Shooting Infrared with large format...

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by PKM-25, May 13, 2012.

  1. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    So I am starting to shoot some Rollei IR400 in 4x5 with my standard R72 filter, using a 90, 135 and 180mm lens. For the next week, I will be using my existing Toyo 45CF, then a Chamonix 45N-2 that might get here as early as this week.

    I use this film regularly in 120 with a 501C/M to great effect, use the IR focusing marks on the CF lenses.
    But I shot two holders of it today in 4x5 and forgot to back off the focus since there is no IR compensation mark. Generally use F/16-32 on my lenses along with some tilt on landscape images, so what are people doing if anything in terms of focusing for IR film in large format?

    Also, with a film like Rollei IR400, do I not need to worry about the bellows as much as say, HIE?

    What's the word?
     
  2. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    I used a box of the Rollei stuff, shooting much of it with a vintage MPP 5x4. Didn't have any issues with bellows. However, I quickly came to dislike the thin base of the stuff with a passion and switched to Efke Aura. Now that I have a Wista (quite a bit lighter than the MPP), I've not seen any problems shooting the slower Efke film. I'd suspect the Rollie film would be just fine in the Wista if I really wanted to go back.
     
  3. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    Do a search on the chamonix bellows, they won't work. I've written about the alternatives on the LF forum. Don't worry about focus, that's what the schneider rep told me since the difference is so minute, you won't be able to calculate it on a field camera.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Adams in The Camera says that to correct IR focus, increase bellows extension by 1/70 the focal length. Surely it must vary by focal distance, but this is going to put you closer than making no adjustment at all, and it would be easy to measure. You could just put a scale on the bed of the camera marked in units 1/70 the focal length of your usual lens choices, or make yourself a little ruler for the purpose marked for 1/70 the focal length of each lens you will be carrying.

    If I were shooting 4x5" with a 150mm lens and my groundglass were 2mm out of calibration, I'd consider that important enough to fix. Part of the IR look is the glow, especially with film that doesn't have an anti-halation backing, but then one might ask how much of the "glow" comes from halation, how much from dispersion of IR wavelengths, and how much just from being out of focus? Focus is at least something you can control and make some decisions about. If I were a regular IR shooter--and I haven't been in years--I'd probably do some focus-bracket tests to get a handle on controlling that part of the image.
     
  5. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    David, great info and great point, I have the perfect little ruler and actually have "The Camera" coming to round out my Ansel trio...

    Vinny, wow, that is not good at all, I was planning on shooting IR film at least 40% of the time in 4x5. I have to say, the 45CF grows on me more every day and had I known this tidbit about IR film with the Chamonix, I am almost positive I would have decided against buying it. Hugo really needs to put this info on the site so people can make an informed decision, this is essentially a deal breaker for me and I don't have any idea how to go about getting Shenhao bellows and how much they cost...

    I might be selling this camera before I even use it...:-(
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2012
  6. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    I use 120, but haven't shot IR in 4x5 in recent history; given that the IR sensitivity (especially the Rollei material) is pretty limited compared with films of yore, I'd think less compensation would be needed, it's not really seeing the longer wavelengths. The focus bracket test would be an interesting exercise.
     
  7. KenS

    KenS Member

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    When exposing IR film, increase the total extension by one quarter of one percent of the total distance from the ground glass to the nodal point of the lens in use.
    That is what I used for many boxes of infra-red sensitive film over a good number of years.

    Ken
     
  8. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Thanks Ken,

    Seeing how I only use IR for landscapes, it might not take me that long to get a system down for my 3 lenses.....

     
  9. Maris

    Maris Member

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    I've just finished a 4 week infrared shoot on 4x5 in the Australian high country and looking at the just developed negatives everything looks sharp. Caveats:

    I used Efke IR820 4x5 film in a Tachihara 45GF camera. Lenses used were a 75mm Schneider Super Angulon (mainly) and a Nikkor-W 210mm. The filter used was a 77mm IR680 ($20!) from China via Ebay. Lens apertures were f22 (usually) or smaller. If there is an infrared focus shift it is totally masked by the generous depth of focus/depth of field of a well stopped-down lens.

    Incidentally I used the Efke IR820 + IR680 filter combination at an E.I.= 0.5 on my Sekonic L-758D spotmeter. E.I. = 0.25 would have been better. I'm not after "conventional" rendition with these negatives. I want them to SCREAM infrared so development was 4 minutes at 90 Farenheit in straight Dektol. Philosophically speaking infrared film is a visual lottery. If it is exposed enough and developed enough something wonderful/weird will emerge.
     
  10. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Hi Maris,

    I was based out of "Brissy" when I was shooting for AFP, what a great coast!

    I might consider Efke for some work, I just got burned on the first version with tons of problems from coating defects a few years ago, it was on a paid gig and I had to pay to have them removed in photoshop.

    The reason I like the Rollei stuff is the incredible sharpness and lack of grain.

    But I have a much bigger problem to deal with, the bellows on my soon to be delivered Chamonix are not IR safe. I am looking to make a flexible wrap out of designed for NASA IR Blocker mylar material...or a cheap Mylar emergency blanket if it works...


     
  11. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    I tested the newly rec'd shenhao ptb bellows this week with some old konica ir. The regular exposures were fine. Pulling the darkslide for a couple minutes resulted in a bit of fog but still much more usable than the chamonix bellows. The leather shenhao bag bellows woulf be yhe way to go if you use 210mm or shorter, you just need to check them for vignetting if it's windy or you've touched the bellows at all. Badgergraphic.com
     
  12. KenS

    KenS Member

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    Might I suggest taking some aluminum (aluminium) foil along. When you are all 'set to go' insert the film holder and cover the bellows with the metal foil...
    remove the darkslide... make the exposure.... re-insert darkslide (the other way around :cool:...) remove fiilm holder... remove metal foil...

    Repeat as required.

    Ken
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2012
  13. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    I understand where you are coming from in suggesting foil but in my experience it is no where near as effective as mylar in creating long term problem solving. I would only use foil in a pinch, not as professional solution.

     
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  15. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    I am amused by your reactions to the Chamonix bellows and IR.

    1.) He is at fault for not putting on his website a fact that affect 0.00134% of all photos taken by users of his cameras.
    2.) The number of professionals who use IR film is pretty small. So any solution would be just that, a solution. In photography school we didn't have a class for "Professional Solutions to weird problems".
    3.) If this is an issue you can't live with, either return the camera or get one of the fine bellows makers to make you a suitable solution bellows.
    4.) If you were truly professional, you would have done your homework.

    Good luck.

    tim in san jose
     
  16. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    You are a bit off base and out of line here bud...

    Hugo has been great through this, offering to take the camera back for a full refund which I am not going to do. Any information a company can give a customer in regards to limitations in their products is putting your best foot forward, end of story.

    The number of photographers using IR film for effect in fine art has actually increased since Efke, Ilford and Rollei have started offering products, certainly by enough to make niche camera makers with hot new technology like the 45N-2 at least consider this. Sure, use of IR is not as wide spread as Tri-X, Acros or Delta, but it is popular.

    I think you are misunderstanding what I mean by a professional solution, I mean long term as in either new bellows or a high tech wrap that won't wear out fast like plain foil. I design and fabricate custom gear all the time, as a professional commercial and editorial photographer who's work is often in remote and harsh places, I can not rely on mainstream accessories to accomplish my tasks....thankfully, I enjoy using this part of my mind. I never said I expect Chamonix to fix my bellows or make some NASA level wrap...

    And there is only so much homework one can do, right? I mean if you are spending all day on the Internet pouring over details, you are not out shooting or in the darkroom printing. So you have to rely on the manufacturer to a degree to get at least some guidance. It's pretty obvious Chamonix makes one of the most state of the art field cameras out there, but the lack of simple things like even an instruction manual indicate to me that there is room for improvement, what's new? I am sure Hugo considers all of this and plans to implement these improvements when time and the limitations of running a for profit company permit.

    I did my homework Tim, it would seem by your reaction to my post that you did not.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2012
  17. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    Hugo has known about this since the 45n-1 when I inquired about it. I did suggest at that time for it to be mentioned on their site. However, he doesn't run the company. He IS a great guy whom i've met on a number of occasions.
    You may also find that when using extreme rise that the bellows will get in the way of the film about to be exposed. I always stop down before inserting a holder or pop off the back to check in those cases/switch to bag bellows.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2012
  18. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Vinny, I have read that about the bellows when compressed with a wide, I'll be on the lookout for it with the 90 & 65 for sure. I get the camera either today or tomorrow by the looks of tracking...
     
  19. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    Rollei and Efke IR films do not stretch far into the IR like Kodak IR did, so I wouldn't worry about focus compensation. I use Efke IR and don't bother compensating, even shooting at f/11 with opaque IR filter #87.
     
  20. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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  21. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    OK that is different, I'll take that into consideration, thanks!
     
  22. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    How are you getting along with the Efke stuff?

    I shot a few rolls of it in 120 about 4 years ago before they updated it and horrible coating defects. The reason I like the Rollei stuff is that the grain is tight, it is sharp and does not halo, great if you want the tonality of IR but not the HIE grain and look. The only thing I am not enjoying with the Rollei in 4x5 is how darn thin the base is, what a pain to load!
     
  23. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    First off, I am not your bud.
    Second, I am an engineer, a professional who is trained to figure out the x's and y's of everything possible before committing to a solution. And it's not my money you dumped into a piece of equipment that doesn't work for what you bought it for.

    That said, I don't mess with infrared, never liked it in the first place when I did. But since you do, good luck with whatever your solution.

    tim in san jose
     
  24. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    You are an engineer, you are trained to sit in front of a computer, I am a photographer, I am trained to be out shooting and use photographic process, that is where we differ.

    Also, I do a variety of searches before I conclude that I will buy something. But invariably, if we are actual photographers who are not at the computer a lot, we do find out some things a bit later than others and then more decisions have to be made as to either change products we have chosen or find a solution. In this case, by posting this thread that is not covered in this manner on this site in any historical thread I can find, the homework you think I am not doing is actually getting done.

    I will post my solution here, most likely a combo of commando cloth, aluminum foil and or multi-layer mylar. That along with everyone else's posts will help to further educate and guide others who may do a search like I did.....in polite request, your posts could be more helpful to the discussion...
     
  25. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    I didn't say I wasn't a trained photographer. I am. I am just not a professional one... by choice.

    *L*

    tim (NESOP 1986) in san jose
     
  26. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    Exactly why does one need to be a professional to enjoy photography? Professional photography is close to prostitiution...I have around 30 modern view cameras and all of them are IR safe except my Chamonix. Engineering may keep you away from infrared photography but beautiful prints attract me to it..

    P.S. I don't think professional photographers are Chamonix's market..