Fast films : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

I want to experiment with fast black and white films at ISO 1600 and faster and would like any information regarding specific films, developers, and pushing. Comments regarding sharpness, tonality, grain, and interesting subjects would be especially appreciated. Thanks.

-- Bert Krages (, June 15, 2000


I think the most versatile fast black and white film on the market today is Ilford Delta 3200, which can be rated from 800 to 25,000. I use it in medium format only, and at EI 800 it has quite remarkable sharpness and gradation. I have a Delta 3200 page at that contains developing information gleaned from other contributors to this forum.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, June 15, 2000.

Ilford 3200 is good stuff. Even with 35mm it can handle a little bit of enlargement (5X7) and I'm sure if one knew what they were doing (unlike myself) more. I am too chicken to process it myself either though, but the custom lab always does a great job with it. I found it easy to overexpose mind you, so I'd do what the instructions say and test it first. Anyhow, I'd vote Ilford.


-- Dean Lastoria (, June 15, 2000.

At 1600 I use Fuji Neopan, developed in Xtol 1:1, excellent for 18*24 or 24*30, compared for its speed fine grain. A bit on the contrasty side, so grade 1 or 2 paper is recommended. Even 30*40 enlargments can be done.

At 6400 I used Kodak TMZ 3200 developed in Ilford DD-X or my favourite Tetenal Ultrafin Plus, adding 15% of development time. No it is not very fine grain, but works nicely for taking pictures of bodies, enlarged to 24*30.



-- Wolfram Kollig (, June 16, 2000.

Bert, for 35mm my favorite continues to be Neopan 1600. For portraits I set the ISO to 1000 and meter for the skin tones. I then develop in Sprint 1:9 [same as D-76 1:1] for an interpolated time, averaging the times for 800 and 1600.

Also like T-Max 3200 at 1600 and developed in T-Max developer. I find it especially nice for portraits, using a red filter.


-- Christian Harkness (, June 16, 2000.

I prefer Ilford Delta 3200 and develop it in XTOL 1:1 at 75 degrees for 15 minutes. I also tweak my exposure compensation 2/3 of a stop so I'm actually shooting at an EI of something like 2150. For this speed, the tonality is nothing short of amazing. My thanks to John Hicks for getting me to start thinking along these lines with his posts a few months ago.

-- Brian Hinther (, June 26, 2000.

I recommend Delta 3200 in Xtol 1:1, Microphen or DD-X, at around EI 2000 or so.

You'll have to take various development time recommendations you come across and adjust to suit your methods etc.

Beware that some of Ilford's recommendations for developing Delta 3200 apparently came out of thin air.

-- John Hicks (, June 26, 2000.

If your interested in grain, get some Kodak Recording film. I think (used it long ago) it is 4000asa and PLENTY of grain. Can be nice for handcoloring with the right subjects. Cheers

-- Scott Walton (, June 28, 2000.

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