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View Full Version : Ilford Delta 3200 ASA Grain Question



A_M_Johnson
03-16-2010, 08:42 PM
I bought three rolls of Ilford Delta 3200 135 for a hotel room shoot today. I am not going to be bringing my monolights so the only light besides natural light from the windows will be a snoot or a beauty dish, if that. I'm shooting a model that's used to not holding poses so a faster film will definitely help.

My problem is that when I bought the film, the guy selling it to me said "Oh you don't mind the large grain, huh?"

My understanding was that this film had a very nice small grain, considering it is 3200. Do you think shooting this indoors like this will yield decent quality images? Also, would a red filter add to or hurt the film, ie is it already contrasty enough?

2F/2F
03-16-2010, 08:48 PM
It is a low-contrast, grainy film, that is ISO 1000 speed. The longer the developing time, the higher the amount of contrast and the higher the amount of grain.

It is visibly high in grain, no matter what. The Delta grain pattern simply makes the character of the grain very different from a random grain pattern, like one on HP5 or FP4. The grain is very neat (you might say "gridlike") and "washed over" looking, and sharp, not clumpy, random, and soft.

The way to make the grain less noticeable on the print is to enlarge less. One good way to do this is to use the film in medium format.

The important thing to remember is that it is ISO 1000. For standard exposure, set your light meter at 1000, and develop for normal contrast.

To get the least grain possible out of it, make sure you do not overexpose or over develop your film. These two things jack up the grain mightily on any film.

IMHO: Embrace the grain. Use it, don't try to defeat it. If you do, with this film, you will be fighting a losing battle no matter what.

Tim Gray
03-16-2010, 09:27 PM
My understanding was that this film had a very nice small grain, considering it is 3200.

That might be true. But it's still going to be grainier than any other film that Kodak, Ilford, of Fuji currently offer. With the exception of T-Max 3200.

A_M_Johnson
03-16-2010, 10:37 PM
It kind of sounds like I need to do most of this shoot in Neopan with a roll of the Delta for fun, to see how I do with it. I like grainy at times, I thought the BW400CN I shot a few months ago was great for shooting a steam locomotive and some old buildings. So, the grain doesn't necessarily kill it for me, I just need to really think about what the picture will look like with the grain.

Tim Gray
03-16-2010, 10:54 PM
Embrace it. The 3200 speed films are wonderful. I like them at 1600.

David William White
03-16-2010, 11:47 PM
Shoot a roll first, indoors, preferably in the same environment. Develop, print, and see if it matches your expectations. It certainly has a look and character, but it's not in the same league as BW400CN. As 2F/2F and Tim suggest, downrating is definitely advisable. Consider a strobe or other auxilliary lighting, otherwise be prepared (and prepare your model) for artsy, grainy dreck. Please forgive my post if that is what you are going for.

A_M_Johnson
03-17-2010, 03:16 AM
"artsy, grainy dreck" can be great, blown up to a 16x24 picture. I'll take a roll out today and try it!

2F/2F
03-17-2010, 06:57 PM
"As 2F/2F and Tim suggest, downrating is definitely advisable."

I definitely did NOT suggest downrating the film. (In fact, I specifically advised against it by saying not to overexpose it.) With this film, any EI over 1000 is uprating it, and any EI below 1000 is downrating it. What I said was to rate it at 1000 if you want normal exposure.

A_M_Johnson
03-17-2010, 07:05 PM
I ended up shooting a roll at 1250 this morning. I shot some outdoors and some indoors, mostly with a red filter and a couple with a 1/2 ND outside for the sun angle. I was concerned about the film being muddy but I think I'm OK.

I mostly shot statues at Caesars Palace. (What was running through my head: These chicks pose like stone statues!)

Tom at Casey's, where I take my film ATM, will have it back Friday.

arealitystudios
03-17-2010, 07:14 PM
IMHO: Embrace the grain. Use it, don't try to defeat it. If you do, with this film, you will be fighting a losing battle no matter what.

Very well said.

I think a lot of people when using Delta 3200 have this initial freak out moment when they realize how grainy it can be but then calm down when they realize it is quite beautiful. It's certainly a different sort of grain from what one sees in lots of other films.

A_M_Johnson
03-20-2010, 12:55 PM
The negatives came out stellar at 1250 and some pull for about 35 seconds IIRC. The Noritsu is broken so I'll have to wait a few days for the CD. I am kind of concerned about the overall grain though. I shot a roll of Neopan 1600 a week or so ago at a nature preserve that I thought was really grainy so we'll see how much more grainy this Delta is.

To continue the fun, I think I'm going to reshoot the Delta at 1600 and see what the difference is. I'll also get the specs from Tom and see what he is using to develop the film with.

I am really interested how this all shakes out. I know what I really need to do is get my own darkroom going and also relearn what I forgot over the years. I feel like I'm an archeologist on some sort of journey of uncovering ancient truths. :) This is definitely fun!

Michael Erb
06-27-2010, 10:01 PM
I am really interested how this all shakes out. I know what I really need to do is get my own darkroom going and also relearn what I forgot over the years. I feel like I'm an archeologist on some sort of journey of uncovering ancient truths. :) This is definitely fun!

I can't tell you how excited I am for you! I get the same feeling too! It's what I love about analog photography! Regardless of how the results turn out I'm glad you are enjoying the adventure!

P.S. I would love to know the outcome of your comparison of Neopan 1600 and the Delta 3200. I am trying to decide which one to shoot at a wedding.