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  1. #1
    Reticenti's Avatar
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    Kodak BW400CN Film

    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?

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    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. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reticenti View Post
    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?

    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. #4
    Reticenti's Avatar
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    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. #5
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reticenti View Post
    Thanks, good thing I didn't spend my hard earned cash on it to find out that the space-time continuum was in peril.
    Well, yes, thankfully the universe remains a safe place despite your "blunder".

    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!

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    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?

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    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. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by reub2000 View Post
    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?
    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. #9
    ann
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    years ago i had a student process a roll of XP in HC110. It was magenta but it printed.
    http://www.aclancyphotography.com

  10. #10
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    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.

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