Aerochrome for the digital age

For digital photography, I think this is the best option to revive the long-defunct Aerochrome (Kodak EIR). And best of all, it’s straight out of the camera, without any channel mixers, post-processing et cetera.

What are the ingredients?

1. a Sigma camera with Foveon sensor (!) that can use the FOV Classic Blue preset. This is essential. You can’t do it without it.

2. the Triple Bandpass Filter from Midwest Optics, which allows green, red and IR to pass.

3. a filter that reduces green a bit and leaves the rest unaffected. For example “Middle Rose” from Lee Filters.

4. optional: an orange filter (Tiffen 16 for example) that optimizes the look.

If you have this, you will achieve Aerochrome photos that are in no way inferior to the look of the original, including all color changes.

You need a custom white balance because the default WBs don’t fit. It’s a little difficult to get this and I only managed it with the TB and “Middle Rose” together, without the orange filter. But I think the difference would be minimal.

I pointed the camera towards the sky, slightly to the left of the early afternoon sun in the blue sky. I zoomed in about halfway (about 30mm) and used about f/6.3.

Here are some pictures with this combo. If you want to compare the look to the original, here’s William Klein’s guide.

You can also use a polarizer which does not influence the colors or only minimally:

Here is the most prominent color change, well, besides the pink-red vegetation of course. Bright red cars (and everything else red) become bright yellow:

Here is a self-portrait – once in the shade, once in the sun:

And this is how it looks in a cloudy setting:

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