Developer for Ilford Delta 3200

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by presspass, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. presspass

    presspass Member

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    I'm making the switch from Tri-X and T-Max 3200 to HP5+ and Delta 3200. I have been using home brew D-23, Thornton's divided developer, or D-76h. Of these, I only see D-76 listed on Ilford's tech sheets and only with stock for 3200. Are any of these usable diluted with 3200 at 1600? What about other home brews? I really don't want to go back to proprietary developers.
     
  2. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    I've seen really nice results with Delta 3200 @ 1600 using perceptol. There's a simple home brew Perceptol-like formula too.

    The most common is:
    5g/L Metol
    100g/L Sodium Sulphite (Anh)
    30g/L Sodium Chloride
     
  3. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    I love Delta films in Rodinal
     
  4. Harry Lime

    Harry Lime Member

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    Ilford DD-X or XTOL.
     
  5. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    Tmax Developer. Kodak designed it to push Tmax films, and in my extensive experience with Tmax 3200, it was far and away the best developer for that fast film. When I began using Ilford's Delta 3200, I tried Tmax Developer since it worked so well for Kodak's very similar 3200 film. It worked just as beautifully for Delta 3200 as it did for the Tmax 3200. Here are some examples of the Ilford 3200 in Tmax Developer.

    [​IMG]
    EI-3200


    [​IMG]
    EI-1600


    [​IMG]
    EI-1600


    [​IMG]
    EI-1600. This is inside a VERY dark bar. The old woman is Mary Mora, the 96 year old owner of the bar in the tiny town of Cerrillos, New Mexico.
     
  6. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    If I were picking one developer to use with both HP5 and Delta 3200 it'd be ID-11 (D-76). If just one developer for Delta 3200 it'd be Xtol, or DD-X.
     
  7. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Depends what you are trying to do with it. When I shoot Delta 3200 it's for speed. If 1250 will do it I shoot Tri-X in Diafine. So I typically shoot 3200 at 3200. I develop in T-Max developer but might switch to DD-X when I run out. T-Max works well for it though. I develop per instructions for 6400 when shot at 3200 with results I really like.
     
  8. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Saw the images before but skipped over your text - agree completely. It works great with Delta 3200.

    I posted a few of my results before in another thread on Delta 3200:

    http://home.comcast.net/~ragnar93/Temp/Anachrocon1b.jpg

    Delta 3200 in T-Max developer, shot at EI 3200, developed per time for 6400:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    You guys are ruining my plans to get away from Kodak entirely... Tmax developer hmmm... Erg....


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

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  10. F/1.4

    F/1.4 Member

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    I've had great luck with D76. Just make sure to expose it as if it were "Delta 1600"


    These were shooting on 645 BTW:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    Delta 3200 with its comparatively strong grain is preferably used when it is dark, so the choice of developer should account for that:
    • You are ready to accept some grain but want to shoot at high EI, which calls for developers which can reach the maximum emulsion speed of this film. Think Microphen and its home brew variant ID-68, Xtol/Mytol/Mark Overton's D316/Ryuji Suzuki's DS-10, there are also some Crawley formulas for achieving maximum emulsion speed.
    • You could want to go beyond emulsion speed, i.e. push the hell out of it, grain be damned. Look for developers recommended for pushing, either the ones listed above, or, as I have been told but those more knowledgeable than me, D76 supposedly pushes better than any other dev. If you like to experiment, someone pushed Tri-X to EI 25600 with his "push soup". He uses a mix of proprietary developers, though, but only the HC-110 part is difficult to impossible to home brew for mortals, and chances are it could be replaced if one tries.
    • Another issue with night shots is their extreme contrast. It's not only from light sources in your frame, and from lack of a highly diffused fill light source (aka the sky), you also have to account for reciprocity failure with long exposures. To deal with this I had some very nice results with Delta 3200 and ultra low contrast developers (think POTA). The Film Developing Cookbook has a nice chapter on these developers, highly recommended!
     
  12. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    If you look on the Ilford website they give recommended film/developer combinations for all their films. I think you will find somewhere in there the ubiquitous ID11 is listed.

    Whilstm on the subject of film/developer combinations I found out a while ago that the times given on the inside of the box can be incorrect. That is how I know about the Ilford development sheets.
     
  13. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I've been using the massive dev chart app in my iPhone for push times, it seems fairly accurate haha, talk about a non-film device helping keep my film usage happy...


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

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  15. frotog

    frotog Member

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    Stand develop in rodinal 1:100 for more luminous shadows and controllable highlights. Or use a divided developer. In either event, a compensating developer will deliver the most printable results on traditional photo paper (ddx developed 3200 scanned is another story). If you don't like grain, shoot with slower film in more light.
     
  16. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Start with Ilford's recommendations. They recommend DDX and Microphen for Delta 3200 because these are both fairly active general purpose PQ developers that will give you excellent image quality, but a little more speed than say D76/ID11 (with only a slight increase in graininess). If you want a home mix option, try Ilford ID-68, which is a Microphen-type developer.

    If you have already been using a home mixed D76, no problem using it with both HP5 and Delta 3200. For Delta 3200, use Ilford's recommended time for stock D76/ID11 and adjust from there if you want to dilute it 1+1 or 1+3. Keep in mind these fast films are inherently lower in contrast than slower films so some experimentation will be required with dilute developers.

    I would not bother with D23 (or speed losing variants such as Perceptol) or the other home-brews OP specifically mentioned. Better off overall with D76/ID11.
     
  17. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    If you are shooting 35mm, don't develop delta 3200 in Rodinal unless you like golfball sized grain.
    I use DDX. I was lucky enough to get a couple of cases of it cheap when they closed down the darkroom at the local community college. I'm afraid I can't give you advice on home brew devs, as my only experience is with pyro for LF negs.
     
  18. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I'm sure DD-X, which is probably similar, works as well or better. I've just always liked T-Max developer for the T-Max films so I had it. If you're just buying something for this film, I'd go with it or DD-X myself, or possibly Xtol. I would heed the advice for pushing to develop for one stop more than you expose for, however. I think the recommendations are for the least development that will do the job to keep grain from growing too much but I think both Delta 3200 and TMZ look better when given more development.
     
  19. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Wait is DD-X the equivalent developer to Tmax? I thought there was NO true equivalent?


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

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  20. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    It is very similar in its working properties.
     
  21. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    But I thought perceptol was better for fine grain? I'm about to put in an order so any info might change my purchase...


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

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  22. Henning Serger

    Henning Serger Member

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    Well, not really. Both are designed for high speed, and are very good for push processes.
    But DDX delivers finer grain (I did side by side comparisons under identical test conditions).

    There is one: Tetenal Ultrafin Plus. This developer has an almost identical formular compared to T-Max developer. You cannot distinguish the results of these two developers.

    Best regards,
    Henning
     
  23. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Stone: apples and oranges.

    DDX, TMax RS are fine grain PQ general purpose developers. They are designed to give full emulsion speed, good sharpness and grain. TMax RS was originally developed to get the most out of TMax films (which are finer grained than more traditional films). Later XTOL became another option which still gives good speed but with finer grain. Ilford presumably developed DDX primarily for its tabular Delta films since it is recommended by Ilford for those films. Compared with say D76/ID11, DDX and TMax RS developers will tend to give slightly higher grain and slightly higher speed.

    Perceptol is an extra-fine grain developer. It is a D23-variant designed for finer grain (Metol/Sulfite/Sodium Chloride) via lower pH and a high degree of solvent action. In exhange you get reduced sharpness and a speed loss of at least one stop. You can dilute it for slightly more grain and better sharpness but in my testing even at a 1+3 dilution it is best to accept at least 1 stop of lost speed or else you lose the extra fine grain effect and gain virtually nothing else.

    Most people tend to favour sharper developers with more speed than Perceptol with tabular films since they are already relatively fine grained to begin with. I would say Perceptol with a fast tabular film like Delta 3200 is an odd match. It's not as though a super fine grain developer is going to make D3200 look fine grained. You'll just get mushier-looking grain. There's only so much you can do to alter a film's inherent image characteristics - and if you do you inevitably make compromises.

    Michael
     
  24. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    So DD-X delivers finer grain than Kodak's T-Max? Is this the popular opinion? So DD-X with delta then for sure?

    Except maybe D3200 which would go best with Microdol(or whatever the name is) and pan F with perceptol(or whatever the name is) but what about Ilfsol 3? I thought THAT was the best for low ASA fine grain?


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

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  25. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Sorry I had miss-typed, I meant Microdol with D3200...

    Also, ok so then what exactly is "sharpness" I know being that I have done this for 18 years I should know but it's still confusing you would think finer grain would inherently give a sharper look, this is NOT true, so I would prefer my images look sharper (can i say crisper?) to finer grain since no one is looking at the grain on a wall.

    Of all the ilford and Kodak films I've developed I found Pan F+ to be the sharpest/fine grain looking images and I developed it all in Ilfsol 3 because that's all I have since that's what B&H stocks on the shelves and I seem to like liquid over powers (all the color developing I have done was with powders).

    But I'm ready to buy more developers and I just don't want to get stuck with something I don't like but I realize using Ilfsol 3 only is limiting and it's supposed to be best for low ASA films only. But should I even use it? No one ever talks about it, but it's ilfords newest developer I THINK so maybe it's better but no one has tried it?


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

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  26. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Stone, to a large degree yes fine grain and sharpness (you could call it crispness) are at opposite ends when balancing a developer's characteristics. It gets a little more complicated with more dilute developers where edge effects come into play, but don't worry about that. Just know that generally the finer grain a developer is formulated to produce, the less sharp the edges of the grain will be.

    Most general purpose solvent developers like D76/ID11, DDX, XTOL, TMax RS, Ilfosol etc etc are designed to give a good balance of both fine grain and good sharpness, without going too far in either direction. Developers like Rodinal, FX2, Beutler, and Pyro favour sharpness over fine grain. Developers like Microdol/Perceptol favour fine grain over sharpness.

    The differences become a little less clear if you alter dilutions, agitation etc. Generally the more you dilute a solvent developer the sharper it will get, with the tradeoff of higher graininess.

    What I would say is that from a grain or sharpness perspective you won't have a whole lot to gain or lose by switching from Ilfosol to DDX or TMax. What DDX or TMax RS offer is somewhat higher speed, at least with tabular grained films.

    How you use the developer is important and gives you some flexibility with respect to graininess and sharpness. And of course you can also control contrast (and film speed to some extent). So it is more about how you practice using the film/developer combination than switching developers. Many of the differences between similar types of developers are quite small. So I would not consider yourself limited in any way with Ilfosol. I have not used it myself but I'm sure it can do whatever you need it to do.

    If you want to learn a little more about the general types of developers, films and how they work together consider buying a copy of The Film Developing Cookbook. It's a pretty good compilation of information from good sources, and is easy to follow. This might help you decide whether you should stick with what you are using or perhaps go in a different direction.