Film rating dilemma: suggestions from Delta 400 shooters.

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by batwister, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. batwister

    batwister Member

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    I've been offered a trip to Scotland out of the blue tomorrow and the only film I have in the fridge is Delta 400, which I haven't tested yet.

    I've only shot Delta 100 in the past, which I rate at ISO 50. I know Ilford are very consistent, but would it be foolish to rate Delta 400 at 200 with this in mind?
    Should I go one step further and rate it 100? Does anyone else shoot both films, and what speed do you rate each? I'd like to get some relatively well exposed images on this trip.
     
  2. robbalbrecht

    robbalbrecht Member

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    I've had good luck just rating it at 400. I guess that's not really helpful though.
    How does your Delta 100 come out when you shoot it at 50? Just curious.
     
  3. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    I've been using Delta 400 (120) for many years @400 ISO and have been very pleased with the results. I develop in ID11 either full strength or 1:1 and at times adjusting the dev. time for contrast but usually at Ilford's suggested time/temperature. I would stick to their recommendations until you have time to test what might work best in your hands.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  4. batwister

    batwister Member

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    Properly exposed, full shadow detail. I'm a bit of a zone system slave you see, so I've calibrated Delta 100 to my light meter. Haven't done this with Delta 400 yet.
     
  5. robbalbrecht

    robbalbrecht Member

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    Hmm. I may have to give that a try.
     
  6. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Delta 400 is a little 'awkward' in the highlights; not sure how to exactly put my finger on it. If you use the film at EI 200 instead of its ISO rating of 400, all you do is push the entire tone curve up toward those awkward highlights.

    To try to explain; even when using compensating style development, by slowing down agitation, which compresses the highlights, and shot at box speed, I often find myself burning a lot of highlights with Delta 400. I have not had that happen with Delta 100, which has highlights that seem to have a very linear response to exposure. In the right hands I'm sure Delta 400 is just fabulous and gives amazing results; all I'm saying is I'm having a bit of a hard time with it. I've used it with Rodinal, DK50, and replenished Xtol. Even after adjusting for high contrast by shortening the development time appropriately, and slowing down agitation, I just don't like how the highlights print. It could be a matter of taste, but it's as though there is a normal tone scale until I get to the very brightest highlights, and they block up.

    If I were you I think I would start using it at its rated speed. Then, after your trip, purchase another roll of Delta 400 and shoot that at 400 as well. Then develop your test roll first, to see if you need to make any adjustments before you develop your important film. Good luck!
     
  7. batwister

    batwister Member

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    Thanks very much. I'd heard similar things about the highlights. Box speed it is then.
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I use quite a bit of Delta 400 and would suggest you rate it at 320 EI that will be a better natch to your Delta 100 @ 50EI

    Ian
     
  9. R.Gould

    R.Gould Member

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    I have used both Delta 400 and HP5+ and with both of the Ilford 400 films I find they are better at 320 than 400, better shadow detail and better contrast
     
  10. Vincent Brady

    Vincent Brady Subscriber

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    I shoot it at box speed and develope it in stock ID11 and am generally happy with the results.
     
  11. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    If you are shooting static subjects, why not bracket one stop? I'm generally not a fan of bracketing, but in this case...
     
  12. David Allen

    David Allen Member

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    The only film I have used for the past 10 years is Delta 400 in a Mamiya 7 with 65mm lens with metering done with a Weston V.

    My EI for this film is 200. I develop it in Barry Thornton's Two-Bath developer for 5 minutes in each bath using inversion with a Paterson tank.

    I am very pleased with this film and, with my way of working, would not use the box speed. Back when I used to teach photography we always started with testing for EI and I found that this tended to be consistent across manufacturer/emulsion type. So if you find Delta 100 better with an EI of 50 then I would definitely recommend Delta 400 with an EI of 200.

    With regards to other posts, I have never found 'the highlights to be tricky' with Delta 400 but that is most likely because of using Thornton's developer.

    Of course it depends on what you like to shoot but, to give you some indication, every one of the images on my website was made with the above combination.

    Best,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
     
  13. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    When I tested these two films for speed (in my own processing conditions) they were about 2 stops apart. So I think you can expect good results with your equipment using a 200 EI with the Delta 400.