We demonstrate the recording of high-efficiency reflection holograms in DuPont photopolymer films HRF-800X071-20 and HRF-700X001-20 by using, for the first time to our knowledge, nanosecond laser pulses. The weak reflectance efficiency (6.5%) of the mirror holograms could be significantly improved up to 75% by using pre-illumination. With incoherent pre-illumination, significantly increased diffraction efficiency and sensitivity of the holograms are obtained, while pulsed pre-illumination leads to an enhancement of the reflectance only. The results are compared with cw laser exposure under identical processing conditions, including pre-illumination.© (1997) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.