Ilford Delta 100 Review (35mm & 120 B&W Film Portraits)

Ilford Delta 100 review sharing example images using this impressive B&W film. Delta 100 black and white film is one of my favourites, both 35mm and 120 film format and you will see why. Best B&W film? The article also mentions Ilford Pan 100, Kentmere 100, TMax 100, Fomapan 100 and Ilford Delta 400.

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Ilford Delta 100 Film – About (What Ilford Say!)

Ilford Delta 100 – “ISO 100, medium speed, exceptionally fine grain, black & white film. Ideal for uncompromising image makers who want to capture maximum detail and sharpness”.

Ilford Delta 100 Film Developing

As with all the black and white film I shoot I currently develop Ilford Delta 100 film in Kodak Xtol developer (sometimes with Rodinal added to the solution). I’ve always been happy with the results obtained with the film /developer combination so have not looked to change.


For the 35mm Leica film cameras (plus Nikon cameras and others) I enjoy shooting Ilford Delta 100 35mm film. If I want to obtain as much detail as possible from a 35mm film negative then I usually consider Delta 100 as a strong contender. Ilford Delta 100 film gives me a near perfect balance of sharpness, detail and contrast for my taste. The Ilford Pan F 50 film offers finer grain but it is easy to lose highlight detail (for me). Ilford Pan 100 film gives 80-90% of the Delta 100 quality for a slightly lower price (if you can find it for sale). (See example below)/

Ilford Delta 100 120 Film

If i’m using a Hasselblad camera or any of my other medium format film cameras I often go to Ilford Delta 100 120 film if I feel the subject is worth this premium priced film. The detail captured on 6×6 / 6×7 film negatives is amazing with 120 Delta 100. The Delta 100 film scans are a joy to edit. For much of my medium format film photography I now use Fomapan 100 Classic film. Foma 100 film gives the “best bang for your buck” performance (for me) but I do treat myself to Delta 100 film now and again.

Ilford Delta 100 Flickr Images

Here are a sample of some of my Ilford Delta 100 Flickr photos to give a taster of what this film can achieve. (Click each/ any photo to see the camera / lens / developing used).

35mm Ilford Delta 100 Sample Photos

Nikon F4 Model Photography
Ilford Delta Fashion
35mm Ilford Delta 100
Ukraine Summer Fun
Scratched Film (Pre-Developing)
Ilford Delta 100 Portrait

35mm Ilford Delta 100 Portraits

Delta 100 film is amazing for portraits. These are shot with Leica M film cameras and 35mm Ilford film

Leica Elmar 50mm f2.8
35mm Ilford Delta 100 Portrait
Ilford Delta 100
Leica M6 Portrait (Noctilux)

120 Ilford Delta 100 Sample Photos

120 Delta 100 Portrait
Hasselblad Fashion
Mamiya RZ67 Studio Portrait
Fujifilm GF670 Photo
Fuji GA 645 - Testing
Mamiya 645 + Expired Film

Portraits with Ilford Delta 100 Film (120)

As above, Ilford Delta films are great for portraits, Delta 100 or Delta 400. These photos are shot with Hasselblad 500 series cameras.

Hasselblad + Distagon Portrait
Hasselblad + Delta 100
Mamiya RZ67 Pro 2 Portrait
Mamiya 645 Super Review
Hasselblad Fashion Portrait

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Best Black and White Film for Portraits?

I’ve tried most B&W films for my model photography and my favourites are the following.

Ilford Delta 400 vs Ilford Delta 100

I really like Ilford Delta 400 film for when there is not enough light for ISO 100 film. To me the image quality is very similar to Delta 100. This is 35mm Ilford Delta 400 film shot with a Leica iif camera. Sometimes non-portraits such as this street scene are better to demonstrate the details and tonality.

Voigtlander Heliar 40mm f2.8 on film

Fomapan 100 vs Ilford Delta 100

My favourite budget film is Fomapan 100 film. It is my most used film for all film formats – 35mm, 120, 4×5. Fomapan film has a classic grain structure and the photos have a less fine grain, less premium look compared to Delta 100 film. Here is a 35mm Fomapan 100 portrait shot with a Leica R7.

Leica Summicron R 50mm Portrait

Ilford Pan 100 vs Ilford Delta 100

Another great film stock and another favourite is Ilford Pan 100. I used to import it from the EU into the UK. Ilford Pan 100 is only available in 35mm format and it is cheaper than Delta 100 (mid priced, not budget film). Example photo shot with a Nikon FE2.

Nikon FM vs Nikon FE vs Nikon FE2

Kentmere 100 vs Ilford Pan 100

To my eyes Kentmere 100 is quite similar to Fomapan 100. Perhaps slightly more detail but not as fine as Ilford Pan 100 (or Ilford Delta 100). Available in 35mm only Kentmere is the budget film line made by Ilford. This B&W film portrait is shot with a Leica M4-P camera.

Kentmere Film Portrait

Kodak T-Max 100 vs Ilford Delta 100

Two premium B&W films. Both are excellent and both capture fine grain detail. From my experience Kodak T-Max films give a higher contrast image with blacker blacks. Ilford Delta is more grey tones in comparison. I would be happy with either film but in high contrast lighting Delta might be a better choice. This example photo is Kodak TMax 100 shot with a Nikon FE2 camera.

35mm Kodak TMax 100 Portrait

Ilford Delta 100 Review Summary

You may have guessed from this short Ilford Delta 100 review that I like this film. Definitely up there with the best black and white films available. If money is no issue and you have lots of light to shoot in I would recommend trying some Delta 100 film. It wont disappoint. If you wanted a cheaper option in 35mm format you could try Kentmere 100 film which is also an Ilford film.

Ilford Delta 100 Price

You can usually find the Ilford Delta 100 price on Amazon to be quite reasonable. Here are a few links to the multi-pack film bundles I normally get:

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More Ilford Delta 100 Photos

Buy and Develop Film for the Price of a Coffee!


35mm Film vs 120 Film?

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  • My portrait photography lighting kit – HERE
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2 thoughts on “Ilford Delta 100 Review (35mm & 120 B&W Film Portraits)”

    1. matthewosbornephotography

      Thanks! This is a pretty old post so sorry if a bit “clunky”. I’ve used with lights and never noticed any issues. One of my favourite films.

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