5 Frames… With Rollei Infrared 400 (EI 400 / 35 format / Nikon FE) – by Daniel Novak

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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.

~ Dan

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13 thoughts on “5 Frames… With Rollei Infrared 400 (EI 400 / 35 format / Nikon FE) – by Daniel Novak”

  1. Hi Dan,
    good start! you will like it for sure.

    I restarted analog last year and used Rollei Infrared 400 too. Till the company, where I buy my developer told me, that the Rollei Infrared is the same as the Rollei Superpan 200!! So I used the Superpan from there on. Most fascinating is, that you can shoot IR and normal B&W on one roll. I made some test shots, where you can see the effect.

    here is an album with 6×9 and you find the comparing shots with ‘infrared’ in the title about in the middle of the album

    here is one example, the normal shot without filter is the previous picture

    these and more in my analog IR album

    and last but not least analog IR 6×17 pinhole 🙂


    • Hello Dierk,

      Thanks for writing and for dropping the references. You have some wonderful photographs on Flickr so I gave you a follow there (masinka). I’ve heard it from multiple sources that Superpan 200 has a good infrared sensitivity and I see your comparisons between using an orange and R72 filters. That definitely proves the point. However, I’m not sure the films are truly identical. I’d have to shoot a side by side comparison of the two both with the R72 filter. Just by comparing your and my results the look is different, but of course I realize the million other variables that went into that. Thanks for the food for thought!

  2. Great photographs . How did you develop your Rollei IR film ? Did you scan the negs and use photoshop ,
    or did you print the negs with an enlarger ? I am getting ready to shoot IR this spring / summer on my Hasselblad system . I have lots of experience with Kodak 35mm and 4×5 IR film but that was a few decades
    ago .

    • Hello Peter! I made a mistake and did not take a note of my development time on the film sleeve as I usually do. I developed in XTOL (stock, no dilution) and I believe I developed for 7.5 minutes based on recommendation from Darkroom Solutions. Massive Dev Chart recommends 7.5 minutes in 1:1 dilution.

      I did both. I scanned my film and printed a few frames in the darkroom. What you see here are the scans with simply levels set for the full range of tones, no other tweaking.

      Have fun getting back into infrared! It definitely provides for a different take on subjects. Lots of greenery and lots of sunshine definitely helps!

  3. Very nice images. Shooting IR film is always a bit of a crap shoot. Bracketing helps guarantee you’ll get something you like. I typically shoot at EI 6 and bracket a single shot at +1.

    • Right you are, hard to gauge the amount of IR. Thus I limited my shooting to bright sunny days for more consistent conditions. Still, backlight and front light behaved quite differently. Thanks for your input!


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