One hot mess: first attemps at 4×5 IR film

Wow, where do I even begin?

I got up Sunday morning planning to visit the cherry blossom trees on the University of Washington campus and decided to shoot my Rollei IR 4×5 film. About a month ago the talented photographer and camera maker James Guerin kindly forwarded me some exposure tables, so I was armed with knowledge and waiting for a sunny day to experiment. James inspired me with his dramatic tree images so be sure to check out his work.

Without going into all the details, let me list all the new things I learned yesterday:

- Glue guns are not the best adhesive for securing a filter ring to a camera
– The glue, however, comes off cleanly and in one piece. Usable.
– Rollei IR film is incredibly thin, maybe paper thin. (Vine)
– It’s important to wait until full sunlight before exposing IR film.
– Always remember your exposed/unexposed system to prevent double exposures.
– Something is creating unwanted light paintings in the lower left corner.
– 65mm on 4×5 is equivalent to 21mm on 35mm film. (lens2shutter)
– The IR filter mounted on a filter ring will block some light, creating dark corners.
– Loading the scarily thin film on the MOD54 is challenging.
– Barely agitate the tank while developing because the sheets will move and overlap. Yikes!
– Stand developing is A Very Good Thing.

I’ll leave it at that. The following images are from my first round of IR sheet film and illustrate the points I made above. I stand developed the sheets per Martin‘s recipe: Rodinal 1:100 for 1 hour.

What were you up to this weekend? Mahalo for visiting and cheers to a productive March!

UW Quad - double

UW Quad – double

Hot Mess

Hot Mess



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8 thoughts on “One hot mess: first attemps at 4×5 IR film

  1. I like your scientific work and description!
    I also like a lot your last shot.
    I used “SuperGlue” (cyanocrylate: to secure my filter ring to the camera [] .
    I never used Rollei IR film before. I used Efke IR820 in 120 format.
    And yes! you need a real sunny day to get the best results!!!

    • Thank you Jesus, I like the Efke 120 but wanted to try 4×5 for Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. It’s so much harder to deal with, but your images continue to inspire me. Gracias!

  2. I love hot messes – so much learning comes from it. I really dig the first double exposure.

    I was at Jones Beach Sunday, with a friend and my zero image. Can’t wait to get the film processed to see results. Was a gloriously fun day!

  3. Great work Jana! I recently bought some Rollei IR film in both 120 and 4×5, but this f…ing winter isn’t over yet, so I still have not tried it. And I haven’t found any development or exposure tables yet, so this is very informative. Thanks!!
    I am very curious of 4×5 pinhole too, but I can’t decide if I want to buy a Zero (a bit pricy) or a Vermeer (not enough images to look at to determine the quality) Do you have any advice?
    I’m slowly slowly beginning to get to know my Zero 2000, but we ain’t BFF’s yet…. ;-)

  4. Pingback: Update: Some infrared 4×5 improvements | jana obscura

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