5 Frames… Of mountain bikes with ILFORD Delta 3200 Professional (EI 3200 / 35mm format / Canon EOS 650) – by Niall Pinder

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Winter has come…to BC, which means a lot of cloud, some snow and the sun setting around 3:30pm, which is kind of ridiculous. To increase shooting options as the days get shorter, I grabbed seven rolls of ILFORD Delta 3200 Professional. In the spirit of living dangerously, I also planned a torture test for the Delta 3200: shooting really fast mountain bikers on a cloudy afternoon, in a dark forest, as the sun was setting. Because why not suffer a bit, right?

Since there are no really fast colour film options anymore, for low light sports it has to be black and white if I want to use film. ILFORD Delta 3200 Professional was the obvious choice for speed. It’s a new film to me but I knew it would be grainy and contrasty, so I planned the shots around that. I shot one roll of 36 exposure on this particular day, which was more than I needed for the planned shots.


I shot the film with my Canon EOS 650 and Canon 24-70 f/2.8 LII lens this camera inspires the heck out of me. It’s a sexy, unapologetically simple little brick of metal. Far from high-tech by today’s standards, it manages to get everything done with single-point autofocus and minimalist controls, and still mates perfectly with modern lenses. It was quite dim, and the exposure math left me with the following options: f/2.8, 1/60th or slower. Therefore I could choose between either pan shots or blurry riders.

The film was developed at home with Blazinal (Rodinal) and scanned on an Epson Perfection V600. To get the look I wanted, I added significant sharpening and used quite a bit of Clarity in Lightroom.

Despite the conditions, this was definitely a fun shoot, and I’ll use Delta 3200 again.

~ Niall

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4 thoughts on “5 Frames… Of mountain bikes with ILFORD Delta 3200 Professional (EI 3200 / 35mm format / Canon EOS 650) – by Niall Pinder”

  1. Nice use of grain. Happy to see someone besides me enjoying Canon’s new lenses on their older film bodies, which have become wildly reasonable on the used market. Thank you for sharing this!

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