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Thread: New to B&W, I need to know if Ilford Delta 400 chemistry will do other Ilford films?

  1. #1
    Rio Oso shooter
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    New to B&W, I need to know if Ilford Delta 400 chemistry will do other Ilford films?

    I hope this is not to basic a question. The problem that I am having is that I am so new to B&W film that I don't even know what to do a search on to find out what I need to know.

    I have signed up for a beginning class in Photography at a nearby college and, of course, one must learn to shoot, develop, and print Black and White film. The standard film that is being used in class is "Delta 400" 35mm. I am assuming that "Delta 400" is Ilford film only and not a universal name for a particular type of film. I am really jazzed about this class. I have been shooting 4x5 color for some time now and my prof said he was more than willing to let me mix in some 4X5 stuff, which is great! Now for the hard part, for me. Ilford Delta 400 is only offered in 35mm but Ilford makes a HP5 Plus 400 in sheets. Is the chemistry to develop both of them the same? Kodac offers a 400 TMax. Does that film use different chemistry?

    I realize that it is not that difficult to start developing my own stuff but this semester I was hoping to make it a little simpler and just slide in with 4X5's thrown into the mix. I have done Kodachrome and Etachrome slide developing.


    Thanks in advance. I have heard once you get hooked on B&W that well, basically, it is just like going down a rabbit hole!


    Take Care,
    Richard

  2. #2

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    Re: New to B&W, I need to know if Ilford Delta 400 chemistry will do other Ilford fi

    Welcome to the rabbit hole

    The simple answer is that you can develop just about anything in just about anything and get a usable image. The less simple answer is that each film developer combination can have pluses and minuses. Some combinations might give finer grain, or less or more contrast, or harder or softer edges. Some might give higher or lower speed. Some come as powder, some as liquids. Some have longer or shorter developing times. etc, etc, etc.

    But for starters don't sweat it. My local lab uses Ilford ID-11 for everything and I don't have any complaint. When I do my own I tend to use HC-110 (very concentrated syrup, can be used in many different dilutions with somewhat different results) or D-76 (an old standby) or Xtol.

    The HC-110 syrup keeps damned near forever which is a plus. And it's easy to dilute it for use. I don't think you could go wrong by starting with it. Everyone here will have their own opinions (sometime multiple opinions per person!) of course.

    You can look up a bunch of combinations in the "Massive Development Chart". One thing to consider though is that it's best to not use combinations with a development time under 5 minutes or so because pouring the solution in and out of a daylight tank takes some time and you can get uneven development with short development times.

  3. #3
    Rio Oso shooter
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    Re: New to B&W, I need to know if Ilford Delta 400 chemistry will do other Ilford fi

    Thanks.

    R

  4. #4
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    Re: New to B&W, I need to know if Ilford Delta 400 chemistry will do other Ilford fi

    All b&w film uses the same chemistry and the differences between different combinations are minor. HP5 and Tmax are both good films.
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  5. #5

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    Re: New to B&W, I need to know if Ilford Delta 400 chemistry will do other Ilford fi

    Welcome to the rabbit hole

    The simple answer is that you can develop just about anything in just about anything and get a usable image. The less simple answer is that each film developer combination can have pluses and minuses. Some combinations might give finer grain, or less or more contrast, or harder or softer edges. Some might give higher or lower speed. Some come as powder, some as liquids. Some have longer or shorter developing times. etc, etc, etc.

    But for starters don't sweat it. My local lab uses Ilford ID-11 for everything and I don't have any complaint. When I do my own I tend to use HC-110 (very concentrated syrup, can be used in many different dilutions with somewhat different results) or D-76 (an old standby) or Xtol.

    The HC-110 syrup keeps damned near forever which is a plus. And it's easy to dilute it for use. I don't think you could go wrong by starting with it. Everyone here will have their own opinions (sometime multiple opinions per person!) of course.

    You can look up a bunch of combinations in the "Massive Development Chart". One thing to consider though is that it's best to not use combinations with a development time under 5 minutes or so because pouring the solution in and out of a daylight tank takes some time and you can get uneven development with short development times.

    http://www.digitaltruth.com/devchart.php

  6. #6
    Rio Oso shooter
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    Re: New to B&W, I need to know if Ilford Delta 400 chemistry will do other Ilford fi

    This is good to hear. Being able to use 4X5 film is going to be very nice.


    R

  7. #7

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    Re: New to B&W, I need to know if Ilford Delta 400 chemistry will do other Ilford fi

    I've found Ilford's own forum to be a great source of information on all things Ilford
    http://ilfordphoto.com/photocommunit...um/default.asp
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
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  8. #8
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    Re: New to B&W, I need to know if Ilford Delta 400 chemistry will do other Ilford fi

    You can do a search for the film "ilford hp-5" and look for the Ilford spec sheet for the film (a pdf). It will give development times for the film in various developers. Will they have daylight tanks for LF film? If not, you'll need to tray develop. You may end up preferring to develop your sheet film at home and can then choose your own developer. More than likely, the instructor will be happy to be accommodating, it's a chance to expose the students to something more than the usual.

  9. #9
    Rio Oso shooter
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    Re: New to B&W, I need to know if Ilford Delta 400 chemistry will do other Ilford fi

    There is a complete darkroom, of course. I do not know about tank. I have read that tanks are the best way to go for consistency and I am not opposed to tank developing at home. The cost would not be a negative for me. It would just be nice to have the 4X5 in the mix. I would bet printing is quite a jump from 35mm negatives.


    Thanks,
    R

  10. #10
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: New to B&W, I need to know if Ilford Delta 400 chemistry will do other Ilford fi

    Short answer, yes. Different developers will give the film a different character (look), as will different dilutions. They may also affect grain. Which developer were you using? HP5 is my main film and I've developed in just about everything, including staining developers (which it truly sings in!)

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