SFX for portraits?

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thefizz

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I saw some nice studio portraits with SFX in the past but can't rememer if any filters were used or not? Has anyone used this film to good effect, what filters did you use and have you any examples to show?

Thanks
Peter
 
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rwboyer

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I saw some nice studio portraits with SFX in the past but can't rememer if any filters were used or not? Has anyone used this film to good effect, what filters did you use and have you any examples to show?

Thanks
Peter

Personally I would use a red filter or the results will be way more like any other film that not - even with a red filter the IR effect is subtle compared to something like HIE. I tested the stuff out a long time ago but never really warmed up to it. I will see if I can dig up a photo and data for how I shot it.

RB
 
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2F/2F

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You might get different results than standard pan films if you use tungsten lamps or clear flashbulbs to illuminate your subject. instead of daylight or electronic flash.

If you do use flash, you can filter the flash head instead of filtering the film itself.
 

johnnywalker

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I tried searching sfx and portraits, but the links provided in the search weren't very relevant, although I know it's been discussed.
There is someone on APUG who swears by sfx for portraits, but I don't know what filtration he uses. Maybe he'll see this thread and chime in.
 

rwboyer

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Here is the first one I came across that had any inkling of an IR effect. Shot with Red #25 filter. I shot some plus-x at the same time with a #25 filter to see the difference but I cannot find the negatives right now. As I recall there was a significant spectral response difference with this shot.

RB

1999-026-10.jpg
 

pentaxuser

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Peter for what it is worth and maybe this is something you have already concluded by yourself, SFX filterless is pretty well a normal 200 speed film which is slightly grainier than you'd expect for 200. I don't think I'd choose it for portraiture without filters but rwboyer's shot has enough of a hint of IR for me without that ethereal almost otherwordly look which may or may not suit the portraiture you are looking for.

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rwboyer

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Peter for what it is worth and maybe this is something you have already concluded by yourself, SFX filterless is pretty well a normal 200 speed film which is slightly grainier than you'd expect for 200. I don't think I'd choose it for portraiture without filters but rwboyer's shot has enough of a hint of IR for me without that ethereal almost otherwordly look which may or may not suit the portraiture you are looking for.

pentaxuser

Based on my very limited testing with it when it first became available I found that it was more difficult to reliably provoke an IR response out of than HIE so I ceased my efforts with it, I am by no means an SFX expert. I shot and processed maybe 10 rolls of it ever.

Now HIE is a different story...

RB
 
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I've got a couple in my gallery: one under studio lighting and one under daylight, both with red filter. It works really well at smoothing skin and knocking years off the sitter. Yes, HIE it aint, but definitely has a look and a regular place in my shooting.
 

timk

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I don't know if this applies to SFX since it's not a true IR film, but I've read that IR has a tendency to make the veins in the skin stand out...

look at this article:
Dead Link Removed

It has some examples taken with HIE, expect SFX to be much more subtle though because it's only mildly IR.
 
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thefizz

thefizz

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Thanks for all the replies, I assume the shoots I saw in the past used some filtration so I'll give it a go with a 25 red and try it out. Lovely image rwboyer and David your photo of Sofya is what I recall seeing before, beautiful.

Thanks all,
Peter
 
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Thanks, Peter.

I've done about 8 shoots in the past year with SFX, 6 in studio and 2 outdoors. I use an R2 filter and rate at 50 and bracket to 25. It is a 'problem solver' film for those with bad skin, and it's pretty obvious to me now when I need to use it. I did a guy with very unphotogenic facial skin, and he was astounded.

I haven't had neck veins pop as timk suggests, but one anomaly is worth mentioning: I did a girl who clearly dyed her hair, but that was only evident from the photographs. So now I ask, or determine elsewise.

I haven't tried SFX with heavier filtration, but for portraits I think the effect is just peachy as is.

Oh, yeah, one other tidbit that has come up: The apparent age of the model is downrated such that their legal status might be called into question, according heresay from complete strangers, of course.
 

Barry06GT

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One funky thing that I experienced was the person was wearing a black skirt and black sweater, a perfect color match in the late afternoon sun. When I looked at the film there was a dramatic difference in darkness between the sweater and skirt. The sweater was really light, and the skirt was much darker.

It must have been because of a difference in material and how each reflected IR. She was happy with the results, and that was all that really mattered.
.
.
 

rwboyer

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Just found a shot on plus-x in the exact same light on the same day as the SFX shot that I posted while I was doing the SFX testing/comparison. This shot had NO filter with the plus-x, the SFX had red 25.

2000-034-15.jpg


RB
 

2F/2F

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SFX is not an infrared film. Not at all. It is important to get that idea out of your head from the start. It doesn't capture anything beyond the spectrum that you or I can see with our own eyes. The difference is that it is simply sensitive to deeper reds than most films, which do not capture the deep reds that our eyes can see. In essence, it is like expanding your palette...but you are still only using visible light. Read the data sheet, and you should be able to at least arrive at a starting point for filtering this film for the desired effect. If I remember correctly, the human eye/brain can sense radiation up to about 750 nM, most pan films are exposed by radiation up to around 650 nM, and SFX is exposed by radiation up to around 740 nM. Basically, you get an extra 100 nM of red sensitivity, which is why they call it an extended-red-sensitivity film, or a near infrared film. If you only want to make use of the extended range, you will get a filter that only passes radiation above about 650 nM, such as Heliopan RG665, if my memory serves me well as to the number. If you only want to make use of the very top of the extended range, a Hoya R72 will give you about a 20 nM range to play with. If you want to make use of the extended range, plus some of the warm end of the normal panchromatic range, you will use regular-old warm filters such as orange, red, deep red, etc.
 
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jd callow

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the images here were shot with SFX, Red 25, studio strobes and a hassy/80mm. you need to let the images rotate through to see them all.
 
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thefizz

thefizz

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Thats another nice image RB and thanks for the link JD.

I shot a roll last night and hope to do some more over the weekend.
 

Lee L

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Human vision drops off very rapidly between 600nm and 650nm. Here's a chart of sensitivity relative to 1.00 at the peak sensitivity of about 555nm, with relative response down to 11% at 650nm, which is where most panchromatic films run out of steam. Very few color films are very sensitive at 650nm, ask any astrophotographer about that problem.

http://everything2.com/title/relative+spectral+sensitivity+of+the+human+eye

At 750nm the human eye is about 0.012% as sensitive as at 555nm.

Attached a file showing relative spectral response of the human eye/brain from source above, plus SFX relative to panchromatic response. SFX and panchromatic response is from Ilford's SFX tech sheet.

Lee
 

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DR5 processing

I have used very little Ilford SFX, and it is much too expensive for my budget. But it is lovely film, and www.dr5.com seems to agree.
Using it without filtration seems to be their idea of a good way of using it.

http://www.dr5.com/blackandwhiteslide/sfx.html

I like the film a lot, and would advise you to test it first, perhaps by making self portraits, before you photograph anything important.

- Thomas

I saw some nice studio portraits with SFX in the past but can't rememer if any filters were used or not? Has anyone used this film to good effect, what filters did you use and have you any examples to show?

Thanks
Peter
 
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thefizz

thefizz

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Thanks Thomas, I currently have a few rolls being souped in dr5 as I'm exporing that option also.
 

steven_e007

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Hi,

I used to love using Konica Infrared film (well, near infrared, I suppose we should say) for portraits. It did amazing things for skin tones, but could sometimes be a bit weird looking as lips tended to white but the iris and pupil in the eyes went completely black - like something off star-trek. I was lamenting the loss of Konica for portraits in another thread when someone here on apug sent me an example SFX shot from the gallery that was stunning. Because SFX is the least IR of the films, the sometimes over the top effects are less pronounced, so you could argue it is therefore a better portrait film extended red film (unless you want everyone to look like a Betazoid ;-)

I always used a wratten 29 for konica and it works well for SFX,although I haven't tred it for portraits, yet. It is a very deep ruby red filter.

Point is - there are some great examples in the gallery, somewhere. Have a search.
 
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steven_e007

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Hello again thefizz,

I just checked back through my inbox to see if I could find the pic I mentioned, and it was YOU who sent it to me about a year ago!

:D:D:D:D

Anyway - it was a great pic. I can't post it here now as Sean is doing an upgrade on the gallery...
 
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thefizz

thefizz

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lol, so I did. I think that was one of David's which I referred to earlier.
 
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