I've been in a bit of a funk since Sunday morning when folks noticed Silverprint's post about HIE (High speed IR) and EIR (Ektachrome IR) being discontinued.
At least this time, somebody gave us warning about it. Naturally, it wasn't Kodak. Folks called Kodak. The first to call got positive news that it wasn't discontinued.... but everybody else was told that the last cut is next month.
There is no film like HIE and EIR at all. The closest film to HIE is Efke IR820c. There is no film like EIR.
When these films are gone, we've lost another voice from our palette. There's hope that somebody can cook up an IR film that's sensitized like HIE by changing the sensitizing dyes in the recipe. It is highly unlikely that we'll see another film like EIR.
I'm going to have to stock up, which I'm not happy about. HIE went down to 900-1000nm, whereas IR820c only goes down to 820nm. HIE lets me put a 25 red filter on my lens and use a polarizer to get combined IR + visible light effects. IR820c doesn't.
There's also SFX and Rollei IR and noises about 2 or 3 other new films on the way out.
I'm in a not very good emotional state about all of this. I mean, I knew I'd get one last chance to screw with these films because they were heavily specialized films, but it still upsets me. I keep wishing I'd have taken the blue pill and picked up a digital SLR in mid 2005 instead of going headlong into the world of film, but it's kind of late for that now. I guess I'm just going to enjoy these films while I can. There's IR820c and Ilford SFX to play with when I run out. I've already produced a series of stunningly beautiful IR pictures.
Oh, while we're on the subject of IR films, there's a nasty rumor going about that Maco has patent rights over the Efke IR820c film that Efke has been ignoring. The truth of the matter is that Efke's had the IR820c film in their recipe books for a long time, ever since it was developed for the same reasons that HIE was developed. The agreement between Maco and Efke was a marketing agreement that has now been terminated. There's a statement in German from a Maco rep that says that and the folks at Efke are said to be rather annoyed that people have been spreading a lot of misinformation.
Rumors suggest that HIE might not be gone after all... but in the end it really was gone.
The instructions on the Kodak HIE datasheet basicly say that it must be loaded and unloaded in a darkroom. Yet there's a little space on the canister for notes. Shouldn't it have a little textual warning like "If you are reading this before your film has been developed, it's just been ruined" instead?