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  1. #1

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    Rollei IR 400 in 4x5, what a pain!

    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. #2

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    What specifically about it being so thin makes it hard to process?

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    What specifically about it being so thin makes it hard to process?
    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. #4

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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. #5

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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.
    CatLABS of JP
    Darkroom resources and service

    www.catlabs.info | https://www.facebook.com/CatLABS.of.JP | www.jobo-usa.com

  6. #6

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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. #7
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    You could also try a single sheet in each hole of the drum.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    You could also try a single sheet in each hole of the drum.
    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. #9
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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 100-110Ám, 35 mm film is around 120 Ám and sheet film 180 Ám or more.
    IR 400 is made from aerial or traffic film, which is only available in on base thickness, usually around 100Ám. 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.
    ---
    Uwe Pilz

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by PKM-25 View Post
    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.
    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 hehe
    Last edited by StoneNYC; 12-20-2012 at 11:45 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: I'm a bad commic

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