Best super-fast film? : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

Has anyone out there compared T-max 3200 to Delta 3200? How bad is the grain when you're dealing with a film that fast? What if you shoot it at a lower ISO? Does that help reduce grain? Can one buy an 800 ISO or 1600 ISO film? This is new terrain for me. Thanks.

-- Kate Hudec (, May 13, 2000


Have a leisurely look down through the threads in this forum, and you will find quite a bit of information. Also look over in the original Q&A on; their search function will also yield quite a bit. My personal favorite at 3200 is Delta 3200; others prefer TMax. Sorry to not have a more definitive answer, but they can look pretty different. At 800, 1600, the field is more open. In somewhat flat light, I like the look of Tri-X pushed to 1600. When it is already somewhat contrasty, I get a better contrast range with Delta 3200. None of these films has a "real" speed faster than 1000 or so. They respond differently to pushing, and are good to experiment with to see the "look" you want. Also around are HP5+ and Fuji Neopan 1600. The Neopan didn't do it for me at 1600, ok at 800. John Hicks has some good information on developing times. Search for his stuff over here. Also, Look at unblkinkingeye.coom, where some of those times are posted for Delta 3200.

The world of low-light photography can get to be fun - it rewards careful experimentation.

-- Paul Harris (, May 13, 2000.

I have been using Neopan 1600 for a long time. Since I do mostly portraits, I meter as follows. With the ISO setting at 1000, I meter the face [caucasian skin] and use that reading. I develop in Sprint 1:9 [Same as Dektol 1:1] half way between their (Neopan's) recommended time for 1600 and 800.

You can see the results at


-- Christian Harkness (, May 15, 2000.

Superfast?? Try TMAX 3200 @ EI 12,000 - lots of grain but take handheld shots in truly low light conditions (Use TMAX developer - approx 15 Minutes developing time).

-- Klaus Werner (, May 15, 2000.

The two films have quite different looks. To be honest, though, if you think grain is bad, you may not like either of them. Seriously, grain ain't such a bad thing, as long as your pics are sharp, well- exposed, etc. I grew to love grain after a long time trying to get rid of it...FWIW. Delta prabably looks a little 'smoother' to my eye.

-- shawn gibson (, May 15, 2000.

My experience with the Kodak product was with T-max developer. I thought the tonality was poor, the grain was huge, and the contrast was way too much.

With Ilford D3200 I tried Microphen, which I thought was quite a bit better a combination. Then I discovered XTOL 1:1, which helps out the grain a lot. Finally I tried downrating the film to around ISO 2000 (thanks to John Hicks) which improved things another notch. I think that combination is about as good as high speed film gets.

Since Kodak's P3200 is about a buck a roll cheaper at B&H, I've wondered how it would respond to the same treatment, but the Ilford product (with XTOL) works so well, I haven't had the heart.

-- Brian Hinther (, May 15, 2000.

I tried both and ended up picking TMZ (TMAX 3200). Delta 3200 is a finer-grained film and a little faster, but the sharpness is slightly better with TMZ. Delta 3200 is definitely easier to handle in the darkroom, however.

-- John O'Connell (, May 15, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ