Week 26:lford SFX 200 Experiment

At my local camera shop, the owner recommended I play with Ilford SFX 200 film.  Always up for a challenge I decided to give it a go.  After doing a bit more research I found out that you can get near infrared results with this film using a red filter.

I have had it in my head to photograph the church steeples in and around my neighborhood.  Sounds strange I know but for some reason I am fascinated with them.  Before committing to the project completely I figured I would run one role through as a test or experiment role.

It took me a week or so to acquire the appropriate filter for my Mamiya 645 Pro.  After one vendor canceled my Amazon purchase, for no apparent reason, I was finally able to have my lovely red #25 filter ready to go.  From looking at the specs for the film, the manufacture recommends increasing the stops 1 1/2 when using a #25 filter.  What I did was meter at a sunny 16 (F16 with 200 ISO film).  The meter was coming back pretty consistently with a shutter speed of 125 to 250 depending on which church I chose.  I shot an exposure at F16, F11, F9 and F8.  My calculations where telling me that if I need to gain 1.5 stops at F16 my camera should be somewhere in the F9.5 range.  I tried to dial it in as much as I could but what I found is that there was very little difference between F9 and F8. For sanity sake I am going to stick with F8 on a sunny day when using this film and filter.

Rather than bore you with the step by step photos I am posting the ones that I think worked out the best.  These are all pretty much F8 @ 250 of a second.

Now that I have this under my belt I am going to retake these “for real” later this year.  If anyone has used this film and has any suggestions, please let me know.


2 thoughts on “Week 26:lford SFX 200 Experiment

  1. Very nice. SFX is a very good B&W film in it’s own right you should try it with a Infrared filter also you can get some fantastic results.


  2. Lovely photos! I love old churches and their steeples. So much character. I have used Ilford SFX. It’s an awesome film. I find it does best when there is some green in the photo like trees and grass to really help make it pop.


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