Ilford SFX 200 Black and White Film

SFX 200

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.

User Reviews (11)

Showing 1-10 of 11  
gatewaycityca   Intermediate [Sep 13, 2008]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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

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.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
tri3mast   Professional [Jun 22, 2005]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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

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

Customer Service

None required

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
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
nuthatchpictures   Intermediate [May 25, 2004]

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.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
jeepin   Intermediate [Sep 04, 2003]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

rather expensive

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.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Rob W   Intermediate [Sep 24, 2002]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

None if you take it for what it is.

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

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Russ Moore   Professional [Jul 09, 2000]
Model Reviewed: SFX 200 ASA
Strength:

Does not require darkroom loading. Finer grain and better tonal range

Weakness:

Requires stronger filtration for the typical infrared look.

A good but slightly different look from Kodak.

Similar Products Used: Kodak Infrared in 35mm and 4 x 5.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
nhat nguyen   Professional [Mar 12, 2000]
Model Reviewed: SFX 200 ASA
Strength:

Great for semi infared effect, images have a dreamy look without looking too surreal.

Easier handling than Kodak's HIE film.

Availble in the 120 format.

Weakness:

If you want surreal white trees and grass and pitch black skies, then stick with the Kodak film, this is only a semi infared look.

It's ok. Not spectacular. But maybe that's all you need sometimes, and if that is the case this semi infared may give a slightly different look without crossing over into the surreal land of Kodak's HIE film.

I was disappointed.

Similar Products Used: Konica IR and Kodak HIE
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Jacob Newman   Casual [Jan 23, 2000]
Model Reviewed: SFX 200 ASA
Strength:

It's loads of fun: you get the classic IR effects (if used with a #25 or 29 red filter...), but it is not nearly as tempermental as Kodak HIE. Also, if used without a filter, it will act as a standard B&W film. It's also much cheaper than HIE.

Weakness:

The IR effects are not quite as spectacular as with HIE.

Great fun to play with. You can get some really interesting pictures with this stuff. If you want to experiment with IR film, but you don't want the hassles of dealing with HIE (Loading in total darkness, no anti-halation, etc.), this film is perfect. Its latitude makes it a very nice film to work with.

Customer Service

For film?

Similar Products Used: Kodak HIE
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
kostas papakotas   Casual [Jan 25, 2001]
Strength:

using it like * a normal B&W * film it affords a GREAT tonal range and ability to register detail

Weakness:

its 200 speed (using it as a normal B&W film)
too expensive for optical specrum B&W photography

try using it for regular (optical spectrum) B&W photography...it is one of the best in this field

Similar Products Used: most of the regular B&W films
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
Raymond Worrilow   Casual [Mar 09, 2001]
Strength:

Nice IR efect if a VERY dark red filter is used

Weakness:

None

This film does not give the surreal effect that Kodak does, but some of us arent looking for that. A VERY nice film to work with!

Similar Products Used: Kodak HIE, Konica750
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 11  

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