How to shoot and process Ilford SFX Infrared films?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Karl K, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. Karl K

    Karl K Subscriber

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    I have about 12 rolls of Ilford SFX which I plan to shoot with my Contax NX and my new Russian Horizon S3 Panoramic camera. I will use a #29 deep red filter on the Contax lens, but not on the Horizon, simply because such a filter doesn't exist. Should I use the supplied yellow/green filter on the Horizon, or just shoot "naked"? When I process the films mixed together in a six-roll Nikor tank, will there be any difference in the processing of the mixed rolls? What developer-time-temperature mix should I use? I am looking for "infrared-like" results. I may scan the negs after processing, instead of using traditional darkroom printing. Most of the shots will be NYC street and indoor (Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station, Metropolitan Museum, etc.) shots. Must special precautions be observed when loading and unloading this film? Any comments or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    If you are looking for IR like results, stick with a Wratten 89B/Hoya R72 filter. A red 25 filter will not give much in the way of IR effect. I don't recall that a 29 does either, but I I have not shot with this type of filter recently.

    Ilford lists a variety of developers and times in the pdf technical file for this film on their website. This film isn't like the Kodak IR, so you need an opaque filter to get the IR effect. Load the film in a changing bag if you can. Otherwise, subdued light should be fine. The only difference between your films might be the ISO you rate them at.

    I don't shoot IR film indoors, so I can't really help there.
     
  3. Leon

    Leon Member

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    Ilford make (or maybe used to make) their own opaque gel filter to match the films extended red sensitivity, they used to advise using only this to get the faux ir effect. I used to have a couple of them, but I cant find them now. But if you can get some, you could cut one up and attach it to one of the Horizon's own filter holders - I made my own orange filter for my horizon that way (it only came with an nd, green and blue)
     
  4. thefizz

    thefizz Subscriber

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    As Leon has said, Ilford recommend using their SFX filter which is comparable to the Heliopan RG695 and Hoya R72. I got one which is 75mm x 75mm, can't remember the cost but I know it was fairly cheap compared to the other brands.

    I think it may still be a bit early for IR film. I usually don't use it until March/April. I also don't know what IR effect you will get indoors.

    Peter
     
  5. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Dear Karl,

    Send me your address to my APUG e.mail and I will send you an SFX filter, it may take a week or two though :

    Simon@ILFORD Photo
     
  6. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    The Ilford SFX has a sensitivity cutoff near 720nm, so using one of the 87 or 89 series IR filters will yield you blank film, since those filters cut off everything below about 720nm. Use the Ilford filter Simon will send you, if you want to use the SFX. It does not have as strong an "IR look" as the Kodak or the now defunct Konica.
     
  7. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    It would seem that the scope for the feathery white foliage at this time of year and in cityscapes would be limited. SFX is somewhat limited anyway compared to Kodak, Maco or Konica in this respect. Ilford won't give you the halo effect which is often attractive in cityscapes as Kodak will. Kodak doesn't have an anti-halation backing which is why you get this effect.

    If you are interested mainly in the black sky/white clouds IR effect then in my experience ordinary B&W film will give you this if you use a red filter and a polariser combined. If the buildings are sunlight and are light stone coloured they too will almost shine with this filter combination.

    However bear in mind that this reduces light considerably and handheld shots with ISO100 film even in sunshine conditions could result in low shutter speeds which get close to the area where camera shake interferes.

    Best of luck

    Pentaxuser
     
  8. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    I thought SFX was an extended red sensitive film!

    Cheers

    André
     
  9. ras351

    ras351 Member

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    You can use SFX200 with an 89B (Hoya R72 etc) filter and you shouldn't end up with blank film if you adjust for the filter factor. I have used an 89B with SFX and it's worked fine. I've found the negatives do tend to be a little flat so they tend not to mix well on the same roll as other filtered images (ie works better if you process and expose SFX differently for 89B filtered images to the 29 and lower filtered images). According to the SFX datasheet the sensitivity peaks at 720nm and is extended to 740nm. Also 89B filters with a 720nm cutoff still transmit 50% of their light at 720nm and usually transmit down to about 680nm. The 87 series and 88A have higher cutoffs and won't work with SFX200.

    Roger.
     
  10. Fotohuis

    Fotohuis Member

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    You can use a dark red filter for your SFX film. The alternative is a Rollei R3 film which is also sensitive till 710-730nm. (N.I.R.)

    For the Horizon you can quite simply make a I.R. 720nm filter by cutting a Cokin raisin I.R. filter to the right size and use one of the three filter houses supplied with the Horizon 202. I ordered an extra set of 3 filters in Russia to cut several filters myself, including a real RG720 nm filter. You can use these kind of "black" I.R. filters with the new Rollei I.R. -400 film. Great pictures!

    best regards,

    Robert
     
  11. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    I don't think I've ever seen the IR effect outside of IR film. Can you post any examples of the ordinary b/w film shot with a red filter and a polarizer that looks similar to IR?

    And you can get the halo effect with Ilford, Maco and Konica (I often struggled with Konica though). You must use an opaque filter to get the effect with them. This, when combined with the appropriate filter factor, will have you using a tripod and cable release.
     
  12. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I read this thread with interest, as I would like to try this film. Then when I went to read up on it over on Ilford's site it says SFX200 is discontinued. Is SFX 200 the same film as being discussed here?
     
  13. thefizz

    thefizz Subscriber

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    It sure is Andy.
     
  14. smudwhisk

    smudwhisk Member

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    I used a standard Hoya R25a red filter with a roll of SFX last year, admittedly on a very bright day in May, but got very good effect with it. Obviously not as good as with true infrared film or with a darker filter, but you can get some nights photos with it.
     
  15. Sanjay Sen

    Sanjay Sen Member

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    Andy, if you are lucky Robert White might still have some SFX 200 in 120 left (see here). I have heard rumors (here in APUG) that the 35mm version will be produced in special batches once a year: the 120 version will be gone for good. Simon may confirm on this.

    Regards,