Ultraviolet Photographic Materials

Most panchromatic films have some sensitivity in the ultraviolet region. Some films are particularly useful for UV photography as their primary sensitivity is in the extreme blue and ultraviolet portion of the spectrum. An example is Kodak's Fine Grain Positive Release Film (#5302) which is available in 100 foot rolls. This film can be exposed at an E.I. of 16 to 50 (determine best exposure index for your application experimentally). It is especially suitable for use with the digital image masking techniques described here because of its strong sensitivity in the UV region.

The following table shows various films and filter plots for use in ultraviolet photography.


Wratten # Film and Color Filter Spectral Plots
TMAX
100
TMAX
400
TMAX
3200
18A
(UV)
2B
2A
2E
1A
Glass
Dashed lines indicate speculated sensitivity. When better data is available these film sensitivity plots will be updated.

Glass used in lenses cuts nearly all ultraviolet light with wavelengths below about 280 nanometers. Expensive quartz lenses must be used to photograph in the UV range below 300 nanometers. Most panchromatic films are sensitive to ultraviolet light. The Wratten #18A filter will isolate ultraviolet light. Rolyn Optics Company offers a variety of "Black Glass" UV pass band and "Short Wave" cutoff filters. The simpler and less expensive way to shoot ultraviolet photos is to shoot two frames of the same scene - one with a UV cutting filter and the other without. Subtracting the digitized images in an image editor will isolate the ultraviolet portions of the image. The 2E, 2A, 2B and 1A series of UV cutting filters offer a range of upper cutoff wavelengths.




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Ultraviolet Photography
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