I am always on the search for things in my film journey, and now I have been on the hunt for the perfect film to use for pics of my family and home indoors in low light without having too much noise and contrast. I decided to try Ilford Delta 3200 at 1600.
*when I wrote this article I was just learning film and development, so I decided to update it a little bit today 7/2022.
I have tried several films so far which I will review in the future, but the first I tried was Ilford Delta 3200 because I figured the higher ISO would give me results similar to the way my digital camera would because of course I would rather use my film camera than my digital.
I was wrong. With film you have grain that gets rougher the higher the ISO and lower the light source. You just don’t really have this issue with digital.
I just did not like the look at all for what I was shooting. It had all the things I didn’t want; grain in the skin tones, in fact a lot of grain everywhere, and way too much contrast.
What does it mean to pull film?
From what I have read in my research, pulling film is rating your film at a lower ISO (overexposing it) than the box speed and then developing it for that same ISO. I have also seen people only change the ISO, but still develop for the box speed. From what I’ve read however, that’s not technically pulling film. Thats just overexposing the film for lighter pictures.
I specifically wanted to lower contrast so that I could control it myself. Now Delta 3200 isn’t technically a 3200 speed film. Its somewhere around 1200 but can be shot up to 3200. Therefore, I am not actually pulling the film but in processing I treat it as if I am. So, I shot the film at ISO 1600 and then developed it for that ISO as well.
If you compare the shot above of my dog to the shot of him I rated at box speed, shot in the same lighting, you can see the highlights on his fur are still a little blown, but it looks a lot softer.
Developing Ilford Delta 3200 at 1600
I developed this first roll in Kodak D-76 stock solution, my go-to, for 9min 30sec. I feel like the results are similar to Kodak TX.
The next roll I developed in HC-110 dilution B for 9min. I am not sure I see a difference between it and D-76 in this application.
I like how these low light shots came out. I like that I was able to shoot handheld inside because of the higher ISO. With HP5 I could get the same shots, but only on a tripod.
The 1600 ISO also allows you to shoot outside in sunlight a little better than 3200. These shots were at sundown so it wasn’t too bright.
My only issue is the grainy skin tones. I would like to be able to take pics of my human family (not just pets) with better skin tones. My hunt will continue, but I am really happy to find out that I can use this film indoors after all. I am still learning and I hope you have enjoyed coming along with me.
As always, until next time, stay motivated and keep shooting.
16 thoughts on “Developing Adventures – Ilford Delta 3200 at 1600”
This film seem to be very sultry. I’m going to be using this for studio portraits. Really looking forward to getting some beautiful images. Thanks for the info!
Thanks for reading!
Nice shots Aly, and an informative post. I rarely see anyone talk about pulling film. Usually just pushing it. What are you using for your scans? The shots came out very nice and I need a better scanning solution.
Thank you. I’m using an Epson v800 flatbed scanner
Cool. I am on a budget but hoping to get a V600 for Christmas. I’ve been using Pixl Latr which is OK, but not without issues.
A lot of people use the v500 and say it’s just as good.
Good to know! I saw v600 seemed to at least work with current computer OS and software. I’ll look at v500 though too.
Oh yes you’re right. I’m not sure if it comes with silverfast. I really like that. It came free with my v800
Very well done,Aly! Digital has spoiled us for high ISO! I spent many of my younger years working on the edge of pushed film in low light possibility- 6400 was the absolute max with huge grain and no shadow detail . In dark folk music clubs it was 1/30 @ f2 with the 85 Nikkor, Nikon Sp. 50mms were faster, but didn’t have enough reach
Oh I love the 85mm Nikkor. I’ll bet you had to become a master at handheld photos at low ISO. I’ve tried to go lower then 1/30 and my hands are just too shakie.