Efke Infrared feat. Holga = L.O.V.E
Efke IR820 on Holgamods Holga 120N
Self-developed: Ilfotec HC 1+31, 7 mins
It’s sad that the Efke has stopped producing all their papers & photographic films. I bought about 5 rolls of Efke IR820 infrared films sometime in 2011 and have kept them in the fridge till last week when I decided to shoot a roll in Langkawi. They were expensive when I bought them off eBay and now that they’re obsolete, I’m pretty sure their prices have skyrocketed.
From a discussion thread on Flickr here, the high silver content in their film produces unique BW images that were unlike any other but the costs incurred to produce these films far outstripped the demands resulting in the closure of the film plant :(
Okay, back to the details of this shoot: I shot the roll using my Holgamod Holga 120N in Langkawi, an island off the northern state of Kedah in Peninsular Malaysia. Langkawi shares the waters of the Malacca Straits and the Andaman Sea which faces Thailand.
It was really hot & super bright during my three day stay, all of which favors infrared photography. However, I made 2 grave mistakes.
First: I did not use a tripod and all shots were hand-held, resulting in the noticeable shakes to all my shots. Granted, the first two shots were quite all right, but that’s because I placed the camera on a railing overlooking the mangrove forest of Kilim. Now this brings me to my next mistake.
Second: From the 3rd exposure onwards, I got confused with the Holga aperture and ended shooting the whole roll at the “Night/Cloudy” setting!
Let me explain, seasoned Holga users will know that the Holga has a switch at the bottom indicating 2 aperture setting of f11 & f8. Unmodified Holgas actually have a working aperture of f13 on either setting due to a manufacturing oversight (although apparently this problem was rectified post 2009 Holga productions, I dunno). However, mine is a Holgamod thus I’ve been shooting at f8 under the bright sun!
Also, when you shoot infrared film, you need to use the bulb mode to keep the aperture open to allow sufficient light to pass through the IR filter which is so dark it’s almost black. I used a Hoya R72 filter on my Holga and timed the shoot at 5-8 seconds.
You can definitely see in my set that from the 3rd picture onwards, all the shots have blurred edges with clear imprint of the paper backing resulting in those unsightly grains! Aaargh! Again my hypothesis of extreme light passing through the camera resulting in the imprints. Yes, you can also get such defects in thin paper backings like in the cheap Shanghai GP3 or in fat rolls (due to the light leaks) but this roll was definitely not fat and it most certainly wasn’t cheap, heh.
This was my 2nd attempt at infrared photography, the first using an Ilford SFX 200 here and I have to admit that I vastly prefer the Efke. Too bad it’s no more :(