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View Full Version : FP4+ compared to Delta 100



Dakotah Jackson
27-Mar-2011, 13:29
Have used FP4+ in 8x10 ever since Ilford quit making Delta 400 in 8x10. Very nice, clean and reliable.

How does the Delta 100 compare in use?

I ask as I was shooting some Kodal new TMax 400 in 5x7 - but with it being almost impossible to get now I am going back to Ilford. No let downs and I see it is available.

As a result of trying the TMax I am open to the Delta 100 in sheet film sizes(5x7 and especially 8x10) if there is any improvement that can be seen in finished prints.

Does it have shadow rendition problems under blue skies like TMax 100 used to have? Any odd results or differences in mid to high tone separation compared to FP+? Does it process well in Pyrocat HD?

I don't really want to sit around doing darkroom testing. Just trying to find out experiences of sheet film shooters who may have used both for some time to see if it is worth trying. Tmax 400 was - but now Kodak makes it almost impossible to get. Doesn't matter how good it is if you can't get the stuff.

Henry Ambrose
27-Mar-2011, 15:19
Tough question.

If reduced to 35mm I'd say that there is a small difference. On 8X10 I'm not sure there will be as much that you will notice. FP4 is easier to use, Delta 100 more spectacular when you hit its somewhat narrow sweet spot. Both are great in Pyrocat.

I always used HP5 in 8x10 and was happy with it. Kinda hard to get bad results and never needed anything finer grained.

Filmnut
27-Mar-2011, 15:32
I've shot FP4+ and Delta 100, and prefer the sharpness of the Delta over the FP4. I concur with Henry, that unless you're making huge prints, its' not likely you'll see any difference with respect to grain and sharpness on your prints. What you will see if the tonal differences that the two films have, and its' a matter of preference which style you like.
Personally, Delta 100 has been my favourite for the last couple of years, usually processed in Rodinal 1:50.
Also, I agree with you that it doesn't matter how much you love a film, if you can't get it and want to keep shooting, you have to go with what you can use.
I know this might not be the answer you want, but I'd think it would be hard to go wrong with either film.
Keith

Robert Skeoch
28-Mar-2011, 06:01
I like the Delta 100 better in 8x10, most of my prints are 20x24. I haven't used the developer you're using though... so of course your mileage may vary.

-Rob

mcfactor
28-Mar-2011, 21:43
I agree with Henry, Delta 100 was noticeably sharper than fp4. Delta in pyrocat-HD is really pretty special, very nice tonality and incredibly sharp. Here is an example: http://noahmclaurine.com/Image.cfm?nK=13539&i=158985#5

mcfactor
28-Mar-2011, 21:46
Here is another Delta 100, 8x10, in pyrocat-HD: http://noahmclaurine.com/Image.cfm?nK=12988&i=156915#13

mikew
29-Mar-2011, 20:58
Just a few thoughts...

It's hard to comment on the operation of any film without knowing if you're scanning, printing, etc...and without marrying it to a developer, dilution and agitation method. All the qualities of a negative are relative to how it's processed and what it's processed for. I developed a FP4 test neg - three of the same shot - in pyrocat-hd, rodinal, and HC-110 the other day - all to the same CI - and the results are ridiculously different. And they all printed very differently.

My preference is FP4 because I find that the highlight tonality - and tonal range overall - is better compared to Delta 100 and that FP4 has way more latitude with Zone System-type development manipulations. But I don't think you can go wrong either way. Any film is capable of amazing results. It's more a matter of committing to it.

I know that you don't want to do any testing but it's really the only way to figure out what you like and what works for you. I've read tons of great advice on these threads, but a lot of it hasn't worked for me. It doesn't mean that it's not right, just that everyone needs to find their own way.

I'm sure Pyrocat-HD would be great with Delta 100 BTW.

Best of luck,

Mikew

Dakotah Jackson
30-Mar-2011, 08:19
Thanks for the info so far. I tray process in Pyrocat HD, green safelight for inspection. Time and temp is what it is. Depends on the ambient air temp in my darkroom and time is when the neg looks right under the green safelight. No need for a clock.

I like FP4+ and how it looks. Would shoot some Delta and develop and see. Will do so next month, shooting two of the same scene, develop and contact print with both Azo and Ziatype prints. Then look carefully at how the Delta handles highlight separation and midtones as well as sharp contrast edges like branches and such.

If I can't see a good difference, will stay with what I am used to.

Drew Wiley
30-Mar-2011, 08:30
I find them to be different animals, and both unlike TMX. Delta 100 has more toe than
FP4, so quite good at separating upper midtones and highlights, but with less shadow
differentiation. Handling-wise, Delta 100 seems more like TMX in that it is slicker and more prone to Newton ring issues. FP4 tends to have better edge effect in pyro. Both
films are annoyingly slow for 8x10; I find ASA 50 to be the real-world speed for both
of them, while TMX is true 100 speed film. Academic, however, since TMX is going to
be almost impossible to get in 8X10. I like TMY a lot better in this size anyway.

Kirk Gittings
30-Mar-2011, 10:36
Thanks for the info so far. I tray process in Pyrocat HD, green safelight for inspection. Time and temp is what it is. Depends on the ambient air temp in my darkroom and time is when the neg looks right under the green safelight. No need for a clock.

I like FP4+ and how it looks. Would shoot some Delta and develop and see. Will do so next month, shooting two of the same scene, develop and contact print with both Azo and Ziatype prints. Then look carefully at how the Delta handles highlight separation and midtones as well as sharp contrast edges like branches and such.

If I can't see a good difference, will stay with what I am used to.

In the spirit of KISS, I like the idea of developing by inspection, but have never done it. AAMOF i am completely ignorant of it. What green light are you using?

Richard Wasserman
30-Mar-2011, 11:01
Kirk,

This is what Michael Smith has to say about DBI—

http://www.michaelandpaula.com/mp/devinsp.html

Kirk Gittings
30-Mar-2011, 12:28
I'll have to give this a try.

These filters are a little pricy for experimentation. Anyone have a used one laying around?

sanking
30-Mar-2011, 13:13
I'll have to give this a try.

These filters are a little pricy for experimentation. Anyone have a used one laying around?

This requires a fair amount of skill IMHO. I tried DBI several times with a green filter and could never come close to my target density range. I even tried it with the night vision goggle and I could see better for sure but nailing the DR within log 0.30 or less was still pretty much hit and miss.

However, if you want to give this a go I have a small light with a deep green filter made for DBI somewhere around here that I would be happy to send you.

Sandy

Kirk Gittings
30-Mar-2011, 13:18
This requires a fair amount of skill IMHO. I tried DBI several times with a green filter and could never come close to my target density range. I even tried it with the night vision goggle and I could see better for sure but nailing the DR within log 0.30 or less was still pretty much hit and miss.

However, if you want to give this a go I have a small light with a deep green filter made for DBI somewhere around here that I would be happy to send you.

Sandy

I wonder if this is harder to judge or easier with a pyro developer? I am currently using Pyrocat HD.

That would be great Sandy, Thanks. I would happily cover the cost of shipping.

1414 Phoenix Ave. NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107

Eric Biggerstaff
30-Mar-2011, 13:24
I use both films with Delta 100 being my primary film in 5X7. I develop it in DDX at 1+6 and rate if at 100 (believe it or not). It has a very smooth look to and and the whites are sort of creamy to my eye, really very nice. I also like FP4+ and use it often as well but I develop that in Rodinal 1+50. Both films are excellent but different so it is difficult to compare them, at least for me.

sanking
30-Mar-2011, 13:35
I wonder if this is harder to judge or easier with a pyro developer? I am currently using Pyrocat HD.

That would be great Sandy, Thanks. I would happily cover the cost of shipping.

1414 Phoenix Ave. NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107


Kirk,

I will get it in the mail to you early next week. Would do so sooner but wife and I are leaving very early tomorrow for a five day road trip.

Consider it a small perk for your excellent job of moderation!

Sandy

Kirk Gittings
30-Mar-2011, 14:01
Absolutely no hurry! Thanks. have a good trip.

Joel Truckenbrod
30-Mar-2011, 18:05
A tangential note -Anyone know what happened to Badger Graphic offering 5x7 Delta 100? They had it a available a month or two ago, and now that I need to get some, it's disappeared. Go figure. I really hope I can find some so I don't have to cut down 8x10 sheets.

Joel Truckenbrod
1-Apr-2011, 08:48
Scratch my previous comment - Just talked to them and they are currently filling all of their back orders for 5x7 Delta 100. Apparently they'll be offering the film again for order once the back orders are taken care of.

Douglas Henderson
2-Apr-2011, 08:47
For what it's worth, here is a recent 8x10 photo shot with FP4 developed in, I believe, in XTOL by DDIC in Denver--my darkroom has been in mothballs for the last 15 years. But I'm making an effort to return to large-format photography. This was first test shoots with a very bulky magnesium Calumet C-1.

The film was scanned with an old Microteck 1800F (a flawed machine to be sure) right through the clear archival envelope.

Vlad Soare
2-Apr-2011, 13:36
I'm relatively new to DBI, only since last summer, so my experience may not be too conclusive, but so far it seems to work very well for me. I was wary at first, but when Michael and Paula demonstrated it during a workshop and showed us how easy it was I decided to give it a try.
Strangely, it works. I'm sure I don't get the exact same highlight density every time. That would be impossible. But somehow the negatives print just fine even on graded paper, which is all I need. :)
It takes a couple of trials until you learn how the negatives should look under the green light when they're developed correctly. My first ones came out badly overdeveloped (but that's OK - they made beautiful vandyke prints. :D)