Kodak C41 b&w film on Ilford multigrade RC.

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by dolande, May 3, 2006.

  1. dolande

    dolande Member

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    I tried to print some negatives last week and I had serious problems. The negative looks very high contrast, just as the proof print I’ve got from the lab. I though I could reduce the contrast by using either filter 2 or 1.5 but there was no detail in the blacks (these are indoor pictures with lost of dark areas) and I couldn’t find the right exposure. The best I could manage was to use a 4 filter that gave me roughly the same look as the proof, that I don’t like. I also needed to dodge some area on the face but I couldn’t get any detail on that, only lighter grey (some detail is apparent in the negative).
    This Kodak film is really orange almost like color film, not the brownish I’ve seen in some of my other negatives.
    I’m still a beginner and any comment will be highly appreciated.

    Thanks

    Rafael
     
  2. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member

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    This film can be printed on b/w paper, and there are a variety of techniques to reduce contrast without losing detail in the shadows. My suggestion: post the print you made as an attachment in this thread. You will get lots of very specific suggestions.
     
  3. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    And keep in mind that this is color film basically. I have usually gotten better results printing C41 B&W by using higher filters (about 3 or 4). It does depend on how it was originally exposed, though.
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Due to the orange color, this film is intended to be printed on a graded paper.

    The orange color is like using a strong VC filter in the beam and using VC paper it is hard to judge how to adjust the contrast properly.

    PE
     
  5. dolande

    dolande Member

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    Ok, following suggestions I’m attaching one print. I think the real print has more contrast than the scan. I’m using glossy paper.

    Thanks
    Rafael
     

    Attached Files:

  6. glennfromwy

    glennfromwy Member

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    All I can say is good luck. I have tried everything I can think of to get a good print out of this combo, with little success, if you want to cal it that. There are three papers this film will print on: #1 - graded B&W / #2 - color paper, which is really what this film was designed for / #3 - Panalure, which may be impossible to find now. If you want to use a C-41 B&W film, you're much better off with Ilford XP-2 Super, which is a great film and you can print it easily.
     
  7. Fotohuis

    Fotohuis Restricted Access

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    Exactly, Kodak C41 B&W films can produce a good B&W picture via a RA-4 (color) print, due to the strong orange mask and further specs. And indeed an alternative (was) Panalure. You will also have long exposure times on B&W papers.

    The XP-2 super can produce a good B&W picture on a classical variable contrast B&W paper. But with this film it's much more difficult to get a neutral (B&W) print via a RA-4 process.

    Summurized: Wrong film for what you want. Let the lab made a neutral B&W RA-4 print for you. Buy the right film: E.I. around 250-320 with the XP-2 super and a standard C41 development. Then print it yourself on B&W variable contrast paper. You will immediately see the difference.

    If you're less satisfied with the "softer" images which a chromogenic film always produces, switch to a classical B&W film but then you have to optimize your own development.

    Best regards,

    Robert
     
  8. drpsilver

    drpsilver Subscriber

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    04 May 2006

    I agree with the previous posts. I have had very few acceptable prints using the Kodak C-41 B&W film. Printing onto conventional B&W paper is like "printing through a safelight", the exposures are very long and low contrast. My student and me have had much better experience with Ilford XP2 Super. I have found that this film prints very much like a conventional B&W film, even though it is a dye based film (like all C-41 films).

    I have a stock of Panalure paper that I use from time-to-time. It works wonderfully, but one CAnnot use an OC safelight filter (must use a #13). Hence you must work in total darkness when processing the print. And it is not available any more.

    My suggestion would be to use XP2 Super and conventional B&W paper.
    Good Luck

    Regards,
    Darwin
     
  9. dolande

    dolande Member

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    Thanks you all for your responses. Actually I didn’t choose to use this film it was kind of a forced decision. Before starting to do my own developing few months back, I was really dissatisfied with commercial b&w developing unless you took it to a specialty lab (not always available) so I made the switch to chromogenic and Kodak was always available at the local store and not Ilford. I just wasn’t aware of the difficulty to make regular b&w prints. I do have some Ilford xp2 and I’ve done few prints that look good to me.

    Thanks

    Rafael
     
  10. Mark H

    Mark H Member

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    "I do have some Ilford xp2 and I’ve done few prints that look good to me."

    If I read this correctly, you have not made good prints from "xp2". Are you using "xp2" or "xp2 super" ? There is a significant difference. I've used the "super" for years and have made excellent prints. I bought a batch of xp2 at what I thought was a great price and that's when I discovered it's not all "super".
     
  11. dolande

    dolande Member

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    Mark, what I meant was that, with my limited experience, I manage to get some satisfactory results with the few xp2 super that I’ve tried; not the case with the Kodak film.

    Thanks
     
  12. haris

    haris Guest

    I used Kodak T400CN C41 b/w film with Iford MG RC IV paper. I don't use it anymore, I swiched completely to "real" b/w films.

    My experience is that T400CN is film for flash light, or daylight under very contrast lighting situations. In "normal" daylight situations or under cloudy days, etc... and under tungsten light that film has not enough contrast. And because of that it is dificult to print on MG RC. I usually had to use 3,5, 4, and sometimes grade 5 was not enough to get "real" blacks from that film/paper combination. So, afer experience with about 50 rolls of that film, indoor and outdoor, I don't want to use it anymore...

    Thera are few good poits of that film: Great film if you don't want grain using 400ISO film. And I tried on one roll to change 250, 400 and 800 ISO, and got photographs which I could print on MG RC paper (with some burning and doging) with all three speeds on one roll of film...
     
  13. drpsilver

    drpsilver Subscriber

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    Mark:

    I believe that Ilford no longer produces XP2, fortunately. XP2 Super is a much better film.

    Regards,
    Darwin
     
  14. Mark H

    Mark H Member

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    It was some time ago I purchased the xp2; probably after it was discontinued and being sold for a song to suckers (like me) who didn't know the difference.
     
  15. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    I am new here but I was reading through the posts of interest and read this thread.
    Oddly I prefer T400CN and I wondered why. Recently I bought a newish (1991) componon enlarging lens and found that it printed one and one half grades softer than the 1961 componar that I had been using. Perhaps the lens an individual uses influences their favoured materials

    Sincerely
    Bill
     
  16. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I made a great with this film on the same paper without a filter
     
  17. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    If any C41 B&W film has a colored base, then it will act as a contrast control filter for a VC paper.

    Generally, an orange colored C41 B&W paper should be printed with a graded paper.

    PE
     
  18. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    Why is it better to print on a grade 4 paper than to dial in a grade 4 adjustment to variable contrast paper?
    thanks
    Bill
     
  19. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I don't quite get the relation of your comment to mine, but basically if the film has a grade 4 filter built in to it, then using a #4 filter in printing is just going to increase printing times and increase contrast to grade 5 or higher.

    I'm not saying that the filter in this film is grade 4 though. It is orange, a combination of yellow and magenta that I have never confirmed as having a specific grade # for VC paper. I do know that it has one though.

    PE
     
  20. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    thanks for responding. I took your post to mean that one should use a graded paper rather than a variable grade paper when printing a black and white print from Kodak C41 film.
    Presumably the colour mask is tending more to that of a grade one or even less, forcing the use of a very hard filter when enlarging to reverse that effect and bring the print to a mid point.Naturally this will lead to long exposures. and may restrict the ability to get to a true grade 4 or 5.
    But I was wondering if there was a difference with a grade 4 paper versus a variable grade paper at grade 4 with regard to the paper's response to the film
    Bill.