In praise of Delta 3200

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Harry Lime, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. Harry Lime

    Harry Lime Member

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    I have been shooting Delta 3200 as my standard high speed film for the past few years and just wanted to comment on how good it is.

    Personally I think it is the best of the three major high speed films; the other two being TMY3200 and Neopan 1600. It seems to strike the best balance between grain and tonality of the group.

    Grain is present, but it is pleasant to the eye and not intrusive. Some how it reminds me a little of Tri-X in that sense. The grain is there, but you don't mind it. TMY can be very course and while Neopan probably has the finest grain of the three, I find it has too much contrast @1600.

    In my experience Delta3200 delivers the best tonality of the group. It is a rather low contrast film and when rated at 1600 and developed in DD-X does a beautiful job of holding on to shadow detail. In this area think it is better than Neopan 1600. Quite often I shoot Delta 3200 in daylight to take advantage of its low contrast and great tonality. You can make beautiful long scale prints from these negatives.


    I rate Delta3200 @1600 and develop it in Ilford DD-X, which is a great combination.

    The icing on the cake is that Delta3200 is available in 120 rolls, which neither of the other two emulsions are.

    The increased negative size goes a long way to reduce the relative size of the grain and the tonality is superb. Delta3200 in a Rolleiflex 2.8/80 with a single coated lens is a brilliant combination.

    Anyhow, I bring this up after going through a huge batch of scanning and looking at hundreds of negatives.

    So, thank you very much Ilford.
     
  2. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    A much favoured combo. You're in good company here. Roger Hicks is an advocate of this and he certainly tells it like he sees it. I intend giving this combo a go now that I have DDX but I was pleasantly surprised at the grain free effect of D3200 at box speed in stock Perceptol. 5x7 prints from this were in a different league compared to using ID11 in my opinion.

    pentaxuser
     
  3. fred

    fred Member

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    harry, maybe you canpost some results please?
    And what is your developement time please??
     
  4. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Mind you, I have not tried all three and compared. I've only shot TMZ and just shoot and process, nothing overly critical.

    What I find really interesting is one person says Ilford 3200 is grainy and/or contrasty compared to TMZ, then someone else pipes up saying the exact opposite. I should pick up a fresh roll of both at some point and do a comparison for myself.
     
  5. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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  6. Cheryl Jacobs

    Cheryl Jacobs Member

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    Harry, I agree with you totally. I love Delta 3200, particularly in medium format. Very reliable, and the grain is pleasing rather than distracting.

    I posted an image yesterday made with Delta 3200 @ 6400 (souped in Tmax dev) for increased grain and contrast. It looks wonderful as a 30" print.

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=30090&cat=2

    - CJ
     
  7. 3Dfan

    3Dfan Member

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    Those are some nice shots.
     
  8. Pim Warnars

    Pim Warnars Member

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    I have been in love with d3200 for a while now, my combo is d3200@1600 or 1200 in x-tol 1+1 but I'm gonna run some tests with pmk. The only thing I would love to see is d3200 in 4"x5" format.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2007
  9. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    Have you tried pushing 120 Neopan 400 to 1600 Harry? I'm trying to decide on a high speed film. I was always a fan of Neopan 1600 in 35mm.
     
  10. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Very nice images to those who posted!
     
  11. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    Neopan 400 in XTOL is excellent. D3200 in 120 is a godsend [developed in DDX, Celer-Mono or PCAT]-still experimenting!
     
  12. Harry Lime

    Harry Lime Member

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    If I run out of D3200 I push Tri-X as high as 1600 in DD-X. Not bad at all, but it has a lot more contrast than D3200. Therefore I tend to shoot Tri-X @ 1600 only on heavily overcast days, not at night. Any amount of daylight prevents the shadows from going black.

    I thought about trying Neopan 1600 at 800 or 1200 to keep the contrast down. But I need to hit 1600 here in gloomy London to be able to shoot on the street at f16@1/125th. So, that would make it a day film.

    I think the real speed of Neopan1600 is around 640asa. According to Ilford D3200 clocks in around 1200, as does TMY3200.

    HL
     
  13. Harry Lime

    Harry Lime Member

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    I develop D3200 @ 1600 in DD-X for 9 min. This is a minute more than Ilford advises. I found this to add a little kick to the neg, which otherwise can come out flat as a pancake. Of course this all depends on your water, agitation etc.

    I use DD-X at 1:4, which along with the cost of D3200, is slowly driving me into bankruptcy. ;-)
    I would try it at 1:9, but I'm worried that I'll end up with too much grain.

    I've been a DD-X man for the past 5 years or so. Use it for D3200 and Tri-X, regardless of the asa.

    I'm toying with the idea of trying Xtol, again. I gave it a shot a few years ago and had some problems, but in hindsight realize that I screwed up the mixing.
     
  14. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I personally have had a great time using XTOL with TMZ and TX. Just pour the 5 L mix into either 5 1L bottles or 10 .5 L bottles. No hassle.
     
  15. fred

    fred Member

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    good results!!
     
  16. zenrhino

    zenrhino Member

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    Dennis, those are really tasty shots.
     
  17. fred

    fred Member

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    thanks a lot Harry
     
  18. Shawn Mielke

    Shawn Mielke Member

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    I shoot 35mm and while I am huge fan of Neopan 1600 I have shot my fair share of Delta3200 and agree that it is a lovely film. Grain is more of a consideration for my smaller negatives, and contrast, in addition to being a stylistic norm for the way I often like to see things, allows my larger print sizes to be percieved as sharper, especially considering that I frequently shoot handheld. All of which is to say that Neopan is more commonly used be me and my needs, but the 3200 excels at things like portraiture and medium shot candids. A wonderful film.
     
  19. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Dear Harry,

    Thanks for the nice report on DELTA 3200 : I have to say your shots look fabulous :

    As I have reported before its my absolute film of choice ( at the moment ) and I love the
    grain, devved in whatever is in one of the the darkrooms when I sneak in lunchtime.

    Regards

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
     
  20. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    Simon, that is a good first step. How do we get you to shoot large format only :wink:


    jan
     
  21. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Dear Jan

    I am tempted...honestly...always fancied a nice Linhof to go with the Leica and PENTAX 6x7...and of course I am in the very fortuanate position that I probably pay a lot less for my film than you do...

    Simon : ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
     
  22. FilmIs4Ever

    FilmIs4Ever Restricted Access

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    There are definite advantages to owning your own film manufacturer :smile:

    Although I don't use much D3200, I have to say I appreciate Ilford's manufacture of the stock in MF as well as 35mm. I probably wouldn't bother shooting MF for photojournalism, who the hell else besides me still uses film for newsprint anyway, but certainly for other low-light applications it is important to be able to still get relatively fine-grain for the speed, so the high speed stocks are the most important ones to have available in larger formats in my opinion.

    Kodak, on the other hand, stubbornly refuses to make T-Max 3200 in MF, and recently cut out it's Ultra Color neg films from the MF arsenal as well, citing something about a different film base. Now that they have inexplicably improved their T-Max 400 film, they make no changes to their 100 or P3200 T-Maxes. Baffling. . .

    Ilford Harman is doing something that Kodak seems incapable of doing, LISTENING to its customers, and I congratulate you for it. You really have the nicest, most diverse line of products available in B&W today. Some of them probably don't make very much money at all, but you continue to make them because they are a part of a whole, and each one provides something that no other film can offer.

    Now, if you really want to make some people happy, come out with a Delta-II line to compete with T-Max400-2.
     
  23. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    Better go with something larger like 8x10 and then have some Delta 3200 made to fit :smile:


    jan
     
  24. Harry Lime

    Harry Lime Member

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    Hello Simon -

    Thanks again for such a great film.

    I think you may have gotten my post mixed up with that of dpurdy (#5).

    I hadn't posted any images so far, but you can see some of my work here:

    www.elanphotos.com

    Everything on my site is either Tri-X or D3200. If it's dark or heavily overcast it was probably shot with D3200.

    I am currently working on a long term project on London. It consists primarily of street photography, but also contains some location shots etc. A sample of this work is on my site under 'London in Passing'. I'm keeping the rest under wraps until it is completed.

    Delta 3200 is key to this essay, due to the low light conditions I encounter even during the day in the London fall and winter. For street photography I need to be able to shoot at f16 with a minimum of 1/125th to ensure that my subjects are in focus and motion is frozen.

    So, my choice was to push Tri-X to 1600 (which brings up contrast and grain up) or use D3200. Obviously D3200 delivers a much better negative under these circumstances. Grain is very reasonable, but more important is the low contrast of the emulsion, which appears to prevent the shadows and highlights from blocking up. Of course it also helps that the base speed of D3200 is 1000-1200 asa, so to get to 1600 you are only pushing about a half stop. In documentary photography that almost doesn't register as an exposure error.

    I love Tri-X, but under these circumstances I don't think you can equal the performance of D3200 with a traditional emulsion.

    Anyhow, it's great stuff and I'm glad to have it. A few years ago, before the restructuring at Ilford I was in something of a panic, because I feared the loss of D3200. That would have been a disaster, but luckily everything worked out in the end.

    thanks,

    HL
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2007
  25. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    one of my all time favourite fast films too. especially in MF.

    I am strange.. but I always expose as 12.500iso and develop in Rodinal.
    that is a great film for my Diana images.

    fantastic film!
     

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