Ilford SFX 200: A Film with Many Uses


A very versatile Black and white film with increased red sensitivity, great for normal black and white use or infared photography.

I picked up a small lot of Expired film off ebay one of the films included was a roll of Ilford SFX 200, I had never really heard of the film, but I have used many other ilford films and love them. I found out that it has heightened red sensitivity so when used with a r72 filter infared results can be achieved. I bought a cheaper r72 off ebay, put it on my Minolta X-700 and headed out on a walk with my girlfriend. Unlike other infared film it doesnt need to be loaded and unloaded in darkness. As the film was nearly 3 years expired, I had to overexpose it slightly. Although black and white film ages much better than colour combined with the near opaque r72 filter, I was unable to hand hold the camera still and this gave a unique way of shooting as I don’t have a tripod. I had to use natural tripods, which in my opinion gives interesting angles.

When using this film I’d recommend you use it on a bright sunny day, somewhere where there’s lots of trees or plants.

The film its self is very forgiving. I wasn’t paying that much attention to my exposure times as I was shooting in bulb so I just left the shutter open for at least 2 seconds.

Here are the results:

In my opinion, the film produces fine results, though there is some visible grain. This may be due to the fact that my roll was expired, I developed it in rodinal.

Here is my favourite shot of the roll. I really like the almost fairytale feel to it and especially like the lighting. I feel it is due to the brilliant film that this image came out so good.

All in all a great film. I recommend you pick a roll up, whether it be expired or not. Just remember if you want infared results you will need a r72 filter and probably a tripod.

written by brandkow93 on 2012-04-03 #gear #black-and-white #expired #ilford #review #infared #many-uses


  1. kneehigh85
    kneehigh85 ·

    Thanks for sharing with us! I used some of this once but didn't really know what I was doing or the results it could achieve and i kind of wasted. MIght get some more now and have another try x

  2. chilledvondub
    chilledvondub ·

    you got some fantastic results there :)
    ive been very keen to give this film a whirl unfortunately i lack in IR filters for any of my camera's except my OM10 but i have misplaced the mount! but i would also recommend Efke IR 120 especially in the holga the film is so sensative ive used it on 2 occasions and i got lovely results just with a basic red filter. Even managed to pick up some backing paper on some of the shots which i thought was pretty cool :)

  3. brandkow93
    brandkow93 ·

    thanks alot :)
    It is a great film, I got my ir filter off ebay for around £6. yeah i have heard alot about that film, want to try it out, and ive also got a roll of kodak HIE waiting to be shot.

  4. rbruce63
    rbruce63 ·

    Outstanding film, outstanding landscapes, sexy lover shots, cant wait for my EIR to arrive from the UK, however, there is a new hurdle, no E-6 process in Costa Rica. I have to import the chemistry or cross process!

  5. brandkow93
    brandkow93 ·

    @rbruce63 thanks alot for your kind words, ohh cool, ive never had the pricelage to shoot with some. and if i were you i wouldnt even think to cross process it, if im honest i really hate cross processing, you want to see the true results of a film and camera/lens combo so why cross process and see the results of cross processing not the results of the fil and camera/lens combo.

  6. peropero
    peropero ·

    good article!
    i got a bunch of those in ebay too and everytime i use it i get a new surprise. it's kind of a mistery film! hehehe it's interesting to do portraits, people look like ghosts!

  7. brandkow93
    brandkow93 ·

    @peropero yeah im gonna purchase some more rolls of it. thanks for the tip will definetily try thqt :)

  8. rbruce63
    rbruce63 ·

    Will do!

  9. chindijap
    chindijap ·

    did you have to adjust the f stops or did you just set the camera as you normally would?

  10. alejandravaca
    alejandravaca ·

    Hi, I just finished shooting a roll of this SFX with the R72 as well, and wanted your advice on how you developed it. I usually use Rodinal for my other films (Rollei 400, Tmax, etc), but I'm not sure if I should agitate for longer to compensate for the filter? Thanks!

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