Shooting SFX 200

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by BradleyK, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    Checking in on the Leica website recently, I took a look through some of the work posted under "IR" and decided to try my hand at shooting some SFX 200. My previous experience with IR is decidedly limited: perhaps 30 years ago, just starting out, I shot a few rolls of EK's Ektachrome IR; as well, waaaay back when, I ran a couple of 35mm rolls of EK black and white through the cameras. Neither obviously made much of an impression; I do not recall having shot any since. However, now that I shoot medium format for the majority of my landscape and fine art work, I have reconsidered. So, for those who have worked with SFX 200, a couple of questions: 1). What filter(s) do you use to most closely approximate the IR look (I am aware the film is extended sensitivity and not a true IR); I have Hasselblad's deep red and orange filters; 2). What ISO do you rate the film at; and 3). What is your recommended developer/paper combination ( Harmon/Ilford provides a list of possible film developer that can be used).
     
  2. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I shot HIE at box speed with the built-in meter while the red filter was on the lens and every photograph came out spot on. I used replenished XTOL for finer grain and smoother tonality.

    Since you pointed it out, I think that I will get some 120 rolls of SFX 200 and give it a try.
     
  3. Alex Muir

    Alex Muir Member

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    Hi. I have used this film, but have not tried its infrared effects. I have a book, however, called Infra-Red Photography by Hugh Milsom which covers IR use. He suggests using an opaque filter such as Hoya R72 or the special Ilford SFX filter which is similar. ISO 6 is the suggested film speed using a seperate meter. He suggests a starting exposure on a bright sunny day should be f11 at 1/15, and recommends bracketing one stop either way. For use with a red filter, the speed should be ISO 200 with a TTL meter. Again, bracketing is advised. I have just bought this book via Amazon. It seems quite detailed and useful. It looks better than several other IR books I have bought recently. I have had good results with Rollei IR 400 film and can recommend it from personal experience. Unfortunately, it does not feature in my book, but there is some useful info about it on the Internet.
     
  4. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    Filters: B+W 092 or Hoya R72. 25A and 29 are too light, 87C or 093 is too dark. Try some 35mm first, and shoot at a slow speed, around ASA 12, and bracket from -2 to +2 (five shots). Then pick a developer and a time.

    Here's the thing about current IR: like was discussed on another thread recently, the current films are not all that great compared to Kodak HIE. If you didn't like HIE, then don't bother, do something else.

    Conifers (pines, spruce, whatever) will range from grey to black. Deciduous trees and grass will be either white or light grey. You never know what you will get with IR, so be prepared for disappointment and suprises.
     
  5. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    You want an R72 filter (720nm cutoff), even one of the cheap chinese clones is going to be fine. I shoot it at about EI2 in full Sunny-16 conditions with that filter, example.

    I tend to do my IR shooting with IR820 (probably try Rollei next thanks to the demise of Efke, but I have a healthy stash). More commonly with the SFX200, I tend to shoot portraits, maybe with a red filter; it gives a very clear alabaster look to skin.
     
  6. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    Thanks all for the quick responses and the wealth of information!

    BLK
     
  7. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Not all that great is an opinion for sure, not what everyone thinks. I have plenty of HIE in 35mm and 120 and a ton of Efke IR 820 in 120 and 4x5 but Rollei IR400 is still my favorite IR film.

    The reason why is that I do not always want the glowy look of HIE / IR820. Even if I could still buy it, I would prefer Rollei IR400 for most of what I do, it is sharper, easier to deal with and frankly, it is incredible for rock, ice, water and sky.

    I use IR400 strictly with a R72 filter and it prints utterly fantastic. Now I have gone though about half a brick of SFX200 in 120 and have yet to hit my stride with it. It definitely feels like a slight step down in terms of the bold and sharp IR effect of Rollei but I need to work with it some more, same filter of course, R72.

    And I know exactly what I am getting with IR every time I shoot because I work with it enough. Geir Jordahl did not publish a brilliant book with HIE in an Xpan by sheer luck, he had his system and down and anyone can with enough practice.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2013
  8. fran

    fran Member

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    I've shot a good few rolls of SFX200 in 35mm and 120. You need an R72 filter. I take 2 exposures at 6 and 3 (essentially 5 stops under due to the filter) and I get one shot with glow, one with less glow. I developed in ID11 1+1 and print on MG art paper or on MG IV. I think it looks better on a pearl/matt finish rather than gloss.

    It's a very capable film, not deserving of the amount of dissing it gets - and guess what? Yes you can actually find it for sale!

    Fran
     
  9. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Yes do give SFX a try. You very well might conclude that it is for you. PKM-25 and fran have useful things to say about it. No it is not HIE but to say that anything which isn't HIE isn't worth bothering with is simply one person's opinion and you are not that person so may not reach the same conclusions

    pentaxuser
     
  10. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    I like this film a lot. both in 35 and 120. I shoot it thru my N70's aith AF and set the meter at 160. I compose, let AF do it's thing, take the camera body off AF, put the R72 filter on and shoot. I process in Rodinal mostly. Not a true IR, but enough for me.
     
  11. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    6x12 back loaded, I'll soup it in Rodinal next....
     
  12. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I hope you like golf balls. SFX is pretty big-boned in the grain department even before you put it in Rodinal.
     
  13. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    I am just trying it in everything at this point. I got nice tonality but odd spots in the skies with HC-110 and the grain was decent, went kind of flat and was under with Xtol, but the grain looked the best, no surprise there. I have 6 more rolls of the brick left, so I will do one in Rodinal and then one in Xtol with more exposure, more like ISO 3 instead of the calculated 12 with an R72.

    The price of IR400 went up to $10.99 at Freestyle but is in stock at B&H at $8.99 so I stocked up. But I want to get SFX dialed in because it is a bit cheaper and supports Ilford.

    At least we have these two, I can do a lot with that.
     
  14. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Plus, SFX can be loaded in daylight and does not require special focusing. HIE was fun, but a PITA.
     
  15. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Wait why doesn't it require special focusing?? I thought all IR films needed to be set to the IR mark on the lens? (The red line for the wavelength shift). I just shot my Rollie at that line, hope it comes out in focus...


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    Dan,

    How about posting some comparative shots after you have finished your "experimenting?" I plan on ordering a brick of SFX at the end of the month when I put in my next order, but would like a bit more guidance re exposure and development before I load up. If nothing else, it would allow me to be a bit more objective in my assessment of the capabilities of the film.
     
  17. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Stone:

    The IR mark on lenses was designed with the Kodak HIE sensitivity in mind - which means longer wavelengths (900nm) and more focus shift.

    The near IR sensitivity (720nm) of the Rollei film means much less focus shift.

    If your shots were of landscapes, you are probably okay due to depth of field. If you were working at closer distances, you may have problems.
     
  18. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Scroll down to "Secondary Spectrum" and look at the graphs of focus shift wrt wavelength for different kinds of lens design. SFX200 is only sensitive to about 750nm, which is only just off the right (red) end of those graphs, which means there is very little difference in focus between the most-extreme part of the spectrum it can see and what you can see. If you use (say) a red-25 on SFX, then about 80% of the exposure is visible light anyway! Even if the IR image was visibly focus-shifted, it's about 2 stops down.

    HIE was sensitive past 900nm, which means it could have significant focus shift even on otherwise well-corrected lenses.
     
  19. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Thanks for the info, it was mostly landscapes, on my Maniya 7 and 43mm lens but still, kind if lane there's a significant travel distance from infinity to "infrared infinity" blah wish I had known... Well I'll find out Friday...


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. Alex Muir

    Alex Muir Member

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    Stone,
    I correct focus using the IR mark on my lenses when using Rollei IR 400. I tend to shoot landscape at medium to small apertures and it works for me, even including close foreground. I hope you get some good images. Alex
     
  21. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Thanks I mostly shot at f/11 and I think one at f/22 all at EI 8 / EI 4 we shall see... Nothing artistic as I had left the canyon so it was more just to have shot a roll and see how it looks, I don't expect any amazing images out of it...

    Good excuse to go back! :smile:


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk