Uprate HP5/Delta400 or downrate Delta 3200?

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by test1, May 12, 2004.

  1. Hi All,

    I'm going to photograph wedding of my friend (not as primary
    photographer) next week. From my last (and the only) experience I
    expect church to be quite dark and require about ISO800 film to shoot
    without flash (I don't like it). Last time I used XP2 on it's upper
    limit - shoot almost wide open with 85mm f/1.8 and I'm thinking about
    film choice for this event.

    With a week still to prepare I'm looking for another film (to process
    it myself). What in your experience would give better results -
    uprating HP5/Delta 400 or downrating Delta 3200? Contrast will be not
    so high, but even with softness of XP2 it was fine. I'm more concerned
    about grain of those high-speed films. What produces less grain HP5,
    Delta 400 at E.I. 800 or Delta 3200 at the same E.I.800? I'm planning
    to use Perceptol developer stock or 1+1.
  2. I haven't shot a whole lot of these films at these EI's, but I'll weigh in because my allergy medicine is keeping me up...

    Delta 3200 at 800, to me, is too grainy and the contrast is so flat that it looks kind of funny. I am not a big fan of that look. I've only shot 1 roll like this, though. Obviously ready much of Hans' threads where he exposed this film at this speed. YOu might want to look for that thread - it was titled "Fast Films" and it was started by Hans Beckert.

    I've used HP5 at 400, 1600, and 3200, but oddly enough not at 800. I got decently usable results at 1600 and 3200, but contrast was pretty vicious (esp. compared to the very nice Delta 3200). Shadow detail was very low, esp. at 3200.

    For just about anything from 400-1600, I use Tri-X. I know Lex has extolled the virutes of TMY up to 1600 in straight Microphen quite a bit, too, but I haven't tried that yet. In fact, I just bought several bulk rolls of stuff so I guess I won't be "trying" too many other films for a while...

  3. Oh, another film you might want to try is Fuji Neopan 1600. The actual ISO of this film is about 800, and supposedly looks very nice when exposed there.

  4. I like DELTA3200 for EI3200 or higher, but it's too grainy. For EI800 I would push HP5/DELTA400 in Microphen to get finer grain.<BR>
    If you could find NEOPAN 1600, it would be a good choice.
  5. Neopan 1600 at about 800 or 1000 in ID11, Microphen, or Calbe A49 for relatively fine grain & a very classic, a bit contrasty 'Hollywood glamour' look; Kodak TMax P3200 at 1600 or 3200, preferably in Calbe A49 1+1 (20°C, 20 min.) if you need the speed (grainier than, but not as flat as Delta 3200).

  6. Can't find starting ballpark for development time of Neopan 1600 rated at E.I. 800 or 1000 in Perceptol. Could anyone help?
  7. Do yourself a big favor. Go and get some Tri-X and some Diafine. Then rate the Tri-X at EI 1250 - 1600 and develop it in Diafine. Yes there will be some grain, but much less than you get with Delta 3200 and more speed and better looking mid-tone separation than HP5+. The best part is that you can't mess this up. Three minutes in part A followed by three minutes in part B, water rinse, fix, wash, hang to dry and go get a cup of coffee.
  8. Frank, I envy those who lives in UK and US. I live in a small country which gone almost completely digital (that's where Canon have chosen software for their cameras) and it's getting more and more difficult to stay with traditional B&W. So I limited my choice to what I can get locally while testing especially as regards to developers choice. Perceptol was the only fine-grain developer that I can still get without special order. I'll go to look today for Neopan 1600, hopefully someone has it in stock.
  9. I'll weigh in with my choice as well...Fuji NP1600 @ 800 - 1000. If you're shooting a wedding, you might want to check whether the bride likes the grainy look of Delta 3200...chances are she won't. NP1600 is fine grained, and at 800-1000 you'll have a better chance of picking up shadow detail. I've not used perceptol, but have had good results with DD-X, and while I've not used X-tol, I have seen some very good prints with this combo (even rated @1600).
  10. well, I too was going to suggest Tri-X in Diafine (actually Acufine, but the idea is the same).....however, you have a availability problem. Not knowing the full extent of this problem, all I can say is that Perceptol is a fine grain developer and typically at ideal use you wil LOSE a stop (ie 400 becomes 200)....I never used Perceptol but I believe it is very simaliar to Microdol-X, is it not? Microdol is one of the worse developers with pushing film in mind....not my personal choice, anyhow. You would do better with pushing a film in D-76, I believe ifosol is ilford's equiv?. That speaks for the ISO 400 films you mentioned........oh, HP5+ would be my better choice, personally

    ISO 3200 Delta is not really 3200.........more like 1600. Ive only ever used it in PMK Pyro in 120 film (MF).....exquisite looking. But that doesnt help you in 35mm.

    I know, not much help, heh. But, Perceptol is not a "pushing" developer...........that I am sure of. Can you get HC-110 over there? I know for a fact that HP5+ looks great at 800 pushed in that stuff.
  11. Funny how you can get a different answer in every post in this forum ;) My personal choice is HP5+ @800 in either DDX or HC-110 (dilution H). I used DDX developer for my sister-in-law's wedding and I was happy with the results. There's probably more grain than with Delta 400 but the image has the sharpness I want and didn't block up the highlights on the bride's dress. (apologies but photo.net added some jpeg artifacts) I'm still sitting on the fence as to whether I like HC110 or DDX better for push processing. I'd like to standardize on HC110 if I can since I don't push much.
    Bride , Groom & Sister - HP5@800, Ilford DDX
  12. Ilia, 800 for HP5plus is not that much of a push. I just shot some indoor-window lighing at a party without flash. I just set the meter at 800 and developed 11 min with d-23, which is similar to d-76 or ID11. The Ilford time for HP5 at 800 in ID-11 is 10.5 min. My negs were fully exposed and well developed, making very nice prints. I had a fair amount of light to work with. If it is pretty dark I would go with the faster films.
  13. Oops, If Perceptol is all you can get, I would certainly shoot a test roll or two bracketing exposures to see what kind of speed you can get at the higher end of the development times. You could go 1:1 for 25 to 50% longer than the standard time and see what happens. Good luck.
  14. Both Perceptol and Microdol are exellent developers for a one stop push. Perceptol at 1:1 used to push HP5 is a much better idea than Delta.

    Then again I can't stand Delta because I've never in my entire life seen an image taken with it that looked any better than using the lowest quality 1600 speed print film and desaturating.
  15. Since you are only pushing to 800, Tri-x or HP5 would be my preferance. I havn't tried perceptol, but I've pushed tri-x to 800 in Acufine, X-tol, hc110 and d76(1:1). My favorite is acufine. I havn't tried microphen, but I've heard good things about it too.
  16. From what I understand, Delta does not like to be uprated. Something to do with the tabular grain. You'd probably be better off downrating 3200 of uprating 400. You can try uprating HP5, if you must use those films. If you can use something other than those, then go with the Tri-X @ 800.
  17. Don't use Delta 3200 unless you need the speed at the expense of more grain. It's a good film for low light, I use a lot of it, but it's got its limits.

    TMY pushed to 1600 and developed in Microphen has finer grain than Delta 3200 at 1600. Delta 3200 will have more shadow detail. That's not always a good thing. Sometimes I want to minimize background distractions - pushing a slower film to lose shadow detail is a good way to accomplish that. It can lend more depth to some situations.

    OTOH, in contrastier situations where I want to preserve everything I'll use Delta 3200. It's what I used to document most of the last months of my grandma's life recently. The contrast is very soft, which helped to maintain some differentiation between white bed linen, light colored floors, walls, etc. And family in the background sitting in lower light could still be seen. So for that reason it might be a better choice for a wedding where you might want to capture more folks in the background and surroundings.

    If you downrate Delta 3200 it might be interesting to try it in Perceptol, per Ilford's recommendations. Might help minimize the grain.

    As for using Perceptol to push films like HP5+, I have no clue. Never occurred to me to try. I've settled on Microphen for pushing because it's reliable.
  18. I just revisited Ilford's info on powder developers and looks like Microphen is developer that I should use for higher speed films instead of Perceptol.

    Lex, good you mention about white linen and family at the background. Since it's wedding I'm going to photograph there will be white-white bride's dress and dark suit of my friend with priest dressed in black and white, so details will be important everywhere. Afterall seems that pulling higher speed down to 800 should yield better result. Just checked with local retailers, luckily two of them have Neopan 1600, HP5 and Microphen in stock. Gonna pick it up tomorrow and on friday to find a spot where royal wedding carriage will pass so I have some real-life test good in advance.

    Thank you all for helpful reples!
  19. Ilia,
    may I ask in which 'little country' you live? If photographic material is not available in your place, you might mail-order; I could recommend www.fotoimpex.de in Berlin, Germany - they also have an English web-site, their stuff is reasonably priced, they have low shippinmg rates, and best of all, they carry Calbe A49, a great developer for pushing films with relatively fine-grained results...

    Roman (not affiliated with but happy customer of abovementioned company)
  20. Ilia, if you decide to process Delta 3200 in Microphen be careful if you expose the film at EI 1000 or slower. You'll need to watch development more carefully to avoid overdevelopment (tho', admittedly, that's more difficult to do with Microphen than with most developers).

    Assuming adequate light, I'd expose Delta 3200 at EI 1200-1600 for ideal results with Microphen.

    Normally I prefer Microphen full strength for hard pushes, but it probably delivers finer grain at the 1+1 single shot dilution. So if you're not pushing film hard, if at all, 1+1 is probably the way to go for best overall results.
  21. Roman, I live just up north from you - in Denmark. Since I'm just evaluating what I like and what I don't the quantities don't justify delivery cost, but once the process is settled I'll order stock for a year either from www.ny-camera.net (where I used to get Kodachrome 25 and got my TS-E lens) or buy it directly in Hamburg when passing by. Thanks for the link!

    Lex, thanks again for tip, it will come handy. I would have overlooked highlights issue on first go. You're very helpful here!
  22. Ilia,

    actually, I don't live in Germany, but in Austria (another small country with bad - or rather, pricey, B&W material supply), so you are quite a bit farther north...
    But still, I prefer mail-ordering fom Gemany - I bulk order once or twice a year, and the price difference Austria-Germany easily makes up for the 10 to 15 Euros of postage!

  23. If there is any way possible to get Diafine then that is the way to go. Diafine and Tri-X is an unbeatable combination at 1,000 to 1,200. Shoot a test roll first to check exposure. It'll hold detail in white lace as well as black tuxedos, and flesh tones look great.
  24. Dear Ilia,

    HP5 in Microphen *is* close to ISO 800 -- in fact it's a good ISO 650. True ISO speeds do vary with developer.

    I have always found that HP5 pushes a good deal better than Tri-X, despite others telling you the exact opposite. Sensitometrically I don't think there's a great deal in it, but I prefer Ilford's tonality.

    As for Delta 3200 I don't think I'd place too much reliance on someone who doesn't like it after one roll. I don't know how many rolls I've shot -- scores, probably hundreds -- and I love the tonality though it is undoubtedly grainy. Whereas I really dislike Neopan 1600, though again that's probably after no more than half a dozen rolls -- but at least that gave me the chance to try different developers and development regimes. Mostly, this shows how personal the whole thing is.

    Finally, have you thought of using faster lenses? My wife and I shoot VERY few weddings, just for old friends (and, recently, an old friend's daughter), but with Voigtlander 50/1.5 and 35/1.7 on Bessa-R and Bessa-T we find XP2 fast enough.



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