Rollei IR 400 in 4x5, what a pain!

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by PKM-25, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Firstly, let me say I *Love* the look of this film, super sharp, a unique but not overly-glowy IR effect, just stunning in 120. In fact, I have zero issues with it in 120 and will gladly continue to use it.

    But the 4x5 version, it has SO much potential in that size with the already tight grain. But it is so damn thin I just can not get a handle on it, a pain to load, a pain to process, a pain in general. After shooting about 100 sheets of it in the past 9 months, I have about had it, really wish Ilford would make SFX in 4x5 with a nice sturdy Delta-100 like base.

    Is anyone having decent luck with this film in 4x5? I wish it were easier, but at least I can shoot it in 120 via my 6x12 back and my Blad, other than that, I think I am done with it in 4x5.

    Just venting...
     
  2. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    What specifically about it being so thin makes it hard to process?
     
  3. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    It has to either be tray or drum processed as hydrostatic pressure moves the film around too much. It also needs a pre-wet which is not really a big deal. I have never tray processed so I use a pair of Jobo Expert 3010 drums. Most of the time it does fine in the drums, but I have to dial back the rotation speed from "4" to about 3.5 as I have still had it come dislodged and stick to the sheet opposite it. The other thing is you have to go a little slower in pouring chemistry in and out of the drums even using the lift, again, they come loose. It was absolutely horrible using a Mod54, they all ended up sticking together...

    I just wrote both Eric at Freestyle and Simon at Ilford about SFX in 4x5. I think when using an R72 filter they are pretty close and SFX has even finer grain.

    I have decided I am done with the Rollei stuff in all formats for now. SFX is cheaper, always in stock, finer grain, just as sharp as Rollei, close to the same IR effect I am looking for and supports the best analog company in the world...

    Maybe if we are lucky, we could see SFX in 4x5...
     
  4. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Dear PKM-25,

    Whilst I am a great proponent of 'never say never' it is just not economically viable to make SFX on a sheet film base. Sorry.

    Simon. ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
     
  5. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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    Dan - there is a simple cure for films moving around in the tank - Use the 2509n reel in 2500 system tanks. You will never see a sheet in a different position then it was when you loaded not matter how fast you rotate, how fast your pour in and how much you pour in.
    Though expert drums are undoubtedly superior, this might be a solution for this particular film.
     
  6. landscapepics

    landscapepics Member

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    I don't shoot 4*5, but in the UK, Rollei IR400 is a lot cheaper than Ilford SFX in 35mm and 120 sizes
     
  7. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    You could also try a single sheet in each hole of the drum.
     
  8. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    That is what it will likely come down to, but that does not solve how brutal it is to load in the field, it's super fragile being as thin as it is and it also scratches easier than any other film I have used.
     
  9. piu58

    piu58 Member

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    Normally, MF film is the thinnest, 35 mm is thicker and sheet film is even more thicker. MF can be found in the range of 100-110µm, 35 mm film is around 120 µm and sheet film 180 µm or more.
    IR 400 is made from aerial or traffic film, which is only available in on base thickness, usually around 100µm. This is ok for MF, gives slightly problems in handling 35 mm but ist much to thin for sheet film. This is part of the price we pay for having that film in all formats. It is not specially produced for pictorial photography, and we have to live with the consequences.
     
  10. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Would using a hardener fix some of the scratching issues? I had to use that on my antique GAF Aerial film because it was just too sensitive and would scratch just unspooling it from the reel to hang... got a fixer with hardener and that seemed to solve it. However I'm unfamiliar with IR films (which is ironic since I have 2 packs of Rollie in my freezer, but I haven't bought a 77mm IR Dark Red filter yet haha) so I'm not sure if it's the same as any regular film.

    And yea even if it takes a lot longer, using 1 sheet per hole instead of 2 isn't SO bad if it saves frustration and damaged shots...

    PS I'll take this trouble off your hands for free :wink: hehe
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2012
  11. Ikon

    Ikon Member

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    I have the same experience. I use the Rollei 100 Tonal, a film on the same thin polyester base as the Infrared. I cut the 4x5 film to 6,5x9 sheets that I use in my Technika. When developed in the 2509 reel, it works fine.
    Although I cut the film in my darkroom with a roller cutter, I have no problems with scratches.
     
  12. madgardener

    madgardener Member

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    Speaking of IR film, has there been any progress on Harman looking into adding an IR film to their lineup?
     
  13. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    yes. go to page one of this thread and scroll down.
     
  14. nana sousa dias

    nana sousa dias Member

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