Kodak BW400CN Film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Reticenti, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. Reticenti

    Reticenti Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Location:
    Nevada
    Shooter:
    35mm
    So I go to Wal-Mart today to buy B&W film (the closest place to buy said film) and I pick up some Kodak BW400CN film, I then look on the back, and it says "Do not process with Black and White Chemicals"
    Can I use this film in my new darkroom, or will the space-time continuum come crashing down on me?

    Also, what's a good, cheaper B&W film to learn how to use my darkroom with?
     
  2. Photo Fitz

    Photo Fitz Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Location:
    Arizona
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    It is C-41 Process

    The 400CN is to be processed in C-41 process. I don't think B&W processing will work.

    - Alan
     
  3. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

    Messages:
    4,090
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Location:
    NYC or Copak
    Shooter:
    35mm

    OOPS!

    Sorry but BW400CN film is a "chromogenic" B&W designed to be developed in color chemistry.

    This makes it easy for folks to get it developed at any place that does color film processing (e.g. your local 1-hour place)!

    Ilford has a similar chromogenic known as XP-2. I think so does Fuji but I'm not familar with it.

    There are lots of choices for "real" B&W film (e.g. Kodak's Tri-X) and I'll let others here discuss and debate same.

    But you're package is correct - what you have is a B&W version of a color film that requires color chemistry for processing.
     
  4. Reticenti

    Reticenti Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Location:
    Nevada
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks, good thing I didn't spend my hard earned cash on it to find out that the space-time continuum was in peril.
     
  5. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

    Messages:
    4,090
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Location:
    NYC or Copak
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Well, yes, thankfully the universe remains a safe place despite your "blunder". :wink:

    But don't knock chromogenics. While they don't have the "full flavor" of "real" B&W film - they are pretty good and make it easy to get B&W processing at the local Walgreens!
     
  6. reub2000

    reub2000 Member

    Messages:
    646
    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Freestyle sells this kit that can process C-41 film.

    I've been told that C-41 film in black & white chemistry will yield a very thin silver image. Anyone ever try it?
     
  7. film_guy

    film_guy Member

    Messages:
    258
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    Shooter:
    35mm
    BW400CN can only be processed in C-41. Same with Ilford's XP2 Super or Fuji Neopan 400CN (seems to be only available in the UK, and I really think Fuji should bring it over here to North America to make up for Kodak's diminishing support for film). Chromogenics aren't as sharp or has grain as nice as real B&W film like Tri-X, but they look good for portraits.
     
  8. fidget

    fidget Member

    Messages:
    62
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Location:
    North West E
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I once used a 120 XP2super film of unknown age as a transport test film for my older cameras. When all looked well I would expose a normal film as a test film. After the first time I used the XP2, I got it mixed up with the exposed test film and developed it in ID11 with the times for Delta400. The film had thin images on it, possibly thin because I did no metering for the shots which were indoor in poor light. The film had a lovely pink base, which I tried to clear with more time in the fixer until the "penny dropped".
     
  9. ann

    ann Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,913
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Shooter:
    35mm
    years ago i had a student process a roll of XP in HC110. It was magenta but it printed.
     
  10. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,302
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have shot a LOT of the Kodak T400CN (it has changed names over time). Despite what some have said here, it is an excellent overall film, not just for portraits. It has an incredibly fine grain structure, and holds up extremely well to enlargement. The trick to getting good results with it is overexposure. Being a chromogenic film, it is very tolerant of said overexposure, and it actually improves the appearance of grain (or lack thereof). I typically shoot it at 100, which gives a very dense, meaty, and somewhat contrasty negative, but I have made 12x18 prints from it in 35mm that had less visible grain, and were almost as sharp, as a 16x20 from a 4x5 negative. The T400CN is actually so fine-grained as to be a pain to focus on the baseboard unless you are making large prints.
    It very much IS a "real" black-and-white film, and prints just fine on "real" black-and-white paper.
     
  11. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

    Messages:
    4,913
    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Northern Aqu
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I've shot a fair amount of T400CN in its various incarnations, and a very great deal of XP1 and XP2. The Ilford films are coarser-grained but sharper, and I prefer their tonality and colour response (Kodak's T-grains are odd with blue light). Of course, over-exposing any film reduces sharpness even though (as you say) the grain gets finer with chromogenics. They are indeed surprisingly sharp but of course Ilford Delta 100 is sharper still.

    Just a note for lurkers... and incidentally I completely agree about their being 'real' films.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  12. nicolai

    nicolai Member

    Messages:
    190
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You absolutely can process chromogenic B&W films (as well as C41 and E6 films) in B&W developers. You'll get a monochrome negative in silver on whatever the base color is in all cases (no dye coupler activators, no color).

    BW400CN comes out grainy with a dark orange base (very weird and grainy when underexposed in a way that I like a lot). It's printable, but not ideal. Same with normal color C41 films.

    BW400CN in Diafine example, normal exposure

    BW400CN in Diafine example, slightly under

    BW400CN in Diafine example, a few stops under (not manipulated at all except for toning)

    Fuji Superia 200 in Diafine example (not the best photo, it's from a test roll)


    Ilford XP2 Super comes out quite nicely. The base comes out with a light purple cast. Prints easily.


    E6 films tend to come out with an extremely dark base. While I haven't tried to print it optically, I smell trouble. I scan it and it works.

    Fuji Astia 100F in Diafine example (WARNING: 836k. This is likely not to everyone's taste, it's a whole roll of 120 exposed at 6x9 and advanced at 645 shot with a pinhole. But it is useful as a reference as it shows a range of tonal transitions.)
     
  13. Cooki

    Cooki Member

    Messages:
    58
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Location:
    Winnipeg Can
    Shooter:
    Sub 35mm
    I use both BW400CN and XP2, I find they both work very nicely for portrait especially when shot as iso320.
    Yes they can be processed at your local 1Hr, but, their machines often don't have a good neutral channel, ( or operator ignorance doesn't allow for one) and they tend to take on either a pink or a green cast depending on who is working that day.
    When done properly through a neutral channel with a good operator, they are crisp and fine and even look like "real" B&W.
    I suppose that's why I don't go to one hours.
     
  14. DrPablo

    DrPablo Member

    Messages:
    796
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Location:
    North Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Interesting you should mention that, I've actually had the same trouble trying to focus Ilford XP2 (from 120 film) grain.

    To the original poster, if you want to get started in your own darkroom, there are some regular (i.e. non C-41) black and white films like Ilford FP4+, Ilford HP5+, and Kodak Tri-X, that are extremely rewarding, flexible, and forgiving.
     
  15. Fanshaw

    Fanshaw Member

    Messages:
    62
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    For some reason, in the UK, the major photo-processers won't develop chromogenic B&W even though it is supposed to go through the standard C41 process. Does anyone know of a cheap UK processer for these films?
     
  16. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

    Messages:
    2,521
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Location:
    Phoeinx Ariz
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have shot a lot of TC400 in the summer months as the wash water tempt here in Phoenix is very warm (I now use a chiller) and found TC400 to be easy to print, fine grained, and a good traveling film. I shot 12 rolls while on vaction in Italy and had them processed, not printed just developed and printed the negatives when I returned. There was another thread about pushing film in C22, if I can find a quart size C22 kit I want to push TC400 to 1600 and 3200 and see what happens.
     
  17. Solarize

    Solarize Member

    Messages:
    332
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Location:
    London, Engl
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Yes, I tried it by mistake with a roll of XP2 a few years back. The negs were very thin and completly lacking in highlight detail. I got a single print but it was pretty poor.
     
  18. nicolai

    nicolai Member

    Messages:
    190
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yeah, sorry, I forgot to mention that you have to over-expose XP2 if you're going to soup it in B&W.
     
  19. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

    Messages:
    1,873
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Just keep pushing it on the usual persons or go to another local photoprocessing place? Someone has to have a clue even if you show them the box that says Process C-41. Some people just have bad luck with the counter staff. Alternatively go to some place that does develop B&W film as well and they should be smart enough to know the difference if you tell them and show them the box.

    Tell them you are NOT crossprocessing, this film is made for C-41 colour processing. A lot of developers don't want to crossprocess as it can mess up their chemicals a bit at least as far as exhaustion rates etc.
     
  20. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

    Messages:
    4,090
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Location:
    NYC or Copak
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I saw the first query but figured it best to let a "local" answer.

    I'd just add that once in a while here in the US too, I've run into this problem. Usually, as mentioned above, once you point out the C-41 process instructions on the cannister they agree to process.

    I also think that this problem will ease up a bit with "familiarity". Lately I've noticed Kodak is putting the BCN400 film in one-use cameras (probably picking up on an rising interest in B&W shooting).
     
  21. Justin Cormack

    Justin Cormack Member

    Messages:
    181
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Location:
    London
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Snappy Snaps will do it. Not tried anywherre else, but its probably the counter staff being ignorant.
     
  22. film_guy

    film_guy Member

    Messages:
    258
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Yeah, I had to point out to my 1-hour labs that it's not actually real B&W film, but BW400CN can be processed normally in C-41. I still couldn't convince them to print on B&W paper, though. Something about costs issues.