Back in August 2018 I wrote here , on my 35mm site, about my issues with Ilford Delta 3200.
However, I am an Ilford man and like to support the home team, so I did some research online, looking at what others have said about this high speed film. I wanted to tame the grain and get the softer look I like and have seen others achieve.
I decided to shoot the film at ISO 1250, which is apparently the true speed of the film. I also opted for Ilford Ilfotec DDX as the developer, as other state it works very well at taming the grain of Delta 3200.
I shot Delta 3200 in both 120 and 35mm with differing results, but this post deals with just the medium format.
Sir Charles. Yashica 635 TLR & Ilford Delta 3200 @ 1250 in Ilfotec DDX.
The above cat photo is bang on for my taste. The large grain in Delta 3200 gives the photo a softness. Whereas soft focus is really just out of focus, the Delta 3200 allows you to be tack sharp with the focus, picking up all the detail, whilst the grain still manages to soften the image.
It is this creative effect which I had seen others manage, but wanted to emulate myself. The photo has a lovely range of tones, plenty of texture and details from the surfaces captured, but no excessive grain.The old High Street, Haworth, Yorkshire. Yashica 635 TLR & Ilford Delta 3200 @ 1250 in Ilfotec DDX.
In the above photo of the historic town of Haworth in Yorkshire (home of the Bronte sisters) the Delta 3200 has done another good job of capturing the scene. Loads of details, textures and tones, but with the same softness as before.
Ilford Delta 3200 is still not my go to film, that remains Ilford HP5, however I like the look of the film shot at 1250. The Ilfotec DDX has done a good job with the grain, no doubt helped by the grain reducing properties of medium format, and as a creative option, I will be using it again in 120.
For the future, I would like to try some portraits, where the softness produced by the film may be more sympathetic to someone’s appearance, without having to resort to the photo studio ‘soft focus’ option.
I will also try a roll at ISO 3200 and see how that looks in the DDX.
In both photos the camera was a Yashica 635 TLR, shot handheld with available light.