Help Save Kodak HIE-135 Infrared Film

Kodak HIE-135Since Kodak announced its plans to discontinue HIE-135 film . . .

KODAK is preannouncing the discontinuance of several smaller running families of Professional film – EPR, EPN and High Speed Infrared (HIE) effective end of December 2007. Demand for these products has been declining significantly in recent years, and it is no longer practical to continue to manufacture given the low volume, the age of the product formulations and the complexity of the processes involved.

We will continue to ship product through the end of this year. (Kodak.com)

. . . James C. Williams has started a jihad to save it.

Important to this cause is the fact that Kodak is listening:

Below I have copied an email I just sent to Patrick Hamilton, Public Relations Director, Kodak CDG EAMER: patrick.hamilton@kodak.com

Mr. Hamilton has encouraged me to write Kodak and is aware that I am attempting to start an email campaign to save HIE-135. He has assured me that he will get the messages to the appropriate people.

You can see James’ email to Kodak, along with emails from others, on this thread over at Photo.net.

If you shoot film or have been thinking about shooting film, consider picking up a roll of HIE-135 from B&H Photo or Calumet, a couple of the few places that I’ve been able to find it online. Thirteen bucks isn’t much for a good deed this time of year (I’ve ordered a roll from B&H for myself). Also, send an email to Patrick Hamilton at Kodak if you like the stuff.

UPDATE:  Kodak has heard the voices of many and still refuses to keep HIE-135 alive.  Amatuer Photographer published a portion of Kodak’s statement on the matter:

While we very much appreciate the correspondence we’ve received from some photographers – who use our infrared film and would like to be able to purchase it in 2008 and beyond – the fact is the decline in the use of infrared film has been so substantial over the years that it is no longer practical for Kodak to continue to manufacture the film given the extremely low demand and volume, the age of the product formulations and the complexity of the processes involved.

 

Comments

  1. James C. Williams says

    Well, I certainly am glad to see this! Thanks for helping to spread the word, just please drop me an email whenever you decide to print something with my name on it so I know what’s going on.

    Happy New Year,
    James C. Williams

  2. says

    Really love shooting with Kodaks HIE I/R and hope something can be done to bring it back. You would think that Kodak would see the wisdom and the good will it would bring on their behalf if they did.
    Please forward for me and contact me if I can help.
    Thank you
    Jim Cook
    http://www.jcookphotos.com

  3. Lenore Petty says

    I love the look of infrared, and was really saddened to hear about the film’s demise. I never thought it was going to be over, just as I was really getting into it! Lenore Petty

  4. ormonde butler says

    Kodak made this film for the department of defense, are they not ordering it anymore? Are there no other company’s who could pick this up? What is the Rollei film based on?

  5. says

    Considering that, at the moment, HIE is going for $40-50 a roll on eBay, you wonder if Kodak might ponder this decision a while longer. It’s hard to compute how much demand that reflects, though. The current supply has no liquidity.

    I love HIE and would shoot it regularly if it were still available. At $40 a roll it’s “not available.”

    Rollei 400 is a pretty good film, although it lacks the extended response of HIE. Perhaps if there were a 35mm version w/o the antihalation backing …? It’s fast enough that you can get a strong Wood effect at a reasonable shutter speed (handheld) through an 89-series filter; the result looks similar to HIE exposed through a 25 or 29. So, you know, it’s not the end of the world, because there are alternatives. Pity Polaroid shooters, because for some Polaroid processes (like transfers, which largely don’t work with Fuji instant film), there is no alternative.

  6. Alex says

    I have shot every single infrared film I can get my hands on, and HIE is still the best hands down. I have been shooting nudes with HIE for years, and nothing compares. Please bring back!

  7. henry says

    well, do you know where I can purchase remaining film supplies? I am down to my last 5 rolls!

  8. says

    I just purchased 9 rolls of HIE infrared film on ebay! THANK GOD! Nothing compares to this film. I have done recent tests on the efke and Rollie 120mm infrared film … they just do not compare to me and I just do not care for the results. I am just grateful that some photographers are now selling their left over HIE on ebay (yes, for a nice profit). Now, I can continue on with my body of work using this beautiful film.

  9. says

    Congrats on finding those. It appears the auctions are dwindling down. BTW, you have a great gallery. I hope your new film helps expand it further. Use them wisely . . . I fear an end to the supply (even secondhand) is coming soon.

  10. says

    Hi Eric, yes, you are right … the auctions do seem to be dwindling down. I’ve heard the last batch made by Kodak has an expiration date of 02/2009. Thank you for checking out my gallery. I will use these rolls wisely indeed. The one thing I will not miss though … is going through airport security with this film. :o) I have to go through 5 on this next trip. I am so looking forward to shooting this HIE film!

  11. Zsoltique says

    Hi Guys,

    There’s not much we can do, HIE seems to be gone, but there is a quite lovely digital alternative, actually a Photoshop plug-in:

    Alien Skin Software: Exposure 2

    http://www.alienskin.com/exposure/

    A great film simualtion, trying to recreat some of the most popular films, including our dear Kodak HIE (and much more!).

    Check this image (move cursor over the image to see before/after)

    http://www.alienskin.com/exposure/filters/infrared.html

    Regards,

    Zsoltique

  12. Tim says

    Maybe we should solicite Ilford to make really good IR film once a year like they do with special order LF sheet film… I am looking for IR film if anyone has a source they can point me to.

  13. Toni says

    I’ve been teaching B/W photography for 11 years. My students love working with HIE. It’s sad to think that this too will become history. It was much cheaper and easer to work with than ANY of the other films. It comes down to money and Kodak’s ability to survive in a digital world. I know I would have continued to teach IR for years to come if it were still available.