Ilford Delta 100 VS Fomapan 100 - 4x5 pinhole shootout.

The other weekend I finally had my box of Ilford Delta 100 arrive, I wanted to test this alongside Fomapan 100.
I shoot Fomapan most the time with my 4x5 pinhole camera, and the reason for this is cost.
A box of 4x5 Fomapan 100 costs around £38 and a box of Ilford Delta 100 is £42
In a box of Fomapan you get 50 sheets (76p per shot)
In a box of Ilford delta you get 25 sheets (£1.68 per shot) 92p more per shot.

I wanted to see if Ilford film was really worth the extra 92p per shot.
The reason I went for Delta was, its a 100 speed film, same as Fomapan 100
and you can develop it for 5 minutes in Ilford Ilfosol 3 developer, same as Fomapan. 
So the plan was to be able to shoot them together and develop them together.

The biggest difference between these film when shooting is the reciprocity failure on exposure longer than 1 second. Fomapan is know to be bad, in low light you need to add extra time (longer than the metered time) 
If I have a metered reading of f/8 - 1/60
Adjusting the aperture to suit my pinhole of f180 I would have an exposure of 9 seconds.

BUT with film, which needs to absorb certain number of photons in order for the light-driven reaction to occur, in a low or restricted light this takes much longer and each film is different.

With Fomapan 100 my 9 second meter exposure becomes 1 minute 9 second
With Ilford Delta its just 16 seconds 

In a much more extreme case, say a 1 minute metered exposure
Fomapan would be a 14 minute 34 second exposure
Ilford Delta would be 2 minute 54 second exposure

This is where Ilford has the advantage.

I shot 3 scenes with my Zero Image 4x5, 1 side of the film holder had Fomapan 100 the other Ilford Delta 100. I would take a shot with the Fomapan, then turn the film holder around and take exactly the same shot with the Delta.

All the images from the shoot are below

Eastbourne Pier - Zero Image 4x5 @ 50mm
Fomapan 100 - 3.5 seconds

Ilford Delta 100 - 1.5 seconds

All Saints Church - Zero Image 4x5 @ 25mm
Fomapan 100 - 6.5 seconds

Ilford Delta 100 - 2.5 seconds

Friston Forest - Zero Image 4x5 @ 25mm
Fomapan 100 - 5 minutes

Ilford Delta 100 - 1 minute 45 seconds

I am pleased with all the shots and there is not a lot of difference between each shot (only the extra 92p per shot.)
The Delta does have a slightly nicer look in the pier and forest images (that could be down to the changing light at the time), but I am not disappointed with the Fomapan shots and could easily adjust to make it look more like the Delta.

With the difference in reciprocity failure from the films (and the fact I can develop the Delta and Fomapan in the same tank) I will be keeping Ilford Delta in my bag loaded in some extra film holders for as and when I need it.

Personally I feel these films work well really together and the Ilford Delta is ideal to use alongside Fomapan 100 to make up for when the reciprocity failure on the Fomapan gets really bad, the delta is more manageable in the lower light


Cheapest price for Fomapan 100 - SpeedGraphic on eBay
Get quick delivery on Amazon 

Cheapest at time of test WexPhotoVideo
Ilford Delta on Amazon 

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Kit used on this shoot

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