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Which Ilford film?

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by fletch39, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. fletch39

    fletch39 Member

    I'm going back to processing my own B&W.

    I used to shoot FP4 at 200ISO and process accordingly in ID11. After 10 years I'm wondering if this is still a good option.

    Would I be better off with another film/developer combination for medium to high contrast fine grain work?

  2. taxor

    taxor Well-Known Member

    If you can put up with the loss in speed, then I would say Ilford Pan F has all the characteristics you're looking for. Intrinsically fine-grained and contrasty. Works well in ID11 at 1:1 dilution. There are a couple of other things that may point you in the right direction such as what format you'll be shooting on or what kind of enlarger you'll be using (assuming you'll be doing your own printing). Regards, TAXOR.
  3. fletch39

    fletch39 Member

    Thanks TAXOR
    I am really looking for greater speed than Pan F, using 35mm in a Leica. That's why I liked FP4 pushed to 200. It's faster than 100 films but is finer grained than, say, HP5.
    I will not be doing my own printing.

    I suppose I'm really asking if there are films that are now better than FP4 for what I want it to do, i.e. should I try Delta 100 and/or Perceptol, or any other combination?

  4. taxor

    taxor Well-Known Member

    You'll be hard pushed to find Perceptol these days as Ilford have discontinued it (which is a real shame, 'coz I thought it was one of the best developers ever!). If it has to be Ilford then perhaps one of the Delta range may suffice. However, if you can get it, then I've heard very good things about Fuji Acros although you'll have to look elsewhere on how to develop it (I've never used it, unfortunately). Try the Digital truth website for dev. times. I did use uprated FP4 extensively in the past, but I found it a tad too grainy for my liking. These days I use HP5 in D76(ID11) at 1:1 and I get very good negs.
  5. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I've never been much of a fan of what we used to think of as medium-speed B&W film - FP4 always struck me as too much of a compromise, and I preferred to use Pan F or HP5 as required. I have shot a few rolls of Acros, and it's a decent enough film, but again without the character I like. TMax 100 is a horror to use in normal chemistry, but capable of incredible resolution and tonality if developed to control the contrast. Delta 100 is my favourite of them, but actually Delta 400 is nearly as good and might well fit the bill. I soup it in TMax dev, which seems to work better for Deltas than TMax!
    Alternatively, what about XP2?
  6. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Well-Known Member

    FP4, now in its incarnation as FP4+, is still a nice film to use this way. Delta 100 is sharper and finer grained but less happy about being pushed as it seems to have less exposure latitude.

    If you are prepared to lose a stop of speed, you might like PanF+ rated at 100 ISO and deved in Neofin Blue.

    Alternatively, if your only reason for disliking HP5 is the grain, try Delta 400.
  7. taxor

    taxor Well-Known Member

    I believe that the traditional Ilford emulsions are more forgiving in terms of processing and exposure. My own (limited) experience with Delta 400 tends to agree with this, in that it didn't handle underexposure as well as HP5+, even though it was processed in the very forgiving Exactol Lux developer. It does have relatively fine grain though! I have used HP5+ in Exactol Lux, and got brilliant results.
  8. fletch39

    fletch39 Member

    Thanks all, this has been very useful

    Perhaps fine grain should be my first priority. I'm going to try out Delta 100.

    Also I'll give Delta 400 a go (perhaps at 200?).

    I've considered Acros but can't find the recommended Microfine developer anywhere.

    So, what's the best fine grain developer for Delta?

  9. RonM

    RonM Alpha Napper


    The best bet is probably Ilfords DD/DDX as they have been formulated especially for the Delta range
  10. fletch39

    fletch39 Member

    Thank you all very much for your help.
    I'll provide feedback on the results I get from Delta and DDX.

  11. Saturn

    Saturn Active Member

    FP4 in Paterson FX-39. Rate it at 125. Develop 1+17 for 7 minutes @20C.
  12. ncmoody

    ncmoody Well-Known Member

    I know you specifically mentioned Ilford in your thread, if however, you are prepared to be a little adventurous you might want to look at these people. EFKE/ADOX I used their film back in the late '70s and early '80s and was very impressed particularly with the KB17 ultra fine grain with predictive 'push'. Only problem you need to be careful of is 'reticulation' because it uses an old style base/emulsion formulation. I used a special Paterson developer, highly concentrated, unfortunatly I can't remember the name.
  13. pilliwinks

    pilliwinks Well-Known Member

    Back in production, and back in stock.
  14. Saturn

    Saturn Active Member

    Adox/Efke films are markedly inferior to Ilford in every way. Absolutely pointless to try them. FP4 Plus is one of the very best films in the world. I recently compared FP4 Plus against Fuji Neopan 100 Acros. The FP4 was about 1/2 stop faster and just marginally grainier. The Acros works out to be about EI 80, FP4 about EI 125, both in Paterson FX-39.

    I also tried Fuji Neopan 100 SS. It is grainier than FP4 Plus, and about EI 80.
  15. AJUK

    AJUK Well-Known Member

    I just loaded my camera with FP4 about 2 Minutes ago, this I intend to be the second ever roll I develope myself, Althought it is 3 years out of date!
  16. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Totally disagree - FP4 is such a boring film, very short on character compared to Adox/Efke - or Pan F and HP5, for that matter.
  17. AJUK

    AJUK Well-Known Member

    Yeah I hate the way it drowns on about what fluid it want's to be developed in :D
  18. fletch39

    fletch39 Member

    OK, here's some feedback after trying out my first couple of films.
    Delta 400 & 3200 rated at 400 and 1600 give the same development time in DDX, so handy for the double tank (Pan F at 50 also the same).
    Ran 400 in an old Nikon and 3200 in an M6.
    Really surprised at the sharpness of both films. 400 nicely controlled grain, and the 3200 (at 1600) full of Leica character in low light. Both showed good dynamic range even with the punchy 3200/1600 shots.
    Very pleased with the results; can recommend.
    Will be trying the Pan F and Delta 100 now to get some good comparisons.
  19. downfader

    downfader Well-Known Member

    I really like Delta 100 but I have to admit I dont like all those fine grained chems, I prefer chems that dont mess with grain too much, like ID11.

    Anyway, just thought I'd add that I've seen some Delta 100 rated at 64 that has created some really loverly images - so maybe on a really sunny day you might like to try it out?

    I've rated Delta 400 at 200, but I did get it lab processed so I have no idea what chems were used. Its came out a bit flat tbh, so thats how I got into developing films at home.

    I really love Delta 3200, I've used it in my slrs and my point and shoot compact for low light stuff. I love the grain. :D
  20. Ben78

    Ben78 Well-Known Member

    I seem to remember reading DDX is designed for developing film rated at its advertised speed, ie no push processing. Personally, I love the results from HP5 and Delta 100 when used for outside work and developed with DDX. FP4 I've used quite a bit but I'm not such a fan of. Don't know if that helps?

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