Ilford Delta 3200

Shot on 35mm at box speed with Pentax-M SMC 50/2.0 and Pentax-M 50/1.4

Sample photos shot on 35mm film. Developed and scanned by Nimmfilm in Leipzig and presented here unedited.

About Ilford

Ilford is a traditional manufacturer that was founded in the early years of photography and experienced a number bankruptcies and acquisitions during the decline of analog photography in the 2000s. The company was founded in 1879 by Alfred Hugh Harman in the English town of Ilford in the East of London [1]. In 1928, the company acquired a factory in Mobberley near Manchester airport where manufacturing resides until today [2]. During the 1960s, the Swiss Ciba company acquired stocks in Ilford until they became the sole owner in 1969. Ciba also set up a second manufacturing site in Marly near Bern [3].

Once being part of a multi-national corporation, multiple acquisitions followed over the next decades. In 2004, both the British and Swiss parts of Ilford had to file for bankrupcy and were divided in the process. After finding a Japanese investor, the Swiss Ilford branch had to file for a second bankrupcy in 2013 during which parts of the site in Marly were acquired by the German manufacturer Adox [4]. The British branch was bought out by a group of former managers who formed Harman technology in remembrance of the company founder [5]. Manufacturing remaines in Mobberley, but now also produces film for other brands.

About Ilford Delta 3200

The Delta line of films use Ilford's proprietary "core-shell" grain structure. As described by a series of patents [6-8], these core-shell particles in the film emulsion consist of flat, hexagonal twinned crystals with an idiode core and a silver halide shell. The result is that Delta films have a less noticable and more consistent grain than conventional films of identical ISO rating.

Delta 3200 is the highest ISO rating available in film photography that I am aware of. It directly competes with Kodak Tmax 3200. Given the high ISO, the grain is still under control in some scenes, but completely dominates darker scenes. Therefore, the opinion in the community is often that Delta 3200 not truly 3200, but rather a pushed 1600 film. As such, it yields much better results when shot at 1600. I will try this in the future and add my findings here.


[1], retrieved June 14th 2020
[2], retrieved June 14th 2020
[3], retrieved June 14th 2020
[4], retrieved June 14th 2020
[5], retrieved June 14th 2020
[6], retrieved June 14th 2020
[7], retrieved June 14th 2020
[8], retrieved June 14th 2020


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