When I shot film, Ilford Delta was my go-to for black-and-white photography. Sure, I used other films, but Ilford Delta was what I most often loaded into my camera. For fine-grain, I used Delta 100. For situations other than bright daylight, or if I wanted more contrast and grittiness, I would choose Delta 400. For dim light, I would on a rare occasion use Delta 3200. Sometimes I would push-process the Delta 100 and Delta 400 a stop or two. I actually still have a couple rolls of Delta film sitting around, although I haven’t shot much film in the last few years. The last roll of Ilford Delta that I shot was Delta 3200.
Something that people might not be aware of is that Delta 3200 is actually not an ISO 3200 film, it’s actually rated at ISO 1000, but has “built-in” push-processing to ISO 3200 (labs know to increase the development time unless you specify otherwise). Ilford Delta films have a lot of latitude and flexibility. There’s a lot that one can do in the lab with any of the Ilford Delta films to customize the contrast and grain.
Fuji X Weekly reader K. Adam Christensen shared with me his film simulation recipe for Ilford Delta 3200, and I really like the way that his recipe looks. It’s a great black-and-white recipe! I made a couple of small tweaks to it, nothing big. Adam uses this recipe on his X100V, and he sets Grain to Large, which is an option on that camera, as well as the X-Pro3 and X-T4, but not on my X-T30. If I could set Grain to Large I would, as that would better mimic Delta 3200. Without it, perhaps these settings more resemble Delta 3200 shot and developed at ISO 1600. It reminds me of Delta 400 pushed one stop or maybe a stop and a half.
I have the ISO on this recipe set at 12800, which makes it difficult (but not impossible) to use in daylight situations. It’s a little easier on X100 cameras that have a built-in neutral density filter. If you need to drop the ISO, you can go as low as ISO 3200 and still get good results, but for best results keep the ISO at 12800 as much as possible. All of the pictures in this article were shot at ISO 12800.
Monochrome (+Y, +R, +G)
Dynamic Range: DR400
Color Chrome Effect: Off
Noise Reduction: -4
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)
Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Ilford Delta Push-Process film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:
See also: Film Simulation Recipes
Help Fuji X Weekly
Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There's a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!
Thanks so much for collaborating with me on this simulation. Lowering the sharpness was clutch. My brain wouldn’t allow itself to even think of doing that – but that was everything. The highlight tweaks were nice too 😉 Cheers!
You are very welcome. I appreciate your hard work on this and for sharing it with me (and allowing me to share it here)! Thank you!
Really love this film sim!
It’s a great one, for sure! Thank you for the input.
Hi Ritchie, I know this is a Fujifilm related blog but I see that you own a FED 5C & Industar 69. Do you own other film cameras? Do you use them? I would enjoy reading about your film cameras. Perhaps you can do a comparison of Ilford HP5 Plus 400 shot on one of your film cameras compared to your recipe shot on one of your Fujis.
I own several film cameras, including a couple old Russian ones. I haven’t used them in a couple years (with the exception of an experiment that didn’t work well). My two oldest kids have shot some film (including some HP5 Plus) on these cameras, but they haven’t been developed yet. It does sound like a fun experiment that I should try.