Efke IR820c

I missed out on the old Maco IR820. By the time I had the necessary filters and stuff to actually take advantage of it, it was off the market, replaced by Rollei IR400.

When IR400 came out, it was claimed that it was just like IR820, except 2 stops faster.... however, it eventually was realized that it wasn't at all exactly like the old film from Maco, it was more of an extended-red film.

I noticed mentions of Freestyle starting to sell a new "Efke IR820" some months ago and dashed off an email to them to check. It turns out, yes, Efke resurrected the old recipe from Maco and is making a new IR film out of it.

It finally showed up a week ago and Saturday, I had scheduled an afternoon model shoot. I took it as a huge opportunity to do IR shooting. So I brought along a roll of Efke IR820 with my usual Kodak High Speed IR (HIE) film.

Now, I have no basis for comparison given that I never used the Maco film. Nor can I give it a proper review, given that I don't have too big of a selection of IR filters. However, I can still draw some conclusions. First, it will work with an Wratten 87 filter. The effective ISO after filter factor with an 87 is something like ISO 3. You can unload and load the 120 rolls in dim light. It seems to be free of any major quality control issues.

I tried a Wratten 29 filter with it, and got a very subtle IR effect. The green leaves were a little lighter than they would be otherwise and the model's skin took on some of a luminous quality:

Haunting portrait

With an Wratten 87, there's no denying that there's an IR effect. Water goes black, the model's skin is much more luminous, and the green leaves are white:

Melinda by the creek

For comparison, here's two shots I took with a glass filter equivalent to a Wratten 25 with HIE:

Wishing water



Where to get it:


Ilford has SFX out again, so I'm going to try that. And Rollei has a new IR film they are cooking up that will have sensitivity down to 850nm.

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