View Full Version : Tom/nyone have experience with Ilford's Delta 400 Professional 35mm B&W Negative Film
Greetings again Tom & everyone else for that matter-
Just wondering if any of you have ever tried Ilford's Delta 400 Professional B&W Negative film in 35mm?
Just wondering how does it hold up in "self" processing in Ilford's DD-X "soup" with Ilford's Rapid Fixer, etc., etc. with the standard recommended develop time, (8 mins. @ 68 Degrees Farenheit), with normal/regular agitation?
How do you all think it looks in traditional "wet" printing, "Digi" printing on a high end scanner, (like a Nikon CoolScan V, or 5000), whilst outputting to a Epson 4880 Pro Printer... & uploading images to the net, scanned from original neg. at a decent JPEG, or TIFF image scan?
I will be using for "wet" printing Ilford's Fiber Base & RC Variable-Contrast Papers. For Digital Printing I will be using Epson's Velvet Fine Art "Cotton-Rag"-Matte Paper.
Any tips? Again your comments, & responses are most appreciated.
In my experience, Delta 400 did not lilke Ilford Perceptol (which is what I use for Delta 100). Looks & prints fine with good old D-76. Sorry don't know anythning about the "digi" part. Not part of my working vocabulary.
Morry Katz - Lethbridge, Alberta
For what it's worth, I had some good results with Delta 400 in LC-29, some months ago, before an absence due to work had me stop developing my own for a while.
I know that Ilford recommends DD-X for their Delta films but I couldn't get hold of any locally at the time. I exposed Delta 400 at box speed and stuck as religiously as I could to the temperature/time/agitation recommended by Ilford. That gave me results I quite liked, for example:
(Models borrowed from a friend.)
I'm developing again, mostly using Tri-X in HC-110 - but I intend to revisit Delta 400 as I quite like the film.
I have used the Delta 400. Its fits midway between extreme fine grain 400 asa (Tmax2-400) and Neopan Presto. It should work well with the DDX - though I would recommend that you shoot some rolls and try it - first @ Ilfords recommended sped and the adjust to fit your own, if needed.
It prints easy in wet-print - occasionally I found it a bit contrastier than I would like - but no major problem. Good grain and in DDX it is nice and tight.
I haven't scanned that much of it - but there should be no problem with a Nikon 5000 ED. As for digital printing from it - I dont do that, so apart from stuff done by others, it looked fine. I suspect that it would depend on your printer set-up and paper more than anything else.
I once accidently bought 10 boxes (I meant to buy HP5, but accidently picked up and bought Delta 400 instead!). I shot it at box speed, and developed in both HC110 and D76. Looked pretty nice. I prefer Tri-X myself though.
very fine grain and full speed (unlike the old version). Very smooth tonality in Xtol, but I have not used DDX. Still more modern looking than HP5/TriX but less modern looking than Kodak Tmax films. I am not sure I like the tonality for everything but it certainly produced some nice prints for me (wet). DDX is a good bet, though some claim finer grain in xtol. I personally find Xtol (diluted) gives the same grain if not finer with a touch more acutance. It does everything DDX does except in powder form and for a lot less money. I do use DDX for other films tho...
The film looks grainy and 1950 third world in D76/ID11, far worse than its predessor.
DDX and Xtol make a simply beautiful iso 400 negative, best I have ever seen until T Max 400-2. I dislike both developers because DDX is premixed and not dated in a consumer friendly way like milk and they both can go bad without warning signs. There is no home test to assure their activity levels.
On to Kodak T-Max 400 -2. One beautiful film and much improved over the original. Works in D76 and I prefer it over Delta 400.
I think Ilford shot themselves in the foot on this one. I suggest you try T Max 400-2.
Delta 400 works very well in DDX, box speed or higher possible.
Not as creamy as Neopan 400 but very good looking.
I also liked D400 in Rodinal (shot as 200), grainy but nice looking
@RonaldM, home test for activity? just prepare your solution and drop the leader of the 35mm film. If it does not turn dark grey in about 1/5 of the standard time your dev is toast.
Delta 400 is a film that gives you the box speed in most developers, to start with. Then, it is sharp, relatively fine grained too. Ffinally, the tonality is ok in the midtones and highlights, and it scans quite well, so the only criticism regards the tonality of lower midtones and shadows, and a narrower dynamic range than that of old style films.
Here are some examples, both in flat and in difficult lighting:
I prefer the traditional-grain films at this speed (HP5+ or Tri-X), but the best results I've had with Delta 400 came at box speed in DD-X.
DDX and Xtol ... I have ever seen until T Max 400-2. I dislike both developers because DDX is premixed and not dated in a consumer friendly way like milk and they both can go bad without warning signs. There is no home test to assure their activity levels.
This is not true, IMHO: Both developers have a very good shelf life and the Xtol failure issue is beaten to death in that it is simply no longer an issue, at all, period and has not been for a decade. I have used the 5L packs almost exclusively for three years now (hundreds of rolls) and have found the developer unbelievably stable in that I have used 9 month old developer and found times smack on. I regularly use 3-4 month old developer (I store mine in opaque brown plastic bottles). I have used D76 too, but found the activity levels varied more (a well known phenomenon). The Xtol is just so reliable and stable.
You can test for at least activity by dropping in a bit of film leader and seeing if it darkens within a reasonable time. I do this regularly to be sure and have never had any issue in hundreds of rolls, from summer to winter etc. I have even used dev from bottles left haff full for 3,4,5 months in 24/25 degs and all perfect. I even find that when the dev is no longer perfectly clear but has a very pale straw tint to it that it is still... perfect. DDX I use less, but again, it last ages!
There is constant talk of Xtol failure but nobody seems to be able to come up with solid recent examples associated with proper use and storage. It always seems to be a story from about 15 years ago with the notorious 1L packs! Those packs are looooong gone.
I have been testing Delta 400, using DD-X. All my Taiwan shots in the following link are with Delta 400, shot from 400 to 1600. http://www.monochromemoments.com/photos/swfpopup.mg?swfPop=true&noClickURL=true&url=http://www.monochromemoments.com/gallery/7872576_Gpv6z#510339998_oBYZB
I rate it at 400 for contrasty light, and at 500 for everything else. Printing on Ilford MGIV fiber, I need at least half a grade (from 2.0 to 2.5) to get the contrast I prefer, compared to Tri-x, when rated at 400. I prefer to shoot at 500 and develop using DD-X.
I find scanning Delta 400 to be easier compared to Tri-x. However, take this with a grain of salt as I rarely scan.
While the Delta 400 rated at 1600 is not bad, I prefer Delta 3200 for that purpose. However, when travelling these days, I just carry Delta 400s and rate it anywhere from 400 to 1600.
(Having said that, the cheap Arista premium 400 will probably be my mainstay once my stock of Delta 400 runs out. Can't beat the price :D)
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