Kodak Aerocolor IV Film is a Great Way to Burn Over $1,500

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No, the film above isn’t Kodak Aerochrome or Lomochrome Purple–instead, it’s something much different though we’ve understand why experienced shooters might believe it to be otherwise.. The image above is from Kodak Aerocolor IV negative film 2460 and it costs you quite a pretty penny depending on the configuration you get of it: we’re talking well over $1,500.

Aerocolor IV is an ISO 125 color aerial film that is designed for aerial photography; and that’s just what the Canadian government has used it for. For years though, Aerochrome III infrared (not Aerochrome III color) was designed to deliver similar looking results with turning greens into pinks/purples as you see above. However, Aerocolor IV is a color aerial film, not an infrared.

Before you go on, here’s more about infrared film:

Dean Bennici – Kodak Aerochrome from Benjamin James on Vimeo.

According to B&H Photo’s listing this is a film:

“exhibiting a wide exposure latitude and natural color rendition in daylight conditions. A T-Grain emulsion is employed to achieve enhanced sharpness and resolution that make this film ideal for high-resolution scanning, and its design also provides 30nm-longer red sensitivity than previous aerial films for increased haze penetration and foliage reproduction, as well as increased green saturation and lower D-min values for fast printing times. This film is ideal for medium- to high-altitude aerial mapping and reconnaissance applications, such as geological, pollution, archaeological, crop and forestry studies; traffic control; city planning; railway, highway, and hydraulic engineering; oceanography; and remote sensing or other areas where photogrammetry is used.

Standard development is possible in Process AN-6 or C-41 and due to the film’s lack of an integral color mask, direct interpretations can be made to the negative itself. Utilizing an ESTAR base with gel backing, this film is especially durable, as well as moisture- and tear-resistant, and its hardened emulsion benefits high-temperature development in roller-transport processors.”

The film was introduced in 2009, and was billed in Kodak’s original press release to have:

  • Finer Grain – Most noticeable with digital enlarging
  • Higher Resolution – Most obvious with high resolution scans
  • Improved Sharpness
  • Greater detail from shadows to highlights
  • Longer Red Sensitivity for Better Haze Penetration – An additional 30 nanometers improves foliage reproduction
  • Increased Green Saturation – Vegetation enhancement
  • Lower D-Min
  • Fast print times
  • Note: The improved grain, resolution & sharpness are the result of recent advancements in T-Grain technology

If you didn’t know any better though, you would easily believe this film to be an infrared film.

Now think to yourself: how has the Aerochrome infrared look not been specifically developed for digital yet? We have cameras and sensors that can reach over 600,000 ISO, we have over 50MP but we don’t have something that can take a ridiculously large advantage of the infrared spectrum yet. It’s been closely mimicked in a music video done with a hacked RED Epic camera, but that’s about it! Artists like Chuck Miller, Daniel Zvereff, and others love it despite the current state of the traditional film industry.

Maybe they’re not commercially viable? But then again, a film like this is on special order as it is and we’re positive that many artists would love to work with something like this in the digital world.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.