View Full Version : Rollei/Maco 400 shot w/89B filter

Jonathan Brewer
20-Jun-2006, 11:29
I promised that I would give a rundown on the tests I did w/my last rolls of the new Rollei/Maco 400 infrared film. First off, I believe this film to be closer to 200ISO, not the 400ISO advertised.

I shot a roll of this film, using my Silhouette 612 and 250mm Apo Tele-Xenar and Horseman 612 rollfilm back, I exposed three frames, using a 25 red @ F5.6-1/125, F8-1/125, F11-1/125, and then the remaining three frames w/an 89B repeating the first three exposures. The three frames came back looking just looking like conventional black and white film, w/no hint of the 'wood' effect, or the look of an infrared film. The frames shot w/the 89B were extremely dark.

The film was processed by master printer Alan Wedertz who does all my infrared including what I've shot in Kodak 400 HIE, if you go to my website, perusing the 'Metal-Infrared' and 'Infrared' galleries everything except the 'Out of Ivory' image was shot with Kodak HIE exposed @ F11-F16 @1/125sec using an 89B filter. I've gotten consistent results shooting Kodak HIE this way to the extent that using this EV range on a cloudless day and I simply shot all my Kodak HIE this way outside.

The 'Out of Ivory' was shot with the original Maco infrared film which is rated at 100ISO. Alan loves shooting infrared himself and knows what he's doing processing infrared film. Alan from his experience has felt that infrared film that hasn't been frozen, will tend to lose some of its infrared sensitivity after time.

I've seen some of the test shots with both the slower Maco infrared films, and the newer Rollei/Maco 400 film, many of the test shots with both films exhibited a pronouced 'wood' effect, I've gotten similar results ONLY occasionally, in terms of the 'wood' effect, and the infrared 'look' using an 89B, and unlike the results I get with Kodak HIE, my results with the earlier Maco 100 and the Rollei/Maco 400 film have been all over the place. I've shot approx. 25 rolls of the Rollei/Maco 400 film using an 89B, I've ended up with about 8 frames that looked like 'infrared', with 6 of those frames exhibiting the 'wood effect'. One of the posters on the thread that started this reported great results using the Rollei/Maco film using the equivalent of the 89B, if I'm understanding this correctly, and taking him for his word about his results, something might be up in terms of how the film I got was stored, and/or quality control.

The Maco 100 film and Rollei/Maco 400 film was purchased from freestyle, I did notice that they had the Rollei/Maco 400 film on the counter and it had not been refrigerated, the Kodak film I purchased was the Aerographic equivalent of Kodak HIE which has been cut down and machine wound by David Romano into daylight loadable 120 rolls, and I would freeze this film immediately after it was shipped to me from David Romano.

I've discussed all this w/Alan Wedertz, he seems to feel that there's the possibility of quality control issues in terms of the performance of these films, also variables in terms of how these films are stored/how quickly they're used, that affect how they perform, I tend to agree, the Kodak Hie I got from David Romano was frozen until I needed it, was thawed out and then used the next day, and I got consistent results using an 89B, that's EVERY FRAME shooting the same way, w/plenty of 'wood' effect.

I don't claim to have made a scientific test, this was a test for myself, which simply tells me, that I've got problems with a film that I've bought from a particular vendor that I'm shooting in a certain way that isn't working, and 8 frames out of 25 rolls is no good for me. I'm still interested in shooting these films, I may buy some of this film from another vendor, experiment, but I won't be shooting anything serious with this film until I solve my dialemma.

Andre Noble
20-Jun-2006, 12:32
The first thing with this film is to ignore the box and do your own film speed tests. ASA 100 is nowhere near what he film should be exposed at with a 89b filter.

I would start at ASA 0.5 and work my way up to ASA12 or ASA25, spotmeter, place shadows at zone III, etc. Of course this film will be too dark at ASA 100 with the 092 (89B)

Regarding Freestyle's storage, I',m there with you. My photo instructors at LACC nearby warned me about their 'hot storage' loading dock - where they let films sit out in pallets on a shadeless dock before being taken into the building. I've seen it myself, living just a bus ride down the street. I still buy from them anyways, but the issue has been noted elsewhere.

20-Jun-2006, 12:50
I shot a few rolls with earlier Maco using 89B and developed in D76 straight. I got ISO 6 on a sunny winter day. I suppose it might depend on the filter brand too - mine was Cokin, much better known for affordability than quality.

As for Freestyle, I love the store and try to buy from them whenever I can, just not film, if possible. I prefer to buy film at Samy's, for two reasons - they refrigerate it and they have bigger traffic, meaning faster runs.

One final word, with infrared, you can't really "place" your zones. There are just too many variables, like the amount and kind of greenery, water, etc. that act very differently than in visible light. I prefer to go for the highlights, let the shadows fall where they may and then bracket. And you still have to eyeball the situation with IR.

Jonathan Brewer
20-Jun-2006, 15:10
Maybe I should've said what I thought goes without saying, the rating for Maco 100 or the Rollei/Maco 400 is a reference for using the film WITHOUT a filter, Maco 100 exposed w/an 89B from my tests is around EI 3, if that.

I've talked to Alan about his feelings about Rollei, we've pretty much agreed that without a filter this film is closer to 200, with the 89B the EI is probably closer to 12-25, but neither Alan or I use a meter with infrared, because after you gain experience shooting infrared, you get a feel for how differently infrared can render a scene under different conditions, your meter can trick you. You can view two different scenes, that can both appear equally bright, where one will come out, and one won't, shot w/infrared film.

I don't bother to shoot infrared film outside, unless it's a fairly cloudless, and/or hazeless day, w/no overcast, under those conditions, a frontally lit shot, shooting Kodak HIE with an 89B(I have B+W, Harrison and Harrison, Hoya[they've all worked equally well]), exposing at either F11-F16@1/125sec., my shots come out exactly the way I want them to, assuming an EI of 25-50. Infrared is so hard to get, and it's so important to get the shot, that I simply bracket the above exposures, and one or the other will usually be on the money.

I'm surprised at what's been said here about the way some folks handle film, that may just validate my decision to get the Rollei from Samy's or somewhere else to repeat my tests, since I've got no desire to stop shooting infrared.

Jonathan Brewer
20-Jun-2006, 19:22
Samy's does not sell Rollei infrared, I've found J & C, how do folks feel about this vendor's handling of film? Also are there any other Los Angeles-Southern California vendors selling the Rollei infrared besides Freestyle?

20-Jun-2006, 19:35
Try Calumet, it's not far away from Samys...

Jonathan Brewer
21-Jun-2006, 11:09
I called Calumet, asked if they sell Rollei/Maco infrared in 120, the girl tells me they've never heard of it, so it's J&C, I've ordered 4 rolls from them to retest this film.