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Xpan II infrared performance


New Member
Shot a roll of Kodak HIE with my Xpan II and thought I'd report that there was absolutely no fogging of the film whatsoever. I took basic precautions: I loaded and unloaded the film in a changing bag, and when changing lenes mid-roll, did so in subdued light. Also, I didn't change formats (which theoretically could cause fogging), but shot only panoramics. All 21 shots came out clean and clear, and the film edges were completely uneffected by the IR frame counter.

In fact, the only problem I encountered was loading the film: apparently the Kodak HIE film cartridges are not DX coded, so you have to set film speed manually before loading the film. Otherwise the camera won't know speed the film is and won't recognize it or wind it into the body. Once I got over that it was smooth sailing.
Well, I've got to amend my post, but only slightly. Instead of "there was absolutely no fogging of the film whatsoever," please read: "there was absolutely no fogging of the image area."

Actually, there is minor fogging of the film, but *only* between the sprocket holes on the bottom edge. It never bleeds into the frames. My apologies for any misunderstanding or undue astonishment.

Interestingly, there is "no fogging whatsoever" on the last frame (the first image shot), presumably because the camera doesn't need to count the sprocket holes on the last frame of a roll.
Hi Guy,
I know that you posted this some time ago, but I've only lately become an experienced xpan11 user. I'm about to buy the 90 mm lens and when doing that I thought that I'd purchase some Kodak HIE film to experiment with. My questions: you feel that the changing bag was absolutely necessary?
2.did you use a red filter in conjunction with the infrared film? Which filter exactly? Would you use that same filter again? With that dark filter and the center filter did you have a problem with insufficient light? How accurate was your focusing using the normal focusing lines? Any suggestions based on your experience? Was it difficult to get this particular film developed? Thanks.
Using HIE with Xpan II:

1) A changing bag is essentially necessary, otherwise you must have your darkroom with you. Be careful, don't open the plastic tube of the film under light!

2)Red filter performence well, it's Hoya 25A. If you have too much money to waster, try Opaque filter, it's 270 euro in Paris.

When you put the 25A in your lens, you don't have to use center-gray filter, because most of time you might close the aperture to f11 for better depth of field.

3)For focus, focus normally first, then using the infra-red point to adjust with the aperture close to f11 ( or smaller ),you will have accurate focus.

4)Film speed of HIE would be set to 400, then trust the light meter of your camera, don't have to do braketing. (If the environment is not toocritical)

5)You can use D-76, Rodinal to develop the HIE, nothing special.

6) I warn again: be sure keep the film exposed/unexposed strictly from light. Always use changing bag!

7) X-ray does no harm to HIE.

The address might be useful for you:

Thank you for your response, Lei. One thing you say puzzles me: "When you put the 25A in your lens, you don't have to use center-gray filter, because most of time you might close the aperture to f11 for better depth of field."
Before getting the center filter I used the xpan11 in panoramic mode using Velvia transparency film at f16. Light fall-off at the edges was quite evident and undesirable (to me). Now that I use the center filter the light fall-off is gone. Is the reason you feel that I can dispense with the center filter that I'll be using negative film instead of transparency film?
Hello Robert,

A couple of things:
- as Lei says, you should definitely load Kodak HIE in a changing bag or in a darkroom, otherwise you risk fogging the film.
- you don't need to use a center filter with the 90mm lens. It shouldn't vignette in panoramic mode, even wide open.
- the 45 shouldn't vignette in pano mode if stopped down to at least f/8. With negative film, especially b&w, vignetting won't be as noticeable. If you plan your compositions carefully, you can generally mask the dark corners.
- a good starting exposure for Kodak HIE is 1/125, f/11, film rated at 400. I recommend bracketing your first role (one stop over, one stop under) to see which exposure is best for you. If you're using the 45 or wider, you can set the lens to the hyperfocal distance and not worry about manually focusing on your subject.
- don't forget that you have to set the film speed manually with Kodak HIE; the film canister is not coded and the camera won't recognize or thus load it.

Best of luck.

P.S. FWIW, I use a Heliopan 25 red filter with IR film, as well as with plain old b&w to darken the sky. Heliopan filters have slim mounts and help reduce or eliminate vignetting with wide angle lenses.