Dif between delta 100 and FP4

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by mark, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. mark

    mark Member

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    What is the difference between these two films. I have never used FP4 and with the crazy cost of delta in the 8x10 neg realm I was wondering. I know delta is a t grain film and FP is a more traditional film but that should not matter in a contact print. Or does it? What is the expandability of FP4?
     
  2. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    FP4 is a real film with real integrity. Delta is one where the manufacturer is trying to align the grains in the same direction and I don't believe they are always completely successful in doing this, thus destroying the natural integrity of the film. But that is just my opinion.
     
  3. mark

    mark Member

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    What do you mean by natural integrity of the film? I've shot delta for years.
     
  4. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Where the manufacturer is not trying to orientate the grains in on e direction.
     
  5. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I have to say, Clive, that you operate in strange ways sometimes. Not necessarily a bad thing (I like those that think differently), but this one I'm confused by.

    Delta 100 and FP4+ look pretty similar in a print, actually, and at 8x10 size I don't think most people could tell a difference. When you print large, Delta 100 is sharper and finer grained, and when you expose film at night, Delta 100 has less reciprocity failure. The two films are a lot more similar than they are different.
     
  6. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Thomas, you must remember that I am a purist who likes grains to be in the emulsion at whatever orientation they are laid down. The concept of tabular grain technology is fine, but I don't believe that all grains can be orientated in the same direction, thus destroying the integrity of the concept. But then I am probably slightly mad.
     
  7. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    So much better than 'normal' or 'bland'. :smile: And I'm like you about the grain. Tri-X is my favorite flavor.
     
  8. mark

    mark Member

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    Good god I HATE grain. I refuse to shoot Kodak for anything to be enlarged because of it, but with an 8x10 neg contact printing I should not see the grain, or does FP4 have boulder sized grain like Tri-x?.
     
  9. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Tri-X does not have boulder sized grain. What are you talking about? Kodak also happen to make some of the most grain free emulsions out there. Compare Tri-X to HP5+ or Delta 400, or Foma 400 for that matter and compare. Or better yet TMax 400, which has finer grain than FP4.
    Then take TMax 100 and compare to any Ilford film and you'll see that your analysis is right out the window.

    If you contact print 8x10 film, then grain should not be a concern no matter what film you use that's available in that format. You will NOT see grain. If you enlarge 4x5 film, Delta 100 is finer grained than FP4+. But not as fine grained as Fuji Acros or TMax 100.
     
  10. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    The manufacturer has nothing to do with a specific grain size, as all manufactures produce films at different speeds. FP4+ has a box speed of 125 ISO and TRI-X is 400. So FP4+ should have finer grain.
     
  11. Harry Lime

    Harry Lime Member

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    If you despise grain, then why shoot film?

    And I mean that in a sincere way.
     
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  12. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    If you hate grain stick with T-grain films, Delta, Acros, T-Max, etc.

    Data sheets show FP4+ also has a big shoulder, while most other films are straight lined after the toe (according to the sheets).

    In 8x10, you're not going to notice it that much anyway. So FP4+, or even Shanghai GP3 is going to be fine.

    If cost and grain are both issues, why not go back down to 4x5 T-grain films?
     
  13. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    While it is possible to make the generality that faster films have a larger RMS granularity than slower films. One cannot make a similar statement that all films of the same speed have the same granularity. Older style films from second tier manufacturers are granier than the same speed films from Kodak, Ilford, and Fuji.
     
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  15. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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  16. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I have used both in MF. I like both and they both seem to expand a contract well.

    It may simply be luck or the stars aligning or how I hold my mouth, but FP4 just seems to work easier/more reliably for me.

    Heck for all I know though the next time I try Delta 100 it may finally click.
     
  17. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    In terms of tonality and flexibility, they are very similar - unless OP is using a Pyro developer such as WD2D or PMK, in which case Delta 100 will lose a lot of speed compared with FP4+. While Delta is finer grained than FP4+, since OP is talking about contact prints from 8x10 negatives, grain, resolution and sharpness are non-issues. Delta has better reciprocity characteristics than FP4+ which may be of some value to OP in 8x10 if long exposures are anticipated.

    As an aside to OP (Mark), if you use small or medium formats and you hate grain, do not rule Kodak out since TMX is the finest grained general purpose film around. It is noticeably finer grained than Delta 100 (Fuji's Acros falls in between), finer grained than Pan F+ etc.

    As for the purist vs tabular issue, it will probably disappoint some people to learn that the films they consider "traditional grained" such as FP4+, Plus-X, HP5+ and Tri-X are not as traditional as they once were. The current versions of these films are more like hybrids of traditional and tabular technology. Perhaps "semi-tabular" would be a more accurate description.
     
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  18. dsmccrac

    dsmccrac Member

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    Back in the day when the tabular films first came out, I was told that you only really benefit from them when they are matched with a developer designed for them, otherwise they behave like the more traditional films. Given the response in this thread has been quite, ahem, diverse, I might get a bit of a wide ranging response :smile: but I would b most interested in hearing from the tab-fans.
     
  19. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    ...it will also depend on which developer you use. Since every person who has replied likely uses different agitation methods, developer type, concentration, temperature and container types, the results will vary. My experience with Delta 100 has been favorable for fine-art prints and portraiture, but I don't like it for general use or street photography because with my methods, way of shooting, developing techniques, etc. shadow detail has fallen off the map and the highlights hit too vibrantly and my mid-tones get lost in shadows.

    But since we're talking about 8x10 contact prints...you'll notice nothing in difference in terms of grain -believe me. I can't see grain in fp4 or delta with a 35mm neg blown up to 8x10 to the point where I have to try to focus with a grain focuser until my back hurts trying to find any of the stuff. I'll give you one of my kidneys if you can prove otherwise.

    ...really what it should boil down to is characteristics, not grain, which is what you were kind of originally asking. And I would say that FP4 has a more classic look with a longer range of midtones and better controlled highlights, where Delta 100 has a more "digital" feel to it, where it's seemingly more crisp and sharp. I prefer FP4 for this reason, but that's just my opinion. Unfortunately, you'll likely have to buy a box of each and check it out for yourself.
     
  20. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    My developer of choice is DD-X and I still lean toward FP4 over Delta 100. In 400 speed films my preference is for Delta 400 over HP5.

    For all I know it may be the way I hold my mouth but I like Delta 100 better in WD2D+ than in DD-X so far.
     
  21. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    Are you shooting medium/large format or 35mm? If 35mm and you "hate grain" then I would most definitely go with Delta 100. As many have said, they are more similar than different. I shoot MF and much prefer FP4 which I still find extremely fine grain. I develop in FP4 in rodinal frequently to bring out its grain and amazing sharpness. But if I were shooting 35mm I may not do so.
     
  22. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    If you hate grain, why not use something like XP2?
     
  23. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Well for one thing the OP indicated he's using 8x10 film. XP 2 isn't available in sheets.
     
  24. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    Hating grain is irrelevant if you are shooting 8x10 and contact printing. I'm not aware of any film that has grain big enough to see when un-enlarged. Even if you enlarge 8x10 you won't enlarge it very much unless you are making huge, mural sized prints, so grain is still unlikely to be a factor.
     
  25. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    if i remember correctly ,i had a range from n-2 to n+2in d76 1+1 with fp4. it is a well baanced traditiobal emulsionif rated at EI64
     
  26. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Tab fan here. Don't get me wrong, FP4 is a beautiful film. As I said in my earlier post, Delta 100 and FP4 are very similar in tonality. It is also true that Delta 100 has every bit as long an exposure range as FP4 and then some. It also handles minus development very well. It will function beautifully in most any general purpose, well formulated developer. The exceptions in my testing are Pyro developers, in which I find Delta loses too much speed compared with FP4+.

    It should be noted of the big three medium speed tabulars (Delta 100, TMX, Acros), Delta is the least "tabular" and is also the grainiest of the three. The TMax films are significantly finer grained. In fact the current version of TMax 400 is about equal to Delta 100 in terms of graininess. The TMax films have gotten a bad rap in my opinion. One look at John Sexton's prints and I knew the anti-tab thing was nonsense. Everyone has their own preferences though.