Ilford delta 3200- Heroic grain size

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dlin

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I've made my first attempts at night time photography with 35mm Ilford Delta 3200. Two example images are posted in the Technical Gallery. The film was developed in Pyrocat HD diluted 1:1:150 with semi-stand agitation for 20 min, with the hopes of reigning in the extreme contrast range of the subjects. The resulting grain was enormous with grain 'clods' visible under the focusing magnifier. What factors may have contributed to these results and what film/exposure/development options are available to minimize these effects? Thanks for your suggestions and help.
Daniel
 

jim kirk jr.

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Hey Dan,I saw your photos and honestly I've never run into this.I'm certain others can advise you better but I've done some(8 rolls or so) of night photography with Ilfords xp2 super and delta 400(accepting longer exposure time in exchange for less grain)There is a book by sandersen called night photography which I found helpful my first time out.
 

Jorge

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dlin said:
I've made my first attempts at night time photography with 35mm Ilford Delta 3200. Two example images are posted in the Technical Gallery. The film was developed in Pyrocat HD diluted 1:1:150 with semi-stand agitation for 20 min, with the hopes of reigning in the extreme contrast range of the subjects. The resulting grain was enormous with grain 'clods' visible under the focusing magnifier. What factors may have contributed to these results and what film/exposure/development options are available to minimize these effects? Thanks for your suggestions and help.
Daniel

I saw the pictures and there are a few things that came to mind.

1- Your reciprocity compensation is way off, the pictures are way underexposed.
2- Pyrocat is an excellent developer but you have to choose the right technique. IMO stand or semi stand developer is not the appropriate technique if you want smaller grain. The more time film spends in the soup the more pronounced the grain becomes.
3- Why use 3200? For night photography my choice would have been hp5, or tri x, films that have inherently low contrast.

If you want to do night photography you better arm yourself with a boat load of patience. Do some reciprocity testing as well as using film with less contrast.

BTW, even a little bigger neg will give much better results. Look at the night photography by Michael Kenna, most of his photographs are taken with a Hasselblad.
 

Tom Duffy

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I'm wondering if you should have tried another developer. Steve Simmons has said Delta 3200 and PMK were a bad combination. Wonder if a non pyro developer might work better. I use straight Xtol with Delta 3200 and it works fine. BTW, I don't think you have to tame the contrast of Delta 3200. Being designed for available light, it's very good in high contrast situations.
 
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dlin

dlin

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Thanks for all of your suggestions. I will have to do some experimentation with other films and development to get a feel for what works.
Daniel
 
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