i have dabbled a little bit with ilford and kodak's c-41 films, and had labs process / proof it all. when the lab is using a color machine do to the printing, the kodak film seems to print better, probably because of the orange mask the film has. the ilford usually prints better when done with black and white chemistry &C.
i usually send film through the local sam's club - its cheep and usually the snapshots come out okay ... it seems that fuji color processing ( the folks that do all the photo-work for sams&walmart ) print/process the kodak themselves, and send all the ilford to their guy(s) that do all their b&w work --- in this case happy-d's in kansas.
i find the film to be less contrasty too, kind of like a cold light print vs. a condensor print ...
"I've seen and heard of disappointing results with bw film made for and developed in c-41. Can these films be developed by another method and what are the results?"
I'm sure you have, but then the photographer has not been in control of the processing & printing.
They can be developed in B&W chemicals, I've seen times published but the quality drops.
From its introduction I tried using XP1, after a brief trial I stuck to FP4 (pre my switch to Agfa films and T-max 1986 onwards) for normal use.
However I found that XP1 was superb for push processing to 1600 - 3200 ASA(ISO now) and used it for theatre photography and particularly Rock concerts for years. XP2 official literature seemed to indicate it wasn't recommended to be push processed, I noticed no differance. Many well known musicians are recorded on XP1 & 2.
My pet hate is grain and even at 1600 ASA it's virtually absent, I've always loathed Tri-X and HP5,4,3
A lot depends on the lab you're using, the way you expose the film, and the type of C-41 you're using.
XP2 prints beautifully on B&W paper. But it also prints beautifully on color paper (and looks very much B&W rather than blue, green, or red) if you have a conscientious and skilled lab tech. If you don't, then all bets are off. XP2 at box speed and exposed dead-on, has pretty good contrast. If you really want it to snap, it does best overexposed a stop -- or seven. (Yes, it's designed to work with seven full stops of overexposure. Yikes. No, I'm not recommending this.)
TCN, if you can still get it, is a great film for contrasty lighting situations, like backlit portraits or snow scenes, as mentioned. If you want it to "pop", it needs to be significantly overexposed. Rated and exposed at box speed, it tends to be very low contrast and sort of vanilla. Same lab info applies as with XP2 -- a good lab tech can make B&W-looking prints on color paper just fine. Like XP2, it also prints well on B&W paper.
Kodak's latest offering, B&W 400 (I think that's what they're calling it?) is a different animal. It is designed to be printed on color paper, and in fact does NOT print well traditionally. (That's according to data put out by Kodak, so it's not just a personal bias.) Those who love this film tend to really love it. Personally, I find it really irritating for Kodak to pull Portra B&W film, which was extraordinary, only to replace it with a film that can't be printed traditionally. I think that's assenine.
Anyway, just my two cents'.
Wow! I really didn't expect all of this good information. i figured that a couple of people would say "No, you cant do it." or "It's not worth the trouble..." But I didn't expect all of this...
So, it sounds to me like the C-41 stuff goes to the local lab and gets printed on whatever seems to work best or pleases the most. The regular black and white stuff gets done by me...
Fixer scented Glade; for those that just can't leave the darkroom.
Kodak just sent me a sample roll of the new BW400CN (along with the 100 and 400uc color emultions), I plan on playing with it this weekend. I was hoping for something similar to Portra BW, which I used to love "back in the day" hehe it'll be too bad if it isn't anywhere near it.
Originally Posted by Cheryl Jacobs
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My box of Diafine lists XP2 as a film you can develop yourself with that developer. I haven't tried it though, but it appears to be possible.
has anyone tried this?
I wonder how well that works? I know you can process most anything in B&W chemistry but i would think on c-41 films you would have to include the bleach-fix step to etch the dyes and clear the silver.
Originally Posted by fingel
Just for fun earlier this year, I developed a 120 roll of Kodak 160 Portra NC in D-76 (7:30 at 68F, 10 sec. agitation per minute) and got quite pleasing results. With some refinement I'm sure thss would be a fine process. For me it was just an experiment...it worked well and i decided to move on from there without further testng.
Originally Posted by Paladin
Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.
Les's article on C41 film in B&W chemicals
I am not sure if any one has posted this, but Les McLean wrote an article on just this topic. I am in the process of testing the times and chemicals in my darkroom. I would say that if you have the capabilities to do your own developing and you have a bunch of C41 B&W film that you give it a try.
The article is based on the use of Ilford XP-2 Super and Kodak CN400, but if you have anything else you might give it a try.
Using B&W chemicals for B&W C-41 film
[COLOR=DarkOliveGreen][SIZE=2]"We are not at War, we are having a nervous breakdown". Hunter S. Thompson[/SIZE][/COLOR]
I seem to remember that when Ilford XP1 first came out in the 80s it had its own dedicated chemistry which did a much better job than C-41. The original film could be processed C-41, but really didn't seem fully compatable, so the results were not that sharp. That soon improved though, and the modern version is certainly fine in C-41, although you may sometimes have trouble persuading a mini-lab of that if you have to use one. They have a way of determinedly telling you they don't do B&W whatever you say.
Remember the negs are dye, not silver based and so not as long lasting as a true B&W film.