Daily Inspiration #124 by Peter Bender

Steve, I wanted to share my first experience with Ilford Delta 3200. With a busy job my biggest challenge is finding time to get out and take photographs which is my real passion. It’s for this reason that I’ve been exploring ways to take photographs in the evening and night when the daylight has gone. When the Nikon D700 arrived on the scene I was astounded by its high ISO capabilities and it opened up a whole new world of night time photography for me, but with some decent glass on the D700 it’s bloody heavy. The weight of the Nikon kit was the main reason I started getting interested in a Leica rangefinder kit back in 2009 and I’m now fortunate to have an M9 and a Zeiss Ikon for my film adventures with a couple of M series lenses. While I’ve been relatively happy with the B&W capabilities of the M9 at ISO 1600 and higher I decided to have a go with Ilford Delta 3200 and see what fun I could have. I’ve started developing my own B&W film again (I used to do it back in the 70s and 80s) and have so far done about 15 rolls over the past 3 months and I’ve got to say I’m having a ball. However this is my first high ISO roll and I wanted to share the results.

There is a fair bit of grain in the negatives from this roll but it doesn’t detract from the shots, in fact I think it adds that special character that only film can provide. I developed this first roll using Ilford ID11 1+0 (stock) for 10 mins but will experiment with some different developers such as Ilford Perceptol and Kodak T-Max for the next couple of rolls to see if I can get some finer grain results.

These shots were all taken handheld and with minimal light using a Zeiss Ikon and Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f1.1. I’m really inspired by the results and will certainly be out taking more low light shots with this film as well as trying Kodak P3200 TMax. I hope you enjoy and please share with others if you want.

Cheers, Peter Bender


  1. Great results, inspiring me to start processing my own film too! I really don’t mind grain in film shots, all part of the character. Look at how many people PP their digital shots to try and make them look like they were shot on film, just about everyone (me included). Thanks for sharing.

  2. Grain? What grain? Very nice photos, Peter. I LOVE Delta 3200 and the “grain” thing is way overrated. The film has character to spare and it renders like no other. Grain is no big deal and it adds to the look. Depends on lighting and exposure, it can be negligible unless truly blown up to large prints. I’ve shot it in medium format @ 1600 and developed in Rollei RLS for stunning results.

  3. Thanks for the comments everyone. It sure is fun using film, it just gives another dimension and I love the way you can really focus on specific light sources.

    @IngoS11 – pretty much what Armanius says about the ZI plus I got it for a great price. I’d borrowed one for a couple of weeks and loved the viewfinder so decided to buy. Figured I could sell and upgrade to an M film body later, but I really see no reason to at the moment.

    @Joseph – did a search for 777 dev and it looks like you have to mix it yourself, correct? Do you buy pre-mixed from somewhere? Will also experiment with Delta 3200 at 1600 to check results. thks for the suggestions.

    @Kivis770 – the full size images have a lot more grain. I think the small size hides some of the grain.

    Thanks again everyone and I also hope you’re hanging in there Steve. I’m sure everyone is thinking of you. Cheers, Peter

  4. @Peter – The portrait is my fave. Thanks for sharing.

    @IngoS11 – I’ve owned the M6, Zeiss Ikon and currently I am using a M7. The ZI is smaller and lighter than either M. The VF is also bigger and brighter. I did not like how the focus patch disappears when my eye is not totally centered on the VF though. IMO the ZI’s two biggest advantages over the M’s are: (1) max shutter speed of 1/2000 vs 1/1000 on the M; and (2) a new ZI is much cheaper than a new M7.

  5. Wonderful! I agree that film still is special. If you have not already tried it the shot the 3200 at 1600 and develop with Panthermic 777 Developer. The staircase shot is an absolute gem! Thank you for sharing.

  6. Great Peter. Excellent work and I can see why you are having such a ball! Such nice deep blacks and superb contrast. I am inspired! Off to Amazon to order a few rolls 🙂

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