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Ilford delta B&W stock


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#1 Michael Collier

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 10:41 PM

I was at the camera shop today, just killing time, promising I wouldn't spend money on film or anything else (being broke really doesn't deter me in those shops) and I came accross some Ilford B&W stock (still) and asked the shop owner about it. I have never really shot B&W, but I was sort of intrigued to learn they are the largest B&W stock manuf. I ended up picking up a 50, 400, and a 3200 (!) speed film. My question is on proccessing. I don't think its a C-41 proccess, so my usual labs are out, what sort of proccess do these use? It may not be standard, because the box instead of labeling a proccess instead shows a list of chemical solution strenghts and tempature, along with time.

Any info on how to proccess these and especially tips on how these stocks handle. I am most interested in the 3200. I can't help but think things will be very grainy, but i still have to try. advice welcome
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#2 Joseph Winchester

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 10:57 PM

You are correct, it is not a C41 process. Ilford BW film is a silver gelatin film, like any other BW film. It is processed in any number of general developers (Kodak D76, Ilfosol, etc. etc.) or special developers and processes that you may so choose (ie: pyro developers, reducers, intensifiers, etc.)

For your purposes, you'll just need to find a lab that develops BW film. Most large camera store chains will send it out to be developed for you.

If you want prints from the negatives, they will generally cost a bit more than color prints. Many labs will hand-process BW, as well as hand-print. This is ideal, as they care for your film more than a machine. There are many places that machine develop and print BW as well.

50 speed is a beautiful film! 400 is great too, if you got the Delta Professional line. I don't care too much for the HP5 films. Delta 3200 speed film is indeed very grainy. Try this page for more info: http://www.ilfordpho...fessional Films

Edited by Joseph Waingezheyaw, 24 January 2007 - 11:02 PM.

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#3 Bryan Darling

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 02:20 AM

The PanF 50 is a pretty contrasty film so keep that in mind, care must be taken in your shooting/lighting conditions. The Delta 3200 is actually a 1000 speed film. It becomes 3200 through push processing. A lot of people rate the film at 1600 and have it processed as 3200 to get better shadow detail while retaining highlights. You can rate the film from 400 to 25000 depending on how it's processed. Black and white photographers will more often than not develop the film themselves by hand.

One the best films out there is Ilford FP4 125, a lot of people rate it between 80 and 100. If you get into black and white film you'll find that the films out there are not the speed they say. Some are as bad as a stop or more, for instance I shot a roll of Efke 100 and found it to be more a 40 or 50 speed film as the negs were solidly about stop under.

I develop in PMK Pyro which has produced great results and really helped me as a photographer. All do is expose for the shadows and it always holds the highlights. It also minimizes grain while increasing acutance, additionally it enhances edge effects.

This is all probably more info than you need or want, but you'll find the terms more common if you continue to delve into black and white photography.
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#4 Michael Collier

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 10:26 PM

Thanks for the great advice Bryan and Joseph,

This is all probably more info than you need or want, but you'll find the terms more common if you continue to delve into black and white photography.


There is no such thing as too much information. This is exactly what I was looking for. The 400 and 3200 is the pro line, and the 50 is the pan F plus line. I am going to load up the 400 to experiment on, I want to get a nice shot of denali (mt. mickinley to you) with the 50, and then blow that up to near-poster size and see how it looks.

The 3200 is really just a curiosity to me, since I haven't seen any stock rated that high. I thought I could wait for our next blizzard and get a cool night shot under the roads (sodium halide) lights, and still be able to freeze the individual snowflakes in the air....maybe, I haven't even metered the lights yet to see what my shutter length might be. (hopefully the flakes don't get lost in the grain, though I fear that it might) I just sorta want to see what low-light pictures that normaly I wouldn't consider shooting are now possible.

You said 50 was pretty contrasty, does that mean that the skys will render dark? I ask because I want to experiment with yellow and red filters on the lens to bring the sky out, and highlight the tree line of the mountain, I just wonder if that would make the image too contrasty. Maybe something to try rather than ask, I just wanna get an idea.

Also you noted that several B&W stocks tend to be a stop slower than they are marked, is this pretty consistent accross all stocks? Or are there any that are actually quicker than their package says?

As for proccessing, we have a specialty shop in town that does hand proccessing for just about anything, and you can request almost any proccessing options. I just wonder if he would let me in the back, I have wanted to get some experience developing (and especially printing) my own stuff. This of course will just lead to another multi-thousand dollar purchase for this hobby to get a dark room...seems to happen every 6 months or so.


These were great tips. Any others that people can think of? even general B&W tips would be great.
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#5 Chris Burke

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 11:11 PM

Thanks for the great advice Bryan and Joseph,
There is no such thing as too much information. This is exactly what I was looking for. The 400 and 3200 is the pro line, and the 50 is the pan F plus line. I am going to load up the 400 to experiment on, I want to get a nice shot of denali (mt. mickinley to you) with the 50, and then blow that up to near-poster size and see how it looks.

The 3200 is really just a curiosity to me, since I haven't seen any stock rated that high. I thought I could wait for our next blizzard and get a cool night shot under the roads (sodium halide) lights, and still be able to freeze the individual snowflakes in the air....maybe, I haven't even metered the lights yet to see what my shutter length might be. (hopefully the flakes don't get lost in the grain, though I fear that it might) I just sorta want to see what low-light pictures that normaly I wouldn't consider shooting are now possible.

You said 50 was pretty contrasty, does that mean that the skys will render dark? I ask because I want to experiment with yellow and red filters on the lens to bring the sky out, and highlight the tree line of the mountain, I just wonder if that would make the image too contrasty. Maybe something to try rather than ask, I just wanna get an idea.

Also you noted that several B&W stocks tend to be a stop slower than they are marked, is this pretty consistent accross all stocks? Or are there any that are actually quicker than their package says?

As for proccessing, we have a specialty shop in town that does hand proccessing for just about anything, and you can request almost any proccessing options. I just wonder if he would let me in the back, I have wanted to get some experience developing (and especially printing) my own stuff. This of course will just lead to another multi-thousand dollar purchase for this hobby to get a dark room...seems to happen every 6 months or so.
These were great tips. Any others that people can think of? even general B&W tips would be great.



Cool thing is the 3200 comes in 120 size roll film.
If you like slower, finer grained films, check out the Fuji Neopan Acros. It is a 100 speed bw and IMHO gorgeous. Agfa made some great stock as well, buy it up if you can find it.
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#6 K Borowski

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 08:28 PM

No offense to you Michael, but "amateur" and "professional" is a bunch of marketing hype bullshit aimed at amateurs or students. There's no such thing as an "amateur" B&W film, or a "line" of film. The only "lines" that I know of that are actually that are the T-Max and Delta lines of film, from Kodak and Ilford, respectively, that incorporate t-grain emulsion technology instead of regular granular silver halides.

Pan-F 50 is a fine film, and can be rated anywhere between 50 and 200 with extended adjustment.

With regards to underrating films a stop, that's pretty much standard practice with B&W and color, although color you often only rate 1/3 or 1/2 stop slower. It's all for the same reason: to expose the finer grained, less sensitive grains in the emulsion, and to act as an added barier against underexposure. You'd have to accidentally underexpose by two or more stops from your EI to run into trouble.

The fastest speed of any modern film out there is between 800-1000. T-Max 3200 is an 800 speed B&W film that is pushed two stops in processing, and designed to take that push well. You will pay with grain if you have to shoot at 3200, but it is a great film for low-light night shooting when flash is verbotten.

Kodak develeloped a true *10,000* ASA film last spring that utilized what I'd call an inverse of the solarization principle (solarization being extreme overexposure to cause image reversal), to extremely underexpose say a 400 speed negative film, develop thermallly, and get a 10,000 speed positive image, which would have been amazing for available-light shooting (even in a technicolor camera, the stocks would have been over 1000 speed, and finer-grained than 5222 to boot) but it wasn't put into production, probably because their CEO doesn't even know what film IS, let alone fund it.

Regards,

~Karl Borowski
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#7 Matthew Buick

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 08:47 PM

Kodak develeloped a true *10,000* ASA film last spring


Oh poop...I want some.

With that film I'll never have to worry about underexposing again!!!

MWAH HA HAH!!!

Edited by Matthew Buick, 26 January 2007 - 08:49 PM.

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#8 David Venhaus

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 09:29 PM

The Ilford Delta 3200 tech. sheet says it can be pushed to 25,000asa, the Kodak Tmax 3200 tech sheet says the same. I have pushed the Kodak Tmax 3200 up 15+ stops, which would put the asa in the millions, and have gotten acceptable results. Below is a picture taken on 15+ pushed Kodak Tmax 3200 of part of the Milky Way in the night sky. There is some base fog from pushing that much but the images are still in the printable range, though lots of grain and fairly high contrast. I haven't tried the Ilford 3200 yet but it too could probably be pushed quite a bit more then recommended.

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#9 Matthew Buick

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 08:16 AM

That's truly incredible!

Would you need a special camera to push a stock that high?
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#10 Mark Dunn

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 08:27 AM

No special kit, just (very) extended development.
Now that everyone seems to be ditching conventional darkroom kit you could probably get an enlarger for not very much off ebay. I'm sure you could set up for not much over £100. Good luck.
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#11 Matthew Buick

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 08:33 AM

Thanks.

I was ''watching'' a Super 8 to 35mm enlarger on eBay, sadly I was too late.
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#12 Michael Collier

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 09:07 PM

push it 15 stops? sounds extreme. I would definatley try that. I suppose though if I push in proccessing, that means the whole roll needs to be pushed the same. Would it be possible to get one of those manual cartridge loaders and set myself up with 6 6 exposure rolls, as apposed to one 36 exposure roll, so I can try more things?
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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 11:51 PM

Remember that pushing does not increase the sensitivity of a stock, it increases the density of what information got recorded by the emulsion.

So I'm not sure what the value is of a 15-stop push because most stocks are not recording detail that is more than 5 or 6 stops under key -- if you shot a face 15 stops underexposed and pushed the stock by 15 stops, you would not see a face on film.
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#14 K Borowski

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 12:08 AM

Remember that pushing does not increase the sensitivity of a stock, it increases the density of what information got recorded by the emulsion.

So I'm not sure what the value is of a 15-stop push because most stocks are not recording detail that is more than 5 or 6 stops under key -- if you shot a face 15 stops underexposed and pushed the stock by 15 stops, you would not see a face on film.


David, this only applies to B&W (not color), but there is some actual speed gain with forced development, not just an increase in base fog. Now, this information was all before Delta/T-grain even came out, but there were developers that were getting about 2 1/2 stops of *actual* speed gain with the traditional K-grain films. I seem to remember reading something somewhere that T-grains didn't gain as much actual speed.

I'd say you can probably gain at least 2 stops of additional speed from Delta 3200, at least from its actual ~800 speed, so you can get a true ASA 3200 from it.

As for underexposing 15 stops and pushing that far, how do you know unless you've tried it? Maybe the face would be visible? I don't know myself. I don't think I've ever done more than 3-4 stops. I agree though that over 5-6 stops of actual speed increase is really pushing it, pun intended.

Mathew Buick: if you don't even know what a push-process is, will you please STOP posting on this thread!
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#15 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 01:11 AM

No offense to you Michael, but "amateur" and "professional" is a bunch of marketing hype bullshit aimed at amateurs or students. There's no such thing as an "amateur" B&W film, or a "line" of film.



Hi Karl,

My understanding is that manufacturers of "professional" still films require retail sales agents give these stocks special attention with regard to proper storage prior to sale. These films also have a much narrower window of time within which they can be sold. Other than that, I'm not sure there's any difference between "professional" and "non-professional" films.
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#16 Joseph Winchester

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 09:17 PM

"but "amateur" and "professional" is a bunch of marketing hype bullshit aimed at amateurs or students."

I can agree with the nomenclature of 'Amateur' and 'professional' in regards to film. However, there is a big difference between the HP5 400 and the Delta Pro 400, especially in 4x5. I've developed both stocks in Ilfotec, D76, T-max and Accufine and would choose the Delta anyday of the week.

Now, does it need the 'Professional' markings on the box rather than 'fine grain' or ? I don't know....

There certainly are films designed for professional use, and these can have the designation as such. Kodak's Portra 120 and Fuji's Pro-C 120 are such films.

Edited by Joseph Waingezheyaw, 28 January 2007 - 09:17 PM.

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#17 K Borowski

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 10:29 AM

Hi Karl,

My understanding is that manufacturers of "professional" still films require retail sales agents give these stocks special attention with regard to proper storage prior to sale. These films also have a much narrower window of time within which they can be sold. Other than that, I'm not sure there's any difference between "professional" and "non-professional" films.


With B&W, many stores don't bother to refrigerate it, so there's no difference. THe only film I'd say needs refrigeration (unless you want to prolong it's shelf life by freezing) is the T-Max 3200. Color is another story. Kodak Gold is most decidedly amateur. You'd be surprised though how many studios were using "amateur" film, maybe to go along with the amateurs they had working for them. My point is: how many amateurs are shooting their own B&W these days?

Umm, HP5 is professional just like Delta 400. Just because the Delta is newer technology doesn't somehow make the grainier, K-grained HP5 "amateur", especially in 4x5.
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#18 Joseph Winchester

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 12:55 PM

Karl,

If you re-read my post I never said HP5 was" less professional" than Delta. I simply said there was a big difference between the two, namely grain.
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#19 K Borowski

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 01:03 PM

Karl,

If you re-read my post I never said HP5 was" less professional" than Delta. I simply said there was a big difference between the two, namely grain.


You're right. My mistake. I find it odd you put it in the same paragraph saying you agree that there should be professional and amateur distinctions. It looked as if you were citing this of an example why the distinction was necessary when my dislexia kicked in there :rolleyes:

I still say that, as far as B&W is concerned, it is nothing but hype now. The last amateur film in B&W that I am aware of is that chromogenic 400-speed B&W film back when they had Portra 400BW chromogenic and 400CN chromogenic (the latter of which was amateur). It's possible that they were just different packagings of the same emulsion though. I'm not sure.
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#20 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 04:20 PM

So I'm not sure what the value is of a 15-stop push because most stocks are not recording detail that is more than 5 or 6 stops under key -- if you shot a face 15 stops underexposed and pushed the stock by 15 stops, you would not see a face on film.


The posted example is an astronomical photo.

Saying it's points of light against a black background is an over simplification,
but not a big tonal range.
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