CoCam Home

CoCam Infrared Menu
Gallery Equipment Photographic Filters About CoCam

Everything you wanted to know about Infrared Photography but were afraid to ask.....

A bold claim and one which will probably not be met, however there is a lot of information on Infrared photography in this section. At the bottom of this page there is an infrared book section containing a number of infrared books recommended by CoCam. There are more general photography books in the books section.

Please tell your friends or remind yourself about this Infrared FAQ.

Examples of Infrared photographs are presented in the CoCam Gallery and below is a new version of the official Infrared FAQ which is being rewritten and updated. One source of information for the rewrite is the post authors' permission allowing.

Infrared Photography FAQ - New Edition (V2.4.6)

Sunday, May 19, 2002

The Infrared FAQ is organised into the following topics:

  1. Introduction
  2. Contributors
  3. Why Infrared?
  4. Subjects
  5. What about heat?
  6. Which Infrared films? - the options
  7. Which cameras?
  8. Which lenses?
  9. Buying and storing
  10. Airports and Film
  11. Loading Infrared Film
  12. Which Infrared Filters?
  13. Exposing: Film Speeds and Rating
  14. Focusing
  15. Flash Guns and Bulbs
  16. Developing
  17. Printing
  18. Examples
  19. More Infrared info
  20. Mailing list
  21. Infrared Mailing List Archive
  22. Ultraviolet Photography

These cover most of the topics of the frequently asked questions about Infrared photography on the IR Mailing list and in


  1. Introduction

    This FAQ is based on an early version originally compiled by .

    Clive Warren at CoCam has completely rewritten the Infrared FAQ. The FAQ is a living document which is constantly being revised and extended.


  2. Contributors

    This infrared FAQ is intended to draw together net.wisdom on the topic of infrared photography. had a rather bumpy start to her interest in IR photograhy so received more than the average amount of advice on the subject. Putting together the early version of the FAQ was originally her thank you to everyone out there who had both helped and encouraged her. Many of those people are mentioned below in the list of contributors which is growing. The first link is EMail and the second is a web site if the person has one.

    Any corrections/additions or other comments are welcome.


  3. Why Infrared?

    Infrared photography uses films that are sensitive to both the light we can see and some of the longer length (above 700 nm) infra-red radiation. The film is also sensitive in the UV region (below 400 nm). In the case of the Kodak HIE film it is sensitive to near-infrared radiation out to approximately 1000 nm wavelength (1 micron). There are scientific uses for such films which include forensic applications and aerial crop and forest surveys. The film is also used in the restoration and investigation of paintings, but here the focus is on expanding our range of picture making media.

    Some people just try infrared once as a novelty, others get hooked on the effects and exploit it as their main film, especially Kodak's High Speed Infrared black and white film.


  4. Subjects

    Everything looks odd on colour IR film. The following remarks relate to black and white IR film.

    Vegetation and sky look very different from normal therefore incorporating either or both into your pictures will take advantage of the effect of IR film. Vegetation comes out bright, clear sky comes out dark - clouds stay light.

    Skin also looks different on IR film (veins are revealed under human skin) which can be used for interesting portraits. Eyes appear black which can look a little menacing, surreal or alien.


  5. What about heat?

    Thermal radiation will not be recorded by infared film; infrared films are not sensitive to a long enough wavelength to show such things as heat patterns.

    Heat sources from objects such as engines put out most of their radiated energy in the form of far-infrared, in the wavelength range of 10-100 microns or so. To detect this you need special infrared sensors, and generally they have to be cooled with liquid nitrogen or other temperature regulators that can get you well below 0 C. (Just as the inside of a camera has to be dark, the body of an IR detector intended to detect heat has to be cool ...)

    Another way to look at this is:
    if in a dark kitchen you turn your electric stove element onto high and heat it up to the point just before it begins glowing red hot, that is when you finally have enough IR waves being produced in the right wavelength to make a photograh.

    On the other hand, according an ancient copy of the Kodak "Infrared and Ultraviolet Photography" book (1961), IR can be used to photograph self-luminant objects as cool as 250 degrees C. You could try to photograph hot car parts (exaust system, brakes).

    Heat will however tend to increase the fogging of the film.Keep film as cool as possible and avoid leaving in hot places like in a car on a hot day.

    Will the heat from my hands fog the film in the changing bag?
    Only if your hands are on fire! (thanks to George Smyth for that gem)


  6. Which Infrared films? - the options

    There are now five black and white infrared films available and one colour infared slide film from Kodak. The black and white films are from the following manufacturers: Agfa; Ilford; Kodak; Konica and a new contender, MACO. Information about all of these films is given below, including suggested developers and technical information.


    Kodak High Speed Infrared (HIE) - black and white film (HIE 135-36)

    Kodak HIE DataSheet in pdf format pdf file 72k

    This film is available in 35mm (36 exposures) and also in 35mm, 70mm and 9.5" rolls, however the rolls are expensive. W.J.Markerink has recently discovered that the film is also available in 5" width bulk rolls, presumabaly intended for aerial photography. Generally the Kodak film seems to be more commonly available than the other IR films.

    Kodak's L-9 professional photographic catalog states that Kodak sells the following infrared roll films:

    CAT No. Size mmxft Spec. No. Letter Code Sales
    160 4149 35x150 417 HIE 1 Roll
    169 0841 70x150 494   1 Roll

    According to KODAK, The 35mmx150ft rolls of film have Bell and Howell (BH) perforations on both edges while the 70mm roll has Type II performations - in accordance with ANSI PH1.10-1976. The 70mm film comes in a 4-mil Estar Base.

    Rolland Elliot says that ".. past users have reported that the 35mmx150' Bell & Howard preformated film has the same perforated edges as standard 35mm film. Why Kodak makes it sound as though it won't work in regular cameras is a mystery to me."

    Kodak will manufacture any film format you desire, usually with the condition that you purchase a certain mimimum order, which is normally several thousand dollars worth of film.

    Unfortunately, Kodak have announced that they have discontinued HSI 4x5 sheet film (Nov.19th 1999). Remaining stock will be sold off at normal prices. Closure of a manufacturing facility and low world-wide demand are cited as the reasons. It may be the case that HSI will return on a thinner film base - only time will tell.

    OK, so what are the characteristics of Kodak High Speed Infrared film? Well, it is grainy, sensitive to IR down to approximately 1000 nm. and is the most used IR film. It has no anti-halation layer thus increasing the need for care when loading and unloading to avoid fogging. Also the film cannister felt light trap is not as efficient for infrared as ordinary light. In addition the film acts as a "light pipe" and will fog film inside the canister if the leader is exposed to light. It is best to load and unload the film in a changing bag or complete darkness.

    The lack of the anti-halation layer is also the reason for the 'radiation' effects in the highlights, that is halos surrounding shiny objects. Infrared light is reflected from the camera film pressure plate back onto the film and records as halos if the pressure plate is flat and without "dimples". A dimpled backplate will reflect the dimple shapes onto the film - see the camera section for a longer discussion.

    Process using ordinary black and white developers. Examples given:

    • D-76 for 11 mins
    • HC-110 dil B for 6 mins
    • ID 11 for 11.5 min
    • Agfa Rodinal 1:50 for 10 min

    From the original Kodak datasheet:

    Small Tank
    (Agitation at 30-second intervals)

    Large Tank
    (Agitation at 1-minute intervals)
    Temp Celsius 18.5 20 21 22 24
    D-76 13 11 10 9.5 8
    HC-110B 7 6 6 5.5 5
    D-19 7 6 5.5 5 4
    Temp Celsius 18.5 20 21 22 24
    D-76 14 12 11 10 9
    HC-110B 7 6.5 6 5.5 5
    D-19 7 6.5 6 5.5 5

    HC-110 (dilution B) for scientific uses - D-19 for maximum contrast.

    Your favourite black and white developer will probably work though you may have to experiment to find the right times.

    writes: "Exposure and Development recipe: expose at 200 ASA (depends a bit on where you are and the altitude); bracket (+ one and - one stop), use a red Wratten 25 filter (-2 stops), develop: D-76 dilution 1:1, 20°C, 11 min. Important: very gentle shaking, every 30 seconds, for the first 30 seconds continuously (i.e only twist 90 degrees), to prevent "overexposure" at the film perforations due to excessive turbulance.

    A Warning!

    There has been much discussion regarding processing times of Kodak Infrared film in D-76 since changes were made to the advice given in the official Kodak datasheet for the film. Those who process their own films generally recommend 11 minutes at 20°C / 68°F using a dilution of 1:1. The excellent books on infrared by Laurie White and Joe Paduano also recommend 11 minutes. If you follow the developing instructions in the Jan. 1999 revised Kodak datasheet of 8.5 minutes using D-76 the result will probably be very thin negatives which will be hard to print.

    Will TMAX dev and other T-grain optimised devs work?

    Yes, it seems that they do work:
    Patricia Trent writes: "I saw some photos in a camera store recently, and learned that they were 35mm infra red. I could not at first recognize it as IR because the grain was incredibly fine. The photographer (who is an employee at the store) explained that he developed the film in T-Max. He said that it gives finer grain with that film than the D76. I do not know what his developing times and temperatures were, but perhaps Kodak could help there."

    There is more information about Kodak HIE in Tmax here


    Pinhole problems with Kodak HSI 4"x5" and 70mm film

    A number of people on the Infrared Mailing List have reported pinholes appearing in the film emulsion following developing. There have been a number of explanations offered and various suggestions for cures. However Stan Patz seems to have finally tracked down the cause of the mysterious pinholes.

    Stan Patz writes: "there are suggestions that reticulation from abrupt temperature changes or over-acidic shortstop might be to blame for the voids (pinholes) in the emulsion (dust has also been suggested as a possible cause). These situations could damage your film, but the results would be gross - ie large damaged areas - and good darkroom technique will eliminate the problem.

    The pinholes I find in almost all my 4x5 HSI (even in the film sent to me by Kodak) are created in the emulsion coating process by minute particles in the anti-static layer migrating into the image forming layer. This explanation was offered to me by Steve Hedges at Kodak in a conversation on 8/10/98. I have since spoken with and written to Dick Johnson, Kodak Dept MTS, about the problem. In November '98, I sent Johnson a packet of Email messages and posts from the Mailing List group with complaints about pinholes. He eventually told me he hoped Kodak would solve the problem "by the end of the year" (1999)."

    It is unfortunate that Kodak are experiencing problems with the manufacture of HSI, however consider the alternatives. Kodak are sympathetic and would clearly like the production process problems to be ironed out. Now that Kodak have announced that they will be discontinuing HSI 4x5 sheet film (Nov.19th 1999). it may be the case that HSI will return on a thinner film base - only time will tell.

    Jason Revell has kindly photographed some of the pinholes appearing in 70mm film which had been cut down for use in medium format cameras as 120 rolls. Pictures should be quite simple to understand. Jason says "There seems to be particles sitting in contact with the film. Now of course it could be that the particle is making a bubble on the film, much more likely but in my opinion that's not the cause." There are three photos: one at x100 with a couple of the holes showing and then one each of the two pinholes at x400. Click on the photos below for larger versions.

    Pinholes Pinhole "a" Pinhole "b"

    Two Pinholes x100

    Left Pinhole x400

    Right Pinhole x400


    Developers and times for Kodak High Speed Infrared Film

    The following table of developers and times was kindly contributed by

    John Mided writes: the times on this chart are primarily for 35mm films, although they should work well for 120/220 and still be useful for sheet film. The chart will eventually be expanded to include larger formats.

    Please Note: although many of the times listed on the chart are supplied by the manufacturers, quite a few of them are independent submissions, or data which I have collected from my own work or other sources. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this data, it is always advisable to run some tests of your own before developing important work. Whatever you do, don't blame me if you are unhappy with your results. Please use these times as starting points only. Data like this should always be treated as a guideline because of the tremendous number of variables involved. One combination might work well in flat lighting, but be unsuitable for high-contrast scenes. Most of these times are for condenser enlargers, so if you are using a diffused light source it is advisable to develop for additional time.

    Agitation: Wherever possible times have been listed which rely on the standard agitation technique of ten seconds (three inversions) per minute. Development times which require a continuous agitation technique are marked accordingly (*).



    All times are for 20°C (68°F) unless stated
    Developer ASA Mins
    Aculux 2 NA 12
    Acutol (1+9) NA 10
    D-19 NA 6
    D-76/ID-11 NA 11-12
    Emofin NA 5.5*
    FD10 (1+9) NA 12
    FG7 (1+3) (21°C) NA 4
    FG7 (1+15) (21°C) NA 12
    FG7 (1+15S) (21°C) NA 6
    FX39 (1+9) NA 11
    FX39 (1+19) NA 7
    HC-110 (Dil.B) NA 6
    Negafin NA 5.5
    Neofin Blue NA 5*
    Perceptol NA 15
    PMK (1+2+100) NA 12
    Developer ASA Mins
    Rodinal (1+25) NA 9
    Rodinal (1+50) NA 12
    Sprint (1+4) NA 11.5
    Ultrafin SF NA 5
    Ultrafin SF (1+1) NA 7.5
    Ultrafin Plus (1+4) NA 6*
    Ultrafin Plus (1+6) NA 7.5*
    Ultrafin (1+10) NA 5
    Ultrafin (1+20) NA 13
    Unitol (1+14) NA 10
    Universal (1+29) NA 9
    Varispeed (1+9) NA 9
    Xtol NA 6
    Xtol (1+1) NA 8.75
    Xtol (1+2) NA 12.5
    Xtol (1+3) NA 17
    * continuous agitation


    Developing Kodak HIE as transparencies (reversals).

    Kodak Reversal DataSheet in pdf format pdf file 76k

    With the introduction of the Kodak T-MAX black and white negative films, Kodak also introduced a new Direct Positive Film Developing Outfit. The KODAK T-MAX 100 Direct Positive Film Developing Outfit is designed to produce positive black-and-white slides from KODAK T-MAX 100 Professional Film and KODAK Technical Pan Film.

    The good news for users of Kodak HIE film is that the Outfit also works well with Kodak infrared film. The kit can produce high-quality slides from camera-original exposures and continuous-tone photographs. You can also use the kit with T-MAX 100, Technical Pan or HIE film to produce copy negatives from black-and-white or color negatives, duplicate black-and-white slides, or make black-and-white slides from color slides.

    "The process comes in kit form. One unique advantage of this kit is that the user can increase film contrast by adding up to 50gm sodium sulfite to the first developer. The information listed below is based upon the addition of 45 grams sodium sulfite to the first developer. The kit costs about $28 (US) and can process up to 12 rolls of 36 exposure 35mm, 70mm or even 4x5. The kit has good instructions and once mixed will last for at least 6 weeks when stored in amber glass bottles.

    There are several advantages to reverse processing. One significant advantage of a positive is the ease with which you can scan it into a computer using a film scanner or through Photo CD Rom. Two other advantages are the very high film speeds and the lack or grain.

    Please note that the film speeds listed below do not compensate for through the lens metering systems. You will have to calibrate your system first."

    Light Source Filter Film Speed (ISO, EI)
    Daylight none 1200
    Daylight #25 red 640
    Tungsten none 2400
    Tungsten #25 red 1200



    Konica Infrared 750 Black & White

    Konica Infrared 750 DataSheet in pdf format pdf file 256k

    Konica 750 is available in 35mm (24 exposures) and 120 formats. The film has a wonderful fine grain, is contrasty and is very different to the grainy soft Kodak film. It is a slower speed film as you might expect, is sensitive to a different IR light range and has an anti-halation backing so the infrared effects are less exaggerated.
    According to Konica's technical bulletin No. Tech 015 "Konica Infrared 750 has a sensitivity range from 640 to 820 nm in addition to the intrinsic sensitivity range of AgBr 400 to 500nm. The peak sensitivity is 750 nm hence it's name". However it is also less prone to fogging from stray-light whilst loading not only because it has an anti-halation layer but also because of a better light trap. Kodak's felt trap is considerably more transparent to infrared. It is also less likely to fog due to heat. Its latency is greater which means better results if it is not possible to develop the film immediately.

    Clive Warren uses the film at ASA 8 with an R72 filter and has loaded many 120 size rolls of Konica 750 using his back in the full sun to provide shade for loading and unloading with no problems at all.

    Alex Nanson has found that the film gives good results with a Wratten 25 filter using 1/60 shutter speed, aperture F5.6 in bright sunlight.

    On the other hand, George L Smyth uses Konica 750 at ASA 10 (with a 25 red filter). "I should mention that this speed (which is partially a result of the developer) is employed in the latespring though early autumn. Early to mid spring and mid to late autumnmy speed drops."

    Process using ordinary black and white developers. For example:

    • Rodinal 1:50 6.5 minutes 20 Celsius when shooting ASA 10 with a 25 red filter (George L Smyth).


    The following table of developers and times was kindly contributed.

    KONICA IR 750

    All times are for 20°C (68°F) unless stated
    Aculux NA 8
    Acutol NA 8
    D-76/ID-11 NA 6
    D-76/ID-11 (1+1) NA 8.5
    DK-20 NA 7
    FG7 (1+15) 25 7 (21°C)
    HC-110 (Dil.B) NA 7
    Konicadol DP NA 6
    Konicadol Fine NA 7
    Konicadol Super NA 6
    Negafin NA 3.5
    Rodinal (1+50) NA 5
    Rodinal (1+75) NA 9
    Technidol 12-25** 7.5 (24°C)
    Ultrafin SF NA 8
    Ultrafin Plus (1+4) NA 3.5
    Ultrafin (1+20) NA 5

    ** with RED 25 filter.


    Developing Konica 750 infrared film as transparencies (reversals)

    has developed Konica 750 infrared film using the Kodak Direct Positive processing kit,designed to produce B/W slides out of T-max film. His experiences and results are described in a separate article.



    Ilford SFX 200 - Black and White film available in 35mm (36 exposures and 120 rolls).

    Ilford SFX 200 DataSheet in pdf format pdf file 107k


    "It's what you might call a "mildly infrared" film. It is panchromatic with sensitivity extending a short distance into the infrared, to about 800 nm. You can use a deep red filter with it and get dramatic infrared-like effects, BUT you can still handle it like an ordinary film -- it does not require loading in total darkness, and it is generally not sensitive to the infrared-only light leaks that plague users of other infrared films."

    - Grain rather fine.
    - Easy to work with. Good pictures of clouds in blue sky with red filter.
    - Severe reciprocity failure; not useful in astronomy (10-minute exposures).

    says that the sensivity is "upto 740nm". See also information on more developing times.


    The following table of developers and times was kindly contributed by

    ILFORD SFX 200
    All times are for 20°C (68°F) unless stated
    Aculux 2 (1+9) 200 11 Ilfosol S (1+14) 400 19
    Acutol (1+9) 200 9 Microphen 200 8.5
    D-19 (1+1) 200** 9 Microphen 400 10.5
    D-76/ID-11 200 10-10.5 Microphen 800 14.5
    D-76/ID-11 400 12.5-14 Microphen (1+1) 200 15.5
    D-76/ID-11 800 16.5-18 Microphen (1+1) 400 19
    D-76/ID-11 (1+1) 200/400 14.5-17 Negafin 200 5
    Emofin 200 3 Neotenal Powder 200 8.5
    FX39 (1+9) 200 5.5-6 Neotenal Liquid (1+5) 200 10
    HC-110 (Dil. B) 200 9 Perceptol 200 14.5
    HC-110 (Dil. B) 400 13 Perceptol (1+1) 200 20
    HC-110 (Dil. B) 800 19 Refinal 200 8
    Ilfotec HC (1+15) 200 5 Refinal 400 11.5
    Ilfotec HC (1+15) 400 7 Rodinal (1+25) 200 6
    Ilfotec HC (1+15) 800 10.5 Rodinal (1+50) 200 10
    Ilfotec HC (1+31) 200 9 TMax (1+4) 200 8.5
    Ilfotec HC (1+31) 400 13 TMax (1+4) 400 10.5
    Ilfotec HC (1+31) 800 19 TMax (1+4) 800 12.5
    Ilfotec LC29 (1+9) 200 5 TMax RS (24°C) 200 6
    Ilfotec LC29 (1+9) 400 7 TMax RS (24°C) 400 7
    Ilfotec LC29 (1+19) 200 9 TMax RS (24°C) 800 9
    Ilfotec LC29 (1+19) 400 13 Ultrafin SF 200 8
    Ilfotec LC29 (1+29) 200 9 Ultrafin Plus (1+4) 200 9
    Ilfosol S (1+9) 200 9.5 Ultrafin (1+20) 200 15
    Ilfosol S (1+9) 400 11.5 Unitol (1+14) 200 10
    Ilfosol S (1+9) 800 19 Universal (1+29) 200 8
    Ilfosol S (1+14) 200 13 Varispeed (1+9) 200 6
    * continuous agitation       ** with RED 29 filter.


    Agfa Agfapan APX 200S black and white

    This is a medium-speed panchromatic BW negative film with heightened red sensitivity extending to infra-red. The material is suitable for photography in daylight up to twilight and in darkness with red flash. Agfa describe APX 200S as useful for high haze penetration. Examples of suggested applications from Agfa: traffic surveillance, radar traps.This film is on a thin polyester base. It is available in the following sizes:
    • 135-36 (TKF) : Order code B12XB
    • 35mm x 17m DP : Order code B12V6

    Spectral sensitivity: the curve starts below 400nm, peaks at 725nm and extends to 775nm.

    Exposure index: ISO 200/24, with red flash ISO 400/27, push development up to ISO 800/30, limit at ISO 6400/39.

    The following table of developers and times was kindly contributed by

    AGFAPAN APX 200S / 400S
    Developer ASA 35mm Roll Sheet Temp
    APX 200 S
    Atomal 200 10     20°C
    D-76/ID-11 200 10     20°C
    Refinal 200 6     20°C
    Rodinal (1+25) 200 5     20°C
    Studional/Rodinal Special 200 4     20°C
    TMax (1+4) 800 10     20°C
    APX 400 S
    Refinal 400 6     20°C
    Rodinal (1+25) 400 7     20°C
    Rodinal (1+50) 400 11     20°C
    Studional/Rodinal Special 400 4.5     20°C


    Kodak Ektachrome Infrared IE (Colour Infra-Red Slide film)

    This is available in 35mm only. It is not listed on the Kodak web site so may have been discontinued. In 1985 Kodak discontinued the components of the E-4 processing chemicals. There is now only one lab. in the US running an E-4 processing line. It may take up to six weeks to have your film processed since the lab. only processes the film in batches and waits until there is enough film waiting to make the process worth while.

    When used with an yellow filter this films shifts the colours. Blue is rendered as black, green as blue, red as green and infra-red as red. The film is sensitive up to 900 nm radiation.

    This is processed using E4. There are very few labs which still offer this old method.

    You can also process it at home using an E4 kit, Tetenal did make one, perhaps if someone still uses the kit they could let me know.


    KODAK EKTACHROME Professional Infrared EIR (Colour Infrared Slide film)

    Kodak Ektachrome EIR DataSheet in pdf format pdf file 97k

    • Film speed: Light meters are not calibrated for infrared radiation. As a starting point, use EI 100 for Process AR-5 for infrared accuracy and EI 200 for Process E-6 for false colors with higher color saturation and contrast.
    • Color balance:
      • Particularly sensitive to green, red, and infrared radiation
    • Primary features:
      • Infrared-sensitive from 700 to 900 nm
      • False colors with infrared objects appearing red/magenta
    • Suggested applications:
      • Artistic effects with very different colors
      • Fashion/glamour
      • Medical/science
      • Forensic
    • Process: Process AR-5 for infrared accuracy or Process E-6 for higher color saturation and contrast
    Special notes:
    • Do not open the package, load, or unload the camera except in total darkness.
    • Do not process the film in areas having infrared sensors. Infrared sensors will fog this film.
    • Exposure through a WRATTEN 12 Filter (orange) is recommended as an initial calibration point.
    • Film-storage conditions should be 0 to 10°F (-17 to -12°C) before use. However, it is possible to store unexposed film up to a month at temperatures not exceeding 55°F (13°C).


    MACO IR 820c - black and white (35mm, 120, 4"x 5")

    MACO IR 820c data sheet in html format.

    This is a new BW negative infrared film with sensitivity extending to 820nm. The film is rated at ISO 100/21° - ISO 400/27° depending on image contrast and the developer. Adding an opaque infrared filter such as the Wratten 88A will give an effective film speed of ISO 4 depending on available infrared light. The film is manufactured on a clear polyester base (Dupont) rather than the grey base of films such as Kodak HSI, so it can be used to make transparencies for projection or stock photo work. The Kodak reversal kit is recommended for this purpose.

    The film does have an anti-halation layer so will not give the same degree of "halos" around objects reflecting infrared light that you find with Kodak HSI. This layer has to be removed before developing by using a water wash for about 60 seconds. The pre-wash water will have a greenish blue color. The layer could be removed from unexposed film in the same way if you have the patience to reroll 35mm and 120 formats. This would be less of a chore with 4"x 5" format. As the base is clear there would probably be extensive halo effects far beyond those possible with Kodak HIE and HSI.

    The film is manufactured in Germany by which is a Division of Hans O. Mahn & Co. - contact details for the manufacturers are given below. The film is now in production in 35mm, 120 and 4x5 formats and available through various outlets in Europe and the USA.

    Data for exposure/development/fixing

    All times are to be viewed only as guidelines and are based on 21°C / 70 F. Agitate the first 30 seconds constantly, then once every 30 seconds! Thus the best possible acutance (edge sharpness) will be achieved.

    The following chart has been supplied by the manufacturers and was worked out by using a PENTAX Spotmeter in combination with a Wratten spec. 89B infrared filter used for close up photography.

    Manufacturer/product Dilution Measure time in min. ISO Speed setting
    Kodak XTOL




    12/12° = N+3
    Kodak XTOL




    50/18° = N+3
    LP Docufine LC




    32/13° = N+2
    LP Docufine LC




    40/17° = N+2
    LP-GRAIN liquid




    40/17° = N+2,5
    LP-FIX SUPRA (1+7) 5

    The recommended fixer is LP-FIX SUPRA, a high energy rapid fixer based on X-Ray technology, rather than using a conventional fixer. After washing has been completed, the use of LP-MASTERPROOF wetting agent is recommended due to the polyester base.

    The following table of developers and times was kindly contributed by

    Maco IR 820c
    Developer ASA 35mm Roll Sheet Temp
    D-76/ID-11 NA 14 14 14 20°C
    LP Docufine (1+4) 32-40 7 7 7 20°C
    LP Grain (1+7) 40 7 7 7 20°C
    PMK (2+4+100) 6 13** 13**   21°C
    Xtol (1+3) 12-15 14 14 14 20°C

    ** may require use of hardener if emulsion softens.

    Will be testing this film shortly and posting the results here.


    Cutting Down 70mm Infrared Film

    It is possible to buy Kodak 70mm Infrared film in bulk and cut it down to two separate strips of 35mm film with sprocket holes on one edge only. It is also possible to cut a smaller width off a 70mm wide film to allow hand rolling of medium format 120 and 220 rolls.

    has written an article which describes how to do this for those who feel up to the challenge.

    If you would like to buy 120 and 220 IR film services from Rolland, cost and contact details are given at the bottom of the article. The medium format film is cut down from 70mm film and has sprocket holes on one side that protrude about 1 to 2 mm into the bottom edge of the negative/positive.


  7. Which cameras?

    Not all cameras are appropriate for Kodak IR film use. Some cameras use IR devices internally for film loading and frame counting. These cameras can cause fogging on the film rebates and in some cases this fogging will extend into the image area of the film. This is less of a problem for use of the other IR films described in this FAQ.

    Clive Warren writes "If I were asked to recommend a camera for someone starting in IR photography then a rangefinder would be a good choice. Older 35mm and roll film rangefinder cameras are easy to find and relatively inexpensive. In many cases the lenses are superb on Russian 35mm cameras and old 120 rollfilm "folders". A filter can simply be attached to the lens without affecting the viewfinder image. This allows the photographer complete control of the composition and the ability to use any of the current range of IR filters.

    IR filters are generally opaque so normal use with an SLR means that when the filter is attached to the front of the camera then you cannot see through the viewfinder. Some people only use red Wratten 25 filters which you can see through so that they can still see use the viewfinder normally with the filter attached. Others simply use a Cokin style opaque infrared filter and raise the filter to compose before lowering and opening the shutter, preferring to obtain a true infrared photograph.

    In any case, a manual camera with a lens marked for infrared focussing will be easier to use for IR photography than a fully automatic camera. Filters can be used in front of the lens or at the film plane using a thin piece of filter material taped across the film rails inside the back of the camera. Using a filter at the front of the camera does mean that it can be changed easily mid-roll or between films. Using a "between the film rails" filter allows you to see through the viewfinder again using an SLR camera.

    An auto focusing camera could be used for IR photography using a very wide lens set at a small aperture. The larger depth of field would compensate for the non-IR focussing of the auto focussing system. Any focussing error would be less noticeable. Beware of using the smallest aperture on any lens as there is much more diffraction from IR light - at the smallest aperture this would cause significant degrading of the image."

    Be wary of the film counter and loading mechanisms in some cameras as they use infrared light and can fog part of the film, for example, the Canon EOS models which have an IR optical film loading mechanism (eg Elan/100, A2E/5, however the 10s/10 and older models appear to be ok).

    [The bottom 4 mm of the film is affected so you will get a frame that is 20mm x 36mm. The affected part of the film is in the bottom of the image (top of the film in the camera). (source: a posting in (by Vangelis Tziampazis ?)]

    But says:
    "I own an EOS A2 and for the couple of years I had it, I kept regretting that I cannot use infrared on it, according to Cannon. Recently I found on the news that only ~ 1/4th of the frame gets fogged, so I decided to give it a try. Guess what, the ONLY area that turned black from the IR film tracking system was the holed strip and there was NO fogging on the actual film frame! I used the Kodak High Speed IR (Black & White)."

    negative from an EOS 5/A2

    Negative shot and scanned by Mircea Podar.

    A previous version of this FAQ said: "Also some camera backs may not be opaque to IR, especially some plastics." No one reported a single case of this happening. For instance, W.J.Markerink comments: "FWIW: I have used all sorts of IR film in my EOS-1....yes, it has a plastic back, and yes, it has a film window. And no, it works fine, perfectly fine."

    On the other hand, some pressure plates do cause problems with the Kodak HIE film. The source of the problem is the lack of an anti-halation layer in the film. This allows infrared light reflected by the pressure plate (which is usually black, but not matt) to expose the film. This creates the hazy higlights for which the film is known.

    There have been reports of Pentax LX or K1000 dimpled pressure plates creating a pattern on the Kodak film (because of the dimples).

    Also some early Minoltas had the same pressure plate for the models with or without databack. The hole in that pressure plate produces a visible effect on HIE film. W.J. Markerink says: "Cameras that are partly unsuitable for IR, Kodak HIE only, are [...] cameras with dimpled pressure plates, like the Pentax K-1000 [...], and Minolta cameras with pre-installed databack pressure plates, like early 9xi's and all 700si's."

    Clive Warren writes "The problem with dimpled pressure plates reflecting IR light back onto the film using Kodak HSI can be easily addressed by wrapping some 120 roll film paper backing around the film pressure plate and securing it with clear tape on the back of the plate. The paper should be black side facing the shutter. This probably reduces the "halo" effect for which the film is known, however it will allow the use of cameras having dimpled pressure plates. The alternative is more expensive but you will not risk losing any of the halo effect - buy or have made a flat pressure plate for your camera. You may be wondering why there are dimples on the pressure plate - it simply reduces friction/stiction between the film and the plate."



  8. Using Camcorders

    Camcorders use similar CCDs to those found in digital cameras. Most modern Camcorders have an infrared blocking filter which should be removed to allow infrared video recording. This will affect the focal plane of the lens so some repositioning of the CCD and calibration will be necessary.

    To check your camcorder for infrared potential, simply point an infrared TV remote at the lens and look through the camcorder viewfinder. If you see a fairly bright light emitted from the TV remote then all is well and you can use the camcorder to record infrared video images. If the light is very dim, either your TV remote batteries are on the way out or you have an effective infrared blocking filter in your camcorder.

    Those of you who are lucky enough to have one of the newer Sony camcorders with a low light facility can simply select the low light mode which usually removes the infrared blocking filter from the light path inside the camcorder. You can use any filter from a 25 red through to the opaque 87C.

    has written an interesting article describing how he converted a JVC GRDV1 digital camcorder to an infrared sensitive camcorder. You will of course throw any hopes of a warranty claim out of the window if you try this at home :-) Rolland also makes some useful observations about how common objects and materials reflect or allow infrared light to pass.


  9. Use of 70mm film backs

    Kodak supply their Infrared HIE film in 70mm rolls, but you need a special back to use it and a large format or medium format camera. Graflex make a 4"x5" 70mm back for large format cameras which use a "Graflok back". Bronica also make a 70mm back for the ETRSi 6cm x 4.5cm camera - David M. Young's reply to a posting on the IR Mailing list about using the ETRSi 70mm back is below:

    Has anyone out there used a 70mm back with Kodak Infrared? I am just wondering about all of the pieces that are involved with shooting that film size. Do you need to purchase a Kinderman 70mm roller, special tanks for processing, special film backs, etc.

    I'm shooting 70mm regularly in my Bronica with good success. I started out with the Bronica 70mm back and that's all. I was loading 2.5 feet into a cartridge and getting my local dip-n-dunk lab to process it as if it were 120. I will admit that I finally bought a 70mm loader from B&H (looks and works just like a 35mm daylight bulk loader, except you can't use it in daylight with Kodak 2424), which is smaller and far more convenient than the Kinderman loader, which leaves the film fully exposed at all time and thus must be used in a darkroom. I actually store my spool of 2424 in the loader. I also sprung for a Jobo processor and the 5' 70mm reel so I can do the processing myself. Cheaper and I can do rolls that are effectively 220 length. You can get a 15 foot 70mm reel and tank from Jobo (standard item, although your supplier would likely have to order it from Jobo), but I personally don't want to commit that many frames to one roll of film.

    So, do you need anything other than a 70mm back to shoot 70mm Infrared in a bronica?

    No. But there are some "nice-to-haves".

    How much of the 100 (or is it 150 feet) of film fit into one of the 70mm backs?

    In the bronica, you can put a standard 70mm cartridge that holds 15 feet of film. The Beattie holds up to 100 feet on a spool without the cartridge.

    Is one 70mm back better than the other (Beattie or Bronica)?

    I think the Bronica is more attractive than the Beattie... And again, the Beattie takes longer lengths.

    Do you need an extender on the finder?

    If you can find one, I'll buy it. I use the "Rotary finder" or the waist level finder.

    Has anyone succeeded in placing any gelatin filters in the film back? I have some cut down 70mm that I am going to burn in a 220 back and want to place an 87c gelatin filter in there if possible (whithout ruining this film that I had to give a pound of flesh for).

    Thought about it, haven't done it. I may try to buy a second 70mm back to experiment with... but I don't want to take any chances with my one and only.

    I am trying to get a handle on how much flesh it is going to cost me to get into 70mm HIE.

    To get started without the loader and all, all it'll cost you is the initial roll of film... somewhere around $200, the back at whatever the market will bear right now, and some footwork to find someone who will process it for you. Again, if you want the loader, it's about $129. Adorama lists the Jobo 5' 70mm reel for $29.95 (assuming you have the tank etc...) Next you'll be looking for cartridges to hold the film and cannisters to hold the cartridges in a light-tight way....

    Hey... this is photography... Several pounds of flesh, early and often!!! ;-)



  11. Which lenses?

    For ease of focus use wide angle to increase depth of field but don't be put off from using any other lens. It is easiest to use lenses which are marked with a little red mark to show how to correct them for IR focusing. You can use AF lenses to focus then put into manual and reset (so long as they can be overridden).

    Generally it is usually best to stop down the lens aperture by at least two stops from wide open. This will improve the image quality of most lenses and has the added advantage that the depth of field is increased. This will to some extent help with the focussing.


  12. Buying and storing

    Generally it is best to buy your infrared film from places that keep the film refrigerated (or frozen). Kodak advises storing their black and white HIE and HSI film at 13 celsius or less. This is good advice for any film which you do not intend to use immediately.

    Keep your own film cold until needed. Remember to allow time for the film to warm up to room temperature before loading. This will avoid condensation forming on the film and adding special effects which were not planned.

    If you cannot process immediately return the film to the fridge/freezer in a sealed container.

    This does mean to say that you cannot use the film in conditions where it is not convenient to keep it cool. Cor Breukel reports: "Temp. sensitivity: I carried this film with me in India, Mexico, Guatemala, Greece, not exactly cool climates, (and also frequent exposure to radiation on the airports) with no apparent fogging. I store this film at 4 deg. C though."

    So, it seems that although it is not recommended to buy this film by mail-order due to concerns about temperature variances during shipping, it is a viable option (and the only option in certain countries). Overall, infrared film seems to behave much the same as other types of film when exposed to high temperatures so it is best to keep them cool.


  13. Airports and Film

    Is infrared film safe to put through baggage scanners at airports?

    There are two categories of airport luggage and two different scanning devices used to check the luggage. Hand luggage is taken on board the aircraft with the passenger whereas hold luggage disappears on a luggage chute at the check-in and should arrive at the luggage collection point in the destination airport.

    Hand luggage is scanned by a small device as you pass through the gates to the departure lounge. This is a low powered scan and should not affect any of the currently available infrared films. For standard fast films above 800ASA a hand search is recommended. Hand searches have to be very politely requested. Please note that many airports no longer offer hand searches of film. At Heathrow airport in England all film has to be passed through the scanner.

    Hold luggage is scanned by a much more powerful device which has the capacity to increase scan power until all objects are penetrated. Do not even consider putting exposed or unexposed film in with your hold luggage as it will be trashed. Lead-lined bags will only result in greater power being applied!

    The story doesn't end here. If you are taking film through as hand luggage and the customs peops can't see inside the package with the scanner because you are using a lead-lined or shielded bag, then you will probably have the film hand searched. Trying to persuade an inspector to use a changing bag to open each film container may be difficult if there is a queue of people anxious to board aircraft waiting behind you.... It may make the inspector more suspicious and insist on opening the film without use of the changing bag. They will probably want to pass it through the scanner after inspection anyway!

    You may want to try taking the film through on your person - but this is not possible with HIE as it comes in a metal container and will set off the metal detector alarm - cue hand search and scan! So, trust the hand luggage scanners and simply put the film through in a normal film cooler bag. You could ask for a hand search but I would not recommend it unless you keep your changing bag handy and have good powers of persuasion :-)

    The final option is to buy your film in the destination country or location. You may like to check out Andy Frazer's Infrared Website for worldwide locations of infrared film stockists.


  14. Loading

    The general advice is to load the Kodak HIE high-speed Infrared film in total darkness ie in a darkroom or changing bag. The other infrared films have anti-halation layers so are not as critical. You can load the Konica, Ilford, and Agfa black and white films in subdued light with no problems.

    Some people report no fogging with Kodak HIE through loading in a room which is not pitch black - darkened just not total. This avoids embarrassing problems like putting ones fingers through the shutter... Unload in similar conditions. Return the film to its original container until processing.

    Be aware that not all changing bags are infrared light proof and this includes some of the expensive professional changing bags! Generally if the bag has a rubberised internal surface and it is not flaking then the bag should be fine. Also be wary of cheaper bags which have not been sewn correctly so that material near the seams starts to fray. You only have to get a few threads caught in the darkslide, or even worse in a 35mm SLR shutter, to end up with lines across your negative.....

    has been experimenting again, looking at black felt light traps on about 50 various film canisters with his modified infrared sensitive camcorder. Rolland reports in an how Kodak HIE 35mm IR film can be loaded in daylight!


  15. Which Infrared Filters?

    All Infrared film is sensitive to both some Infrared and visible light. To increase the classic infrared effect filters are placed in front of the lens or inside the camera. These filters are designed to reduce the amount of blue and green light reaching the film, or block all visible light to record only infrared light.

    The filters discussed in this section all seem to be called Wratten - why is that? The term is derived from a chap called Frederick Charles Luther Wratten who was a famous English manufacturer of photographic filters in the 1870s. Kodak bought the Wratten company in the 1920s. Photographers and filter manufacturers now use the Wratten ratings as a very accurate way of specifying the spectral characteristics of filters regardless of manufacturer.

    Using the black and white infrared films the starting point is a red filter (Wratten 25). This filter can be used with an SLR camera and the image composed using the viewfinder. This filter removes most blue and green light but allows the transmission of red and infrared light.

    From the table of Wratten filters below, as you go down the list the filters decrease visible light until to all intents and purposes they are opaque to visible light. Filters such as the 87C and 87B also cut out some infrared light and are only really suitable for use with Kodak High Speed Infrared film. The use of these filters will affect exposure times; for example, the exposure required for Kodak infrared film using a Wratten 87C filter is four times that for the same film with a Wratten 25 filter.

    Visible light ranges from 400 nanometers (violet) to 700nm (red). The table shows absorption limits for a range of infrared filters (light wavelengths shown for which the absorption is less than 50%). The spectral curves image opens a page showing infrared spectral sensitivity curves for filters and film.

    Filter Absorption
    Wratten #25 600nm
    Wratten #29 620nm
    Wratten #70 680nm
    Wratten #89B 720nm
    Wratten #88A 750nm
    Wratten #87 800nm
    Wratten #87C 850nm
    Wratten #87B 930nm
    Infrared Spectral Curves

    The filters required for Kodak colour infrared film (EIR) are very different. Kodak recommend using a Wratten 12 Filter (yellow/orange) as an initial calibration point. Without this filter the film will give results that have a strong blue cast. has contributed an excellent article showing the effects of using various filters with EIR with photographs of the same scene.

    The Ilford SFX filters as supplied by Ilford are approximately equivalent to a Wratten #89B.

    Infrared filters are available in a range of different types and sizes. Advantages and disadvantages associated with use of the various types of filters are discussed in more detail in the camera section.

    Essentially there is a choice between:

    • Screw on glass filters which attach to the lens;
    • Slot-in Cokin style polyester and optical resin filters attached to the lens in a holder;
    • Slot-in thin gelatin and polyester filters attached to the lens in a holder;
    • Between the film rails thin gelatin (not recommended) or polyester filters attached using clear tape.

    The table below gives equivalent filters from various manufacturers which may be available in photo shops or by special order. The information was gathered from a number of sources including: ; ; and various filter manufacturers.

    Wratten Rating 0% Transmission (nm) 50% Transmission (nm) Schott-Glass B+W Heliopan Cokin Hoya Tiffen CoCam
    25 580 600 OG590 090 1025/125 003 25A   25
    29 600 620 RG630 091 1029/129 - -   -
    70 645 675 RG665 - - - -   -
    89B 680 720 RG695 092 5695/569 - R72   R72
    88 700 735 - - - - -   -
    88A 720 750 RG715 - 5715/571 - -   88A
    87 740 795 RG780 - 5780/578 - - TI87 87
    87C 790 850 RG830 093 5830/585 - -   87C
    87B 820 930 RG850 - 5850/585 - -   -
    87A 880 1050 RG1000 094 5100/510 - RM90   -


  16. Exposing - Film Speeds and Rating for Filters

    Problems with correct film exposures is the origin of the urban legend that there is a "black art" connected with infrared photography. In fact if you follow a few simple rules, calculating exposure is relatively easy.

    The problem with most camera and hand held light meters is that they are neither calibrated nor filtered for infrared light. Different meters also vary in their sensitivity to infrared light. Add to this the variations in film development carried out by many people who develop their own film and you have a recipe for confusion. Recommendations for exposures from one person using a particular film, meter and developing method will not transfer to a another person using a different film, meter, and developing technique.

    So, here are a few simple rules of thumb which should allow you to at least get some useful results. These rules are based on the "sunny 16" rule - if anyone knows who first coined the term then please let me know.

    For normal film, the sunny 16 rule simply states : In bright sunshine with an aperture of f16 use a shutter speed of 1/ASA.

    So at f16 using a normal 100ASA film in bright sunshine you should use a shutter speed of 1/100. Test the accuracy with your camera or hand held meter - you will be surprised.....

    For infrared photography all we need to know is the effective speed rating or ASA of the inrared film in combination with our chosen filter. The table below gives the effective film ASA with recommended filter combinations. Use this only as a guide - you will find that infrared film behaves differently as it is under and overexposed, giving a range of interpretations possible from a series of bracketed photos of the same scene. I recommend looking at Laurie White's book which has a chapter on the subject.

    Filter Kodak HIE Konica 750 Ilford SFX Agfa APX Maco IR
    No Filter 400 ASA 80 ASA 200 ASA 200 ASA 100 ASA
    Wratten #25 50 ASA 12 ASA 25 ASA 25 ASA 12 ASA
    Wratten #29 50 ASA 12 ASA - - 12 ASA
    Wratten #70 50 ASA 12 ASA - - 12 ASA
    Wratten #89B 25 ASA 8 ASA - - 6 ASA
    Wratten #88A 25 ASA - - - 4 ASA
    Wratten #87 25 ASA - - - -
    Wratten #87C 12 ASA - - - -
    Wratten #87B 12 ASA - - - -

    You can also use your camera or handheld meter, however this will need to be calibrated by shooting a test roll of film, bracketing the exposures by at least +3 to -3 stops.

    A handheld or camera light meter usually records less infrared light than there really is in a scene - this also varies depending on the time of day. This is because the meters are intended to measure visible light rather than infrared light. With a little work in calibrating your meter with a few test rolls of film you will soon have infrared light metering down to a fine art. Remember that there is more infrared light in the mornings and late afternnon due to the angle of the sun. There is also more infrared light at higher altitudes.

    Whichever filter you use it is worth bracketing as different exposures can give equally interesting effects - you may end up with several usable results from the same scene. Some people recommend bracketing over 5 stops, however this is a little excessive.

    Remember that if you use your camera light meter to measure exposures through the lens (TTL) (and the filter) you will need to adjust the working film speed (ASA) as the meter is seeing less light though the film will still be receiving all the IR available (limited by the sensitivity of the film and the characteristics of the filter). So you need to increase the ISO by however many stops of light your filter blocks eg lose 2 stops, go from 50 to 200.

    Most TTL meters do record IR light, so you can use TTL metering with a visually opaque IR filter. Linearity is apparently no problem, you only need to dial in a fixed overexposure correction. You can easily check the needed correction, by comparing the Kodak guidelines with meter readings. 25 red needs +3 compared to no-filter, but most cameras do that automatically; 87 needs +4; and 87C needs +5. If your camera doesn't read +4 or +5 (very likely) compared to no-filter, then you have to correct till it does.

    Older non-AF cameras generally need less positive correction than newer AF cameras, due to IR-blocking filters for the AF sensors. But, if using an opaque-to-visible-light filter (eg Wratten #87) on an SLR you will need to compose without the filter so also set the exposure manually at this point.


  17. Focusing

    The exact point of focus will depend on which filter you use as this dictates which wavelengths are most prominent in your image. Most people move towards or to the red infra-red mark on most lenses. If your lens is missing this mark then nudge it to a slightly closer focus. The rule of thumb is to move the lens forwards 1/4 of one percent of the focal length of the lens if you do not have an infared focusing mark. This is useful for large format users.

    The type of lens you use will also affect the focusing correction required. Here is something that Andrew Davidhazy posted on the subject of different lenses:

    "If you use a simple lens you can bring ONE color to a sharp focus. Generally, in the olden days this would be set to a blue wavelength since films were not sensitive to longer ones. In this case the green wavelengths are chosen to be sharply focused on the film. Note than an achromat bends the chromatic focal plane so that TWO wavelength come to a common focal point - 350 and 600 in this illustration. More importantly the uv and ir come to a focus further from the lens! The classic layout for an apochromat is that the field is bent twice (as well as the departures from a single plane being smaller) and IR and UV are focused at opposite sides of the "light" image plane. However, sometimes a very well corrected achromat is also called an apochromat, to add to the confusion.

    A true mirror lens is for all practical purposes free of changes in focal length due to changes in wavelength because angle of reflection = angle of incidence regardless of light wavelength."

    wavelength      simple lens     achromat       apochromat       mirror
    800                |     /         |  /            |/             ||
    -                  |    /          | /             |              ||
    700                |   /           |/             /|              ||
    -                  |  /            |             ( |              ||
    600                | /            /|              \|              ||
    -                  |/            / |               |              ||
    500                |            (  |               |\             ||
    -                 /|             \ |               | )            ||
    400              / |              \|               |/             ||
    -               /  |               |               |              ||
    300            /   |               |\             /|              ||
                       ^               ^               ^               ^
    ---> light         |
                       ^ indicates optimum location of film plane 

    Most modern lenses are probably achromats unless they are marked as APO.

    Since the Konica film sensitivity is nearer visible light than the Kodak and you will probably be using a filter that is allowing light through closer to the visible spectrum, IR marks for the Konica film are about halfway between the standard IR mark on your lens and normal.

    To improve apparent sharpness you can use a small aperture to increase depth of focus. However, don't stop down too far! Diffraction is twice as bad with long IR waves as it is with visible light! Stopping down to minimum aperture will result in diffused image.

    So, different lenses will behave differently depending on their design. For example, for old large format lenses, Richard Knoppow has reported that in a Kodak lens brouchure the corrections are given for several lenses:

    Ektar 101mm and 127mm - extend 0.1mm
    Ektar 152mm - extend 0.76mm
    Kodak Ektar 8" f:7.7 - extend 0.4mm
    Commercial Ektar 8-1/4" - extend 0.2mm

    Infrared Ektachrome focuses normally. Given the fact that Ektachrome IR records from yellow/orange till the IR region, this is no surprise; it is a compromise between focus of the visible and of the IR. Apo's and mirrors are said to make a major improvement in image quality here! Unlike the b&w IR films, you can't choose to only record IR (and hence focus for IR only).


  18. Flash Guns and Bulbs

    Electronic flash guns and flash bulbs emit plenty of infrared light together with visible light. This means that you can use fill-in flash and flash alone for shooting in infrared. You will need to calibrate your flash for the infrared film of choice through test exposures.

    The use of flash allows an interesting possibility - you can use a filter over the flash to reduce or eliminate the visible light output and take infrared photos in the dark without any apparent light. This means that you can take photos without out disturbing your subject or alerting them to the fact that a photo has been taken. If there is no ambient light then an infrared filter over the flash gun is all that is required. If there is ambient light then a filter will also be required over the lens as most infrared film is sensitive to some visible light.

    One of the most well known examples of flash infrared photography is a shot taken by the famous news photographer "Weegee" of a cinema audience watching a film. Weegee used an infrared flash bulb together with his Graflex Speed Graphic 4"x5" press camera.

    If you have an old press flash gun then look for GE #5R InfraRed Flash Bulbs if you want to emulate the techniques used by Weegee. Try Bill Cress who specialises in supplying old flash bulbs at Alternatively you could use an infrared filter over an ordinary electronic flash gun if you want to avoid the potential excitement of the occasional exploding flash bulb....

    A cheap and cheerful way of making a flash filter is by using two strips of unexposed but developed E6 film as an approximation to a Wratten 87 (for more info. contact: Andrew Davidhazy). Be careful on the frequency of flash use. Someone reported that his SB-24 overheated when using this technique.

    It appears that one thickness of E6 film is roughly the equivalent of an 87 filter but with a broader spectral response and with some 1% transmission valleys at 500 and 600 nm. Its transmission starts to drop from 1% at 700 nm to about 95% at 800 nm. Two thicknesses of D max E6 are basically visually opaque with transmission starting at 720 nm and dropping quite rapidly to 90% or so at 850 nm.

    Basically the two sheets of E6 simply do not have a cutoff as steep as the Wratten filters nor is the maximum transmittance of light as good. But they are serviceable, particularly for placing over a flashgun where the expensive thin gel Wratten filters tend to fry and buckle!

    There is another option for the DIY fanatics - paint your own filters and bulbs. The formula for the infrared paint requires a range of chemicals, some of which have to be purchased in bulk. This could be an expensive exercise, however the formula and instructions on concocting the brew are in this article.


  19. Developing

    Process as soon as possible. This is good advice for any film but especially for IR film which seems to be more prone to fogging and more forgetful than other films!

    There are many professional photographics labs which will process infrared film. It is probably a good idea to point out to the person to whom you hand over your precious film that the film canister should only be opened in the darkroom and that it is sensitive to infrared light. Many counter staff have the habit of opening film canisters and placing them in a clear plastic bag for processing. For medium format 120 infrared films such as Konica, keeping the foil covering for the film and rewrapping after exposure may be a good idea.

    Consider processing your own film. This is relatively easy and certainly costs far less than taking the film in for professional processing. The added advantage is that you then have complete control over the developing process, including the choice of developer. The section on infrared films contains suggested developing times for a range of developing chemicals. There are also two comprehensive books on film processing and chemicals in the books section below.

    Hand developing tanks can be found new in most high street photographic specialist shops - used equipment can be found for next to nothing in local newspaper classified ads. If you develop your own traditional black and white film already, take even more care than usual when loading infrared film onto a spiral as Kodak HIE is thinner than normal black and white film.

    Many people report good results using Jobo and similar motorised processors. Tanks are available which can accomodate any size of film from 35mm to 4"x5". This is an excellent way of processing multiple films or sheets.

    Beware that not all changing bags and not all tanks are opaque to IR film. Generally those changing bags which have a rubberized coating on the inside are safe. There is currently a survey being carried out on changing bags and there will probably be recommendations made here for safe bags which are currently available.

    Some people insist on using a metal tank but I have not had any problems using my plastic tank (I do not leave the film in for long and do not put it in direct sunlight etc).


  20. Printing

    Choose your basic printing exposure to bring out the characteristics you were using - keep vegetation light and skies dark. This can lead to high-key light portraits, dark moody landscapes and ethereal vegetation. Experiment with your negs!

    As with any black and white print you can also tone or tint the picture to increase its mood or highlight a particular element.

    The Lith printing process lends itself particularly well to printing infrared negatives. Grainy blacks and wonderful detailed midtones together with subtle tones in the highlights. Colors depend to a great extent upon choice of paper as certain papers produce their own characteristic colours without the use of toners.

    An excellent starting point for information on Lith printing is Tim Rudman's book on the process.


  21. Examples

    This section will soon be updated to become a changing showcase of on-line examples of Infra-Red photography. The current infared world-wide web links section will be updated to include short site descriptions. The links section may well end up having its own page as there are a large and growing number of URLs.

    If you have your pictures on-line or know sites that have pictures and are not mentioned in the links section, please mail me, or even better, use the online form to Add a Link!

    If you have already sent me your URL then it is in the process of being added to the new section. Reciprocal links back to the Infrared FAQ would of course be appreciated. Updating information in the FAQ itself always has priority :-) Please be patient.

    The Infrared Photography Showcase


CoCam Recommended Books - in association with

There are many more books recommended and reviewed by CoCam in the main CoCam Books section!

CoCam now also works in association with for customers in the UK and Europe. version of the CoCam Books Section

1. Infrared Photography Handbook by Laurie White.
Simply click on the picture of the book to be taken to the ordering page.

Infrared Photography Handbook by Laurie White

"Probably the best introduction to infrared photography available. Written in an easy to understand format with plenty of examples of the different effects of various filters and films.

Useful even to experienced infrared photographers. A lot of data and graphs showing the sensitivities of currently available infrared films.

I was given this book as a present and wondered how useful it would be to me as a fairly experienced infrared photographer. It was a pleasant surprise to find that I was drawn into the book and still pick it up from time to time. Highly recommend to all." Clive Warren 1999


2. The Master Photographer's Lith Printing Course : A Definitive Guide to Creative Lith Printing by Tim Rudman.
Simply click on the picture of the book to be taken to the ordering page.

Lith Printing Course by Tim Rudman

"This is a truly excellent book which brings wonderful colours into monochrome printing, without toning! Anyone who tries lith printing will be hooked - wonderful hard grainy shadows with soft detailed highlights. Infrared photos work particularly well. The techniques of using and manipulating lith chemicals and paper are covered comprehensively.

This book will provide a wealth of new ideas to even the most seasoned darkroom user and introduce novices to a wonderful new technique.

I have this beautifully illustrated book in my own library and highly recommend it." Clive Warren 1999


3. Infrared Portrait Photography: Techniques and Images in Black & White by Richard Beitzel
Simply click on the picture of the book to be taken to the ordering page.

Infrared Portrait Photography: Techniques and Images in Black & White by Richard Beitzel

"This book fills a big gap in the application of infrared photography, that of portraiture. It is both comprehensive and well written and will provide you with many ideas for new approaches to the sometimes difficult subject of portraiture using infrared.

The book is well laid out and will appeal to many people who want practical examples of how they can use creative infrared portrait photography in a commercial setting as well as inspiration for the amateur photographer.

This is another book on my wish list!" Clive Warren 2001


4. In Ruins : The Once Great Houses of Ireland by Simon Marsden (Photographer), Duncan McLaren.
Simply click on the picture of the book to be taken to the ordering page.

In Ruins : The Once Great Houses of Ireland by Simon Marsden (Photographer), Duncan McLaren.

"A wonderful book full of haunting images of the castles and houses of Ireland that have now fallen into ruin and decay. Excellent subjects for infrared photography.

The photographs are on the whole well composed and the overall effect can be quite disturbing. An explanation of the fate of the various buildings is included.

Another book which sits on the shelf ready to show visitors instantly the nature and feel of infrared photography." Clive Warren 1999

See also Pete Schermerhorn's excellent article describing his recent visits to the places described in the book together with map grid references.



5. The Art of Infrared Photography by Joseph Paduano.
Simply click on the picture of the book to be taken to the ordering page.

The Art of Infrared Photography by Joseph Paduano

"There have been generally favourable reviews of this book published. One person stated that it inspired him to specialise in infrared photography and has gone on win international competitions with his photographs.

Also covers the use and characteristics of the relatively recent introduction of Kodak's new colour infrared transparency film.

Have yet to read this book, however Joe is an excellent photographer and a regular contributor to the infrared mailing list" Clive Warren 1999


6. Infrared Nude Photography : A Guide to Infrared and Advanced Technique by Joseph Paduano
Simply click on the picture of the book to be taken to the ordering page.

Infrared Nude Photography by Joseph Paduano

"Well here is a book that is on my Christmas list.

I haven't read this book and it has had mixed reviews, perhaps because there was an expectation of more technical information.

My interest is in the photographs, lighting techniques and how infrared can be used as a medium to interpret the human form." Clive Warren 1999


7. The Darkroom Cookbook by Stephen G. Anchell, Steve Anchell.
Simply click on the picture of the book to be taken to the ordering page.

The Darkroom Cookbook by Stephen Anchell

"If you have ever wondered what a particular darkroom chemical does and how to use it to the best effect in your photographic process, then buy this book.

Written in a way that makes the chemistry easy to understand and opens the doors for experimentation. There are 206 pages packed with information.

This book is an excellent companion for the film developing cookbook from the same author." Clive Warren 1999


8. The Film Developing Cookbook : Advanced Techniques for Film Developing by Stephen G. Anchell and Bill Troop.
Simply click on the picture of the book to be taken to the ordering page.

The Film Developing Cookbook by Stephen Anchell and Bill Troop

"An extremely useful book which answers all of the questions you may have about developers and infrared film.

Tables of information on developer times and chemical formulae which would be very difficult to find elsewhere.

You will find yourself browsing and learning constantly. A treasure trove of information. Another book which now lives in my darkroom" Clive Warren 1999


Tell your friends about this infrared page

Infrared World Wide Web Links

This section is in the process of being updated. If you have submitted your URL and it does not yet appear here then please wait for the next update. If you have infrared photography on your website and would like to have your site included then please -

Add a Link!

The CoCam Infrared WWW Links are organised into the following categories:

  1. Infrared Galleries
  2. Infrared Reference
  3. Infrared Photographers
  4. Infrared Services
  5. Film Manufacturers
  6. Film Retailers
  7. Ultraviolet Galleries
  8. Ultraviolet Reference
  9. Equipment
  10. Useful Links
  11. Art
  12. Science

New categories or changes to the listings can be suggested using the Add a Link! facility. For those people who have both galleries and other information, such as technical tips then please use Add a Link! to supply full page or section URLs together with a short description. Your site could appear several times in the list with links directly to the appropriate section.


  1. Infrared Galleries

    Belle Ame Photography A varied selection of photographs including Infrared and Lith prints.
    Mainland Mono Monochrome and Infrared Photography by Linda & Colin McKie.
    Andy Frazer's Infrared Website Infrared photographs of California, Massachusetts (USA) and Wales (UK). Also has section on where to buy infared film.
    Steven Bolin Photography
    Robert M Howells Infrared Photography A Gallery of Black And White Infrared Fine Art photographs capturing the essence of the Welsh landscape.
    Dreaming in Daylight by Diane Syme.
    Spearmint Infrared Photography
    Infrared Photos Holly aka luvdove.
    Hermann Klecker
    Cycloid Fathom Gallery
    Handmade Photographic Images by George L. Smyth
    Jackie Lund Some interesting Diana and Lubitel camera work - needs the Flash plugin.
    Infrared Photography Homepage of Jaap Los
    Invisible Light Infrared Photography by Andy Finney
    Bill D. Casselberry Photography on the Oregon Coast
    Brett's Photography
    Cloudance Gallery and Studios Photography of David M. Young
    Infrared Nature Photography by Hank Hogan
    Invisible Beauty - black and white infrared
    The Infrared Gallery The Gallery for members of the Infrared Mailing List.
    The Negative Entropy gallery image-space
    Marco Pauck's Photography Pages
    Persistence of Vision Image Service
    David Reicks Photography
    Robert Peak
    Glen R. Murray Black and white infrared stereo photography.
    Joe's Photography Page
    Jon Laye Photography
    Peter Smith Photography
    Karin Kelly Burns Hand Colored Photography.
    Stan McQueen Photography
    Evolving Beauty by Eric Boutilier-Brown. Folios including: infrared images of the nude; large format images of Architecture, the Nude and landscapes.
    Angela Estes-Ogden Photography Galleries include photographs of varying techniques including at any given time: infrared, cross-processing, holga (toy camera), lith printing, among others. Gallery contents changed approximately every 2-3 months.
    Between darkness and light by Oliver Pettenpaul. Landscapes and moods in black and white, infrared and colour in a digital photo-gallery.
    Scho's Digital Images by Carl Schofield. Infrared landscapes taken with the Nikon Coolpix 950 digital camera.
    Big Ben's Gallery by Ben Kreunen. This is still under construction but growing rapidly. There is now a dedicated (although a little small) IR section.
    Big Ben's Victoria by Ben Kreunen. A personal guide to Victoria, Australia. The photography here is mixed with a lot of infrared images.
    The Art of Infrared Photography by Joseph Paduano. This site includes a black and white infrared gallery and a color infrared gallery in addition to information on infrared photography and IR books by the author, Joseph Paduano. Contains a few infrared nude photos.
    Robert Hall Photography by R. Gary Hall. Infrared, lith and handpainted prints.
    Florida Infrared Photographs by Mike Brouphy. The images presented in the gallery are composed of IR photographs made at a variety of sites across Florida. Mike prefers the older aspects of Florida over the new glitsy, fake Disney style places for which Florida is so immediately associated. There are many beautiful and historic places along the old train stops that criss-cross Florida from the early 20th century. These and other such sites Mike has explored with the infrared medium.
    Infrared Photography by Jaap Los. Infrared Photography for beginners. Advice about exposure, development and printing of Kodak High Speed Infrared film (HIE). Three galleries with infrared pics.
    Infrared Santa Fe by John MacLean. EIR Color Infrared images.
    Tony's Digifotoinfo by Tony Collins. Short article and associated gallery of Infra Red (trial) pictures, taken with an Olympus C2000 digital camera.
    Near-InfraRed by Mike Rooke. Near-InfraRed Photos - Canon Powershot S10 digital camera with 780nm IR Transmission Filter.
    Last Angels by Todd L'Herrou. Showcasing cemetary photos taken using Kodak EIR (Ektachrome InfraRed) color slide film.
    Kevan Brewer Images by Kevan Brewer. A selection of photographs in colour and monochrome - including infrared, most taken in and around the New Forest, Southern England.
    Larry Sabo's Infrared Gallery by Larry Sabo. Kodak HIE and a Canon Pro70 B&W infrared images from in and around Ottawa, Ontario - Canada's capital. Technical information included for simulating HIE in digicam images.
    Fotografie Luc Selen Photography by Luc Selen. Infrared nudes, portraiture.
    Canningphoto by John Canning. Black & white infared landscapes.
    Michael World's Photographic Images by Michael World. Three pages of monochrome fine-art and portraiture images, most of which are from Kodak HIE IR film. Michael has been using HIE for over ten years, and provides (de-mystifying) instruction in its use.
    Scott Alberts' Infrared Landscape Photos by Scott Albert. When he's not working as a character designer or storyboard artist on The Simpsons, Scott Alberts takes dramatic infrared landscapes.
    Marco Casalino Photo Gallery by Marco Casalino. Photo site with multiple galleries, regularly updated. Includes B&W infrared as well as conventional B&W and color.


  2. Big Ben's Photo Tips by Ben Kreunen. This started out as something of a simple FAQ but has become reasonably popular. There is an infrared section with lots of examples.
    Digital Near InfraredPhotography by Eric Cheng. A wealth of information for anyone thinking about using a digital camera for infrared photography.
    WJ's Infrared & Photography Homepage The founding father of the Infrared Mailing List and the source of much information about infrared photography.
    Join the Infrared Mailing List Hosted by Willem-Jan Markerink.
    Infrared Mailing List Archive A service to infrared photographers worldwide, kindly provided by Marco Pauck.
    Marco Pauck's Personal Experiences Marco shows the difference between various black & white infrared films and results from using digital cameras.
    Carl Schofield's Digital Info. Carl shares the technical secrets of his stunning digital photography.


  3. Stanee Rae of Lincroft, Photographic Artistry Contains several pages with infrared portrait and weddings photos, some hand tinted.




  6. Where to buy Infrared Film Andy Frazer gives you the locations worldwide.





  10. PhotoResource Magazine the photographers' information connection
    PhotoLinks An extensive collection of links and information about general photography.
    British Journal of Photography (BJP) The BJP online - established in 1854 and published weekly in the UK - every Wednesday.
    Marshall's Oils, Pencils and Dyes This is the company that makes the hand colouring products. Full descriptions and demo/tutorial. A site devoted to hand coloring. Has its own monthly ezine, contests, tutorials, etc.





Top of Page