Buddha’s Birthday, Shooting IR film in a Noblex


[ Please view this image on a computer or tablet as phones or small screens won’t do it any justice ^^ ]

This past week was Buddha’s birthday here in Korea, so I’ve decided to share a series of photos taken around temples at that time of year.

This first shot of the series was taken with a Noblex panoramic camera on expired Efke IR 820 black and white medium format film. Now, shooting IR film in such a camera is no easy task, but it can be done with some effort and patience. The first obstacle I had to tackle was getting a filter on the camera, for IR films must be filtered. Yet, the Noblex isn’t a typical camera. Rather, it’s a swing lens camera. This means that the lens is hidden by a rotating barrel. Also, the lens doesn’t have standard threading like you’d see elsewhere. So, the good folks over at Noblex Canada took one of my Hoya R72 filters, cut it down to an appropriate size, and had its edges magnetized so it could be attached to the lens. In order to access the lens beneath the rotating barrel, I have to turn off the camera, put it on the multiple exposure setting, hold down the shutter, and manually turn the barrel so that the lens can be seen within a small opening. From there, I use a set of long tweezers to carefully lower the magnetized filter and place it over the lens. It takes some practice.

The next major hurdle in shooting black and white IR film with a Noblex is exposure. In bright sunlight with Efke IR 820 film and a Hoya R72 filter, I typically have a full second exposure time. This is due to how opaque the Hoya R72 is, so a longer exposure time is required for the light to work its way through the filter and onto the film. However, the slowest shutter speed on my particular model of Noblex is 1/15 of a second – not nearly slow enough. So, in order to properly expose the film for the correct amount of time, I must use the multiple exposure switch ( this is also how I capture night photos with this camera ). Basically, I set the camera to MX mode at 1/15 of a second, attach a cable release, and fire away. The lens barrel will keep rotating, exposing the film over and over. From there, I just count the rotations until the film has been exposed for at least a full second.

Well, that’s it for now. Hopefully someone out there will find these experiments useful in their own photographic endeavors! Take good care, and stay tuned this week for more Buddha’s Birthday images : )

Noblex Pro 6/150 E2 camera / expired Efke IR 820 infrared film / Hoya R72 filter / stock D76 developing in the darkroom. ©Patrick Bresnahan


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