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B&W Infrared Films

In the Aerial / Reconnaissance market Kodak 2424 is the film of choice.  There is now only one other  manufacturer of B&W Infrared films and we have started testing those films.  Below you will find examples and data that we have found so far.  Most professional users of 35mm, 120 & 220 films are processing the films themselves.  Due to the large minimum orders in the professional market this film has not been easily available.  As of August 31, 2005 Kodak will no longer be cutting 70mm IR films in B&W or Color.  Prior to that decision they increased the minimum order to 18 rolls.  If you are looking to obtain film from the last cut of B&W Infrared film in 120 format or an entire 70mm perforated x 150 foot roll of please contact David Romano at www.DavidRomano.com.  After he no longer has film available we are considering being able to provide the film we have been testing. 


B&W IR Exposing Suggestions (from my own experience):

1) MAKE SURE YOUR CAMERA DOES NOT HAVE AN INFRARED COUNTER.  I do not have a list of cameras that have an IR frame counter but that will not work with infrared films.  We used our Pentax K-1000 because you can not get more basic then that and it is extremely reliable AND it has an internal light meter (our Hasselblad's do not have an internal meter and I did not have any 70mm film anyway).

2) I would first say to LOAD IN DARK.  35mm cassettes are "light tight" and we loaded in dim light under a table and still we had some slight fog on the first frame or two.

3) The first roll we used a film speed of 200 ASA.  We got some additional flaring that we did not desire to have in the image and the negatives were a bit heavy processed in our aerial processor at 1T 15 FPM.  I would recommend using 400 ASA.

4) With aerial mapping cameras crews typically use the Wratten Yellow #12 with B&W as well as Color Infrared.  I see distinct advantages to utilizing the #25 Red filter over the #12 yellow as shown below.  I also noticed a little less flaring of the image with the same density negatives.  I would think that a Red #25 would be a better match for Aerial Mapping too but at over $10-20K a filter and who knows if you could find one you work with what you can.

5) I would NOT change your lens on your camera unless you are in total darkness as an added safety for this film.  For more information on B&W See David Romano's website (link above).

6) when preparing to process give any Florescent lights some time to be OFF before opening film cassette.


Here are a couple examples taken with B&W Infrared 35mm film and a Pentax K-1000 with a Wratten 12 and a 25A filter.  To see some film and filter differences click here.

Wratten Yellow #12 Wratten Red #25A