How to make a pack of Kodak Infrared EIR last for six months…

I don’t shoot as much infrared film as I used to. I mean, I have some efke 820 35mm and 120 rolls in the freezer, so when I DO want to shoot it, I can.

Color infrared film, however … that’s another story. The guy from Germany who had all the cool Aerochrome 120 film has no more left. And a pack of Kodak Infrared EIR 35mm film will cost you an arm, a leg, and two kidneys. And finding someone who can develop infrared slide film – I’d have a better chance of winning the Daytona 500 in a pressed steel pedal car.

Thankfully, last year I sourced a roll of EIR film, with the thought that I could shoot a few images in a few days and send it off for development.

A few images, he says. The standard 35mm film roll allows 36 exposures. And for the cost of what I spent on that one cartridge … I’d better use up every single shot.

And so I did. I packed the roll of EIR film in my Nikon F2S camera (“Nikon Athena”) and went for a shoot. Here and there. Taking a few shots here, a few shots there. Not using all 36 shots up at once; but capturing what I could when I could.

Be aware that shooting color infrared film is tricky at best. You definitely need a color filter on your camera – a nice deep yellow works wonders, but good results can be garnered with an orange or even red filter.

It actually took six months to use up all 36 shots … which is probably five 1/2 months longer than the film should have remained in the camera.

And when I got the film back from the developers …

We’ve got a serious case of magenta overload. There’s enough magenta in here to cosplay with Riff Raff and Columbia.

Take the Photo. Nikon F2S camera, Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 lens, Kodak Infrared EIR film. Photo (c) 2022 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.
Nap Time. Nikon F2S camera, Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 lens, Kodak Infrared EIR film. Photo (c) 2023 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.
Bridge. Nikon F2S camera, Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 lens, Kodak Infrared EIR film. Photo (c) 2022 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

And as wonky as these three photos are … they actually were the three best shots on the roll. And that’s taking into consideration a massive amount of PhotoShop to pull anything cohesive out of these images.

So let’s see what we can claim on this.

First off, the main reason these photos suck has to be the result of the photographer. I missed some levels, I probably over-exposed or under-exposed these images and they look like turds. And Kodak Infrared EIR is supposed to be shot and developed within 48 hours of capturing the photo. What bonk-brained photographer leaves the film in his camera for six months and expects images that rival Ansel Adams? Bad Chuck. Bad, bad Chuck.

After I blame myself for this debacle … I next have to lay the blame on Father Time. I’m expecting a decade-old expired infrared film – which may or may not have been freezer-stored prior to my receiving it – and hoping to get incredible images. Well, that did not happen.

I mean, maybe the photo of the girl sitting on the park bench MIGHT be a dark horse for a Competition Season entry … but that’s kind of rough as it is.

End result – I shot with Kodak Infrared EIR. I got these images. I must have messed up.

So for me, color infrared film isn’t an option any more. I’ll stick to B&W infrared film – seeing as I have packs of it in my personal freezer.

I mean, that’s what a kitchen freezer is used for, right? Storing your camera film, right?

What, you use it for storing OTHER things? The devil say you… 😀