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  1. #1

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    Conventional B&W in C-41?

    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?

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    Henry, I explained the "why."

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Verizzo View Post
    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.
    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

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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.

  5. #5
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    Why not the C-41 fixer?

    EDIT: I overlooked the "used".

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    Quote Originally Posted by albada View Post
    Paul, it's good to hear from you again! I've had this pattern all my adult life. "Into" photography for awhile, then not, then back into. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    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
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Verizzo View Post
    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.
    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.
    Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.

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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

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

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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

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