View Full Version : Fuji NEOPAN 100 ACROS versus Ilford DELTA 100 and FP4+ in 8x10

4-Feb-2009, 16:55
Hi all,

I shoot 8x10 with color slide and negative film. I really enjoy the contact prints I get from my color negatives, so I am interested in trying B&W film to get some platinum contact prints.

I looked around and have not seen any posts or articles comparing the above B&W films. Does anybody here have any experience shooting these films, and how do you feel about them? Why would you choose 1 over the others? Also, any opinions on KODAK film versus these films?

Right now I am shooting landscapes and plan to start shooting people/portraits in the near future. I am thinking that I will be shooting B&W mainly for the people/portraits. I may also step up to 11x14 if I like the results of my contact prints, so that is another consideration (I have not seen any NEOPAN 100 offered in 11x14).


Drew Wiley
4-Feb-2009, 17:28
Neopan ACROS is difficult to obtain in 8x10, although I still have a box on hand. It is
orthopan, rather than pan or ortho, and I find the film base somewhat thin and slippery
- in other words, it doesn't lay very flat and is prone to Newton's rings in an enlarger.
You have to be very careful about air bells in tray development. But it is a very lovely
film, one which I frequently shoot in 4x5 Quickloads in the high Sierra. Just love the
natural effect of orthopan. I rate both this and FP4+ at ASA50 for PMK pyro. FP4+
is another wonderful film with good edge effect. But for 8x10 use I find both these films
on the slow side. An unusual positive attribute for ACROS is that it requires very little
recip adjustment for long exposures. I've never cared much for Delta films, at least for
landscape - too much toe (poor shadow separation) and poor edge effect. Maybe OK
for portraits or high-key subjects.

Gem Singer
4-Feb-2009, 17:55
Fuji Acros 100 and Ilford Delta 100 are fabricated grain films. Similar to Kodak T-Max 100. (Fuji calls it Sigma grain. Ilford calls it Delta grain).

Ilford FP-4+, on the other hand, is a conventional grained film.

I tried a box of Acros 100 in 8X10 and found it very finicky to expose and develop.

My favorite film for 8X10 is Ilford HP-5+. Easy to expose (more forgiving) and the extra two stops of speed comes in handy under windy conditions.

Drew Wiley
4-Feb-2009, 18:27
Gem - yeah, I'm back with HP5+ in 8X10, although the discontinued Bergger 200 was my favorite 8X10 film of all. I'm trying out Arista 200, which seems to have
excellent tone but is very fragile and rather slow. I'm also starting to experiment
with PMK Max for the HP5+, to see how it compares with the regular PMK in terms of shadow and highlt quality - but it's hard to go wrong with this film unless you
overdevelop it.

Gem Singer
4-Feb-2009, 18:41
I still have a box of Bergger BPF 200. It is very nice developed in Pyrocat HD.

I have been using Formulary FA-1027 developer for HP5+ lately. It is similar to Ilford DD-X but it contains two restrainers and seems to be very effective in preventing the highlights from blowing out.

Cannot use PMK due to extreme sensitivity to Metol.

Ralph Barker
5-Feb-2009, 08:51
Dan, there are various ways to approach film choice. All of the films you mention are excellent, but have different characteristics. Fuji Acros and Ilford Delta films have what I'd call a "technical" look, a crispness that traditional emulsions like FP4+ (and HP5+ if you want the extra speed) don't have. On the other hand, FP4+ has a slightly "creamy" look, although not to the degree that PanF+ has, but the latter is not available in sheet formats.

Personally, I like to select film based on how I want a specific subject to look. Thus, I usually prefer FP4+ for portraits and landscapes, and Delta or Acros for subjects like tools or products.

So, my suggestion would be to do tests with each, and see what you like the best.

5-Feb-2009, 11:31
Film choice is a rather dubious task. The differences between the films you mention will be negligible in 8x10 format. I use Delta 100 for just about everything MF through 8x10. I have done extensive testing between Delta 100 and HP5. The main differences are grain and speed; with 4x5 and larger grain is mostly a non issue even with a N+2 development in 20x24 and smaller prints for Delta 100 and HP5. Tonality is controlled to much greater extent during the printing process, IMHO.

I don't think either film is easy or harder to work with when it comes to exposure and development. Delta loves 1:1, 1:2, 1:3 Xtol. HP5 is better in HC-110 but is fine in Xtol or lots of other developers. My normal Development time with Delta 100 is Xtol 1:1, 10m @ 68 degrees, rotary processed, EI 100, darkest shadow you want detail in on Zone 4 (similiar to reducing EI to 50). Delta holds contrast in the lower zones quite well with reduced development and slight increase in exposure, up to N-3.

HP5 can produce great results even at N-6 using compensating development techinques and increased exposure.

Film speed is an interesting issue. HP5 appears faster, but if your exposures are 1s or longer Delta/Across/Tmax rapidly become faster. If we are talking f22/f32 in the morning, evening, or shade. That can easily be a 15+ second exposure.

I do find that the Tmax/Delta/Across type films prefer continuous agitation (Jobo, Unicolor, etc.) as it tends to be more consistent, but you can process them in trays as well. I suggest as many others in the past have said, picking a film and sticking with it. HP5 is good. Delta is Good. Tmax is good but expensive. Across is Good but not really available in 8x10 and expensive.

If you are tray developing or need more than N-3 development I'd go with HP5. If you are rotary processing I'd go with Tmax or Delta 100. I haven't tested the foma films (Arista EDU) but they are cheap and tempting. If I end up doing some testing I will post the results.

Good Luck, -=Will

Ron Marshall
5-Feb-2009, 11:41
For 4x5 and 5x7 I use mostly TMY, grain is not a problem in XTOL, the extra speed is nice, and it has a long straight curve.

Peter De Smidt
5-Feb-2009, 12:13
One deciding factor might be reciprocity behavior, as 8x10 exposures can get lengthy. Acros has outstanding reciprocity characteristics.

Darryl Baird
5-Feb-2009, 16:23
I chose Delta 100 for its reciprocity response over a few faster films. When I'm dealing with small apertures and long times anyway, why not get the tightest grain available? Acros is too difficult to get and keep in stock (I have a ton in 120, but sheet film is rarely "always" in stock when I need (and can afford) to buy sheet film.

7-Feb-2009, 07:27
Thanks to everyone for sharing your experiences with these films. I am trying FP4+ and may try NEOPAN 100 ACROS and DELTA 100 later.


CP Goerz
7-Feb-2009, 11:18
Just my 2 cents but I try to use the slowest speed film I can get away with, usually 100ISO but have gone as low as 25. The low end separation in slow speed films is all but impossible to get when you go higher up in film speed. The drawback is that the highlights can get very burnt quickly so use a pyro type developer to keep them in control a bit more.