I have always found the look of black and white infrared photographs intriguing and really wanted to try it myself. Earlier in 2018, I finally researched the topic a bit more and decided on the combination of 35mm Rollei Infrared 400 film and my Hoya R72 on my Nikon Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 and Nikon FE.
I used this first roll around town to get some experience with it before heading further out. I tried various subjects including natural scenes and architecture, all on sunny days to get the most infrared light and the darkest skies.
The film is rated ISO 400 and since I wanted to rely on my camera meter and make things easier, I set the camera to ISO 12. That is 5 stops under to account for the 5-stop filter factor of the R72. Then I would compose, focus, and set the exposure without the filter, lock the camera down on a tripod, attach the filter, and take the shot.
I really enjoyed the results. With some pictures, I got what I was aiming for and some others surprised me. With foliage, I played with both reflected sunlight as well as backlight. Backlight provided a more subtle effect but I found it very pleasing. I also liked brightly lit buildings under the dark skies. Backlit water at sunset rendered very bright, almost white.
In the future, I would like to try this with 120 film in one of my TLR cameras. Thanks to their separate viewing and taking lenses, the infrared filter can stay attached, helping further simplify the workflow.
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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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