B&W that uses C-41

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Absinthe, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. Absinthe

    Absinthe Member

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    In a freecycle lot, I got a handfull of HP5 and Fp4 and some miscellaneous kodak films. However, one roll is labeled B&W develop in c-41 not in B&W chemicals.

    What is this?

    Is it just black and white but no color dyes in it? Ore are there black dyes?

    Certainly an interesting idea, but this is the first I am seeing it. Kind of a b&w for people that don't develop their own perhaps?
     
  2. Stoo Batchelor

    Stoo Batchelor Member

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    Exactly that. developed in colour chems.

    Stoo
     
  3. Absinthe

    Absinthe Member

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    So what happens, if you develop that in b&w chemistry? I guess it would need a bleach at least... Been a long time since I did any color chemistry at all, this puppy may have to go to the 1 hour lab :smile:
     
  4. Stoo Batchelor

    Stoo Batchelor Member

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    The whole idea of the film is that it CAN be dropped in to the one hour photo lab. In answer to your question about if it can be developed in b+w chems, the answer must be yes, as it is listed in the Massive development chart. Try 35mm in ID11 or D76 for 14 minutes at 22 degrees. I would not know the outcome as I have not yet tried the combination.

    Many APUGers use this film and swear by it, largely due to its ease of scanning and the fact that you can use the digital-ice on your scanner. For what its worth, I will never touch it again. The reason being that your film is in someone elses hands. I have had real bad experiences because of this. You may think C41 is C41, I certainly did, but when I got my first set of negs back in this film(XP2+) they had been butchered, and that was from one of the leading U.K labs. I had to print on Zero grade and flash the paper, yet I was led to believe that they would print nicely at grade 3. Experience number two was printing some one elses negs, same film. One set printed beautifully at grade 2 1/2, the next set at grade 3 1/2. They were all over the place, and the grain, well, bad, and these films should be grainless. Take what I say with a pinch of salt, as for every bad experience there will be 100 good ones, I guess I have just been unlucky, though never again for me thank you.

    Best

    Stoo
     
  5. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council

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    XP2 or Kodak's BW400CN are chromogenic films, so it means that as the silver is developed, a dye is formed nearby. This is what happens in all available colour films (with some differences for Kodachrome). In the XP2 or BW400CN films, it just so happen that the dye is gray.

    The dye formation is dependent on the presence of very specific by-products of development, caused by the oxidization of colour developer. So if you use D-76 to develop XP2, you will reduce the silver halide to silver, but I don't think you will induce dye formation. That's my understanding of it. So you will simply have a rather normal B&W negative, the quality of which I am absolutely cluess about.
     
  6. mabman

    mabman Member

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    Kodak's C-41 B&W product (BW400CN) has an orange backing, similar to regular colour c-41 films. This has the advantage of being able to scan like regular colour films, but may pose more issues with optical printing. Locally I've found 1-hr labs (and pro-labs) have no trouble printing this, and I get monochrome prints in B&W (on colour paper, mind you).

    Ilford's C-41 B&W product (XP2) has a green or magenta tint (not sure if it's a proper backing per se), which, at least locally, gives labs fits - the few times I've tried it with them printing it I got green or magenta-tinted monochrome prints :smile: Some say it's easier to optically print XP2, I have no experience with it.

    Personally, I like BW400CN for informal portraits - it's really hard to completely blow out its highlights, so you can use strong lights/flashes and it will likely still turn out. Add to this 24 exp. rolls are sold in my local Wal-Marts :smile:

    As for developing in standard B&W chems, it should work to some extent - developing *any* C-41-based film in standard chems will get you a B&W negative of some sort. No idea if it's usable, though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2008
  7. Paul VanAudenhove

    Paul VanAudenhove Member

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    My understanding has always been that the Ilford films were designed for regular B&W printing, while the Kodak films were meant to be printed on color materials - which explains the the different colored mask on Kodak films.
     
  8. cotdt

    cotdt Member

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    tried it. it works OK in B&W chems but it's grainier than using the C41 process.
     
  9. bob100684

    bob100684 Member

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    C-41 is C-41, some labs just run control strips and others don't. The hard part is in the printing. On older optical minilabs it was quite difficult to get neutral results, on newer laser exposure minilabs, it is easy to get neutral results, however most techs don't bother learning the machine well enough to get optimal results.
     
  10. randerson07

    randerson07 Member

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    This is promising, since I don't process my own, and may not for some time. Ive seen this stuff at the local Wal-Mart and Walgreen's but was afraid to pick it up. I may have to give it a try, Ive been waiting 9 days now to get back a roll of Tri-X back and it sucks. Dropping off before work and picking up after would be awesome.
     
  11. cotdt

    cotdt Member

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    why not process your own B&W film? it is very easy and pennies cheap
     
  12. randerson07

    randerson07 Member

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    Well im not so sure I like shooting film yet. Before April 1st I had never used a film camera that wasnt disposable in my 27 year lifetime. Before xmas 2006 I had never taken pictures that were not for an ebay add or for myspace and the like. I inherited a couple Petri SLRs at the end of March and shot a color roll through one and kind of liked it. Since then Ive bought a half dozen more rolls of B&W stuff not knowing it couldn't be processed in a 1hr joint, and traded a broken lens for an Elan 7E, since i shoot a canon DSLR.

    So now its been 9 days and I havent seen any results yet, If the next 3 or 4 rolls come out good and I like it as much or more than my DSLR, Ill look at processing my own. But its a pretty steep investment especially since i dont have a scanner or enlarger so I would need one or both of those to get prints unless dropping negs off at a lab for prints is fast and cost effective.
     
  13. bob100684

    bob100684 Member

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    the b/w film is also a good test of your lab. If they can print it without a cast, chances are they're somewhat decent.
     
  14. cotdt

    cotdt Member

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    well i don't know if it's fair to judge traditional B&W using C-41 B&W films because those don't look at all like traditional B&W. B&W is an acquired taste with its long dynamic range, S-shaped contrast curves and smooth micro-powdered grain that cannot be acheived using digital, nor even on an inkjet in my opinion. for a sample of what B&W is like, you'll probably have to ask a friend to do it the traditional way, or better yet visit some B&W art galleries (not scanned work but traditional prints).

    processing B&W at groceries stores will give you black and white and... green. hehe.
     
  15. randerson07

    randerson07 Member

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    Well Im not getting it processed at grocery stores. I have 2 rolls out at a Wolf Camera, 1 notch above grocery store LOL. And I recently found a true camera shop 30 miles from my house that i have another roll at. I had a look around the shop and they have for sale all of the materials needed to process my own so ill be asking them about it when I pick up my prints. I also picked up a roll of the Ilford C41 B&W to have a go at. They had all kinds of fun stuff, medium format stuff, TLRs, lots and lots of choices on film, they can do E6(I think thats slide film right?), I spent alot of time just staring at stuff it was nice.

    This is turning out to be like every hobby ive ever had, "A dive in head first money pit"
     
  16. gbroadbridge

    gbroadbridge Member

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    One word ... Ebay

    There is a ton of useful stuff going for pennies on Ebay


    Graham.
     
  17. Contrastique

    Contrastique Member

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    Printing B&W at a colourlab, which one-hour services are, will give you green or magenta (depending on correction; to get the green out you have to add magenta and the other way around). I work with an Agfa lab and the paper used is colour and that's where the problem's at. It's impossible getting it absolutely neutral that way.
     
  18. bob100684

    bob100684 Member

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    Something is wrong in either your machine's set up, or your printing if you're unable to get a neutral b/w print. Getting a neutral print may be difficult at first, however it is far from impossible even on older optical printers.
     
  19. tac

    tac Member

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    I would also like to point out that because these films are based on using dyes, not silver, they are not going to last as long as traditional B/W materials - if that's important to your work.
     
  20. Contrastique

    Contrastique Member

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    I work with a Agfa D-lab 1. I'm not sure what your experience is on this field but with colourpaper you can't get a neutral b&w. It can come close, yes but not 100% b&w like with b&w paper. We worked hard in getting it as close as possible, like for example swopping paper to Kodak which is more white / neutral than the Agfa we used before. Now, when talking Epson 9800, a different story.
     
  21. bob100684

    bob100684 Member

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    I've printed primarily with fuji equipment for the past five years, both frontiers and SFA's. Though there was a short span when I worked for a store with a d. Lab. Are you able to run a calibration print at any given time? With our frontier, especially on matte paper, it is absolutely critical to run one immediatly before printing anything you want to be black and white.