Frugal Photographer logo


Status updates are posted regularly on this weblog:

Please familiarize yourself with our merchandise warranty and our privacy policy.

110 film –  127 film –  APS film –  Bluefire Police film and developer –  Inexpensive 120 film –  126 film –  Flash cubes and bulbs – 
Film processing services and information –  Darkroom chemicals and equipment –  Books about photography – 
Holga/Lomo cameras and supplies –  Sheet and roll films from our Amazon store –  Closeout –  last site update: 2017-03-24
127 film manufacture resumes in mid-April. Sorry for the long delay in production.

Bluefire® high-resolution film and chemistry

Bluefire® Police™ is an ultra-high-resolution 35mm film and developer combination, originally formulated for surveillance photography, identification, and documentation. It can be enlarged beyond the resolution limits of your lenses without losing detail to grain. 
However, unlike traditional high-resolution films, it has a beautiful, long panchromatic gray scale and biting clarity.

Noted authority Geoffrey Crawley reviewed Bluefire Police in the July 11, 2005 issue of Amateur Photographer, Great Britain's weekly photo magazine, and called it " exciting new b&w material capable of outstanding image quality, especially in the definition of the finest detail."
Your "Police film" works well with Contax CZ lenses. The coating 
and sharpness seem to do the film well.
Kalispell, Montana
Quick links:

Bluefire Police film

Bluefire HR developer

Bluefire Micro developer

Bluefire Police developing and


  • Click here to see examples of the extreme enlargement possible with Bluefire Police materials.
  • Click here to see Bluefire Police, exposed in a conventional 35mm SLR, used as a photolithographic mask for microfabrication.
  • Have you ever seen gorilla whiskers? Click here to see an example of the high resolution and invisible grain that you will experience using this film.
  • Click here to go open a PDF file that gives detailed exposure and processing information.
    (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader — click here to go to the Adobe site and download the latest version)


Ordering information 

Bluefire Police 135-24 35mm film, EI 80
Process in Bluefire HR Developer for pictorial photography, or Bluefire Micro for high-contrast photography (developers sold separately, below). 

  per roll

Processing is available by mail: click here

135-24, 24-exposure for use in standard 35mm cameras. Set your camera manually to ISO 80 for pictorial use, or ISO 100 for high-contrast technical photography.

An excellent upgrade from Efke 25 or Agfa's discontinued AgfaPan APX25, with similar contrast but much finer microstructure and significantly more speed. Less grain than T-Max 100 and Delta 100, without the edge effects associated with tabular grain films.

Can also be processed for pictorial use in POTA, Formulary TD-3, Kodak Technidol, Maco LP Supergrain, and similar ultra-low contrast developers (effective film speed is significantly lower with these developers). 

For high contrast and technical/scientific photography, process in Kodak D-19 or Bluefire Micro.

Rescue old, yellowed photographs by copying them onto Bluefire Police through a blue filter, which blocks yellow light.

Kodak Technical Pan has been unavailable for several years. 

Bluefire Police is an excellent replacement for Technical Pan. Note that, unlike Technical Pan,  Bluefire Police is panchromatic and does not have the near-infrared sensitivity that made Tech Pan so troublesome in ordinary daylight.

Bluefire Police has been extensively investigated for astrophotography. It does not respond to hydrogen gas hypering. It is suitable for visible-spectrum solar and lunar imaging because it resolves extremely fine detail.

Bluefire Police is an excellent technical film for laboratory, police, and forensic documentation. It is in regular use documenting DNA assays and making quick, inexpensive photolithographic masks for microfabrication.

Buy in bulk and save

135-24 (35mm, 24 exposure) 12 roll carton:



Bluefire® HR Developer Concentrate for pictorial photography

Use this developer to process Bluefire Police film exposed at EI 80, for pictorial photography. The resulting image has a full and rich gray scale and extremely high resolution. Images can be enlarged beyond the resolution limits of your lenses without loss of detail to grain.

Compatible with any stop bath and any ordinary photographic fixer. For complete instructions click here (requires Adobe Acrobat reader). 

Also gives excellent results with most microfilms, and high-contrast 35mm document films.

This developer produces extremely low contrast when used to develop ordinary black and white films that have been conventionally exposed.

The 1-litre (approximately 1 US quart) package is shipped as dry powder. Mix it with hot tap water to make concentrate sufficient for processing 66 rolls of film.

Add 15ml of concentrate to 235ml of water to make 250 ml (approx. 8-1/2 oz) of working solution, to process one roll of 35mm film. Use the working solution once and then discard.

Compatible with all ordinary stop baths and fixers.

Bluefire HR's active ingredient (a form of phenidone) is sensitive to light and moisture. In the 2-part powder package, it is heat-sealed into a gas-barrier opaque pouch, which gives the dry, unopened product a shelf life of many years. After mixing, store in an air-tight plastic bottle (a PET water bottle is perfect, but be sure to label it so no-one thinks it's a beverage). If you want to store the mixed liquid for a long time, use several small bottles and store in a refrigerator. Squeeze to exclude air and use within one year. Discard if the developer begins to darken or turn pink.

Photographed at the ruins of Diocletian's palace,
Split, Croatia. This window was built in Roman times.  Bluefire Police developed in Bluefire HR.

Bluefire HR dry powder mixture
Mix with hot tap water to make 1 litre of concentrate (processes 66 rolls)

Product: BHR1L

We no longer supply liquid developers.

Why? Two reasons.

Shelf life. The shelf life of pre-mixed developer solution is uncertain, and there is always a risk that you will experience disappointment.

Cost. Liquid is much heavier than dry powder and shipping costs are proportionately higher.

Dry powder in its sealed package has a multi-year shelf life, so you can be sure it will perform as promised, even if you store it for many months.
To be sure it lasts a long time once it's been mixed with water, store it cold and protect it from contact with air. Properly sealed and refrigerated, it can be stored for several months, perhaps as long as a year, depending on the quality of your tap water. It will last considerably longer if you make it with water that has been boiled to de-aereate it, and have been careful to not introduce air during mixing and pouring.

Bluefire Micro Developer for high-contrast document photography

Use this developer to process Bluefire Police film exposed at EI 80 to 100, for high-contrast images and personal microfilm applications. The resulting image has solid blacks and whites, with little or no gray tone. Grainless enlargement to as much a 4 feet by 6 feet is easily achieved. Use any ordinary photographic stop bath and fixer.

Bluefire Micro's active ingredient (phenidone) is sensitive to light and moisture. It is heat-sealed into a high-barrier opaque pouch, which gives this unopened product a shelf life of several years.

Bluefire Micro,
2-part powder developer. Mix with water to make 1 litre of working solution.

Product: BMI1L 
To order on-line, click the Add To Cart button. When you finish shopping, you can choose from several shipping methods. You can pay on-line with
VISA or MasterCard. Or you can print out your order and mail it to us with your personal check or money order.

Feature Benefit
Extremely fine grain Negatives can be enlarged to extreme sizes without image degradation due to grain. In general, you will be able to enlarge a 35mm negative to a degree beyond the power of your camera and enlarger lenses to resolve detail, and still not lose detail to grain. Grain is usually not apparent until 50x enlargement, and remains inconspicuous even on enlargements at 4' x 6' (1.2 x 2 m).
High resolution The film resolves extreme image detail. All images have an upper limit to resolution — with Bluefire Police, that upper limit is a function of the lenses used, and not of the film.
Thin emulsion The photosensitive emulsion is approximately half the thickness of ordinary films, yet contains the same amount of silver. The thin emulsion results in less internal light scatter, which improves sharpness. High silver density yields images rich in tonal values when correctly exposed and processed.
Clear base

Allows this film to be used for projection transparencies, photolithography masking, and technical imaging.

Anti-halation dye undercoat The pink anti-halation layer stops light from reflecting back into the emulsion from the film base during exposure, which contributes to this film's remarkable sharpness. It is washed out  in processing, leaving a harmless pink color in your fixer. When completely fixed, the film base is completely clear.
Dual purpose When exposed at EI 100 and processed in high-contrast chemistry, such as Kodak D-19 or Bluefire Micro, it yields grainless high-contrast images and is especially suited to use in libraries and in the field by researchers and genealogists for materials which cannot be photocopied.

When exposed at  80 and processed in Bluefire HR developer, it yields continuous-tone pictorial images with a rich gray scale, and is especially suited to surveillance, engineering and research documentation, and art photography.

Panchromatic Bluefire Police records approximately the same portion of the visible spectrum that is seen by the human eye. It has normal panchromatic sensitivity to all colors, including red, so that its effective speed is not changed by exposure in outdoor shade (which is deficient in red wavelengths) or in normal indoor room lighting (which can be either too red or not red enough). 
Available with an optimized developer Bluefire HR gives pictorial graduation and full film speed when paired with Bluefire Police. You can also process Bluefire Police in POTA, Formulary TD-3, Maco LP Supergrain, Kodak Technidol, and similar low-contrast developers.

Bluefire Micro provides grainless high-contrast images at a highly useful speed of up to EI 100.

Frugal Photographer logo
Be sure to familiarize yourself with these policies:
The Frugal Photographer merchandise warranty
How to return goods that are unsatisfactory

All prices are in $US. Please be sure to read our privacy policy.
Entire web site protected by copyright. © 2001- 2016, The Frugal Photographer.
All rights reserved. Reproduction of text,photographs, illustrations, and web page design without permission is strictly forbidden.
"Bluefire" is a registered trademark, used with permission.

If you are a camera collector, or are interested in the history of cameras, please visit the McKeown Publishing web site.