Ilford SFX 200 Black and White Film

3.91/5 (11 Reviews)


  • MPN1829189
    Film Type35mm
    PackagingConsumer
    ColorBlack & White
    Units in Package1
    Film Speed200 ASA
    Positive / NegativeNegative
    Exposures36 Exposures/Pictures

Product Description

Ilford SFX 200 returns. SFX 200 is a medium speed black and white camera film for creative photography. It has extended red sensitivity and is especially suited for use with a filter to create special effects. By using a deep red filter skies can be rendered almost black and most green vegetation almost white. Its unusual tonal rendition ensures interesting results for a range of subjects, including portraits, landscapes, townscapes and architecture.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by gatewaycityca a Intermediate

Date Reviewed: September 13, 2008

Strengths:    Very forgiving with exposure and development. Can be used to give special effects in landscape photos (although at least a yellow filter is recommend to get more benefit from this). Extended red sensitivity, but not true infrared, so you can handle and load it like a normal B&W film. Very little or no grain in pictures.

Weaknesses:    Price. It's expensive, more expensive than any other film I've bought. (Although definitely worth it).

Bottom Line:   
This is a "near-infrared" black and white negative film which can be used to obtain special effects. I have not used it with an infrared filter, but I found that with a yellow filter it will give the darker skies and a very slight "glow" to light clolored sunlit buildings, which I wanted for my landscape photos. I believe this may be because of the film's sensitivity to wavelengths near the infrared spectrum and is not due to overexposure. The film has "extended red sensitivity" (though not true infrared) but it also a great general film to use. It seems to be very forgiving with exposure and development. The pictures taken with this film have a different look to them, distinct from other black and white films I've used. It has more contrast, and tends to give a slight "glow" to some surfaces (for lack of a better description). But pictures are sharp, with very little or no grain.

It is a little expensive, but with the right lighting conditions and the use of filters, it can give some very interesting effects. It is also a great film to use for general outdoor pictures, especially landscape photos.

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Duration Product Used:   0-1 years

Price Paid:    $7.00

Purchased At:   Freestyle Photo Supp

Type of photography:   Outdoor


Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by tri3mast a Professional

Date Reviewed: June 22, 2005

Strengths:    This film is great as I can use it as a regular B&W and when a shot cries out for Infrared I can slip a red R72 filter on and make the shot.

Sensitive to red filters so my "normal" B&W red and orange filters produce more dramatic results

It's relatively inexpensive in comparison to some other specialty films I've used

Don't need to load or unload in the dark handles the same as any other slide or negative films

Nice grain as long as you overexpose it a little by setting ISO at 100

Produces pleasing 16x20's and I've got several 20x20's of November storm clouds and surf


Weaknesses:    Aah? Can't say I found any unless you consider the over rating of the ISO

Bottom Line:   
I've read some reviews about this film but went ahead and tried it myself.

What I've found after a few rolls of the stuff is that a person needs to use a heavy red filter to obtain the desired Infrared effect.

At first I just used my B&W red filter and got not much if anything in return.

After purchasing a Hoya R72 things began to happen and I got a substantial boost in the Infrared spectrum.

This filter is so dense you can't see through it and cost about five stops of light, also I personally feel the ISO rating of 200 is a stop over what it should be.

By setting the film ISO at 100 using the Hoya R72 filter and allowing for five stops for the filter factor I've produced some amazing scenic and portraiture images.

I use the Hoya R72 Infrared filter on my 35mm cameras mostly a Nikon FM3a but when using any of my medium format cameras I switch to a filter specifically designed for this film.

Unlike other Infrared films SFX doesn't appear as sensitive to the infrared sprocket counting beam emitted by modern automatic SLR's.

I'll admit I've used SFX in both my Canon SLR cameras and did experience some fogging along the sprocket edge but NOT into the frame.

What it didn't like was the imprinter from my 645N putting frame data along the edge, easily solved by turning it off.

Ilford makes a specific filter for the SFX 200 available in the Cokin "P" series mount and this filter is what I use with my medium format images.

This filter Cat # 191 1176 produces results better then the Hoya R72 and it was only $24.99 Canadian a lot less then the R72 if I remember correctly.

I think some of these reviews are made after the photographer has run a roll or maybe three through their camera and received mixed results for their efforts.

Can't say how many rolls I screwed up before getting quality results however now I know to rate the film at ISO 100 and use an R72 filter and a filter factor of five stops.

Go shoot some you might like it.

Robert from Canada

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Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Purchased At:   Local Pro Lab

Similar Products Used:   I don't believe there are any similar products as this is a near Infrared and Kodak produces an Infrared film.

Konica produces a red sensitive film also but to date I haven't had the pleasure of using any


Type of photography:   Fine Art


Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by nuthatchpictures a Intermediate

Date Reviewed: May 25, 2004

Bottom Line:   
despite the disappointing reviews found here, i had to try this film myself. who could resist an black and white film that could pass as infrared? despite the extended red sensitivity, i was disappointed indeed... much on par with previous reviews. there was soem form of infrared, but i thought the grain was ghastly when blown to a 12 by 18 inches. looks like a photoshop filter(no offense to adobe). anyways, i still recommend you try it for yourself and make your own conclusions, i was just disappointed by the grain and conclusions i had jumpt to before actually using the film, which let me down.

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Duration Product Used:   6-10 years

Price Paid:    $4.00

Purchased At:   Penn

Type of photography:   People


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by jeepin a Intermediate

Date Reviewed: September 4, 2003

Strengths:    Adds a twist to B&W photography. Good grain, good contrast with a red filter.

Weaknesses:    rather expensive

Bottom Line:   
All I can say about this film is that it's interesting. It's somewhere in between true infared and B&W. I used a dark red filter. I got some interesting shots with buildings with the sky in the background. It's not a film I'll shoot too often($$$), but good for those days when I need a change of pace.

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Duration Product Used:   2-5 years

Price Paid:    $10.00

Purchased At:   pro shop

Type of photography:   Outdoor


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Rob W a Intermediate from England

Date Reviewed: September 24, 2002

Strengths:    Nice - just different enough - look (when used with red filter), fine grain, easy to handle.

Weaknesses:    None if you take it for what it is.

Bottom Line:   
I like it; don't expect the way out Kodak effect but sometimes the semi-surreal look you get from SFX more intruiging.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6-10 years

Type of photography:   Outdoor



Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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Looking for pointers on llford SFX 200

I know this not a true infared film but its a starting point for me. Would like to hear from anyone who has used it. I have looked on the web for info, but most of what Ive found seems to be conflictive.:idea: I have a Cokin 89B filter but not sure where to start with shutter speed and f stop. Th ... Read More »

SFX 200 and a Red filter

I tried a roll of Ilford SFX200 trying for a more Infrared look. I used a #25 red filter that slowed my Bessa down two stops. I have a four stop red filter that would have give it an even more IR look if I had used it. It was all I could do to shoot these hand held. But here are a couple off of the ... Read More »

Read More »



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