Best way to develop Ilford Delta 400

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by 10speeduk, May 8, 2012.

  1. 10speeduk

    10speeduk Subscriber

    Messages:
    148
    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Location:
    Ash, Kent
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hi all, I wondered if anyone can advise me on developing my Ilford Delta 400 medium format film. I was originally self developing Delta 100 which was ok, if a little bit variable in contrast when I did it. I found the film was a little slow for me so I moved to delta 400, my self developing was now really grainy and very low contrast. I use Infasol 3 dev, Ilford stop and Ilford fix all to the prescribed times and temps. I am guessing that something is out with me, so I would love to follow someone elses way that they have found successful esp. as B&W dev is costing me £££!

    I love developing but I found I was buying nice cameras (Rolleicord and Mamiya 645) for the way they render film shots, and then I was finding that all that beauty was being destroyed by my developing!! So I started lab developing my delta 400 which is great as it shows off the cameras to their best, but is probably unnecessary.

    Let the healing begin!

    Paul
     
  2. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

    Messages:
    506
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    Location:
    Oxford, Engl
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I'm surprised you aren't having any success with Ilfosol 3. I've used it with many Ilford films and had good results each time -- I prefer other developers, but Ilfosol is still decent. Are you sure the developer is OK? Perhaps it's expired?

    How are you agitating the film? Small tank with inversions? Continuous agitation?

    Cheers,

    Matt
     
  3. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

    Messages:
    2,560
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Location:
    Phoeinx Ariz
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I developed my last 2 rolls of Delta 120 in DDX. I have also used HC110 with good results. For fine grain you might want to try Ilfords verson of Microdol X or Xtol.
     
  4. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,347
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Location:
    Michigan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ilfosol 3 is a good developer in my experience. It does not last very long once opened, though. I prefer Perceptol myself. It's much like the now discontinued Kodak Microdol-X. ID-11 is also good, much like D-76.
    If you're getting grainy, low contrast negatives with recommended development, I would check your exposure. Try bracketing toward the longer exposures and compare the frames to see how they look.
     
  5. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,342
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    Location:
    florida
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have used Delta 400 developed with ID11 both straight and 1:1 with excellent results for many years. Start with Ilford's time and temperature and adjust the time if more (or less) contrast is needed. It might be helpful to run a test to determine your personal ISO for your equipment as the shutter speeds may not be what you think they are and double check your light meter.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  6. Alan W

    Alan W Subscriber

    Messages:
    434
    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Delta 400 is wonderful in any developer an you can get results as good as any lab, you've just got to keep trying-you'll get there quicker than you think.
     
  7. 10speeduk

    10speeduk Subscriber

    Messages:
    148
    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Location:
    Ash, Kent
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    OK guys, I am conviced! I will buy some new developer and get cracking. thanks for your replies!
     
  8. chimneyfinder

    chimneyfinder Member

    Messages:
    90
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Location:
    Cardigan, We
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I shoot alot of Delta 400 and Ilford ID11 is very good, but I prefer Patersons Aculux 3 for nice crisp, low grain negatives. I suggest a little longer development than recommended @ 5-10% more, but, of course you will just need to determine this for yourself. If you do try another developer, try to do a simple development test first. Not complicated: just cut a normally (for you) exposed film into 3 and develop for product suggested time, 15% more and 15% less. It will give you some good basic information to work with about how to proceed with the developer and maybe answer a few of your own questions regarding grain, contrast and exposure.
    Regards, Mark Walker
     
  9. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,392
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Location:
    northern Pa.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I get great results with almost any developer I have on hand, D-76, Rodinal, or Pyrocat-HD(best ). My personal ISO's for each developer are slower than box speed, and determined by testing.
     
  10. 10speeduk

    10speeduk Subscriber

    Messages:
    148
    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Location:
    Ash, Kent
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thanks everyone for your comments and help. I dusted off the tank and tried another roll just now (it is drying). I changed my agitation method from twirling (using the stick thing) to inverting. I also increased my dev time from 5:30 to 7:00mins at 20 degrees. Negs look really good, will see....

    Also I went on a website that give peoples different recipes:

    http://filmdev.org/

    This is a great site as you can see the pictures afterwards and judge if it is an outcome you like. Based on my research I have ordered some Kodak XTOL and std Kodak Fixer :smile:

    I look fwd to seeing some great negs soon. Also, I can check the negs of my Rollei Vs my Mamiya to see if my Rollei sspeeds are off.

    Cheers

    Paul
     
  11. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,100
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Not sure where you got 5:30 from. The massive development chart and the Ilford info show 7 mins. The agitation regime is 5 inversions in the first 10 sec and then the same every minute thereafter

    Always go to the manufacturer's instruction first. Ilford's specs are usually very accurate as you have found with your revised 7 mins.

    pentaxuser
     
  12. 10speeduk

    10speeduk Subscriber

    Messages:
    148
    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Location:
    Ash, Kent
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It worked!!! :smile:

    This is scanned in with no editing. I am really delighted!!!!! Inversions= 1 twiddling = 0

    [​IMG]

    Can't believe I can do this now, such a simple thing after so long... :smile:
     
  13. Alan W

    Alan W Subscriber

    Messages:
    434
    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Told ya!That looks good.
     
  14. Arkasha

    Arkasha Member

    Messages:
    112
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thanks for the link, Paul. Very useful for someone like me, trying to see how Delta and HP5+ will work with HC-110.
     
  15. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Subscriber

    Messages:
    971
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Location:
    Ajman - U.A.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Honestly speaking, i don't have any problem with all B&W films so far except Delta 3200, one day i will find which developer and what method i should follow to get decent results, i did tested 2 rolls only and all came out so grainy and look like underexposed about 1-1.5 stop even i was sure with the exposure and also the dev time and process, seems i think i must use another developer which is designed for very fast delta film.
     
  16. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

    Messages:
    1,204
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Location:
    Downers Grov
    Tried everything and far and away the best is DD-X or Xtol. D76 absolutely stinks although it worked well with previous iterations of Delta 400.
     
  17. jthacker43

    jthacker43 Subscriber

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I'm a medium format shooter as well. I have been using XTOL with Delta 400. Advantages are: I get an EI of 400 and very little grain. The development times for N- and N+ are only about 10% of normal development time. I use a JOBO processor and I'm getting a cost of about 12 cent per roll of development cost.
    I have also started using pyrocat-HD for which I think the development cost is less than 10 cent per roll, but I haven't run through the calculations yet.
     
  18. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,930
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, V
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The best images I've got with Delta 400 were exposed @ 100, I like it for landscapes doing it like this.

    And processing in 24 degrees Xtol replenished, dev time is around 5 or so minutes, gentle minimal agitation per minute. Same routine with box speed didn't produce the same results. It wasn't simply a contrast contraction. It made the pictures quite 'shiny' so to describe it.
     
  19. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

    Messages:
    447
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Perhaps you also have an inaccurate thermometer? Cheap ones are often wildly inaccurate! I use a three inch Weston "Miroband", and calibrate it occasionally against a Kodak Process Thermometer.

    I was very happy with Delta 400 in DD-X, used it at 400 speed to get slightly low contrast for scanning.