400 Delta/Ilfosol -- Grain Problem!

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I recently got a Contax 645 and have been shooting Delta 400 as my main b&w film to get some more speed. My other camera is a RB67 in which I shoot almost exclusively Delta 100.

The rolls of Delta 400 I've developed thus far have very noticable grain on 8x10 enlargements! The negatives are sharp and snappy, but grainy, especially in the out of focus areas! I've never had grain problems with Delta 100. I have a big backlog of undeveloped Delta 400 and I'd like to figure out this problem. I'm rating at ISO 400 and developing in Ilfosol-S at 1+9 for 10min at 20C. I'm printing with a Omega B-7 condenser on Ilford Multigrade IV RC pearl developed in Ilford Paper Developer at 1+9.

Has anyone else had this problem? Suggestions for fixing it? I'd like to stick with Ilfosol as I get nice results with 100 Delta. If there is another developer suggestion I prefer one shot liquids. Thanks!

-- John Pyles (johnp@u.washington.edu), March 23, 2002


I had nothing but grain problems using Ilfosol. I switched to DD-X and now to Xtol (easy local availability), and the grain on my Tri-X 400 negs is so fine I have difficulty focusing with a grain magnifier.

-- Todd Frederick (fredrick@hotcity.com), March 23, 2002.

What filter (contrast) are you using to print most of the negs?

-- John Hicks (jhicks31@bellsouth.net), March 24, 2002.

I actually do straight prints most of the time with no filter.


-- John Pyles (johnp@u.washington.edu), March 24, 2002.

Hmm...perhaps the water supply is a factor...I don't know...while Delta 400 in a smaller format would reasonably be expected to be grainier than Delta 100, "very noticeable" grain in 8x10 prints from 645 leads me to wonder what's wrong since that shouldn't be the case.

I'd suggest you try D-76 or ID-11 1:1 using Ilford's development recommendation as a starting point, and mixing at least the stock with distilled water may be worthwhile.

-- John Hicks (jhicks31@bellsouth.net), March 24, 2002.

I shoot a ton of Delta 400 in 6x7 and found that perceptol diluted 1:1 will give you the results you are looking for. at 68 deg shot at 200, the times ilford gives are too generous with Jobo- diffusion...try 12 min. At 400 asa, Ilford times are right on.


-- Kurt Brickner (kabrickner@mindspring.com), March 30, 2002.

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