ILFORD SFX200 Experience & Tips ?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Ray Rogers, May 7, 2009.

  1. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    I am going to try SFX200 for the frst time pretty soon.
    Does anyone have any thoughts on its use?

    Ray
     
  2. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Ray, perhaps you should condense your two similar posts into this one, and then delete them.

    Ilford lets you download the data sheet for free from their Website. Data sheets are usually at the very least worth a quick perusal when trying a new film.

    I have not used it, but based on the data sheet, it looks like it can be exposed by all the wavelengths that expose your average panchromatic film, plus you get sensitivity to about an extra 100nM; up to 740nM. This is not infrared, but is the very edge of the visible spectrum. Thus, using a filter that is totally opaque to the visible spectrum theoretically results in zero exposure.

    Basically, the unfiltered film will be exposed by all wavelengths of visible light. When you use a filter, the filter that you use reduces this "palette" to differing degrees based on the cutoff wavelength of that filter. The warmer the filter, the less of the "cool end" of the visible spectrum you are using to expose your film.

    If you were to use a filter that would make use of *only* the extended range of this film, you'd want to get one with a cutoff of about 650nM or so. How much lower of a cutoff wavelength you employ controls the amount that the lower wavelengths (the only ones to which "normal" film are sensitive) expose the film in addition to the extra 100nM of red to which your film is sensitive. If you go higher than 650nM or so with cutoff wavelength, you are reducing the amount of that extra 100nM that you are actually using to expose the film.

    Ilford classifies their SFX filter in the "very deep red" category, and also throws B&W RG665, B&W 092, Heliopan 695
    and 715, Hoya R72, and Kodak Wratten 89B into the same category.

    My guess is that these are listed in order of increasing cutoff wavelength. If so, that would mean that the SFX filter is most similar to the B&W RG665, which must have a 665nM cutoff wavelength. It would make sense that the cutoff wavelength Ilford chooses for their filter would be the wavelength that would block all light except for the "extended red" light, though I personally don't know exactly what the actual cutoff wavelength of the Ilford filter is.

    A very interesting characteristic of this film, aside from the obvious extended red sensitivity, is how flat the spectral sensitivity is, according to the graph in the data sheet. It appears as if the film responds pretty much equally to all colors of visible light. Given this combined with the fact that this film responds to the entire visible spectrum make it seem like this film should provide the tonal relationships that are most like the human eye sees them, and should theoretically also be an excellent choice for shooting color separation negatives.
     
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  3. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I've used it a fair bit with a red 25 filter. It often makes the sky black and clouds become very white. Foliage can go white and sort of 'glow', but not quite like HIE. I print it at grade 4 and like the results.

    I've just bought the SFX filter and I want to experiment with pushing the film to 800 or 1600 with that filter to try and increase the grain.
     
  4. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I'd try downrating the film if your aim is to increase the graininess. Healthy overexposure (many stops) followed by a highly diluted grainy developer (Dektol, D-19, Rodinal, etc.) will do it to any film. You may need to bleach the negs back to print them.
     
  5. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Overexpose and overdevelop?
     
  6. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Definitely overexpose. You don't need to overdevelop, though you can. You can do so or can not, depending on the tonal separation you want in the highlights. You don't want everything smashed up to any higher of a density than you really need it to be to be able to get the print you want. You lose highlight tonal separation if that happens. However, if you want very little, if any, highlight separation, then I would also overdevelop. Overexposure alone (meaning with totally normal development) makes for increased grain, and a highly diluted developer extends development times and reduces the effect of whatever silver solvent is in the developer. I would use a minimal agitation technique combined with gross overexposure for the results that are the most grainy, yet also the most printable with "somewhat normal" tonal relationships. Obviously, this is an imperfect art, and you would be best served by a VC paper...but it IS a way to get a heck of a lot of grain.
     
  7. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    Thanks 2F/2F
    I am trying to "place" that flter and choose one close to what Ilford deems best... the Fuji SC filters are sharp cut and seem to be a bit more precise; they are also nearly equally spaced and have more to choose from.

    What I am looking at now includes the "specs" you suppose, I don't think we are far off, but hope to see some data on their filter anyway.

    Ray
     
  8. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    Did it include any instructions or transmission data?

    When you examine it, is it visually opaque?
    Or only nearly so?

    Ray

     
  9. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Good film. I use the R72 filter with it. Tripod work! Compose & focus w/o filter, put filter on and expose with TTL metering, EI 200, D-76 or Rodinal for the times listed at MDC, plenty of grain. Dev choice hasn't made any difference to my eye.

    I use it only in the summer when there's plenty of daylight and foliage to go white.

    Not a true IR film, but easy to use and gives me enough of the look.

    I do wish it was a little less costly, tho'. :wink: I am glad it's back. I look forward to shooting it in 120 this summer.
     
  10. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    No, only the filter factor (16). It isn't visually opaque, it's a very deep red, maybe like a red 29. My camera can meter through it.
     
  11. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    That's curious.
    Ilford groups it in the group after "deep red" that includes K's 89b.

    Anyway, wish someone had the data on it...

    Does anyone know what it's true ISO speed is?
    (Ilford admits 200 is an EI & not an ISO speed...)
     
  12. Carter john

    Carter john Member

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    Like you I have just started with this film, and will shoot more as my first roll was better than I imagined. I used a red filter (25) and hand metered using EI40. I'm going to try EI25 this next time. I developed in HC-110h for 18 minutes, 30 seconds intitial agitation and the 3 inversions per minute. I got this time from the box (I think), and it is probably a little long but not much.
     
  13. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    Hi, I have shot it 2 ways, with R72 filter, metered without the filter at camera set to ISO 12. With red 25 filter, and auto exposure.

    Jon
     
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  15. FredW

    FredW Member

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    Hi, I have shot it with the Hoya R72 filter, handheld meter EI 6. Developed in XTOL 1:1 @20C for 14:00.
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    It is also worth shooting without a filter, at box speed.

    Matt
     
  17. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    I've used this film with Ilford's recommended SFX filter. I'm no expert on IR filters, but the SFX filter looks pretty much opaque to me, or at least very, very dark red. Compose and meter without the filter (+4 stops). I got excellent results in D76 1+1 for 11 mins. I posted a couple of examples in the gallery a while ago. When used with the SFX filter, there is a sort of 'white leaf' effect though not as prominent as a true IR emulsion. It gives jet black skies and clouds are beautifully delineated.
     
  18. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I would say the same, based on the spectral sensitivity graph! I am going to have to shoot some soon!
     
  19. Aurum

    Aurum Member

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    Using the SFX dark filter is a pain when using a SLR, as once it is on, you won't see squat through the viewfinder, so handholding can be interesting. My way round that was to sight over the top of the camera, which worked fairly well using a 50mm lens on landscape shots, or use a tripod, frame the shot , then on with the filter and shoot

    If you are using a rangefinder, or a TLR, you won't notice any difference to normal shooting.

    SFX without the filter looks similar to FP4 / HP5, but things like whitewashed buildings on a sunny day will look brighter than normal
     
  20. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    So first method...
    you set the TTL meter to 12
    (for 4 stops more light than the EI 200 calls for)
    and use that exposure data,
    but only after placing the filter in place.

    Right?

    What is the second method?
     
  21. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    First method: meter and set the exposure manually, then mount the R72 filter

    Second method: actually, I misrembered. I think I took a reading without the filter and then just took off 1.5 stops to compensate for the red 25. Didn't use autoexposure through filter.

    Jon

    these attachments are taken with the red 25, the fence is actually just weathered wood, without paint on it.
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2009
  22. Carter john

    Carter john Member

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    Do you have a 'link' to one these photos I'd really like to see it.
     
  23. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I'll try to scan something for you.

    Of course, if I happen to be one of the winners of the Ilford 2009 (APUG) photo competition, you'll be able to see the results on the appropriate package of Ilford 16x20 paper (how is that for unreasonable optimism :smile:).

    Matt
     
  24. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

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    I use it with the Ilford Cokin IR filter. The great thing about the film is that you can use it for straight B&W with various filters or with the IR filter. I rate it at ISO12 with the IR filter on (i.e I allow 4 stops). It's not real IR...but the effect is just as impressive, and as I said...you can always use the film as B&W. I use it with DDx as recommended. Example here... Rgds, Kal

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=38705&ppuser=21432
     
  25. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    I collect photographically interesting quotes... is this one yours?
    Or, do you know who said it?
     
  26. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

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    mine :smile:....please feel free to collect it...I have never had anything of mine become a collectors item :D