Rollei IR 400 total failure

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Rob D, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. Rob D

    Rob D Member

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    I've just had a very frustrating experience and I'm hoping somebody can shed some light on this. I've just been getting back into shooting film again - I used to shoot a lot of film in the 60s and 70s - in addition to digital work. I loaded a roll of 35mm Rollei IR 400 in my 6006 (N60) the other day. I have spent a lot of time on the web reading exposure advice and I figured I had it down. Not so. Shooting with an R72, every exposure was essentially blank. Three shots I made with the filter off came out okay, so I know it wasn't a processing error.

    Bright sunny day. I metered at ISO 400 with R72: 1/60 f/4 (EV10); metered at ISO 6 with no filter : 1/60 f/4 (EV10). Shot brackets at 1/60 from 2.8 to 5.6 (EV 9, 10, 11). No images. For another scene, I metered at 400 without filter: 1/500 f/11 (EV 16) and with R72: 1/8 f/11 (ev 10). So by my camera meter, the R72 needs 6 stops compensation. Finally, I metered at ISO 6 with the R72: 1/2 f/2.8 (EV 4). I shot brackets at EV 3, 4, and 5 - no images. Processed the roll by presoaking for 2 minutes, then developing in D-76 stock 6.5 minutes @ 68deg, 5sec/30sec agitation.

    Except for the three shots without filter (auto-metered by the camera at ISO 400), and the black leader, the roll was blank. I'm starting to think (1) my camera meter isn't sensitive enough to IR, or (2) I'm missing something in all the forum reading I've done. I know there was plenty of IR in the scene, because I shot a few dozen digital exposures thru the R72 with my D70 at the same time as the film exposures.

    So I have no results at ISO 12, or 6 where other people have reported success. Does anybody have any ideas?
     
  2. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    My commiserations.I think I have heard that EI 3 or even 1.5 might be appropriate which is 7 or even 8 stops but at 6 stops down there should be something on the film. Is it possible that the filter had filtered out all light except that level of IR which Rollei 400 isn't capable of recording, hence blank film? This is certainly possible with certain filters and Ilford SFX film.

    Sorry it is a bit of a mystery to me. We can clearly rule out processing from you post. Here's a very long shot but only possible if the 3 shots without filter were all at the beginning. The film wound back after the first 3 shots. It even sounds ridiculous to me and I am clutching at straws but I am beaten

    pentaxuser
     
  3. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    You are using the same exposure with and without the filter? Then the exposure with the filter will be blank.
     
  4. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    No, he's metering at different speeds with and without the filter, and finding that the filter knocks off six stops (from ASA 400 to 12, while keeping the same exposure settings).

    The leader came out black and the three filterless exposures were there, so we pretty much know the film and processing were OK. All that leaves is the moment of exposure; for some reason, the IR that got through the filter didn't get to the film.

    Offhand, all I can think of is:

    1) never exposed (e.g., shutter malfunction or something similar that happened to coincide with when the filter went on);
    2) film's IR sensitivity is shot (was it fresh?);
    3) IR in the sensitivity range not available or filtered out (used the wrong filter by mistake, or the scene for whatever reason had plenty of high-IR visible to the digital, but hardly any near-IR)

    All three seem a little weird to me. People consistently report using around ASA 6 with this film with an R72/89B, so I don't think it's the wrong filter, unless you grabbed an 87 by mistake or something like that.

    Maybe test the camera thoroughly against any malfunctions, then shoot another roll including some extreme bracketing?

    -NT
     
  5. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I am thinking that the OP had a brain fart/typo with that statement.
     
  6. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    If the R72 filter is knocking out the light range visible to the film, the using a Red 25A may work. The 25A only cuts three f/stops.

    Steve
     
  7. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    If it was an 87 by mistake and this seems unlikely given what seems to be a fairly careful approach by him then if Rollei IR is like the former Maco 820 then according to Hugh Milsom in his IR photography book this will prevent those IR wavelengths to which the film is sensitive from getting through and would explain a blank film.

    Maybe the OP can check his filter again. If the correctly exposed negs were randomly taken at various frames in the film before and after the blanks then it would seem that we can rule out film winder or shutter problems.

    Again maybe the OP can give us answers to these two possibilities


    pentaxuser
     
  8. Rob D

    Rob D Member

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    Thanks everybody for the feedback.

    Pentaxuser: The three shots without filter were frames 1, 5, and 23 on the roll - kind of randomly scattered.

    ntenny: (1) The filter was on throughout the roll except for the 3 shots without it. (2) The film exp date was 4/2011 and was in a refrig at the dealer's. (3) The filter was a Hoya R72 (the only one I had with me) and it's the same one I use for digital IR with the D70 with good results. However, digital sensors (and sensor IR filters) and film probably don't have precisely the same sensitivity.

    According to some data sheets I have, IR-400's sensitivity starts dropping about 680 nm and declines rather sharply to zero at about 810 nm, while the R72's sensitivity starts climbing at about 680 and peaks about 760 and on down the spectrum. So it's certainly not ideal for this film, but other people have gotten good results with this combination. I've reexamined the film and for the EV 3, 4, and 5 shots (4, 2, and 1 sec @ f/5.6) there are very faint traces of the brightest highlights in the scene.

    I'm going to order another couple of rolls which will take a week or two, then wait for some sunny days and clear skies with a lot of IR (may be a while - I live about 50 miles south of Seattle, on Puget Sound). Then I'll try the following: (1) shoot some really extreme brackets starting with EV -2 (30 sec f/2.8) on up - of course, I'll run into reciprocity problems but at least I'll have some data. (2) Shoot some of the shots with a 25A filter. (3) Check the metering through the R72 with another couple of meters. (4) Shoot using my Nikon F and/or Leica M3 in addition to the 6006. (5) See if I can get ahold of an RG66/RG665 or RG695 filter that hits maximum transmission at about 700nm and on down to make use of the entire range of this film's IR sensitivity.

    I'll post here when I have some results. Again, thanks for all your input.

    Rob D
     
  9. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    I'm a little surprised the results are off as drastically as you describe, but it can be frustrating stuff. I've recently shot a number of rolls of 120 Rollei IR 400. I started from an incident light reading and with a 720 nm filter used a 6.5 to 8 stop exposure increase with generally decent results. Where I saw problems was in deep shadow areas it sometimes appeared there was almost no IR bouncing off; no amount of exposure produced much detail. I think there can be large effects from lighting conditions, especially if there is no direct sunlight. I doubt many meters match the film spectral curves, and it's a sure bet our eyes don't. I was even able to get some shots with a 760 nm filter, but that was obviously working down the sensitivity slope, needing up around 13 stops more exposure over the direct incident reading.

    I suspect metering through the IR filter could give optimistic numbers because the filter and the meter might be integrating illumination from wavelengths way outside the film's range.

    Of one thing I'm sure, it certainly calls for more experimenting than plopping in a roll of Tri-X!
     
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  10. Casey Kidwell

    Casey Kidwell Member

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    Doesn't the 6006 have IR film advance?
     
  11. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    wouldn't this only fog the sprockets/edges and there would be density on the film at least not blank/clear film?

    correct?
     
  12. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Blank or not blank? Was there any image at all?

    With the 72 filter I shoot this film with a 6-8 stop filter factor. With the 87 I shoot it with more like a 12 stop filter factor. I get good results but even in sunny 16 light, the exposures are often ~1 sec at f/8 or so with the 72 filter.
     
  13. Rob D

    Rob D Member

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    "Blank or not blank? Was there any image at all?"
    Except for the last shots around 1 to 4 seconds at f/5.6, which showed a few very faint points of light from the brightest reflections, the IR shots were blank - clear film.

    One correction to my last post - I said I used a Hoya R72 - I checked and it's actually an Opteka R72. Is anyone else using an Opteka filter, or possibly does the Opteka differ from other mfgrs and cuts off at longer wavelengths than around 720nm? If so, it might cut off most of the IR-400's sensitive wavelengths, which would explain the problem. I'll try to borrow another brand R72 for a few minutes from my local camera store, shoot a few on their porch, and see if it makes a difference.

    There's an interesting graph of filter spectra at www.surrealcolor.com; click on "about full spectrum and infrared" and it's about halfway down the page ("Common IR and UV Filters"). It's a digital IR site, but a filter is a filter. I assume his data are reasonably correct. There's also a page with tabular data for many IR filters at http://www.optical-filters.com/index.html. I used both of these to try to figure out what other filter might be comparable to an R72.

    By the way, what is an "IR film advance"? The 6006 has just a basic film advance, as far as I know, and I used it (them - I have two) for several years.

    Just some additional thoughts...

    Rob D
     
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  15. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    There are many optoelectronic components that can be used in light meters, whose spectral sensitivity goes far more into IR wavelengths than what an IR film can see. Actually, their peak response is usually at over 800nm and they can be sensitive to wavelengths above 1100nm. I don't know exactly how they're used in a typical meter, but using a meter to get useful readings through an IR filter doesn't sound like a good idea to me.
     
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  16. RobertV

    RobertV Member

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    99% for sure you have the WRONG filter.
    Rollei IR 820/400 will work perfectly with a Hoya 72R or a Heliopan RG715 (#88A) filter. And you need bright sunny conditions to have a good IR "wood" effect.

    So if no light and sensitivity is left you will have a blank film. Fortunately you made some exposures without filter and they seem to be all right.
    Around iso 12/25 you will have perfect IR pictures with above mentioned filters.

    Heliopan RG715 (715nm) can be bought in all different sizes. Even Bay I for (old) Rollei or Yashica TLR is still available.

    Here my (handheld) Yashica Mat 124-G TLR on Rollei IR 820/400 (1/30S at f=4,0).

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Rob D

    Rob D Member

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    Robert V "99% for sure you have the WRONG filter.
    Rollei IR 820/400 will work perfectly with a Hoya 72R or a Heliopan RG715 (#88A) filter. And you need bright sunny conditions to have a good IR "wood" effect."

    If you mean the wrong brand of R72 (Opteka), that could very well be, if there are quality issues. As I noted above, I'm going to try to borrow a Hoya R72 when I get some more film. But it is definitely stamped "R72". It was the only filter I took out with me that day.

    Rob D
     
  18. RobertV

    RobertV Member

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    OK let's see what happens.
     
  19. tokengirl

    tokengirl Member

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    I agree. Try one of the above mentioned filters, or a B+W #092 filter. That's the one I use, works perfectly when shot at ISO 12. Sample photos here.
     
  20. thegman

    thegman Member

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    I have shot Rollei IR400 with an R72 filter, rating at ISO 25, and they shots came out fine. Perhaps you could try sending one roll off to a pro lab like Peak Imaging and rule out any processing issues?
     
  21. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    No one answered so I'll take a stab even though I don't fully understand exactly how this works:

    Alot of electronic cameras use some form of ir to know where to advance the film so the frame spacing will be correct, to know if it's 24 or 36 frame roll.
    These cameras can fog ir film near the sprokets (maybe more) but this may only pertain to the old discontinued Kodak HIE I'm not sure? ? ?

    Some mechanical/older camera's also had a cloth curtain that could pass ir in some circumstances but this won't be a problem with the n65.

    http://photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/004nOH
    here's a quick google with a discussion on photonet. about the isssue.
     
  22. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    1 to 4 seconds at f5.6 produced some decent shots for me on the Rollei film with a 760 nm cutoff filter. Re-digesting this info this AM makes me think you may have one of the really long cutoff filters mounted in the wrong ring; e.g., a manufacturer's fubar. You should definitely try another filter.

    That's one of the infrared frustrations - you can lay two purportedly yellow filters side by side on a white paper and say "hey, that one is darker (or orange)" but with IR, they pretty much all look black.
     
  23. Rob D

    Rob D Member

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    Well, my order for 3 more rolls of Rollei IR400 finally arrived, and I managed to acquire a Hoya R72 filter. I'm going out tomorrow or as soon as we get some naked sunlight around here and try some more tests. I'll report back as soon as I develop the film.

    Rob D
     
  24. Rob D

    Rob D Member

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    Well, I've finally found the reason I was getting no images with my R72 and Rollei IR-400. After reading all your posts, I began suspecting that the problem was with my filter. Many of you used Hoya R72's, while mine is an "bargain" Opteka R72. I acquired a Hoya R72 and ran another series of tests on a roll of IR-400 I just bought. I think my results might interest you. I hope this isn't too long, or have too much detail.

    On a bright sunny clear day at about 1500 hrs I shot four series of exposures as Puget Sound landscapes with my N6006, as well as metering with a Sekonic L308S handheld. All exposures were at f/2.8. I also shot 3 unfiltered check shots on autoexposure at ISO 400. The series, with 1 stop intervals, were:
    (1) 1/4 to 30 sec with Opteka R72, EV 5 to -2. (2) 1/30 to 15 sec with Hoya R72, EV 8 to -1. (3) 1/15 to 8 sec with a Kodak 87 gel filter, EV 7 to 0. (4) 1/30 to 2 sec with a piece of unexposed & processed 120 Velvia film, EV 8 to 2. Five minute water presoak, then D-76, 6.5 minutes, 68 degrees.

    The results were as follows. Calculated ISO's are figured from the Sekonic UNFILTERED ISO 400 reading of 1/500 f/11, EV 16 .
    [1] No images on any of the Opteka R72 exposures; clear film. Reciprocity failure didn't help, of course.
    [2] Good exposure with the Hoya R72 at 1/30sec f/2.8 (EV8) (8 stops down from ISO 400, calc ISO: 1).
    [3] Good exposure with the 87 gel at 1 second, f2.8 (EV 3) (13 stops down from ISO 400, calc ISO 0.01).
    [4] Good exposure with the Velvia, 1/30 f/2.8 (EV 8) (9 steps down from ISO 400, calculated ISO 0.5).

    From these results and testing with my unmodified D70, it's obvious that the Opteka R72 starts passing light somewhere longer than about 820nm, the cutoff point for IR-400 per Rollei's data sheet, so I never had a chance with this filter. It's probably more like an 87C or 87B or B&W 093. The 87 passes more of the shorter wavelengths, and the Hoya R72 behaves like a nominal R72 that you can find curves for on the net. The Velvia also passes IR and gives rather intresting results. Contrast is highest with the Opteka and decreases as you move through the 87, Hoya, and Velvia. This isn't surprising since scenics are usually either sunlit (high IR) with shadows indirectly lit (low IR), and the sky doesn't reflect back IR as much as it does visible light to the shadow areas; so the Opteka sees only IR. The Hoya and Velvia film can be seen to pass some deep red by looking at a bright light through them.

    One final note. Metering with the Sekonic and the N6006 with no filter, the Opteka, and Hoya, I found that meter response with these filters does not relate to the film's sensitivity, probably since the meter sensors are sensitive way deep into the infrared (guess, 900-1000 nm?). So for my use I'm going to meter with no filter then subtract stops, and bracket.

    Thanks very much for your interest and comments, which definitely helped me discover where the problem lay.

    Rob D
     
  25. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Glad to read this -- as the old saying goes -- "Now it all makes sense." :D

    I hope you get some good stuff now that it's sorted out.
     
  26. Rob D

    Rob D Member

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    Oops. The Velvia result should be "1/30 sec f/2.8 (EV 8) 8 steps down from ISO 400, calc ISO 1" (like the Hoya R72) instead of 9 steps down and ISO 0.5. Sorry.

    Rob D