ILFORD SFX200 : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

I'd like to know what you think about the Ilford FX200. I tried it last month for "normal" photography (landscape, architecture, portraits, etc.). I quite liked it, but I'm a novice, so I don't know if it is better to use a more "average" Ilford film rather than the SFX for normal photography situations (I ask that because I know that the SFX200 is born for special effects pictures, such as taking pictures with a red/orange filter). Thanks

-- Andrea Bracco (, January 13, 1999


This film captures light (infra-red) that your human eye cannot, so it will not capture the tones that you see.

I suggest you would find a normal film easier to handle, especialy as a novice. Of course, you can then take photos with both films, and compare the result, to see how infra-red works.

-- Alan Gibson (, January 14, 1999.

SFX-200 is what is called extended red sensitivity film. It produces IR effects when used with red filters. I've tried it several times and found that the efect is not strong enough for me, but still got some interesting results. If you are novice I would recomend you to use films such as ILFORD HP-5+ (actually somebody said that SFX-200 is an extended red version of HP-5+) and KODAK Tri-X. Both have exellent tonal range and good expolsure and processing lattitude. If you develop your films yourself, I can give you some practical tips on developers etc. Hope this helps. Evgeni

-- Evgeni Poptoshev (, January 15, 1999.


An interesting "fact" I was recently told is that SFX-200 was originally a film developed & used in traffic cameras. I guess cameras at traffic-control lights and the like. It was subquently released as a consumer film in its present form. Can anyone confirm this?

-- Frank (, January 16, 1999.

I tried SFX 200 while shooting the brooklyn bridge on a sun/cloud mix day and got good results. I only had a red 25a (lite red?) filter and I used that. I also shot a roll of plus-x. However, comparing the 2 proof sheets, the shots looked similar with both films.(I did not use a filter w/the roll of plus-x)The clouds stood out very dramatically w/both films. I just bought an 091 filter (Dark red). I beleive that using the darker red filter will improve the "infrared" qualities. The SFX 200 is panchromatic so that it can be used in cameras that can't use real infrared film, like mine (Canon Elan 2e) The bottom line is, I will definately use this film again, but only on a nice cloud day and with a dark red filter.

-- regina hugo (, January 20, 1999.

The data sheet at the Ilford site states that SFX200 will produce results much like any other B&W panchromatic film if used with a regular red filter. (they call a 25 a "light red") For dramatic effects, they say use a dark red filter, B+W 091. For maximum effects, use a very dark red filter. I got the Ilford filter (a gelatin sheet) for SFX, and it's almost opaque. I'm disappointed that they don't tell you this in the instructions which come with the film. You're going to need to use a tripod and a very dark red filter to get the most out of this film.

-- Phil Stiles (, February 27, 1999.

I have recently tried SFX200. The first roll was shot in the spring with a 25A filter on a partly cloudy day. The sky was more dramatic than my usual T-Max shots, the light green tree foliage went almost white and the buildings looked pretty dramatic. I shot some in Kona, Hawaii in June and have not had the time to print it yet. In 35mm it's rather grainy but I love the tonality. I have processed it in RD- 11 undiluted and gotten results that work for me. I have some in 120 fodder for my Pentax 6x7 and I can't wait to try that. I am very pleased and may use it as my mainstay after I see how the 120 looks.

-- Mike Forton (, August 04, 1999.

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