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Ilford SFX

Whoever thought film was dead hasn’t looked over the advertising banners from the Digital manufacturers to look at the places that they used to go to to buy film and have it processed.

Living in Hong Kong is a bit weird in this respect, as everyone in the Country has at least one camera and normally the latest digital monster and a bag full of larger than life lenses.

So finding that there is an undercurrent of film users in HK is not surprising – but finding it is having a revival amongst the 20-30 age group is .

This isn’t due just to the Lomography push of plastic copies – but because the internet is full of people selling their dad’s old cameras for less then $30 – and so it has never been easier to find an old camera that is going to give a higher quality image than most digitals you could afford and also give you back the surprise aspect of photography.

Having taken way over 4,000 images this year so far would suggest that I have put most available film through my camera – especially as the only big manufacturers left are Fuji, Kodak, Agfa and Ilford – but thankfully this isn’t close to being true and so it was with some trepidation that I bought my first rolls of Ilford SFX the other week and then bought the Deep Red filter to go with it.

SFX is basically a B/W film with a higher than normal affinity to Infra Red light. Add a Deep Red filter that blocks the majority of visible light and you have an image that is part B/W and part IR.

Because the filter is so dark – you can’t see through it when it is on the camera – and so you either have to use a camera that has a separate viewfinder (like a Rangefinder) or only put it on the lens after framing the shot.

This picture were taken in Sri Lanka last week in front of the house we used to live in, using the Kiev 60 MF and guessing the framing of the shot rather than taking the filter on and off. Metering was at 25 ASA for the film which is rated at 200 ASA – due to the blocking of light by the filter and so they were taken in bright sun light.

Having seen the result of one film of 120 and learning that you need blinding sunshine for the film to work, a few others have been bought to see what I can capture with this before I try full infra red films in the future.

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Posted by simon on August 30, 2010

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