My last roll of Ilford SFX200

When it comes to shooting infra-red on film, there are only two films being currently manufactured – Rollei IR400 and Ilford SFX200. My preference is for the Rollei film, as it gives a more pronounced IR effect than SFX, and it’s about half the price. There’s nothing wrong with Ilford SFX200, but I don’t like it enough to pay twice the price of the Rollei alternative.

I had one last roll of SFX in my freezer and decided to use it up on a walk to a local (and very overgrown) churchyard. The sun was playing hide-and-seek – mainly hiding as I was attempting to take photo’s and coming out to play once I’d used up the film.

2 seconds at f/16, R72 filter, EI6

Last year I had bought a 77mm R72 filter, secondhand, for a reasonable price, with the intention of using it on my Mamiya RZ lenses, which all take a 77mm thread. Previously I only had a 52mm R72 filter, which could be adapted to the Bay 1 filter on my Yashicamat 124G. Twin lens reflex cameras are very handy for infrared because you can leave the opaque filter in place on the taking lens whilst continiung to view through the viewing lens. But, my Yashica has a fixed 80mm lenses and I wanted to use something wider.

8 seconds at f/32, R72 filter

So yesterday I took the Mamiya RZ67 with just one film back, with 8 remaining frames of SFX, a 65mm lens (approximately the same field of view as 32mm in full-frame terms), the newish R72 filter, spot meter, cable release, grey card, and tripod, and walked to the church.

8 seconds at f/32, R72 filter

I rated the film at EI 6, allowing five stops for the filter, compared to the box speed of ISO200. As the sun wasn’t too strong, another stop would have come amiss.

I also took a few shots unfiltered, in circumstances where there wasn’t much foilage in the scene. Without a filter, SFX looks a little like HP5+.

A gravestone from 1757 (no filter)
This one dates from 1792- I wonder what the symbols mean? (No filter)
(no filter)

I hadn’t used the Mamiya RZ67 for a while, so it was good to give it a spin. I was quite happy with just the one lens; there was only one frame (not shown here) where I wished for a longer lens to reach across the undergrowth. I developed the film in HC110 Dilution B, using a time provided by the Massive Dev Chart.

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