Ilford DELTA 3200 Film (35mm) - Your views?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by ted_smith, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. ted_smith

    ted_smith Member

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    Lots of threads regarding processing of this film, but not so many that I could find discussing the merits of it.

    I have just ordered a roll for photographing Police Dogs next week - I wanted to use B&W film and I imagine a grainy(ish) look will look good if I get the shots I hope for.

    I foolishly ordered ILFORD DELTA 3200 35mm thinking it was ISO 3200 but having read a thread here I've learned it is actually ISO1000. Is that true, firstly, and from peoples' experiences, what is the best ISO to rate it at for outdoor daytime shots, but potentially overcast - I need fast shutters of around 1/500th, which is partly why I bought it. Other B&W film in my arsenal are Fuji Neopan 1600 and 400CN which I believe are actually ISO1600 and ISO400?

    As I am a luddite at developing film at the moment, in all liklihood it will be sent off to 'The Darkroom' here in the UK for development, if that helps answer my question.

    Secondly, is it a good film?

    Cheers

    Ted
     
  2. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    I rate it 1600 in daylight, processed in undiluted Xtol. It is a very nice film. However, I'm not sure, for low-light situations, it offers much over Tri-X in Diafine or 400TMY-2 pushed in Xtol. For this reason, and out of a desire to simplify my film inventory, I've stopped using it.

    An ISO 400 film, with overcast skies ("cloudy bright, no shadows"?) should get you 1/250 at f/8, or 1/1000 at f/4. So rating Delta 3200 at EI 1600, you should get 1/1000 at f/8 or thereabouts. Should do the job for you.
     
  3. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    It is an ASA 1000 film that is designed to be push processed. As such, if developed in a large tank in D76 at the a fixed time as they most often do at large B+W labs it will come back as ASA 1000. You must extend the times and "push" the film to make it act like 3200 or 6400. If they do different developments for all films then you might be in luck, otherwise expose it at 1000 or 800.
     
  4. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    The grain on this film has a wide latitude of expression, from "poofy" in solvent developers to "golf balls" in Rodinal. PMK looks a lot like Rodinal but the stain helps mask it.

    I don't keep it in stock, but when I used it I thought Ilford DDX made this resemble the finer grain of a ASA400 film.

    Whatever lab you are taking that too, they should be well-versed in processing a common UK film.
     
  5. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

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  6. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I would just rate it at its actual ISO of 800-1000 and develop to suit the contrast in which you shot. Never mind the concept of "rerating" if you have the luxury of metering and/or shooting in decent light. You will get about '500 at f/4.0 or f/5.6 on a shady day.
     
  7. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Ted, there are very few almost universally agreed upon "maxims" here on APUG but one which almost qualifies for that accolade is D3200 processed in DDX but at the time for the next speed up. So at EI1600 process for the time allotted to 3200 in the Ilford dev time. Even on a very dull winter's day in the U.K. you should get 1/500th at EI1600 provided that the shoot doesn't stretch beyond mid afternoon. Unfortunately at this time of year, light loss accelerates almost exponentially in that last hour of daylight.

    I found DDX to give me a lot less grain than ID11.

    pentaxuser
     
  8. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I really like the tones of this film.
     
  9. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    I have only used it a few times in daylight conditions. My thinking was that it was mostly an ISO 400 film, so I tried it at that and was very happy with the results. The main choice of developer that I have found to work best is Ilfotec DDX. Usually I shoot this film at ISO 3200, and sometimes ISO 6400, for low light and night imaging.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat Photography
     
  10. rossawilson1

    rossawilson1 Member

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    I rate it at ISO 3200, I've never got the second guessing the manufactures ISO rating thing.. works great.. looks beautiful!
     
  11. ted_smith

    ted_smith Member

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    Right, OK, now I'm confused....

    Is it ISO 3200 film, or is it ISO 1000 film? Whilst I realise that you can shoot films at ISO speeds that vary from it's standard norm, I don't want to take any risks with this shoot. So if the manufacturer rates it at ISO3200, I think I'll shoot it at that. But if it's actually ISO 1000, then I'll shoot it at that.

    I am thankful for all the answers above, but I want to know the 'safe' ISO value to use - one that I know I'll correct (enough) exposures. Is it 3200, 1600, 1000 or something else? The setting on the box says 3200.

    Ted
     
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Ted,

    You should really read the data sheet, and/or the plethora of other recent posts about this film. It is not confusing. It is a 1000 film in the same way that HP5 is a 400 film and FP4 is a 125 film. Simple.

    It is an ISO 1000 film no matter what you rate it at. A film only has one ISO. Anything else is simply a "lie" to your meter for purposes of calibration/compensation, making a blanket under or over exposure, and/or to be able to get a light reading, and is called an EI. Rating the film at 3200 is exactly the same thing as rating an ISO 400 film at EI 1250 or rating an ISO 125 film at EI 400. It underexposes the film across the board, plain and simple.

    Regardless of what EI you use, ISO is unaffected. You can have minor increases in density in your shadows with extended development, but it is really only an increase in fog anyhow, which raises shadow tone in the print, but does not add shadow detail.

    The reason the film pushes well is not magic. It simply handles underexposure well because of its inherently low contrast (due to being a fast film), therefore it does not lose shadow detail upon underexposure as much as slower films do. Because of this, it is not the film to use if you want deep pools of black in your print. If you want that, I would rate it higher than 4,000 at the least.
     
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  13. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    It's a 1000 ISO film that has good push capability. It can be safely pushed to 1600 with very good results. Most people will probably say that it's nice at 3200, while some others will dislike it. Push processing is a compromise anyway, so what matters is how much you can sacrifice. If a lot, 6400 might be ok for some applications.
     
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  15. rossawilson1

    rossawilson1 Member

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    If you set it to either ISO3200 or ISO1000 and expose as normal then develop as instructed you'll get a picture either way. The film won't fail at either setting but it will look different in terms of grain and contrast. Obviously you'll get less grain and more detail using the lower ISO1000 setting but that doesn't matter a jot if you can't get enough light to expose it in the first place, in which case use ISO3200. Better to have grain and a picture than no grain and no picture.

    I don't know what you're using it for but I use it at night in cities without a tripod. It gives me a workable shutter speed and aperture and I love the quality of the images it produces. I wouldn't otherwise be able to get these pictures if I rated it lower.. If I could though, I would.
     
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  16. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    ISO rating: 1,000

    Recommended EI (exposure index) - whatever you like between 800 and 25,000. More than 6,400 is challenging in obtaining usable negatives.

    I use it at EI 3200 and process either in HC-110 dil B or Ilfotec DD-X according to Ilford's instructions for developing as if the film was exposed at EI 6400.

    It's an awesome film with stunning tonal reproduction and grain. Next roll I shoot will be developed with Rodinal, so for that purpose I've lowered my EI to 1,600 since Rodinal isn't exactly a speed enhancing developer.

    Attached file is from a medium format 645 neg, developed in Ilfotec DD-X, shot at EI 3,200, developed according to Ilford's instructions for EI 6,400. Then printed on Fotokemika Emaks Grade 2 paper using Weston's amidol developer. It doesn't show here, but there's detail in 95% of the shadow areas of this print.

    Good luck.

    - Thomas
     

    Attached Files:

  17. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    What they said. You're asking for a single ironclad answer when there isn't one. You should find out what developer your lab is going to use--likely Xtol or D76. If it is one of those, or another than maintains decent film speed, you're set.

    Pick an EI to shoot at (I've gotten great results with this film at EI 1600 with Xtol straight; but you'll get good results from 1000 to 1600) and MAKE SOME TESTS. Surely you aren't going to shoot an important job with a film you've never used before, right?
     
  18. ted_smith

    ted_smith Member

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    Well, yes and no. It's not a paying shoot, butI'm not sure if I'll get a second chance. I have loads of Fuji Neopan 1600NC that I intend to use, but I have two rolls of Delta 3200 too that I bought in case I run out of the Neopan.

    Also, I think I was getting myself confused with ISO speeds and EI's. I wasn't sure what people meant when they say "EI1600" etc but having read http://photo.net/leica-rangefinders-forum/009Wt3 I realise the EI is a chosen deviation from the ISO.
     
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  19. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    EI means exposure index. It has nothing to do with any physical properties of your film (ISO being one of these properties). You could "rate" your film at EI 47 billion and it would not change the actual sensitivity of the film to light (ISO). "Rate" means simply to use an EI. It might be the same as the ISO, and it might not be. It really doesn't matter because an EI is not a physical property of anything. An EI is simply what you use to figure exposure; a required input into the exposure calculation, either in your head or on a light meter. To figure exposure based on a known level of light (EV for exposure value), you need to know three factors: f stop, shutter speed, and EI. Your EI is what you tell your meter, and your ISO is what your film actually is.

    EI is to be tweaked an fiddled with at will in order to give you predictable results, a reading in low light, and/or special effects.

    One reason to use an EI that does not match the ISO is if you have done tests to determine that for your shooting and developing parameters, using the same EI as the ISO is giving you more or less shadow density than you want (usually less, though sometimes more, which usually means a slow shutter).

    Another reason would be to be amplify your meter's signal so that you can get an EV reading in low light conditions (*any* reading at all versus no reading). You could then adjust that reading back down to your working EI, or just underexpose to match that EV at the desired shutter/aperture settings. I used to do this all the time with my Canon FD 12% center patch meters before I got my spot meter. I would set the meter to max EI just to get any reading, then I would take that reading and adjust it down to what it would be for whatever speed film I was actually using.

    Yet another reason would be if you wanted to make a blanket over or under exposure through the whole roll, either out of necessity to shoot hand held, or to achieve some special effect that you want, such as high or low contrast, high grain, etc. This last one is known as EC, or exposure compensation.

    SO, you have EV, EI, and EC to confuse you more!

    In review:

    1. EV (exposure value)- an amount of light read by a meter
    2. EI (exposure index) - what you tell your meter so it can give you a set of equivalent exposures for a certain EV
    3. EC (exposure compensation) - lying to your meter in order to make a blanket over or under exposure

    In a practical sense, I would save the Delta for another time, and shoot all the same film for your shoot, for sake of consistency.
     
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  20. ted_smith

    ted_smith Member

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    2F2F - thanks ever so much for taking the time to write all that. It is much appreciated and makes a lot o sense.
     
  21. wogster

    wogster Member

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    ISO is a massively huge set of international standards, for film speed, the ISO speed rating means that when exposed at the number provided, using the specified subject matter and processed according to the specified processing methods and in the specified chemistries for the specified time, at the specified temperature. You will get a negative, that when measured using the specified methods you get a result within a specified range, The manufacturer must keep strict documentation of all of this.

    As others have said, Delta 3200 has an ISO of 1000, but is easily pushed, following Ilford's instructions to 3200, doesn't mean that it falls within the range specified by ISO, but lots of people push and pull films, use different chemistries, temperatures and times and get good looking results when printed using their own methods. The real key to predictable results, is to be consistent in processing.
     
  22. Harry Lime

    Harry Lime Member

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    I've shot hundreds of rolls of D3200 and IMO it is the best of the three highspeed films (Tmax P3200, Delta3200, Neopan1600) and far superior to pushing Tri-X or any of the other slower films. Grain is tight and the tonality is outstanding. When shot at speeds up to 1200 - 1600 it is very forgiving, as there is a huge amount of range in this film.

    Delta3200:
    True speed is around 1000-1200asa
    Pushes to 1600 with no problems. 3200 is very useable, but shadows start to get dense.
    I've shot it as low as 400asa for a very special look.
    It's low contrast film, making it ideal for shooting in the dark and preserving shadow detail.
    Grain is quite fine and attractive in appearance.
    The only highspeed B/W emulsion in 120 size.
    In my experience it works best in DD-X, but I've also used XTOL and Diafine.

    TMAX P3200:
    True speed is around 1000-1200asa
    A more gritty look than Delta3200, contrast is higher and the grain is larger.
    A very good film and a lot cheaper than Delta3200.
    Does not come in 120 size.
    Apparently this film works best with the TMAX developer. Kodak claims that it will give more shadow detail than even Xtol.

    Neopan1600
    True speed is about 640asa.
    Very fine grain, but contrast is on the high side @ 1600 and shadows become very dense, when there is no ambient light. I like to use this film on overcast days, where it gives flat lighting a little kick.
    Does not come in 120.
    I've developed it in DD-X with good results, but am curious about trying Tmax developer, because of the extra push in the shadows it's supposed to give.

    I've found Ilford DD-X and Delta3200 to be a perfect combination. This is one of the few things most people on this list agree on. Ilford has even said that the two were designed with each other in mind.

    The biggest problem with Delta3200 is the price, which recently here in the UK went up to about 6 GBP a roll, making it twice as expensive over the counter as Tmax3200. I've spoken about this to a few of my dealers and they say that this increase has had quite a negative impact on sales. I hope this move does not kill Delta3200, but I've had to switch to Tmax3200, because of this. I shoot about 20-40 rolls a month and would go bankrupt shooting Delta3200.
     
  23. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    That's the theory. In practice Ilford state they use practical test rather than strict ISO testing when they make recommendations for EI & developing times. Kodak & Ilford use the ASA/BS standard for testing film speed which is why Ilford state the ISO speed for Delta 3200 as ISO 1000.

    The DIN standard testing was used by Agfa and is a more accurate method of testing B&W film speed, and is based on a more practical testing criteria. This is the reason most serious B&W workers used Agfa B&W films at their box speed, while would used a significantly lower EI for T-max films and slightly lower forIlford to achieve similar tonality. As the DIN system is also a recognised ISO standard the Agfa speeds are equally as valid. If Tmax films were tested using the DIN methods they probably wouldn't be the same Box speed.

    Ilford acknowledge the failings of the official ISO - ASA/BS testing methods by stating "It should be noted that the exposure index (EI) range recommended for DELTA 400 Professional is based on a practical evaluation of film speed and is not based on foot speed, as is the ISO standard."

    Delta 3200 is designed & optimised to give good tonality (contrast), sharpness, and grain when used at 3200. In this respect it's very similar to the specialist push process E6 films once made by Kodak & Fuji which while technically 400 ISO emulsions were designed to give good tonality and contrast when used around 1600 ISO

    Ian
     
  24. Brian Jeffery

    Brian Jeffery Member

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    Well if you purchase from Silverprint they will give you 30% discount when you buy 10 or more films resulting in a price of £4.07 per film :smile:


    I'm a big fan of Delta 3200, especially in Medium format. I rate the film at 1250 and develop it in Microphen and I find that I don't lose shadow detail. Neopan 1600 on the other hand I found to be very contrasty and totally lacking in shadow detail when rated at the same speed.


    Brian
     
  25. Harry Lime

    Harry Lime Member

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    I saw that offer the last time I was down there getting some chemicals.

    The problem is that a local Calumet store is selling TMAX P3200 for about £2.50 per roll. I got a whole brick (10) for around £26.

    I could try 7dayshop online, but they don't always have D3200 in stock and there are shipping costs. Sometimes I simply need the film asap and then going to a store can't be beat.

    Regardless I think Ilford has a problem on their hands. IMO Delta3200 is one of the best b/w films ever made, but they are running the risk of pricing it out of the market, except for those who only shoot an occasional roll of it. In bulk it's pretty expensive, unless you can offset the cost some how.

    HL
     
  26. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I agree about the cost. Here in Minneapolis I pay $8.69 per 35mm roll at National Camera Exchange, and $5.50 per 120 roll.

    I shoot so little of it that it hardly matters. At Freestyle they sell the 35mm for about $6.50 and the 120 roll for about $4.50. Still spendy, but if I'm ordering other things too, it's worth getting a few rolls here and there.

    I love the stuff, and if I start getting heavier into portraiture and figure studies, I'll start shooting more of it, and it will hurt my budget pretty severely.

    - Thomas