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mmalby 17th September 2015 03:52 PM

Issues developing Delta 3200 - tips required.
Hi all,

I've started experimenting with Ilford Delta 3200, only used and processed one film ... so far

I used Ilfosol-3 for the prescribed time 11 mins @ (20oC/68oF), and the resulting negative was thinner than a supermodel. I took the timings off the Ilford data sheet for film and developer.

I usually shot in HP5 (36mm / 120) which I have no issues developing, using Ilfosol-3.

Any tips? Process for longer i.e 17+ mins, suggestion on alternative developer, process?

Kit used.
Canon 300v
50mm F1.8


Regards Mike.

Alan Clark 17th September 2015 04:25 PM

Hello Mike. What speed did you rate the film at?


Mike O'Pray 17th September 2015 06:19 PM

Mike, whatever speed that was, it may make sense to develop at the next speed up. Certainly this is what I have found with D3200 and DDX which is what I used to use

So I'd expose at EI 1600 and develop for 3200.

Just a note of caution this "rule" may not apply to other developers although it already looks likely that an increase in the Ilfosol time is called for.


Argentum 17th September 2015 06:47 PM

delta 3200 is a basically a low contrast film designed for pushing to normal contrast. Its ISO speed is 1000 becasue Ilford use ID11 for ISO tests.

The EI of 3200 is only obtainable by using Ilford Microphen developer which extracts the most effective film speed from it. For this use stock Microphen as per Ilfords recommendations. This will give you a normal contrast negative. It will be very grainy.

Ilford DDX will get you EI 1600 if you develop 1+4 18mins @ 20degC
It will be less grainy than Microphen but still grainy.

ID11 will get you EI 1000 using Ilfords recommended dilution, time and temp

I haven't tested with Ilfosol but I suspect you will get similar EI to using DDX (120 to 1600) but certainly not 3200 without excessive development and resulting high contrast.

So essentially what mike says except if you really want 3200 speed then you must get Microphen developer

alexmuir 17th September 2015 07:01 PM

I think Ilfosol is aimed more at 'medium' speed films around the 100-200 range. I know that most Ilford developers will give times for most of their films, but that doesn't mean they are necessarily the best combinations. I had thought that Microphen was the preferred developer for this film. I had also understood that it's true speed was 1000asa, but it was designed with low contrast so that pushing it to 3200asa wouldn't produce negatives with the very high contrast associated with extended development. I have only used D3200 on a few occasions, with limited success, but I blame that on my lack of research rather than the film. Others have used it to very good effect. Perhaps a look at the Ilford website would be useful. There should be a chart which gives the developer/film combinations with remarks about the quality of each combination such as 'finest grain', ' greatest sharpness', 'best overall image quality' etc. I do recall that this film allowed my daughter to produce very acceptable night images using her camera hand held. I cannot recall how I processed that film, but it was rated at 6400 for that outing.

skellum 17th September 2015 09:03 PM

Haven't used Delta 3200 for a while, and then only in 120 size.
I keep reading that its 'true' speed is ISO 1000, but I went with 3200 in Ilford DDX 1+4 for (forgive my memory) about 12 minutes.
It was lovely!
Grain is nicer than 35mm HP5 (in my modest opinion), sharp and good tonal range. It doesn't have the 'blocky' look I see in uprated ISO 400 film.
Haven't tried Microphen, or rating faster.

ps- I think Ilfosol is a very convenient, easy, developer which handles slower films well, but has terrible keeping qualities.

Mike O'Pray 17th September 2015 09:39 PM


Originally Posted by skellum (Post 104682)
I keep reading that its 'true' speed is ISO 1000, but I went with 3200 in Ilford DDX 1+4 for (forgive my memory) about 12 minutes.
It was lovely!
Grain is nicer than 35mm HP5 (in my modest opinion), sharp and good tonal range. It doesn't have the 'blocky' look I see in uprated ISO 400 film.

Yes that fits in with my experience in terms of using the next EI development time for DDX, skellum. This is about the Ilford speed for 6,400

In 120 it has very reasonable grain and as you say doesn't block up easily.

Mike,if it is going to be your film of choice or one you use frequently then it might be worthwhile considering DDX.


Argentum 17th September 2015 10:20 PM

what actually happens when you use a developer which isn't capable of giving EI 3200 is that you should have been using an EI of between 100 and 1600. The result is that you underexpose by upto a stop and a half. Then if the subject was low contrast you get very thin negs with no shadow detail.

If you are going to continue using Ilfosol 3 then I would use an EI of 1000 and try again. You can up that to 1200 or 1600 if you need to but at least you won't lose all your shadow detail if 1000 isn't fast enough.

But I guess you bought D3200 because you want the speed it offers so once again, if you want its fullest speed then use Microphen stock, 9mins @ 20degC.
That will give you a perfectly normal film curve. 4 stops to black below metered and 4 stops to white above metered. If you are using in camera averaging meter it will just work fine.

Roger Cole 17th September 2015 10:39 PM

I develop it in Kodak T-Max developer with great results. I use the Ilford recommendations but develop for one stop more than the speed I shoot it. In other words, I typically shoot it at EI 3200 and develop per the instructions for 6400. Results are fantastic.

I think, but of course can't know, that the recommendations were probably done to keep grain down and since I'm shooting it in 120 that's less of a concern.

I'd think DD-X would give similar results. I'm sure Microphen would be a good match as well.

mmalby 18th September 2015 09:50 AM

Thanks for your replies and feedback.

It looks like I need to move away from Ilfosol-3 when processing D3200, and experiment with Microphen and DD-X, and experiment processing @ 3200 & 6400.

I will be shooting another 35mm roll of D3200 this weekend, and when I've developed the roll I'll report back.

Thanks again for your help

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