A Note About ISO and Your Lab: One important note to make is no matter what ISO you use, always make sure to tell your lab by writing the ISO number on the roll of film (or on your order sheet).
With this film stock, the ISO is relative to the amount of time needed in the developing process, so the lab needs to know this to develop your film rolls appropriately.
This is different from pushing or pulling your film. So unless you are specifically looking to push or pull your film, you’ll let the lab know you want the film developed normally and the ISO you used while shooting.
ISO and Self Developing: This is also incredibly important to note if you’ve taken the plunge into at-home developing as well! This PDF chart from Ilford lists the developing times you’ll need based on the ISO used.
Metering: When it comes to metering for this film, I don’t do anything crazy or out of the ordinary. I meter the same way I meter for all my film images, bulb out and at a 45 degree angle down.
Or if we’re using fancy talk, I meter for the shadows. This will give you nice exposure and contrast to your black and white images.
Where Ilford Delta 3200 Shines and Where it Struggles
Call me biased, but I truly believe that Ilford Delta 3200 shoots beautifully in all lighting scenarios. I’ve shot this film in harsh evening light, inside a dimly lit coffee house, during an evening wedding reception, and on brightly lit mornings. And during every scenario this film holds up beautifully.
The one kicker is, you have to be a fan of that grain. No matter what ISO or location you’re shooting in, you’re going to get a lot of that grain.
Another area where this film shines is with movement and indoor portraits. If you know me, you know I’m an absolute sucker for movement on film and this film stock captures it in the most perfect way with it’s grain and softness.
I’ve found the one area where this film struggles (and where most films struggle) is the higher the ISO in lower light settings, the muddier your images can get due to underexposure.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and experiment with a higher ISO, just go into it knowing that you might need to do a little extra handiwork during post processing.
But the nice thing is that black & white film is very forgiving, especially during post processing!
Here’s an example of when I shot this film in a low light situation:
This was when I was in the hospital after giving birth and my daughter was getting her first bath. We were in a dark section of the room, and I was shooting at an awkward angle.
The image on the left was straight from the lab, and the image on the right is after a few tweaks to curves in Lightroom.
Now go out there (or stay inside) and have some fun with this beautiful grainy film. If you do start shooting with it, feel free to share your work with me on Instagram (@splendidmusings). I’d love to see it! As always, if you have any questions or comments, leave them down below!