Five more films: Ilford Delta 3200

For the fourth post in this series, I’m looking at a roll of Ilford Delta 3200 exposed in my Nikon FM. The wide-angle 28mm f/1.4 Nikon lens lives on this FM and was used in all of these images.

Ilford Delta 3200

As this is a black and white film, I might have developed this myself but as with all of the films in this mini-series, I got AG Photographic to develop it for me. It was scanned at 6400, then 3200 dpi in 24-bit colour (otherwise the scanner screws up the colour profile in the output file). In post-processing, the profile is switched to black and white. The early images were not of good enough resolution to justify 6400 dpi, hence the switch to something lower.

Edinburgh, from Fife. Nikon FM, 28mm f/1.4 AiS

Most of those early frames were quite disappointing, being underexposed and losing detail in the shadows. I’m fairly sure this was a metering issue: I rely on the built-in LED through-the-lens metering when shooting with the Nikon FM and this might be the price of laziness. Some can be recovered, though, and this image shows a sort of moody shoreline to illustrate the point.

Edinburgh. Nikon FM, 28mm f/1.4 AiS

This is the view from my office window on the Holyrood campus. Delta 3200 might suggest a good low-light film but I think it’s more fast than it is good in the dark. It needs light to function properly. The next image also, perhaps, is more suited to the grainy emulsion of Delta 3200.

The Palace, Rosyth. Nikon FM, 28mm f/1.4 AiS

Something more urban in flavour demands not only monochrome but also the character of a grainy film stock like this. I don’t think it handles wide dynamic range the way I had hoped, however. Shooting into the light is probably not the best idea:

Harbour Bell, St.Monans. Nikon FM, 28mm f/1.4 AiS

Delta 3200 can perform well with good light, and yield decent contrasty images if you meter and expose correctly. The header image is of St.Monans Harbour and I think shows off the film well.


In this series:

Brand Type ISO Format Exposures Camera Lens
Kodak Ektachrome E100 100 120 8 Fuji GW690ii 90mm
Cinestill 800 T 800 35mm 36 Nikon FM Nikon AI-s 28mm f/2.8
Lomography Metropolis EI 400 120 12 Hasselblad 503CW Zeiss 80mm F2.8 C
Ilford Delta 3200 35mm 36 Nikon FM Nikon AI-s 28mm f/2.8
Kodak Portra 160 35mm 36 Nikon FM Nikon AI-s 28mm f/2.8