Conventional B&W in C-41?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Paul Verizzo, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    Am I crazy? Possibly, but certainly curious.

    I tried a number of search parameters here on APUG and I mostly got a lot of posts about using color neg films in conventional developers. I'm wanting to do the opposite, but I really don't like reinventing wheels or doo-hickies if I can avoid it. I'm hoping someone here has gone before me.

    Why do you want to do this, I hear you reasonably ask. Well, it was known almost a century ago that a certain developer had the ability to make very, very fine grain. Acutance sucked. These are the para-phenyenediame developers, precursors I believe, to the modern color developers. So, the first chemo-hurdle is, am I wrong?

    The other reason I"m intrigued with this concept is that, let's face it, B&W developers pretty much stagnated years ago. Yet, at least up until digital putting the wooden stake in the heart of C-41 processing, C-41 got all of the attention of the Big Minilab Boys. Surely they kept tweaking the chemistry. Finer grain, better acutance. Anyway, what I"m hoping for.

    Obviously, no bleach.

    Has anyone tried this?
     
  2. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    Why would you want to? You want fine grain and the best sharpness? Then find whatever developer there is still out there that will do what Microdol 1:3 used to do. That Microdol was miraculous. It was a staining developer something like pyro to a degree, which gave compensation. And it did it's magic nibbling on the grain just enough to make it look like there was none. And to those who say Microdol was a grain-softener that hurts sharpness, that's hogwash. A Microdol negative was sharp as a tack. So if this Perceptol stuff (which I've never tried) is actually a Microdol substitute, then use that. Remember though, that Microdol is best for roll film use. Use it 1:3 on 4 x 5 and you'll be sick at the staining action it ruined your negative with. The moral is that on large format, if you're going to use Microdol, use it straight, NOT 1:3.
     
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  3. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    Henry, I explained the "why."
     
  4. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    Well I guess I only seconded your motion with my own exclamation point. When you asked the "why", it was you who opened the door on that line of questioning. Indeed. Of all the companies in the world, I'm sure Eastman Kodak did their due diligence in formulation. Until the sham of digital came along and kicked over everybody's sand castle. As for your question, then why not try C-22 and see how that works? And put everclear and soybean oil in your radiator water, instead of Prestone.
    I put the more viable and tested option out there. Didn't mean to step on any toes.
     
  5. albada

    albada Member

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    Paul, it's good to hear from you again! As a reminder, you and I independently discovered that s. metaborate dissolves in propylene glycol. But you discovered it a few years ahead of me.

    Anyway, as I understand it, one reason for the fine grain of color developers is dye-clouds. Each little silver-grain is surrounded by a larger cloud of dye, so the grain does not need to be developed as much. That lower development means finer grain. But B&W films don't contain color-couplers, so they will need more development than C-41 to make grains larger, so grain probably won't be as fine. But I encourage you to try it and prove me wrong. I'm not joking! I'm surprised at how often I get surprised by developers.

    Mark Overton
     
  6. werra

    werra Subscriber

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    Setting 'being-it-reasonable' question aside, the trickiest part is to find the dev time for emulsion/EI/temp combo. I would go with something along 10-12 minutes at 23-24C as a start.
    And fix the film in your BW fixer, not in the used C41 one.
     
  7. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Why not the C-41 fixer?

    EDIT: I overlooked the "used".
     
  8. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    The matter of the dye clouds is a good catch, Mark. We shall see. I just ordered more Unicolor and will mix the bleach and the fixer as seperate baths.
     
  9. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    Make sure you add a source of halide to your bleach or bleaching will be incomplete when you process color. In a BLIX you don't need halide since the fixer component grabs the Silver ions right away, so BLIX kits consist only of oxidizer and fixer.
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    But, to answer the OP, if you run a B&W film through the C41 process you get a blank strip of film. All of the silver is removed in the process.

    PE
     
  11. werra

    werra Subscriber

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    OP is about to omit bleach, just using the C41 developer and fixer.
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Sorry, so many posts to read..... Thanks for the correction.

    Generally, you get low contrast images if you do just developer and fix.. With many B&W films, the silver development is not fast enough, but it depends on the film type.

    PE
     
  13. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Or to put in other words:
    In the usual colour materials silverhalide is designed to activate and control the forming of a colour image, not to form a image of its own.
    In common descriptions of colour processes this is typically overlooked.
     
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