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  1. #1

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    ILFORD SFX200 Experience & Tips ?

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

    Ray

  2. #2

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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.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 05-07-2009 at 03:56 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  3. #3

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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. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by perkeleellinen View Post
    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.
    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.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  5. #5

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    Overexpose and overdevelop?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by perkeleellinen View Post
    Overexpose and overdevelop?
    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.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    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.
    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. #8

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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

    Quote Originally Posted by perkeleellinen View Post
    I've just bought the SFX filter

  9. #9

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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'. I am glad it's back. I look forward to shooting it in 120 this summer.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Rogers View Post
    Did it include any instructions or transmission data?

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

    Ray
    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.

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