How to load Kodak High Speed Black & White 35mm Infrared film into a manual SLR camera

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Using infrared film can yield very interesting and unusual color schemes in your photos. At an average cost of $20 a roll, infrared film is very fragile and can only be handled in total darkness. Incorrect loading can be a costly mistake, please follow these steps to protect your infrared film from exposure:

Things You'll Need

  • A roll of Kodak HIE Black & White 35mm Infrared film.
  • An empty 35mm manual SLR camera
  • A completely dark, light-tight room or space to stand in.
  • A clean space to work on in your darkened room.
  • First, Prepare the room you have chosen by removing any kind of electronics or devices that may produce light, no matter how little. Any device that uses infrared light (commonly devices that have "night vision" capabilities) must also be removed.

  • Second, step in and test the darkness of the room. Seal any cracks that leak light with electrical tape.

  • If your work space is ready you may enter the room with your empty SLR camera and unopened infrared film. Be sure you are in total darkness now.

  • Begin by opening your package of infrared film and lay it onto your work space.

  • Next, open the backside of your empty SLR camera by pulling on your film rewind knob.

  • Place film flat side up into the space on the left side of the camera.

  • Pull out enough slack from the film canister to reach the right side of the camera.

  • Feed the end of the film into the spool on the right and advance the film with the film winder found directly above on the top of the camera. Advance the film twice to make sure that the film is securely wrapped on the spool.

  • Close the back cover of your SLR camera.

  • Make sure your lens cap is on and exit your dark room. Your camera is now ready to take infrared pictures.

Tips & Warnings

  • Generally, infrared film has no ISO number, so its not necessary to set a film speed beforehand.
  • A light-tight film changing bag can also be used in a normal lighted room, but be aware that not all changing bags are infrared light proof.
  • The purpose of this type of film is to pick up infrared light, which cannot be seen by the unaided human eye, therefore guarding your film against infrared light leaking onto your unused can be difficult. Devices that use night vision technologies like motion sensors and video cameras emit infrared light and must be kept away from unprotected IR film.
  • Plastic SLR cameras are not suitable for us with infrared film as they are commonly subject to IR light leaks.
  • A SLR camera with a small film canister window on the back will need to have the window covered up with a piece of foil with electrical tape over it to prevent infrared light from leaking into the window.
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