Head Space


Delta 3200 at EI1600, shot with the M7 and ZM 1,5/50 (which gives those wonderfully glowy lamps :-)

For the last month, I have shot a lot of (often dubious quality) test images using Delta 3200 and Delta 400 exposed at EI1600, in an attempt to find a suitable image style for a higher ISO exposure setting than usual. With both films, I like the results best with low light and without a strong contrast filter fitted. The daylight shots are interesting, but I find the darkened skies provided by the red filter just a bit too grainy for my taste.

On balance I prefer the pushed Delta 400 to the pulled Delta 3200 shots. Aside from finer grain, there seems to be something about the tonality and sharpness that I really like, and the EI1600 rating is just about usable for shots here at night. Shadow detail is still a challenge, but the trick of exposing for EI1600 and then developing as if shot at EI3200 has a more significant effect than changing the film or developer.

Delta 400 at EI1600 in Microphen stock. Daylight shot with the M7 and ZM 2/35 using a dark red filter.

So after a much experimentation, this is what I will be shooting once the remaining Delta 3200 rolls are finished:

  • Delta 100 at box speed shot with various  filters for landscape & architecture – really nice tonality, sharpness and grain, particularly with a deep red filter + polariser
  • Delta 400 at box speed with various filters for street photography, and pushed to EI 800 or EI 1600 for low light

Accordingly, the kitchen fridge is now stocked with a year’s worth of Delta 100 and Delta 400. After all, who needs food :-)

Ilford Delta 400 shot at box speed at night with the M7 and 50mm f1.4 Summilux. Not all night-time shots on film need to be fuzzy :-)

This will be the last of the regular tri-weekly film shots. I am going to switch to longer format posts and a more irregular schedule, as I mainly shoot “mini-project” sets, and these often span (sparsely) several films and loose their coherency if the photographs are shown one at a time. And after 18 months of chaos, there is now enough stability again here in Barcelona that I can dedicate more time to shooting interesting subjects rather than photographs of criminals that I can not (yet) show.

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