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  1. #1
    pstake's Avatar
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    Delta 400 vs. Tri-X

    First, my question: Does anyone have experience pushing Delta 400 to 1600? Are you able to obtain the latitude of Tri-X as far as tones and shadow detail, whilst retaining the Delta 400 resolution?

    And now some background:
    I generally prefer to shoot fast film. I have used Neopan 1600 many times in the past, and TMZ 3200 ... both of which are fine films. But in the interest of my finances, I generally choose Arista branded Tri-X rated at 1600. It produces great tones and relatively fine grain when pushed. I like it, especially for street / documentary, which form the foundation for most of my work. But Tri-X is not as sharp as Delta 400 or TMY 400. Comparing with older negatives (my own—on TMY and Delta 400), I can see the loss of resolution and sharpness versus tri-x, using the same lenses.

    I use sharp optics all the way through from image capture to image print, and I would like to utilize them to their potential, which is why I am looking at Delta 400 — it has higher resolution according to MTF charts I've seen. I believe it has even slightly higher resolution than TMY 400, but it's also easier to process / more forgiving than TMY 400, in my experience.

    I already use Delta 100 rated at 50 when I can afford the loss of speed, usually for portraits and other non-candid photos. It is damn sharp, high-resolution film, and with beautiful tones to boot as is Delta 400 at box speed. But what if it's pushed two stops?

    Any advice is appreciated (maybe another film not mentioned here?)

    Thanks,
    Phil

  2. #2
    Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Have you tried Delta 3200? Take a look at these images. Pentax 645, 1/2 sec. at f/2.8.

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  3. #3
    pstake's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Brian C. Miller;1324814]Have you tried Delta 3200? Take a look at these images. Pentax 645, 1/2 sec. at f/2.8.


    No, I haven't used Delta 3200. It looks like its on par with the Tmax 3200 and a few dollars cheaper, but it's still expensive. I will probably order a few rolls to try. Thanks, Brian.

  4. #4

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    I've not used Delta 400, but I have no problems shooting Tri-X or TMY at 400 or 1600. Pretty much same shadow detail and latitude in my eyes. I'm developing in XTOL 1:1 if it matters. I would imagine Delta 400 would stack up favorably in most cases.

  5. #5
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Delta 400 is just fine at 1600, I like it anyway.

    As to better or worse that TriX? That's a question, IMO, that only you can answer.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  6. #6
    Harry Lime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian C. Miller View Post
    Have you tried Delta 3200? Take a look at these images. Pentax 645, 1/2 sec. at f/2.8.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Delta3200 is really great and by far my favourite high speed film. And unlike TMY3200P you can get it in 120.
    I used to shoot it by the brick, but unfortunately it's $8-9 a roll now, which is a little too rich for my blood.

  7. #7

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    Delta400 is one of the worst films I have used. No real surprise next to hp5, tri-x, two legends.

    I'd stick to tri-x all the way. Hp5@1600 is heavenly! Why bother with delta400 at all?

  8. #8
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    I've used Delta 400 pushed a stop (in both DD-X and Rodinal) to 800, and quite liked it. For the record, I shot available light portraits in 120 film.

    It struck me, also, that it was fine grained and good resolution - I've got a bunch in 35mm I'm using on an upcoming trip so I'll find out more soon...but in the meantime, I'd feel confident about using it. Ilford's QC is top notch and all of their products are unique and quality material.

    I'd also add my voice to considering Delta 3200 -- I was amazed how fine grained it was, shot at EI-1600 in DD-X. It really looked like 'normal' 400 speed film to me.

    Far as costs go, why not consider bulk loading and getting film you really love, for less?
    "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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  9. #9
    pstake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NB23 View Post
    Delta400 is one of the worst films I have used. No real surprise next to hp5, tri-x, two legends.

    I'd stick to tri-x all the way. Hp5@1600 is heavenly! Why bother with delta400 at all?
    Don't worry, NB23 — I don't intend to purge my cache of Tri-X — ever. But I like Delta 400's resolution. It can record detail that Tri-X cannot ... at least at box speed ... but everything I've seen looks like, when pushed to 1600, Delta 400 returns noir-like contrast ... so any resolution gain is cancelled by the loss of speed.

    What do people think about Neopan 1600 versus Tri-X?
    Last edited by pstake; 04-02-2012 at 02:43 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pstake View Post
    Delta 400 — it has higher resolution according to MTF charts I've seen. I believe it has even slightly higher resolution than TMY 400, but it's also easier to process / more forgiving than TMY 400, in my experience.
    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe...?pq-path=13399


    T-MAX 400


    • World’s sharpest 400-speed B&W film
    • World’s finest-grained 400-speed B&W film


    Comparing Delta to Tri-X is like comparing Tmax to HP5. They are very different grain have have different characteristic curves as indicated by their data sheets. I'd say try them all out, everyone becomes strongly opinionated about this and its very back and forth when speaking about T-grain films and traditional grain, and then even more opinionated when going into the subject of pushing.

    That being said, I've been shooting a good deal of Tmax, tmy, tmy2, and p3200. and I like it, with good lenses, the right color filters, and printing contrast, the film shines. I never liked Delta though. I have all my students learn and shoot on Tri-X.

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