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Thread: Ilford's SFX

  1. #1
    DylanCraver's Avatar
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    Ilford's SFX

    Howdy,

    I just bought a roll of Ilford SFX 200, because I had seen it used and it seemed like a neat step into the world of IR photography. Currently, I was planning on shooting it as a regular film, with a 25A filter attached, rated at 200 speed, however after some research, I have also read several things about shooting it at around 12 ASA with a tripod and 89B filter - such as the Hoya R72. I plan on shooting this in a Pentax K1000 (currently my only not broken 35mm), as I purchased the film in 35mm for getting a sense of the film. I have heard exposures as long as 2 seconds in bright sun with the IR filter. I'm not too knowledgeable on filters or the process of IR or in this case, semi IR film. I'm interested in what it would be like to shoot in a more IR fashion to achieve more dramatic effects and if it was currently worth it. However, I'm also wondering if the film will come out shot at 200 ASA with a 25A filter. The price of the Hoya R72 screw in filter is around $35, while I'm also curiously looking at gelatin filters with the little holder thingy. Any knowledge on shooting this film would be extremely valued and I would appreciate the help.

    Thanks,
    --Dylan

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    It's a nice film even unfiltered, a little grainy compared with "normal" films of similar speed. I find that to get any good IR effects you need the IR filter, but YMMV. I've shot it with 25A as well as deep red filtration (B&W 91), but it doesn't look much different with those than what you'd expect with a normal pan film.
    Shooting at 200 with a 25A filter would likely underexpose it.

    Barry

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    Yes, you need some sort of IR filter to get the IR effects. I use a R72 and find an aoto focus camera useful on bright sunny days. Long exposures are quite normal.

    The gelatin filter could be very handy for a manual focus camera like your K-1000; focus then just slide the filter in the holder. Otherwise you will have to focus and then screw the R72 into the front of the lens and that may throw the focusing ring off a bit.

    For and EI, I use 40 TTL and I've use HC-110 and Rodinal to soup this film. I found times off the Massive Dev Chart.

    I like to use this film when the foliage is out and it makes everything greeen look white.

    Fun stuff, and while it doesn't have quite the IR effect as a true IR film, it's much easier to use.

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    DylanCraver's Avatar
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    Yes, I'm planning to use it sometime perhaps during the spring.

    I'm figuring I won't want to trust the meter when doing this, so what's a safe exposure bet on a sunny day, with perhaps a bracket range? Say at anywhere from 12-50 ASA. I've also read about people metering TTL with the filter at around EI 2500 and souping around 400, is this a good idea? Sounds like this film requires much experimentation.

    At my disposal, currently I have Xtol though, and I plan to still have some of that through the Spring. The Massive Dev Chart, only has times for 120 roll at 200 ASA for Xtol.

    In terms of focus, I've read that I shouldn't go to the focus point that lens says for infrared, but also not to the point where it looks focused with out the filter. I am curious as to how should I adjust the focus after focusing?

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    Alex Bishop-Thorpe's Avatar
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    I just got my Hoya R72 filter today, so shot a roll of wide experimentation with SFX200. I'm entirely new at IR, but the negatives are hanging in my darkroom drying now.
    I used my FM2n and 50mm f/1.8, and the TTL meter.
    From what I can see so far, shooting it at 200 and using the meter's suggestion worked just perfectly. I shot one scene at 12EI, 25EI, 50EI, 100EI and 200EI, and 200 seemed spot on - everything else was over-exposed.
    ID-11 at stock, 10 minutes at 20 degrees Celsius.

    So, from what I can see of the negatives, TTL worked fine for my FM2n. That's an Australian summer day at noon too though.
    f/5.6 seems to compensate for any focus issues.

    I think it lends itself a lot to personal calibration. Go nuts on one roll and refine things on the second, I'd say. I'll post some scans when they're done drying, and put them on my to-print pile.
    Last edited by Alex Bishop-Thorpe; 01-09-2008 at 12:13 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Forgot development information, my bad
    The Analogue Laboratory, or 'so you built a darkroom in an old factory in the industrial zone'.
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    Dylan, yes, by all means bracket your exposures. I can't say about metering at 2500 and souping at 400. It may work???

    X-Tol should work nicely. I think this is an easy film to use developer-wise.

    SFX requires no focus change as it is not a true IR film. Just focus normally. I focus and then screw the filter over the lens carefully. If there's enough light, AF usually kicks in and does it for me.

    A fun film. I'm glad Ilford brought it back.

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    I've processed SFX in Xtol and D-76, both work well. Note that if you are de-rating the speed due to filter factor, the 200 ISO developing time would be the correct time. Ilford also publishes timing recommendations for Xtol and D-76 for SFX. The time for 120 and 35 would be the same.
    Barry

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    Alex Bishop-Thorpe's Avatar
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    Dried and scanned - ignore any of the splotchy marks, it seems some minerals in my wash water is intent on sticking to the back of the film. I'll rewash on the weekend when I get some distilled water.

    First picture with the filter in place, second without. Highlights are rather blown out in the second, but my scanner has that habit - we'll see how it prints.
    The third, I adjusted to the IR mark on my lens, and it's out of focus. I dont mind, I like it.
    The fourth and fifth show the IR effects a lot better, both focused at good ol' infinity.

    It seems the TTL meter was correct in it's suggestion. I'll work on the focus in the second roll, but it's a lot of fun. Glad I got five rolls.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Untitled-1.jpg   Untitled-5.jpg   Untitled-4.jpg   Untitled-13.jpg   Untitled-21.jpg  

    The Analogue Laboratory, or 'so you built a darkroom in an old factory in the industrial zone'.
    Blog thing!.

    Worry less. Photograph more.

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    DylanCraver's Avatar
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    Fleath, so rating the film at 200ASA, an R72 filter, and around f/5.6 and normal focus worked fine for you? If so, that's what I'm going to do.

    Nice shots!

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    My limited experience of SFX, Rodinal and the equivalent of a wratten 25A in brilliant sunlight in U.K. lattitudes was that:1 Black skies and water and that a kind of otherworldly effect was OK.
    2. The "wood effect" ( i.e. turning leaves white) was very marginal. I think an SFX filter or genuine equivalent is needed
    3. As it is a grainy film anyway compared to others ISO 200 films, I found Rodinal made it even grainier still. Too grainy for me in 35mm at least.

    One benefit with SFX is that under other than brilliantly sunny weather conditions and minus a SFX filter you have a "normal" film. As we get all four seasons in the same afternoon here in the U.K. it's versatility in this respect is a real benefit

    pentaxuser

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