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  1. #1

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    Shooting Infrared with large format...

    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. #2
    paul_c5x4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PKM-25 View Post
    Also, with a film like Rollei IR400, do I not need to worry about the bellows as much as say, HIE?
    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. #3
    wildbill's Avatar
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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.
    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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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.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  5. #5

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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 PKM-25; 05-13-2012 at 10:38 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #6
    DWThomas's Avatar
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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. #7
    KenS's Avatar
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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
    Quando omni flunkus moritati (R. Green)

  8. #8

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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.....

    Quote Originally Posted by KenS View Post
    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

  9. #9
    Maris's Avatar
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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.
    Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.

  10. #10

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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...


    Quote Originally Posted by Maris View Post
    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.

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