View Full Version : Delta 3200 vs. HP5 development in PMK pyro

Henry Carter
21-Jul-2009, 18:55
I have been shooting HP5 for many years (both 4x5 and 120) which my lab develops in PMK pyro with a JOBO. I love the results.

Development times at my lab for HP5 are 14 minutes if rated at 200, and 16 minutes if rated at 400.

I want to try 120 Delta 3200 in PMK pyro, and I am not sure what to rate it at, and what development times to use. Given that the nominal speed of Delta 3200 is around 800-1000, if I rate it at 800 do I develop it in PMK pyro for 14 or 16 minutes? Can I rate it at 1600 and develop for 16 minutes?

How do development times of Delta 3200 (rated at 800 or 1600) in PMK pyro compare to HP5 (rated at 200 or 400)?

Ed Buffaloe showed good results with Delta 3200 developed in PMK pyro:


21-Jul-2009, 21:09
delta 3200 will likely show a lot of grain developed in PMK but it really depends on how much you enlarge it as to how much it shows.

It is a true ISO 3200 film if and only if you develop it in Microphen which it was designed to be used with and not ID11 which is the standard reference. But at 3200 with Microphen, it gets very grainy. Use ID11 and the speed will drop off to around 1250 but it depends on what contrast index is normal for you. so it could be 800 or it could be 1600 or it could be 1250. That's your choice of contrast you require in the result. Lower contrast and use 800, higher contrast use 1600 etc.

I don't have times for it with PMK but if you use ed bufaloes' dilution time and temp as a guide, then I would suggest 15% less time when doing it in a jobo with constant agitation. But remember PMK is not supposed to be constant agitation friendly but if your lab handles HP5 like that with sucess, then they may be able to do it with delta 3200. You can only try. Pyrocat HD may be a better choice for jobo processing.

Otherwise, rate at 1600 and dev in DDX 1+4 @ 20deg C for 15 min in a jobo processor as a starting point. 18 mins if using hand inversion processing. That will give you 4 stops above and below metered value.

22-Jul-2009, 04:19
i know you really did not ask this but i use the kodak 3200 film rated at 2000 and developed in t max developer at the suggested time for 3200 from the massive development chart. simply awesome results. here are some (http://photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=815371) 35 mm examples. hand held. perfect exposures,easy to print on ilford MC paper. the end all cure all in my world. the prints look better than the scans....less grain too!


22-Jul-2009, 08:47
I would add that these fast films are for low light situations, yes? In those situations it may be the case that you have very flat light with little subject contrast, in which case you want plenty of film development. On the other hand, it may be you are photographing a wedding in a church where the subjects are illuminated from shafts of light through windows and the background is out of direct light and much much darker. In that case you have very high subject contrast range and may need much less development to deal with it.
All depends on your main subject contrast range as to whether you should be using 800, 1250, 1600 speed etc. You must experiment.

Drew Wiley
22-Jul-2009, 09:05
I rate it at 800 in PMK. I'm away from the lab at the moment, so can't recall the time,
but it wan't anything like 14min - maybe 8 or 9 in a jobo tank HAND inverted every
30 sec. Just printed some of this yesterday. Lovely scale.

Sylvester Graham
22-Jul-2009, 16:17
I could never handle HP5 in PMK above 1600, the dev time is too long for me! I don't have a luxury darkroom--its a corner of my basement blackclothed--more than once I have switched on the lights and watched various types of insects crawl back into their holes... not pleasant.

In any case, I always loved grain + PMK. For a long time I only used ilford and PMK for the grain in 35mm. If I recall there was a problem with oxidation above a certain developing time.

What lab develops 4X5 in PMK for you? Is this standard or did you need to ask, and, if so, how painful was the extra charge?

Henry Carter
25-Jul-2009, 08:42
Many thanks for the helpful replies.

Elevator (in Toronto) does one shot processing with PMK pyro in a JOBO. This has been one of their standard developers since the 1990's, and Bob Carnie has figured out how to make it work very well in a JOBO.

I want to try Delta 3200 in PMK pyro as a faster film for hand-held shooting in relatively contrasty light, hoping it will hold more highlight detail and have better accutance than Delta 3200 developed in Microphen. Think late afternoon/early evening street shooting, or indoor shooting with uneven lighting or shafts of light etc.

Time to start shooting....

25-Jul-2009, 09:01
out of interest what speed, dilution, temp and time were you using with microphen?

The lab should be able to tell you what film speed to use but if not then you should do some tests with them as that is the only way you will nail it given that you aren't doing the development.

But if you are not using microphen, then are losing a lot of potential speed and that loss will be minimised by using DD-X.
As I said, it will give 1600 speed but with with only 4 stops either side of metered to black and white. As you are photographing contrasty subjects you may need 5 stops either side a la zones 0 thru X, in which case you will lose some more speed so you are definitely looking at only around 800 speed which has lost you two stops from using microphen.

25-Jul-2009, 12:06
p.s. do let us know what speed you arrive at with PMK