Darkroom Tutorials Process Times for Ilford FP4, SFX and Delta 400

The table below shows the times and dilutions that I now use for processing Ilford films FP4+, SFX and Delta 400.

I never vary them. They always produce good quality negatives that are easy to print.

In order for you to use them you need to expose in a similar way and agitate the developer in a similar way. The developer temperature is always 20C, within 0.5C. You can vary the temperature of the other chemical baths by a few degrees without affecting the quality of the results.

I always expose using a spot meter which I point at light shadows to take a reading. I then use this setting on the camera. I decide on the aperture and set this on the camera. The meter tells me the shutter speed. I always work in full manual mode. Don’t meter off anything that is sunlit unless doing a silhouette! Quite often you can use grey rocks in the landscape, as long as they are not in direct sunlight, for example. Dry stone walls in the English Peak District where I live work great!

Developer agitation is crucial to good quality negatives. Continuous agitation will significantly reduce the sharpness of negatives, for example, so avoid this! I use plastic Paterson processing tanks and reels, usually the Multi-reel 8 which takes 5 reels filled with 120 film. The film in the plastic reels is further apart than in steel reels so the effect of air bells on negatives are seldom seen (air bells cause a reduction in development in spots and can be a problem with steel reels). I invert the tank 3 or 4 times in the first 10 seconds or so of every minute and then tap the tank a few times to  dislodge any air bells. Then the tank stands undisturbed for the remaining 40 seconds or so until this is repeated at the start of every minute of whatever development time you are using. Agitation during the subsequent steps, after development, does not affect negative quality, as long as you agitate enough to remove unused silver halide from the film during fixing and washing.

I process FP4+ and SFX together in the same tank, so identical processing works for them

Ilford FP4+ I rate at 125 ISO.

Ilford SFX I rate at 10 ISO when using a Heliopan 715 infrared filter (I set the meter to 10 ISO!).

Ilford Delta 400 I rate at 500 ISO.

Film Processing Times and Dilutions – Ilford FP4+ and SFX; Delta 400


Dilution FP4 or SFX FP4 or SFX Mins Dilution Delta 400 Delta 400 Mins


Ilford DDX Developer

1+6 9 1+4 7.5


Ilford Ilfostop

1+19 0.5 1+19 0.5


Ilford Hypam Fixer

1+4 4 1+4 5



8 8



1+99 1 1+99 1


Rolls 35mm

Litres DDX 1+6 ml Rolls 120 Litres

DDX 1+6 ml


2.4 343 5 2.5



1.5 214 4 2



1 143 3 1.5



0.6 86 2 1



0.3 43 1 0.5


If you would like to download a copy of this table to print here is a pdf: Film processing tab

Key to table

Process: This column lists the steps in the order that they are done.

Dilution FP4 or SFX: The dilution that I use the chemical baths at for FP4 and SFX, all diluted with water.

FP4 or SFX mins: Process times for these 2 Ilford films from development to final rinse.

Dilution Delta 400: The dilution that I use the chemical baths at for Delta 400, all diluted with water. Note the different dilution of Ilford DDX.

Delta 400 mins: Process times for Ilford Delta 400 film from development to final rinse. Note, Delta films need longer fixing times than Ilford Plus films like FP4+. This isn’t just to shift the unused silver from the film but also to bleach the anti-halation dye (used to prevent reflections bouncing back into the film layers from the film backing layer.

Batch: The number of batches of film that I process before I replace the chemical bath that I’m using. If the number is 1 then the bath is not reused.

Rolls: the number of rolls that I can process at once

Litres: litres of chemistry that I need to make up for the number of reels.

DDX 1+6:  the number of mls I need when making up 1+6 Ilford DDX, I use this dilution for FP4 and SFX. I can work out 1+4 in my head for Delta 400!