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  1. #1

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    Ilford XP-2 and Kodak 400CN

    It's been years since I have tried chromogenic's and on my coming trip out into the desert I thought what the heck shoot a roll along with my usual b&w choices. In reading only a couple of responses in other areas XP-2 seems the logical choice for home printing and high contrast scenes. Has anyone compared the two?
    W.A. Crider

  2. #2
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    I have not compared the two, Wayne. However, I have used the 400CN quite often and I like the contrast coverage it affords. 'Water#1' in my gallery is shot with 400CN and at a long exposure. It is a great film. Only downfall with 400CN is that there is lessened seperation between blues and greens with shutter speeds over 1/60. Has not been a problem for me, though.
    Thank you.
    -CW

    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  3. #3
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    Wayne
    I've never had good luck with Kodak's 400CN film. I'm not wanting to start a war, just saying that's been my experience. Hard to print, hard to get contrast from...I've had better luck with XP2.

    Honestly, you're best off trying 2 24-exp rolls yourself to really know. But that's been my first-hand observation.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by waynecrider View Post
    ...Has anyone compared the two?
    Eh, I think you're comparing apples & oranges. Both are fruits, but very different. Kodak's BW 400CN was meant to be printed at minilabs with RA4 paper, it has the orange mask. Have you ever tried printing C41 negatives? Not much fun. It might be somewhat better than printing from real color negatives, but not great.

  5. #5
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    If you're doing your own B&W prints then XP-2 is vastly superior. But if it's B&W prints from a mini-lab then Kodak 400CN is a better option.

    Ian

  6. #6

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    The big difference is in the printing. XP-2 is designed to be printed on regular black and white paper in a regular darkroom. It has normal contrast and a purplish mask. It prints very well, indeed. The Kodak product, although it gives a black and white negative, is designed to be printed on RA-4 color paper. It has very low contrast and a decidedly orange mask - a color film designed to give black and white negatives. You can print the Kodak film on ordinary paper, but it requires grade 4 or 5 contrast and long exposures. The results are usually not all that good, either.

  7. #7
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    Past 3 posts: exactly!

  8. #8
    AgX
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    By the way, what does actually that `CN´ in 400CN mean?

    If I did not know better, I would guess it is a 400 ISO Colour Negative film...

    Well, it could mean Chromogenic Negative. But CN is the common abbreviation for Colour Negative.

  9. #9
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    It is C41 process. And in addendum to my earlier post, it was lab processed.
    Thank you.
    -CW

    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  10. #10
    chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
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    The Kodak stuff is harder to print in the darkroom because it has an orange base like color negative film, to allow easy printing in minilab machines. The Ilford has a gray base like traditional black and white films and prints much easier in the darkroom. I've had good luck with the Kodak, but that was scanning the negs, not darkroom printing, which in my experience is a pain on the Kodak because the base color blocks much of the light that BW papers are sensitive to and the film needs printed on high-contrast paper.
    Chris Crawford
    Fine Art Photography of Indiana and other places no one else photographs.

    http://www.chriscrawfordphoto.com

    My Tested Developing Times with the films and developers I use

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    Fort Wayne, Indiana

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