Any reccomendations for a good compensating developer (and procedure) for Delta 3200 rated at 3200? Perhaps a good stand developing technique? The developing agents/developers i have on hand are: Microdol X, Rodinal, metol, hydroquinone, pyro, and Tmax. I can buy something, but I'd rather use what I have on hand if possible. Thanks for any help!
I don't know why you would want a compensating developer for Delta 3200. The film has a pretty noticable shoulder in any developer. I'm usually fighting to get more contrast in the highlights to keep the prints from looking dull and lifeless.
I've read that Microdol X gives really nice results at EI 1000, I keep meaning to try it, but I'd expect shadow detail to be noticably less than Tmax at 3200. I'd expect extreme grain and lack of speed to be problems with pyro or Rodinal (Delta 3200 is plenty grainy as it is).
I've had the best results so far developing it in TmaxRS (I haven't tried regular Tmax, but would guess it to be similar). Of the things you mention, I'd go for Tmax, especially using it at 3200, as it should give you the best real speed. Compared to TmaxRS, Ilford DD-X or Microphen will give you similar speed, slightly larger grain and more "compensated" highlights if that's what you really want.
Among your listed materials the closest you have to a compensating developer (tho' I'm not familiar with pyro) is Rodinal. Since it's not a true speed developer I'd confine Delta 3200 to EI 1600 or slower for use with Rodinal - been there, done that.
Try Microphen. Even if you don't really want to add yet another developer it'll be worth your while if you plan to use either high speed film or push ISO 400 films. Great stuff, use a bunch of it, got lotsa great negs to show for it. Cheap too.
The stuff delivers a solid speed boost in the neighborhood of +1/3 to 1 full stop, depending on film, surprisingly fine grain and smooth midtone gradation and a real compensating effect. (I'm estimating this based on the appearance and printability of Zones III through VI.)
I prefer Microphen straight up, no rocks, no chaser, as stock solution. I'll reuse it up to 10 times. That's 10 rolls of 35mm, 120 or any combination thereof. If I combine two rolls into a single tank I'll count that as two uses.
I agitate at one minute intervals to enhance the compensating effect. Works for me. Unlike my experiments with stand processing in Rodinal I don't see any need for such unusual measures with Microphen.
As I recall Ed Buffaloe has listed some tested times for Delta 3200 on his site, tho' his times were for EI's of less than 3200. Others, tho', have listed alternatives with faster times:
In Microphen I'd go with the standard recommendation of 9 minutes, tho' erring on the side of overdevelopment has never hurt my negs with this developer. So 9-11 minutes should be fine.
Thanks for the advice! I the reason i wanted some compensating effect is that the lattter half of the roll has some pretty contrasty stuff, and I want to try my best not to blow out the highlights.
it would be hard to blow the highlights on Delta 3200. it reminds me of a true 800 speed tri-x (of course I rate tri-x at EI 200 max). It has a long gray scale, lots of shadow detail, but a little hard to get brilliant whites.
Ditto the other comments on Delta 3200's characteristics. The last thing I'd worry about with this film is blown highlights - if anything it tends to be a bit listless.
OTOH, tho', I just don't care for the film much in more conventional developers like ID-11/D-76. One reason I've grown to really appreciate Microphen is for its ability to wring snappy midtones out of almost any film despite its compensating effect. So controlled highlights won't necessarily translate into flat overall results.
BTW, Delta 3200 at EI 1600 in Diafine is great stuff too. Maybe a wee bit flat, tho' snappier than ID-11, Rodinal or Ilfosol-S. Grainy midtones, sure, but that's just the nature of the film. The grain might be appealing for the right kind of photos. But foolproof and dirt simple. It appears to be an honest EI 1600 in Diafine.
Just watch out you don't become a Diafine cultist like me. Once you're in you can't get out.
Delta 3200? ... The film is flat - I'd rather push HP5 and get better results - but that is just my experience. I always use D76 straight up for pushing.
DDX works v well. Also Speedibrews celer-mono 1+1-lovely tones.Microdol/Perceptol might give more speed and better shadow detail if diluted-you'll probably need to work at 24c to avoid REALLY long dev times.
Thanks for all the suggestions. I developed the current roll in T-Max Dev 1:4 for about 7 minutes at 75F. The results look pretty nice...not as flat as I expected, but I won't know for sure until I try to develop it. I have two more rolls of Delta 3200, and I imagine I'll try a different developer for each in order to see which I prefer the most. Probably the Microdol-X with one and divided D23 with the other. I'm not too concerned with grain since I know there's going to be a lot of it with this film. I just don't want it to overpower the image. My concern is the detail and tones that I can get out of it.
I've always used Microphen for Delta 3200, even at speeds upto 25,000. I'll put an image up shot from the "nose bleed" seats in the RBC center here in Raleigh. For the Stanley Cup playoffs, the security rules alowed only fixed lens cameras?!? I took my Veriwide and pushed Delta 3200 to 25,000 and shot f8 @ 1/125. I'll post one in the Non-Gallery Pictures area.