SfX 200 Ilford Shooting Help!

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by luke_ballard, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. I am about to shoot my first roll of Infrared film, I bought some SFX 200
    Black&White 35mm and am going to start playing around with it.

    I wanted to know, do I have to use a red filter on my camera to get results? Or
    can I just shoot as normal with my UV filter and get good results? I know the
    difference between the UV and IR spectrums of light, I only use a UV filter for
    protection anyway,not for any real use other than to protect my actual lens
    face, anyway, I have been reading a lot on this and I keep hearing a lot about
    filters and I am a bit confused.

    Is the use of a Red 25 filter to block out all or most visible light and just
    allow in Infrared light so you get the most infrared light for exposure? Or can
    you just shoot it through a normal non filtered lens and get a decent effect
    also? Which would be best filters to get the best infrared look and what look
    will I get without a filtered lens?

    Just kinda curious about this and needed a bit of clarification before I go and
    waste a 12 dollar roll of film..;)


  2. Luke Ilford SFX is not a true IR film. However, for best results, yes, use a medium (#25) or dark (#29) red filter. With that film and filter combination, there's no need to adjust the focus. Meter and focus through the red filter. Russ
  3. For a better IR-like effect, try an Hoya R72 filter. You'd have to compensate around 5 stops tho, so your ASA 200 film becomes ASA 6.
  4. Exactly, for SFX you need at least the SFX/Cokin IR filter equivalent to 89B. 88A (715nm) is even better also the above mentioned Hoya R72 (720nm) filter.

    Same is valid for the Rollei 820/400 IR film: SFX/Cokin 007 - 89B (RG695) - 88A (RG715) - or Hoya 72R.

    HIE is the only IR film which will give a 'wood' effect with a red filter. This IR film is sensitive over 900nm.

    Here some Rollei IR 820/400 examples with above mentioned filters:


  5. Say I went with the R72 filter, is there a compensation chart available for correcting? I am assuming with that filter you can't see through it, so the internal light meter is kind of useless right? So I would need to figure out the exposure without the filter and then compensate for putting the filter on? Is there a chart or a chart generater that could help me with that? Or is 5 stops a good rule? I have a 2.8 lens, but even opening it up all the way, which in some ways I wouldn't want to do because of loss of depth of field, I would need some way to figure my shutter speeds, or will the internal meter work with the filter on and be accurate? I have a nikon n75 35mm that I am shooting with a 35-70 2.8 mostly for this specific work I am doing.
    So any suggestions on using the really dark filters like the r72 and getting correct exposure times? I am really new to using this flim and filters like this so any help would be greatly appreciated.

  6. No light meters are calibrated for IR light so you can measure externaly and compensate for 5 F stops and make a bracketing. It all depends on the atmospheric conditions how much IR light is available.
    Best choices are the Heliopan RG715 or Hoya 72R filters. You can use these filters on Rollei IR820/400, SFX200, Efke IR820C and HIE.

    Due to the 'black' IR filter you can see that a range finder or TLR has a big advantage over the SLR when working with IR film.
    Here is a general article about IR photography:

    Best regards,

  7. Well, that brings up a good point I had forgot, I have a Mint condition 1948 Contax 2A Rangefinder that I shoot a lot with and it is a magnificant camera I am just not sure I could find a 72r filter for it.

    I actually just printed that exact article on a google search and was about to start reading it.
    Yeah, this IR photography is pretty difficult in ways I am finding out. There is a lot that seems to be made more difficult than it really is, but some of it is tough, like trying to figure out exposure with a complete IR filter in an SLR. Also I didn't even think about the fact that light meters are not calabrated for IR light, I feel kinda dumb not even thinking about that. Guess that is one of those so simple you don't realize it things.
    I guess I am just gonna have to put some film in there and give it a shot! Just start practicing and see how it goes. I might start with some of the lighter filters like the #25 or 27 reds, I know they won't give as great of a IR effect, but it might help build some practive and see how the film reacts. I am doing all the development by hand so I will be able to get results fast.
    I have been shooting and developing black and white for years in my own darkroom, I just have never messed with IR film, but it is something I am wanting to try.
    I did play with a simple R2 filter on my digital 30D, then put it in photoshop and used the channel mixer to change it to black and white and in playing with the channels I got some really interesting IR looking pictures, really amazing results with just messing around.

    Well, I guess I will just start slow and practice and write down everything to keep a log, then start moving closer to full IR shooting with a full IR filter.

    If anyone has any other advice, please feel free to add! I am totaly open to anymore advice and thanks to all that have written!

  8. Some literature:

    The Rollei developing table:

    the Rollei IR 820/400 specs:

    Test: Rollei IR820/400 versus Efke IR820C:

    For the rest I whish you a lot of succes with your IR experiments.
  9. Luke, I've always had great results with HIE when using a Hoya R72 filter, setting the
    camera's meter at 3200 and using TTL metering. I figured out to rate the film at 3200
    because in Kodak's guide for HIE, which can be be found on their website, they suggest
    bracketing, but to start with a base exposure of f/11 at 1/125 sec when shooting
    outdoors in bright sun with an opaque filter. I just kept adjusting the meter until I
    naturally got a reading of f/11 and 1/125 sec with the filter in place. I've found that I've
    been able to trust my meter too, so if I'm in the woods and it says f/5.6, that's pretty
    accurate. Oh, and I've been using a Canon AE-1 P for my IR work.

    If you give your eye a little time to adjust, it is possible to see thru the Hoya R72 filter, but
    definitely do your focusing and framing with the filter off.
  10. Hi John,

    Thanks for the help! Sounds like you have that film and your camera figured out pretty well. I have one problem with my camera, its newer so it auto reads the ISO, so I can't set it manually like yours to 3200, I shoot a Nikon N75 for film and my Contaxt 2A, but it doesn't have a ISO that high, not even near actually..so im not to sure what to do there. I keep hearing a lot about the Kodak HIE film, so I might start going with it as opposed to the Ilford, I just shoot so much ilford film, lots of PanF and PanF+ and Professional 120...I hand develop all of it, kinda like the do it yourself method.
    With all I have been reading and studying I am getting more dazed with IR. I think im just gonna try to put a filter on and load that SFX200 in and go out on a sunny day and do some practice, just let the camera meter itself and try and compensate for around 5 stops down and see what happens, bracket a lot also..lol..I just wish there was some sort of chart that could convert a regular meter reading to what you needed to actually set.
    I remember in School making pinhole cameras and I found a chart for converting times, it was a generator actually, you just put in your apature size which was like 1/64" and it would generate shutter speeds for arbatrary f-stops, worked really good to. I wish there was something as easy as that. I just know this IR is so different cause it is not visable for the meter and the film is different also. Ugg..not to sure what to do but give it some practice and see what happens and follow as much advice as everyone is giving me as possible which I am very thankful for!!
    Thanks so much for chimming in with some more help! I need to go ahead and order some filters, cause I don't have a R72 or any Reds for that matter. So I have to do some searching.
    Thanks again for the help, it is much appreciated!!

  11. I used to use SFX quite a lot. As I remember it didn't have true IR sensitivity, just a slightly extended response to the IR end of the spectrum. It could be used as a plain B+W film with no filter, but adding a 25 or 29 red (and maybe a polarizer) gave it an IR "feel". Handy, but if you want true IR, you need a proper IR film.
  12. Luke, before I started shooting IR film, all this techno babble used to confuse me to no
    end, but as soon as I started shooting it, everything became very easy. Ilford SFX 200 is
    very easy to use, as is any infrared film, you just have to know the filter factors. If you're
    using Kodak HIE or Eke IR820, don't forget to load and unload in total darkness!

    Here are two pretty cool webpages on IR film comparisons


  13. oops

  14. There are a couple of films available now, and I am not sure what their response is to the visible spectrum, but traditionally, IR films are sensitized to blue wavelengths only, and to IR (or near IR). What filters do is let you control the amount of that blue light that you let strike the film in addition to the IR. Without filters, the IR exposure is usually only barely noticeable, if at all. The film just acts like a blue sensitive film (which is very interesting for many things, and I believe the only way for a consumer to get a blue sensitive film these days).

    You can block out varying levels of the visible spectrum by using all of the warm filters. My personal favorites are dark yellow and sometimes orange for portraits, but rarely red or any of the opaque filters.

    The key to learning to work with IR film is tons of experimentation and trying different exposures, development, AND subjects. It is expensive and time consuming.

    For your first couple of tries, I would bracket two stops each way off of your meter at first, and shoot in good daylight.

    BTW, just as a bit of trivia, photo papers are also blue-sensitive emulsions. That is why you can expose them to light of lower wavelengths.

  15. Luke,

    I thought Rollei was 720nM, and Efke was 820nM...

  16. Just looked up data sheets for Efke, Rollei, Ilford, and Kodak. They are all panchromatic, but Kodak is not as sensitive to green light. I don't know why I thought they were blue sensitive films.

  17. Keith, if you want an film that's purely blue sensitive, there's the Rollei Ortho 25 or Adox Ortho 25. You could also try the Efke 25 or 50, which is more blue sensitive than standard panchromatic film, but less than the Rollei or Adox Ortho. If you want to increase the blue effect with Efke film, use a green filter.

    Although both Ekfe IR820 and Rollei IR400 are sensitive to 820nm, the Efke film is more responsive to the infrared wavelength because its gradient within the 750m - 820nm wavelengths is less steep than the Rollei film.

    Ilford SFX 200 is not sensitive to infrared light and has a peak red sensitivity at 720nm, and extended red sensitivity up to 740nm. Nonetheless, this film is capable of producing nice IR-type effects with an IR filter
  18. The Contax IIA question - filter size for most lenses is 40.5, and B+W makes them. B&H has them, but they are hard to get to. The filter section has gotten a bit random - one on page 5 of the Infrared Filters today.

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