|Metro Entrance, Ilford Delta 3200, handheld at 1/50th, f4.5|
Along with Kodak T-Max P3200, Ilford Delta 3200 is the fastest black & white film currently on the market. Despite the prominent '3200' in the name, its true emulsion speed is 1000 ISO: essentially this means the film is recommended by Ilford to be exposed at a range of speeds, including 3200 ISO, and developed accordingly (incidentally, T-Max P3200 has similar characteristics: Kodak state it to be 1000 ISO in their proprietory T-Max developers, or 800 ISO otherwise). Delta 3200's main advantage over T-Max P3200 is that it is available in medium format as well as 35mm. When in Paris recently I shot a roll at night, as an experiment, to use the film in medium format; I had previously shot Delta 3200 in 35mm but found the results unsatisfactory. This may have been partly due to using Rodinal as a developer. Being a high-acutance developer, Rodinal tends to be recommended for slower films with more traditional emulsions, as the acutance effect can emphasise film grain considerably; with larger negatives in medium format, this is less noticeable.
|Kodak T-Max P3200, developed in ID11 stock solution, 12 minutes at 20 degrees C.|
|Ilford HP5, rated at 3200 ISO, developed in ID11, 18 minutes at 20 degrees C. A comparison to the previous shot of Sir John Soane's museum does show a lack of shadow detail, though not a considerable difference.|
One consideration against push-processing film for night and low-light photography is that an effect of pushing a film is an increase in contrast. Often night scenes are themselves inherently high contrast: bright light sources and reflections, and dense shadow areas, therefore pushing a film can result in a negative with blocked highlights and very little- if any- detail in shadow areas. In this regard it would be more appropriate to pull-process the film, and so reduce contrast, which however negates the use of a higher ISO rating, a real consideration for hand-held photography.
|Rue Lacepede, Ilford Delta 3200, handheld at 1/50th, f4.5|
|Jardin des Plantes, Delta 3200, roughly 60 seconds at f11.|