Like Infrared, Less Stress: Ilford SFX (35mm, 200 ISO) User-Review


Clouds in the sky? Red filter?…. then let’s go! The Ilford SFX produces effects just like infrared, but with less stress…

Ilford SFX 200 is a special film designed to work much like infrared film without actually being infrared. In the past I have used infrared film but it is a very hard beast to tame requiring a lot of trial and error. You can never be too sure what exposures to use and lots of pics don’t come out.

Fortunately it would appear that SFX is a lot more simple and all the pictures I took came out fine.

To get effective infrared looking pics here are a few simple tips:

First, a red filter is really important. You don’t need a really expensive infrared filter but with a normal red filter which you can get for about 10-20€ you can really get the best out of this film. I took one roll with a Fuji Natura Classica without a filter and another with a Nikon SLR and the difference is quite marked.

Another surefire way to get the infrared look is to make sure that in your pictures there are trees or clouds or both. The ideal day for using this film is a slightly overcast day or a day with lots of fluffy clouds in the sky… SFX can make these harmless looking clouds look like a dark storm is brewing and looks very cool.

Trees and leaves also give off a pleasant haze which is the classic infrared look.

It is a bit hit and miss, some pictures have the infrared look while others look just like a conventional B&W film, but even so the results are very pleasing with a nice pronounced grain and high contrast with a slight tendency to over do the light areas of the picture giving that all important glow.

written by lolfox on 2009-12-24 #gear #black-and-white #infrared #review #filter #tipster #b-w


  1. stouf
    stouf ·

    Great review ! Cute baby : )

  2. jeabzz
    jeabzz ·

    ahh ilford sfx, love this film :) and your shots of clouds are awesome, specially shot #17

  3. lfuentesp
    lfuentesp ·

    Nice review, i'll get my red filter on. TKS!

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