Reply From HARMAN technology Limited Re True IR Film.
As promised I have the feedback from HARMAN regarding requests to produce a true infra red camera film.
The internal R&D review and commercial reviews have been completed and a decision has been reached.
In relation to R&D, we have previously to 2000 produced a number of emulsion models in relation to a true IR film, whilst significant development work would be required to update those models in relation to current raw material availability since originally worked on, it would be possible to produce a film should a R&D programme be progressed.
The main negative issue is in relation to our own automated emulsion preparation systems that aid 100% batch to batch consistency, this depends on a 'minimum' make that can be coated and / or stored dependant on coated volumes. With an IR film this process control system could not be used as immediate coating is required for an IR emulsion to control levels of base fog which are critical.
Therefore coated volumes produced would be uneconomical against the investment required, in relation to the size of the worldwide market, even allowing for our ability to coat 'small' volumes.
Secondary, to have any hope of reaching a commercially viable coated volume it would also mean that the EXTENDED Red film ILFORD SFX would need to be withdrawn if a true IR film was to be embarked upon. This would go against our stated market position where NO ILFORD Photo product in relation to our monochrome ranges will be withdrawn. ILFORD SFX has a very loyal following, and has unique attributes in relation to architectural photography that cannot be replicated with a full IR film.
The management of HARMAN technology Limited have therefore decided NOT to progress with a true IR film at this time. Our extended red film SFX film in 35mm and 120 roll film will obviously remain in full manufacture and availability.
Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology LImited :