marginal density in Ilford films : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

back in the saddle after thirty years of Ektachrome. developed some HP5+, EI400, ID-11, standard times, and really didn't get the dark, exposed density that I was expecting. the thin negatives are not conducive to scanning, so I tried a roll of Delta 3200. on this attempt, Delta 3200 EI1600, I overexposed, and processed using the developing specificatons for EI3200. I thought this would insure those the deep, dark, exposed areas I remembered from my Plus-X days. results were still rather thin, in fact, quite thin, even with +1 stop overexposure and push +1. results with FP4+ were better, so I am wondering if this is normal for these films?

-- Daniel Taylor (, June 20, 1999


You're simply underexposing for the development you're giving. I get EI 320 for HP5+ in ID-11/D-76 1:1; many people get EI 200-320 for this combination. Ilford really dropped the ball with their recommendations for Delta 3200; using their specs for ID-11 gets a slightly contrasty EI 800. So for your HP5+, try EI 250 or so, and for Delta 3200 try EI 1600 in Microphen 7'/75F.

-- John Hicks / John's Camera Shop (, June 21, 1999.

isn't the ISO400 rating based on a standard? it seems to me, it either is or isn't this sensitive. any recommendations for a good EI400 film, that will yield high-contrast, dense, negatives that will allow adequate scanning? Tri-X?

thank you for the advice John. will give it a go. I need to find an EI400 solution.


-- Daniel Taylor (, June 21, 1999.

The manufacturer development times are just a starting point. Your thermometer, agitation, even water make a difference. I use Xtol and develop about 10-20% longer than Kodak's recomendation. Way back when I used D-76 and doggedly stuck to the recommended times, and overdeveloped alot of film. Did the same with Acufine and underdeveloped alot of film too. Developing your own B&W gives you unlimited control, so exercise it.

-- Tim Brown (, June 24, 1999.

The problem is that the ISO standard is based on non-pictorial development, essentially in order to give film manufacturers a 400-speed rating. The same films developed to be printable will usually come in at around EI 250-320.

-- John Hicks / John's Camera Shop (, June 24, 1999.

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