Film Simulation Review: Light & Shadow with Ilford Delta Push-Process

49799174976_3323caa23b_c

Chair & Pillow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

Photography is about light. Without light there are no photographs. Great photographs require great light. What “great light” is depends on the picture and circumstance, and what’s great for one image might not be for another. Great light can be found anytime of the day or night if one looks hard enough for it.

This series of pictures demonstrate the play of light and shadow in an image. It features instances of bright highlights and deep shadows together. It’s the contrast between illumination and the absence of it. I needed a dramatic film simulation recipe to capture these pictures. I knew that it would need to be black-and-white because these pictures aren’t about color, but light and shadow. Color would only be a distraction to the point. But which black-and-white film simulation recipe should I choose?

There are several options for dramatic black-and-white that I could have chosen, including Dramatic Monochrome, Monochrome Kodachrome, Agfa Scala, Ilford HP5 Plus, Ilford HP5 Push-Process, X100F Acros, X-T30 Acros, Acros Push-Process, and Tri-X Push-Process. Any of those recipes would have worked, but each would have produced a different result. Some have more contrast, some less. Some have a greater dynamic range and others a more narrow. Some are brighter, some darker. Some have more grain and other less. I could have picked any of them and gotten interesting results, but I went with Ilford Delta Push-Process instead, partially because I had been using it for other pictures during this time. It turns out it was a good choice, because it seems to have the right contrast, tones and grain for this series. Sometimes luck plays a role. What I know now is that the Ilford Delta Push-Process recipe is a great option for dramatic light situations like these, and I will choose it again for similar situations in the future. I captured these pictures on a Fujifilm X-T30 with a Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens attached to it.

49818816966_ba274b1796_c

Suburban Shadows – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

49800321407_3392926952_c

Seat Back Shadow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

49799994066_37c6f10175_c

Chair Details – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

49804673292_8a33003c32_c

Girl Ghost – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

49807185692_1ea5be3357_c

Sunlight on the Kitchen Floor – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

49807986706_ac72ccd919_c

Don’t Step Into Darkness – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2

See also: Film Simulation Reviews

[Not] My Fujifilm X-T30 Ilford Delta Push-Process Film Simulation Recipe

49798615493_71e813a61b_c

Boy in a Chair with a Phone – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Ilford Delta Push-Process”

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.

49806215336_67a964580d_c

White House Beyond the Thistle – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Ilford Delta Push-Process”

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
Highlight: 0
Shadow: +3
Grain: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Off
Toning: 0
Sharpening: -3
Noise Reduction: -4
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)
ISO 12800

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Ilford Delta Push-Process film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

49798728983_bc53365f55_c

FED 5C & Industar 69 – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49799168921_74c75b9973_c

Phone Numbers – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49799174961_1cdea2e50d_c

Girl, Smile – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49799174896_78383b5ddb_c

Broccoli – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49798733123_281f08f2bd_c

Faux Leaves – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49799480782_778d06b297_c

Glass Bottles with Stems – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49803387453_071844fd0d_c

Flowers Waiting to Pot – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49803860711_ca805a2f6c_c

Potted Tulip – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49803811223_5a72786c1e_c

White Tulips at Night – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49803812683_dc60d90b97_c

Outdoor Shelf – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49804367426_6f5fe88cb1_c

Dirty Feet – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49799447538_94334ac1f3_c

Roller Skating – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49800329187_26d1b615b5_c

Skates – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49807434638_93caf16496_c

Girl Outdoor – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49807432658_179e60e64e_c

Two Feet – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49807185842_f76e1ac113_c

Chair Shadow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49806893771_9063390822_c

Blackberry Vine on Concrete – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49808293227_4925587d92_c

Watering Plant – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49810266718_8eba8a89c5_c

Wet Handlebar – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49810049808_f2d61909f8_c

Raindrops on a Window – Farmington, UT – 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!

$2.00