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  1. #1
    joeyk49's Avatar
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    Other than C-41???

    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?

    What are the best ways to achieve good images with c-41 process film? Are there ways to compensate for their inadequacies?

    Now before you go and say, "Buy some real black and white film"...I'll tell you why I ask... The Kodak and Ilford c-41s are readily available at a local department stores or pharmacies or even a relative's camera bag. In a pinch its easier to get a hold of some of this film than to search out a camera shop for greater selection.

    Waddayathink?
    Fixer scented Glade; for those that just can't leave the darkroom.

  2. #2

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    What problems? I have used both a lot and never had trouble with them.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  3. #3
    joeyk49's Avatar
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    Most of my images, I'm not sure if I'm describing it right, don't seem to "snap" like regular black and white film. I'm still just learning, but I'm finding the c-41s to be somewhat bland. With most of my shots being taken outdoors, and even with the use of a yellow filter, I'm left feeling disappointed by the appearance of the images.

    Now, I know that its almost never the gun, not usually the ammunition, but the shooter, who's most often at fault for poor shots. With only a dozen rolls of bw film exposed, I'm sure that I have a lot to do with it. I was just wondering if anyne else had issues with c-41 films in general...
    Fixer scented Glade; for those that just can't leave the darkroom.

  4. #4
    Leon's Avatar
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    are you printing these yourself or judging the results from machine prints?

  5. #5

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    I've used Ilford XP2 quite a lot and never found any problems with it. The only thing I do miss when using it is the lack of grain as it's a dye like all C41's.

    My advice is always rate it at either 320 or 250 (the latter I prefer) and use a Yellow or Yellow Green filter to give it a little extra punch. Ignore the fact that you re-rated it when it's processed and treat it for development as if it had been shot at 400.

  6. #6
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    The chromogenic (C-41) films are good, in my opinion. The greatest problem I've found is that they do not do well when printed on color paper - which is what will be done in the one-hour labs.

    Take the same negatives an print/ get them printed on black and white paper.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    The greatest problem I've found is that they do not do well when printed on color paper - which is what will be done in the one-hour labs.
    My local one-hour lab is printing the negs on colour paper and they have the nicest brown toning...! Cool for non-intented side effect!

    Morten

  8. #8
    Ole
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    The chromogenic films can be said to be "all shoulder" - the highlights are softer than the shadows. This I find great for snow-covered landscapes and other high contrast scenes. Sometimes that's not what you want. But that's what you get anyway
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  9. #9
    joeyk49's Avatar
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    Until I'm doing my own stuff, which, hopefully will be sooner than later, I'll remember the bw paper thing. I also won't lose focus (no pun intended) on my own technique.
    Fixer scented Glade; for those that just can't leave the darkroom.

  10. #10
    127
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    I was originally quite keen on the Kodak, but depending on where you get it printed, it can take on a nasty colour cast - we got some VERY green images back from the local mini-lab which usually does a good job. On the other hand we sent a batch to the pro-lab, along with some HP5, and the C41 came back BETTER than the real black and white - I guess it's just more consistant.

    I know this is the WRONG place to say it, but if I had to put black and white through a mini-lab, I'd shoot colour, get it scanned, bring it home, convert it to black and white, and take the digital file back.

    Of course it's no substitute for "the real thing", but the mini-labs are probably set up to handle this kind of work-flow better than the c41 bw (less chance of bad colour casts). The new machines scan, and then print from the scan anyway, so you don't loose anything by breaking the pipeline. You also get the option to have the image colour or black and white, which can be very handy on commercial stuff.

    We've been using/refining this pipeline on commercial work for the last few months, and the results are very nice. Shoot film, Dev/scan at the pro-lab (you only get one shot, so pay the extra!). Automated generation of contacts, previews, colour corrections etc, and then print the final images at the cheap, local mini-lab. Should you need a large print, you can always go back to the original neg.

    Of course it doesn't touch real, hand processed bw, which I do for all my own stuff, but a hybrid solution seems the best option if you need to get bw from a c41 lab.

    Ian

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