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  1. #1

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    Difference between Ilford HP5 plus and Ilford HP5 delta professional?

    In my photography class at my high school they recommend we use Ilford HP5 plus from a local vendor called The Camera Company. I stopped in yesterday to pick up a few more rolls, but the man at the counter told me they were all out of the usual kind. He offered me the more expensive Ilford HP5 plus delta professional for the same price and with my student discount, so it was a total steel. I showed it to my teacher today and she was unfamiliar with it. I checked the Ilford website to see the pros of the higher end film but it has relatively the same description as the normal one. So I was just curious and please excuse my ignorance, what makes it better? Will my prints come out better quality?

  2. #2

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    Here's an old thread that may be of interest. http://www.apug.org/forums/archive/i...p/t-52861.html

    Delta 400 is one my two favourite films, BTW.
    Nikon 35mm, Mamiya 645 & RB67, Leica IIIb, other bits and pieces

  3. #3

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    Ilford offers HP5 Plus and Delta 400 Professional. There is no "HP5 Plus Delta Professional". Both are high quality films, but they do have different characteristics. The tonal scale and grain structure of the two are different; if you print them on the same paper the pictures will look different. In general, HP5 Plus is a more forgiving film, meaning that it is easier to make negatives with it under a wide range of shooting conditions that will print well on a wide range of papers. Delta 400 is also a fine film, but is somewhat more demanding of technique. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with Delta 400, but I would not have recommended it for a beginning photographer. Also, if you are used to HP5 Plus, you should stay with it until you have gained more experience, so that you don't get confused by different results from the two films. HP5 Plus is very widely available, so if one dealer happens to be out of stock it should not be difficult to find it elsewhere.

    Hope you're enjoying your photographic explorations - good luck!

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the responses. You say Delta has more of a demanding technique, does that mean I should shoot or process differently? Do you have any advice for making them come out looking their best?

  5. #5
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Main difference is the grain.

    HP5+ has the "traditional grain" which usually produces higher edge contrast and sometimes higher apparent sharpness. I usually say that hp5+ has a certain "bite" to it that lends itself to edgier compositions. Compare it to Kodak's tri x.

    The Delta film had delta grain (probably epitaxial or similar to Kodak's tabular grain) and has very smooth tonality and high level of detail. It is usually described in more dreamy terms.... subtle smooth, creamy, gentle... Compare it to Kodak's tmax 400, which is arguably superior.

    In terms of overall tonality, you can make one behave like the other. The grain and edge contrast is the main difference and that is quite individual.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  6. #6

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    In commonly-used developers, Delta 400 tends to produce relatively lower shadow-area contrast and relatively higher highlight-area contrast compared to HP5 Plus. This can make the negatives more difficult to print - that is, to maintain detail in both shadows and highlights within an overall tonal scale that is pleasing.

    If you must use the Delta 400, be careful not to expose it too little or to develop it too much. As a general principle, that applies to all films. But as you stray from optimal exposure and development - or if you're not yet sure what optimal exposure and development are - you'll get into trouble more quickly with Delta 400 than you will with HP5 Plus.

  7. #7

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    Dear Calebkaboom,

    The APUGGERS above have given an excellent summation of the differences between HP5+ and DELTA Professional 400:

    The fundamental is that HP5+ is indeed a conventional type film which is very forgiving and has excellent latitude and an excellent all round film.

    DELTA Professional 400 is a very modern film using 'CCG' or controlled crystal growth technology, this gives very fine grain negatives ( for the relative speed) and some cases may not have the latitude and is less forgiving in relation to poor exposure control or processing regime.

    You can check out our website www.ILFORDPhoto.com and also if you PM me your home address I will post you some literature etc that will give much more detail. Good Luck.

    Regards

    Simon. ILFORD hoto / HARMAN technology Limited :

  8. #8

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    Thanks so much everyone for the excellent advice.

    I processed my first roll of the Delta Professional today in Photo class and as far as I can tell the negatives look pretty good to me. Comparable to the ones I took with the HP5+ film earlier this month. I got one negative with a picture of a lion statue on a fountain in the dark with light coming from the bottom of the pool. I wasn't sure if it would come out or not, but the negative looks great and has excellent contrast, so I'm excited to print.

    Thanks so much again for sharing your knowledge with a beginner.

  9. #9
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    Once again - three cheers for Simon...over and above, indeed.
    "Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, you're a mile away and you've got their shoes."

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  10. #10

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    HP5 is Legendary!

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