Ilford's New Delta 400 : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

I just returned from 2 weeks in Europe. At the last minute I tossed 4 rolls of the new Delta 400 in my bag along with some TMY that I wanted to use up and a lot of FP4. What a mistake that was. I should have tossed in 40 rolls. I used the stuff in my Hasselblad on a small Manfrotto table top tripod in some cathedrals in Holland and Belgium. I developed it in ID11 1:1 14 min. just like that instructions suggested. The negatives and resulting prints were great. The contrast levels in those churches was extreme. The film hanndled it better than I had hoped. By the way I rated it at a nominal 250. If Ilford were to bring this stuff out in 4x5, I for one would use it.

-- Bill Lester (, May 15, 2001


and TMY did not fare so well?

-- daniel taylor (, May 15, 2001.

I've been using TMY for a lot of years. Some of my best photographs ever have been made using it. In the last couple of years it seems some of my worst photographs have resulted from its use. Maybe its me. I don't know. I haven't found a satisfactory answer. For years I rated it at 200 and developed it in HC110. When Xtol came along I tried that. Sometimes it was great, sometimes it wasn't. The film seemed to exhibit more grain that it used to. And the grain wasn't sharp and well defined. And the negatives seemed to render dull and flat looking prints. I began looking for something else and went back to an old standby - FP4 and ID11. The results were great. The problem is that I liked that extra stop of film speed with TMY (I rate FP4 at 100, TMY at 200 or 250)and TMY was capable of providing extremely fine grain at one time - certainly no worse than FP4. I was in Scotland last year and on the whole was disappointed with my photograps which were all on TMY. This year I resolved to take my old standby FP4 as my main film and threw a little faster stuff in just in case. The faster stuff was called for more than not and as I mentioned earlier the new Delta 400 performed beautifully. The TMY did not - again. The results are dull and lacking contrast. The problem with TMY is that it doesn't seem to handle high contrast well and so there is a tendency to be stingy with development - especially with roll film where you can run the gamut of subject brightness ranges on 1 roll. The Delta 400 negatives printed easily despite the large contrast range in the cathedrals. Shadow detail was excellent. I suspect that rating it a 250 was a little on the low side - 400 is probably more like it, but the shadow detail was so good I may leave it at 250. We'll see. All of my film was developed 1:1 in ID11. I think sometimes that if you accidentally get a fim and developer to work right off the bat, maybe you should stick to it. I'm not a guy for a lot of testing. I'd rather just take pictures and leave the tests to the rest of you.

-- Bill Lester (, May 15, 2001.

thank you Bill for your report. my initial comparisons with new Delta 400 versus TMY is that TMY in Xtol has finer grain than the Ilford offering. Delta 400 in Xtol is quite beautiful, on par with TMY in my estimation though with increased grain. my main objection to this film and Delta films in general, is the base material. whereas TMX and TMY have a thicker base and lie flat on the light table and scanner bed, Ilford films curl radically.

another note, TMY and Xtol yields finer grain that Delta 400 in Perceptol. like you, I have found a dynamic duo (when it behaves) and find myself heavily invested and committed to TMax films. this is 120, whereas in 35mm and 4x5 I prefer the Ilford films.

glad you found success .. enjoy it.

-- daniel taylor (, May 15, 2001.

Bill, why haven't you gone back to TMY in HC-110, which was the combination you say provided some of your best photographs?

-- Sal Santamaura (, May 15, 2001.

just thoughts, but TMY in HC-110 seems a very poor marriage. I won't argue with success, but it explains why TMY in Xtol seemed flat to you. you want contrast? Tri-X in D-19.

I have found the Xtol offering by Kodak in the last few months to have changed, becoming more predictable and more active. what were once large processing time deviations from Kodak's specs, my timings have yielded overdevelopment of late, as my new times start approaching what Kodak has published. don't quote me, but I do feel like there has been a process change (and improvements) of late. Xtol seems to have finally settled into its groove.

-- daniel taylor (, May 15, 2001.

Interesting input, Daniel. I wasn't suggesting that TMY and HC-110 made a good marriage, only that Bill seemed previously to have been pleased by that combination.

My own experience with TMY + Xtol is that it really sings, WHEN IT WORKS! I gave up on Xtol completely, and am still gun shy, but will watch this board (as well as others) over time to see if the recent improvements you noted can be counted on.

-- Sal Santamaura (, May 15, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ