Delta 100 vs FP4 and Delta 400 vs HP5
Old 4 Days Ago   #1
seany65
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Delta 100 vs FP4 and Delta 400 vs HP5

I'm not going to ask which is best or whatever, but what I've been trying to find out on the interwebnet, (and because it's on the interwebnet whatever I read now is nearly opposite to what I read yesterday), is whether Either Delta film is more or less contrasty than it's older 'rival', and the nature of the shaodws and highlights.

I've read that the Blacks of HP5 are a bit 'sooty' and don't have as much detail as Delta 400.

I think I've read that Delta 400 is more contrasty than HP5.

I've read that the curve for Delta 400 is straighter than that for HP5.

Is any of this true and how would the 'straighter curve' thing translate into a photo?

Does Delta 100 have a straighter curve than FP4?

Is it more contrasty than FP4?

Does any of this matter if I have no way of processing and printing the films myself, and don't have access to a lab that can take instructions?

I'm sure there'll be more questions but I can't think of them at the minute.

Any help would be much appreciated.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #2
Bill Clark
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You ask some good questions.

I’ll be interested to read the comments.

Wouldn’t part of your answer also be in the process stage, negative developers, and the viewing stage paper, enlarger (example I use a color head for my black and white) and print developer, toning if any. My thinking is it part of the equation as I couldn’t tell just looking at the negatives.

When I had my business, I used a limited number of types of black and white films, mostly Tmax.

There are even more variables but I’ll quit for now!
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Old 4 Days Ago   #3
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Delta is for those who hate grain. hP/FP are for those who understands what film is the grain.
I'm HP5+ @1600 negatives for prints guy. If I need no grain, I have digital camera for it.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #4
Larry H-L
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In my experience, most of the t-grain films that I have tried, such as Delta and T-Max, seem to have a straighter curve than traditional grain film.

Contrast comparisons are very difficult because so much depends on exposure and development.

Grain wise, Delta gives the appearance of finer grain.

Tonally, I think FP-4 is the best of the best. And HP-5 is very good.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #5
seany65
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Thanks for the replies.

I fully understand the part the darkroom plays in photography, as I had a darkroom for a very short time (using a very late model Zenith UPA510 enlarger), many years ago but now I can't do any processing myself as I have nowhere to store the chemicals, and so I'm left with film choice, exposure and use of filters as my part in things. I have to hope that any lab I can afford to pay can do a reasonable job.

@Larry H-L: If I don't use filters does the 'straighter curve' of the Delta films mean the film has a more even/less contrasty tonal range than conventional films and if so, can this actually show up in basic commercial lab prints?

Are the shadows of HP5 actually 'sooty', and if so does this mean Delta would be more likely to show detail in the shadows?
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Old 3 Days Ago   #6
davidnewtonguitars
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I've chosen to use FP4+ for fine grain and smooth transitions from dark to light. I guess that means low contrast.
I am just learning this film and hope this thread gives some insight.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #7
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Hmm...looks like I need to try FP4. I tried HP5+ for the first time this past winter, and I liked it quite a lot. How similar is FP4 to Plus X? I have heard there are some similarities in tonality. Plus X is by far my favorite B&W film... miss it dearly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidnewtonguitars View Post
I've chosen to use FP4+ for fine grain and smooth transitions from dark to light. I guess that means low contrast.
I can't speak to FP4 as I've never used it, but in my experience with Tmax vs TriX and PlusX - is that I thought the Tmax films were flatter with less contrast. I've never had great luck with Tmax, especially Tmax 100... I just processed my first 120 rolls from a Rolleiflex and it was Tmax 100...was kind of meh, really. I think tri x and plus x have/had more punch (if that makes sense) and not to take away from tonality, plus X was smooth but with good contrast imo. I'm thinking/hoping FP4 would be similar.

I guess it's all subjective with developers and processing techniques. For what it's worth, I've always used D76, and occasionally Tmax developer (even with TriX), except this last time I tried Xtol with the Tmax 100. I'm not wowed by the combination, but the film was decades expired (but frozen)...so who knows.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #8
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In reading the Ilford data sheets on FP4, iso to 400 is listed.
Does anyone here have experience pushing FP4 ? Examples?
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Old 1 Day Ago   #9
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I've posted several times regarding Delta films. I did trade trial testing for Ilford on their Delta 100 and 400 pre release of the film to the public. My duties were to test both films during actual commercial photo shoots along side my normal film, Agfa 100 and Tri-X 400. I determined correct ISO, used a variety of developers to find the optimum developer and times and compared them to my normally used oil, I wet printed and did visual evaluations and submitted the final results, both negs and prints along with a report to Alford. In those reports were recommendations ad to improvements I'd like to see.

Alford incorporated these changes and eventually introduced an excellent film that I then switched to from my old standards. Eventually the product was updated again and further improved. I suspect Ilford is constantly tweaking their products.

I did exactly the same thing for Kodak in the development of TMax 100 and 400.

Basically If you don't process your own film and have no say in how the lab does, don't worry about curves and such. Try each of the films you're considering and shoot identical images and exposures side by side then send the file to the lab. Compare those results side by side and determine which soots your needs the best. You're at the mercy of your lab an have to find what works best per their practices.

In the past few years I drifted from Ilford Delta 100 and 400 to Neopan 400 and Acros 100. I tried both of the Fuji films and fell in love with the look, especially the 400. Unfortunately Neopan 400 is gone but I purchased several hundred rolls in 135 and 120 and filled a large freezer. I still have a few hundred rolls but the day will come that I have to replace it so I'm revisiting other films. I'm out of 120 Acros now and it's still in production but I'm revisiting other films to determine if I like something else better now.

My feeling about the Delta film vs HP5 and FP4. I generally use HC110 B and Rodinal but will use PMK pyro on occasion, Mic-X and Acufine where needed. It's rare that I use these other developers.

I have a hard time taming contrast with FP4 when using HC110. I've had good success with PMK but don't like the look of FP4 as much as I do Delta 100. I find Delta 100 in HC110 has a beautiful tonality that looks more like large format. My results with Delta yields a much easier printing negative with full shadows and open highlights. If I wanted a contrasted more stark look I'd go to FP4.

I'm a huge fan of HP5 and Delta 400. Both work very well in HC110 and both produce beautiful full negs with excellent shadows and open highlights. I've found Delta to be a bit finer grain and pulls very well when needed. I've shot under extremely bad and contrasty light and rated my delta 400 at 100 and pulled the process two stops. The resulting negatives were amazing and printed with beautiful smooth open tonality. I'm not sure if HP5 would pull this well but HP5 will push extremely well in Acufine. Grain builds quickly but tonality and detail are excellent.

I see people claiming HP5 is close to old TX400. It may be the closest thing we have but it's a log way off IMO. Old TX was unique, HP5 is a really excellent film that I use for documentary work when I need that extra mood (girt not grain) in my images. Delta 400 is just too perfect.

If I were doing landscapes or commercial work with film again Delta 100 and 400 along with TMax 100 and 400 would be the ones I'd look at. I'd have to re evaluate them for the subjects I'm shooting and make a decision form there. If I had to make a choice right now than I'd pick Delta 100 and 400.

Like I said, get a roll of each and two bodies and shoot identical exposures of the same subject at the same time and send them to the lab. See what work.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #10
Pete B
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ray View Post
I've posted several times regarding Delta films...................whole post.......... work.
LIKE

Pete
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Old 1 Day Ago   #11
Pete B
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I'm interested by your comments about taming the contrast. I have a lot of FP4 in the freezer and I saved these post to remind me to try developing it in HC110. I thought the contrast seems well controlled in these examples:
http://jbhthescots.com/2017/06/18/real-life/
http://jbhthescots.com/2017/07/23/raintown/
http://jbhthescots.com/2017/07/06/75bc-2017ad/

This is FP4 in Rodinal (looks higher contrast to me):

http://jbhthescots.com/2017/07/28/wet-wet-wet/

Seany65, I've been impressed by Erik Van Stratten's Tmax in Perceptol, and also how he manages to control contrast in his TriX images (so much so that they look like his Tmax in tonality). Another couple of photographers on this forum attain similar results (p.giannakis and giulio stucchi).
Check out
https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...d.php?t=158276 for example.

Pete
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Old 1 Day Ago   #12
Pete B
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X-ray, I have 30m/100ft of Neopan 400 in the freezer. What shall I develop it in?
Pete
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Old 1 Day Ago   #13
seany65
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@x-ray:

Interesting stuff about you testing the pre-release Delta films. I'd like to know what those films were like and what changes you suggested.

I've been doing some 'testing' of films already. The first set was only-just-out-of-date Lomo lady grey (as they were going cheap) in my Ricoh 500GX. I've just tried XP2 and I'm in the middle of Kentmere 400 in my Ansco Super Regent. I have been photographing the same subjects from the same angles, using films of the same speed and have adjusted the film speed on the old selenium meters I used so that they gave practically the same readings as my gossen variosix f when it's set to 400 asa, though the weather hasn't always been the same.

I've not had great results so far, (mostly my fault as I'm not quite used to using seperate meters, and I have no talent), but I'm hoping I will improve with practice.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #14
x-ray
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete B View Post
X-ray, I have 30ft of Neopan 400 in the freezer. What shall I develop it in?
Pete
I love the look of HC110 B. Use the recommended time that Fuji gives. It's a beautiful film.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #15
x-ray
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seany65 View Post
@x-ray:

Interesting stuff about you testing the pre-release Delta films. I'd like to know what those films were like and what changes you suggested.

I've been doing some 'testing' of films already. The first set was only-just-out-of-date Lomo lady grey (as they were going cheap) in my Ricoh 500GX. I've just tried XP2 and I'm in the middle of Kentmere 400 in my Ansco Super Regent. I have been photographing the same subjects from the same angles, using films of the same speed and have adjusted the film speed on the old selenium meters I used so that they gave practically the same readings as my gossen variosix f when it's set to 400 asa, though the weather hasn't always been the same.

I've not had great results so far, (mostly my fault as I'm not quite used to using seperate meters, and I have no talent), but I'm hoping I will improve with practice.
Testing is really an important part of getting it right with any film. Finding the right developer, dilution, Time and agitation are very important. Great images don't just happen I tell people.

The original Kodak and Alford films had no markings other than the arrows on the 120 backing. The Kodak films were hand coated on a small scale coating machine. I don't remember exactly how many rolls I received at one time but think it was around 40-60 rolls. After reports were sent in each company would tweak the film and in the case of TMax they thinned the base. The initial base was so thick I almost wouldn't go through my Rollei SL66 backs. I know there were problems with Hasselblad backs and Nikon motor drives. In the end Kodak thinned the base by 50% based on out complaints.

Tje Delta films were very similar to what's on the market today. There were a few changes but basically the test film because the original release of both Delta 100 and 400. A few years down the road Alford refined the film further to what we have today. The first Deltas were very close but tonality improvements were what I noticed.

Both Tmax 100 and 400 were pretty bad in the test emulsions and first release. Shadows lacked detail and when Iso was lowered to get better shadows the highlights would block. If you reduced development to bring highlights into a printable range the midtones and shadows got muddy. Grain was mushy as well. I really disliked the Tmax films and wrote a rather strong report to Kodak. It was pretty blunt and in later years I talked to the fellow that was behind the newer Kodachrome emulsions who happened to be the man behind Tmax. My letter was direct and to the point and made an impression he said and he still had it in his file cabinet.

Don't overlook TMax now. It's definitely not the film that I tested and IMO it's one of the best modern emulsions out now.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #16
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My experience is that Delta 400 is more contrasty than HP5, which seems to look flat. One use for HP5 is to tame contrast on a day when the sunlight is harsh. I do prefer the look of Delta 400. There is a snap and sparkle I didn't get with HP5--not that i have used a lot of HP5. Delta 100 also has nice contrast, and is so sharp I feel that an 8 x 10 with 35mm Delta 100 rivals the sharpness I can get with my Hasselblad. But I can't compare it with FP4 since I don't use that one.

As to saying that one film is more or less contrasty than another: Sylvia Zawadski, the inventor of XTOL developer, wrote that those of us who say that this o that film is too flat, are wrong, because all you have to do to get the contrast you want is to change the developing time. While I know this is true, and I adjust my developing times to control contrast, I still feel that HP5 is inherently, intrinsically, FLAT. And I find the T-Max films flat in the middle tones, and when I try to boost the contrast with longer development time, I get blown highlights.

So. What I can contribute here is that I think Delta 400 has lovely contrast and tonal range, and I find HP5 flat for my taste.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #17
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I prefer a flat negative because I can tweak it when I process and wet print. Also when traveling I don't have the luxury of being somewhere when the light is perfect. Outside of dusk and dawn a flatter film is just right for me for contrasty conditions.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #18
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I am a fan of Delta films souped in Xtol. I find them to be very different from the Tmax films, as they dont have the grain as fine. For me, the Delta films are a similar to HP5 and FP4, but cleaner and sharper.

I did a comparison some years ago on the Hasselblad, where I shot bot films seconds apart and developed them in Xtol (1+1) for the recommended time by Ilford. These are unedited scans. I guess the same test on 35mm would show more differences.

Delta 100 :




FP4 :




Delta 100 :




FP4 :
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Old 1 Day Ago   #19
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The color swatches test indicates clearly that Delta 400 has more red sensitivity.

Delta 400:




HP5:




Delta 400:




HP5:
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Old 1 Day Ago   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
My experience is that Delta 400 is more contrasty than HP5, which seems to look flat. One use for HP5 is to tame contrast on a day when the sunlight is harsh. I do prefer the look of Delta 400. There is a snap and sparkle I didn't get with HP5--not that i have used a lot of HP5. Delta 100 also has nice contrast, and is so sharp I feel that an 8 x 10 with 35mm Delta 100 rivals the sharpness I can get with my Hasselblad. But I can't compare it with FP4 since I don't use that one.

As to saying that one film is more or less contrasty than another: Sylvia Zawadski, the inventor of XTOL developer, wrote that those of us who say that this o that film is too flat, are wrong, because all you have to do to get the contrast you want is to change the developing time. While I know this is true, and I adjust my developing times to control contrast, I still feel that HP5 is inherently, intrinsically, FLAT. And I find the T-Max films flat in the middle tones, and when I try to boost the contrast with longer development time, I get blown highlights.

So. What I can contribute here is that I think Delta 400 has lovely contrast and tonal range, and I find HP5 flat for my taste.
It really comes down to a persons taste and the developer, time and agitation you use.

For me and my taste HP5 is a moderate contrast film.

Your experience with TMax sounds like it was with the old formulation prior to the current version. With the original formulation this is exactly what I experienced but with the new it's nothing like that. It has beautifully defined tones throughout the range (HC110B).
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