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.
Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera
Just a note for lurkers... and incidentally I completely agree about their being 'real' films.
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.)
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.
She: What do you do for a living?
Me: I take pictures.
She: Oh, you're a photographer.
Me: No,... I'm an art thief. :)
Interesting you should mention that, I've actually had the same trouble trying to focus Ilford XP2 (from 120 film) grain.
Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera
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.
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?
Originally Posted by copake_ham
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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.
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.
Originally Posted by reub2000
Yeah, sorry, I forgot to mention that you have to over-expose XP2 if you're going to soup it in B&W.
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.
Originally Posted by Fanshaw
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.
I saw the first query but figured it best to let a "local" answer.
Originally Posted by Akki14
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).