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Decade-Old Ilford Delta 400 and the Diana Mini Leopard

One of the best things about being part of the Lomography community is the camaraderie with other members. You'll meet people from all over the world who share your passion for analogue photography and some of them are even nice enough to send you freebies like film! Here's a B&W roll I got from @uncle_jay. :-)

Around my birthday last year, my officemate plasticpopsicle gave me a roll of Ilford Delta 400. I promptly thanked her for her generosity in sharing her “stash” when she said it wasn’t from her but from Singapore-based community member uncle_jay. The unexpected gesture really brightened my day, so thank you for the analogue goody! :-)

I was excited to try out this monochrome film because the only other traditional black and white emulsion I’ve tried is Kodak Tri-X 400, and that was way back in college. I checked the expiry on my Ilford Delta 400 box and it said 2001 so I decided to shoot with it right away. Wanting to make the most of the roll, I loaded it into my Diana Mini Leopard on half-frame mode to double the exposures.

I initially wanted to develop it myself before realizing I didn’t have time to crash my former university’s darkroom. I sent it off to Wells Photo Enterprise for processing instead and recently scanned it myself. Considering my camera’s plastic lens, the film being expired over ten years, and the unfortunate lighting I was in for most shots, I thought the photos turned out pretty good.

Keep in mind that the roll was a decade old. It was pretty gloomy in June last year which prompted me to use flash even outdoors and it was a good idea. What would’ve been too dark or too washed out turned out to be well-lit. The contrast is acceptable and subjects are defined. Some shots did turn out muddy and/or grainy (check out peoples’ eyes in the shots below) but there were just a few of those.

What I did notice was that the film was a bit blue-tinged and I had to do a bit of correction for the photos to look truly B&W. Also, since I shot in half-frames, I was able to get more pictures out of the 36-exposure roll which made a leeway for errors. I ended up with more usable photos (about 40+) than I would have had I shot them in full frames but I wish I “thought” or “saw” in monochrome more.

Overall, my roll turned out a bit on the gray side but I’d shoot with it again. Since I’ve seen what an expired roll of Ilford Delta 400 can do, I’m now on the lookout for some fresh stocks. I’d like to try it out on my other cameras with better curated subjects and under more pleasant weather conditions, hopefully. I’ve since shot with different black and white films (chromogenic, 110 and 120 formats, etc.) with varying results so stay tuned for more Reviews!

See all the photos from this roll in the album Delta Δ.
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The Diana Mini is the ultra-compact, petite version of the Diana F+. This camera takes soft-focused, lo-fi images in 35mm and allows you to change between half-format and square shots with a flick of a switch. Get your own Diana Mini now!

written by denisesanjose

2 comments

  1. denisesanjose

    denisesanjose

    Thanks again, @plasticpopsicle and @uncle_jay! :-)

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  2. uncle_jay

    uncle_jay

    :)

    over 1 year ago · report as spam