Thank you all for the comments and descriptions of this film. C-41 processing seems to have too many variables for my impatience at this point so for now I will make the dreaded drive to my local store. I do process my own film and have wanted a Jobo for my LF work and will give it a try if I get one and like this film.
Cheryl, thank you very much for the example I did see it and others in the gallery and was the reason for my initial post. This weekend Iíll be in Glenwood Springs where I used to live and will be shooting some portraits for the first time. (I like trees more than people) I figured there had to be something that this film had to offer if people I knew didnít rely on a lab were using it. At this point I think Iíll bracket like crazy and see what I get, no time for testing. This is a rather personal and important shoot for me and still plan to use my normal films as well but will try some XP2.
Pierre, thanks for the idea of using it in vintage cameras I have many and love to use them but do waste a lot of film. Do they make it in 620? Just kidding maybe Iíll call J&C to see if theyíre willing. I just scored another twin reflex that Iím dying to use.
Once again thanks for all the replies it has definitely helped.
Actually since the developing time is pretty much set in stone there are actually fewer variables to doing C-41 than with B&W developer. It seems to be forgiving of some drift of the time and temperature but if you can get up the working heat in a tub of water you should have no problems with it. Can't hurt to try if you have some time to play.
I was doing some reading today about the process and decided to pick up a Devtec temp. control unit and no it (usually) never hurts to try and I will. Thanks.
I used a 35mm cartridge of the original XP2 film that I had refrigerated for ten years. I had the film developed at Walgreen's and put on a CD - no prints. The entire roll was used at a vintage car show. I have a photo of a 1950's Jaguar race car (almost the entire car) taken from the rear. When I viewed the CD on the computer monitor and zoomed in on the instrument panel I was amazed that the tick marks on the speedometer were clearly visible and the pixels broke down before the grain was objectionable. This chromogenic film should be tried by every photographer at least once. You might be surprised at how good your lenses are.
The whole idea behind chromogenic B&W film is convenience. It's been around for a long time now, but it seems to have taken on a new life with the emergence of digital imaging. By that I mean, you shoot the roll, drop it off at the drugstore, pick it up in an hour. What you get are not quality prints. They are proof prints. But if the drugstore is using a digital or hybrid system, and you can get the pictures already scanned on a CD, that represents a tremendous convenience over getting the conventional B&W developed (either yourself or a service, and it usually takes more than an hour - more like days), then getting or making contact sheets or proof prints, and then scanning. Scanning is tedious, time consuming work. Now, if you're going to be making enlargements the traditional way, and you're not interested in the CD for web display purposes, then the convenience factor of C41 B&W sort of evaporates.
However, that being said, there can be technical reasons for still using films like XP2. The first is the incredible exposure latitude as already mentioned, compared to conventional B&W. This can be extremely useful in "toy" cameras that have no exposure controls, for instance, or in vintage cameras without a meter, or if you have to shoot in various levels of light all on the same roll. The second reason is, as already mentioned before, the actual picture quality. With XP2 and equivalents, you can get a certain smoothness in the picture that can make 35mm look like medium format. I know I may get some argument about that, but it's really that good, when used in the most optimum way possible.
It may not be the traditionalist's choice for B&W, but it's definitely worth trying and experimenting with.