analog Gain -0.9 Reference, 1+1 @7 min
Analog gain of -0.9 necessary to balance shadows and highlights. Wide useable tonal range in negative. Fine grain and high sharpness. The best scene representation as I visualized it in infrared. I like the subtle infrared effects of lightening up the dark greens of vegetation, bringing out clouds with a darker sky and getting some lightening of shadows (i.e., adding some drama). Trying to force (with Photoshop controls) a negative which doesn't reproduce tones correctly often results in a print which reveals its flaws to a discerning viewer.

Ilford SFX200 R72 EI 3~6 Analog Gain -0.8, Xtol 1+1 @7 min
Analog gain of -0.8 necessary to balance shadows and highlights. Wide useable tonal range in negative. Fine grain and high sharpness.

Efke IR820 R25 EI 5, Xtol 1+2 @16 min
No analog gain needed - good film/filter/developer combination for this scene. Largest grain of group.

Efke IR820 R76 EI 1.5, Xtol 1+2 @16 min
Underexposured at least one stop. Least sharpness of group with largest grain.

 

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