The few times I've tried it, I've been very disappointed in the results from printing color negatives on ordinary Multigrade or Polycontrast. Analytically, it is similar to taking a black and white photo through a light red filter - skies are darkened. Practically, it requires log exposures and a high contrast grade - which further reduces the exposure of green things (cyan dye in the negative). The long exposures also increase the chance of fogging. I have used Panalure, and I have even got some decent prints out of it, but I don't think it's a great paper. Agfa used to make a panchromatic paper, but I never tried it. Is it still around?
I'm afraid that we may have to go digital for good black and white prints from color now. That's tricky, though. Black and white is not a trivial job in Photoshop or any of the other digital programs. Fortunately, the latest HP and Epson printers can do a decent job of printing black and white, though maybe not up to the highest darkroom standards.
Thanks. You're the first to show actual evidence of the results which I appreciate. The skin texture and tones look fine but then an elephant is all texture and grey.At the risk of sounding demanding and ungrateful which I do not intend to sound,do you have any other pics which cover a range of scenery and colours. Anyone else who can submit a C41 colour neg would be appreciated.
Originally Posted by philldresser
The exposures seems incredible for someone like me who is used to about 5-8 secs from his normal B&W negs. As someone else said there's time to make a cup of tea during the exposure.
Panalure is still obtainable from the U.S. but at a pretty high price and currently the vote still seems to be for Portra RA4.
[QUOTE=pentaxuser] As someone else said there's time to make a cup of tea during the exposure.
That was me! Just picked up this thread again after a couple of weeks break from work and the infernal computer. I note your request for a thumbnail but can't easily oblige as the print is framed and behind glass. I recall that the exposure was of the order of a couple of minutes at f11 or thereabouts. As has been said, that's no big issue for one or two prints, but I wouldn't want to spend a whole darkroom session on that basis. I think the issue of strange tones is quite correct, but will depend very much on the subject matter and just how pure the important colours of the subject are. I'm very happy with my Acker Bilk pic, but then he's not in the habit of wearing red lipstick (well, not that I've ever seen!)
I was looking at the Ilford website last night in the multigrade paper section and it said something like " Ilford paper could be used to make acceptable B&W prints from colour negs" No mention of lengthy exposures or difficulty of converting certain colours to authentic tones.
Originally Posted by pentaxuser
I'd have expected Ilford to have been a little more honest about the difficulties. Maybe it says more in its multigrade printing book. Anybody read this book? Is it worth the money?
Presumably Ilford believes that amongst trad darkroom workers there is no overlap between colour and black and white. That is people who take colour negs turns them into colour prints and if they want B&W prints they take B&W negs. So presumably it believes there is no future in trying to fill the gap left by Kodak dropping Panalure.
Pity because the digital market offers a conversion from colour which is the stock in trade. I was in Moreton in Marsh( quaint small English town for non U.K. based members) and a photographer was selling both colour and B&W prints. Some were film based ( Fuji Velvia) and others digital. He had made a very good stab at a sepia version of the Matterhorn mountain from a velvia neg which was digitally scanned.
Handle With Care
Why not phone Calumet they have a shop in Manchester (061-2740500) I have dealt with them before and found them very helpful. If you do locate Kodak Panalure Paper, please take care it is a panchromatic paper, and like film MUST BE HANDLED IN COMPLETE DARKNESS!! I Just wanted to warn you because although its nearly fifteen years since I used it, I had visions of you getting a box of 100 10x8 and opening the box with your safelight on !!
Originally Posted by pentaxuser
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Thanks. It's worth a try. I have tried e-mailing twice with no success. The UK site has no Panalure in stock but anyway could presumably get it in quantity from the U.S. Whether there is sufficient call for it may be the key. Another member in the U.K. who is a regular user and advocate of Panalure gets his from the U.S. so the omens for getting it direct from Manchester may be poor. Still nothing ventured nothing gained. My DUKA 50 light is OK for panchromatic as I use it for RA4 but the warning is well heeded as some might assume that as it is processed in B&W chemicals then it is the same as B&W paper.
Originally Posted by Bentley Boyd
Calumet in Manchester don't stock Panalure, I got mine there for years but they say they can't get it in the UK anymore. Kodak's UK Pro helpline don't seem to have a clue whether they still distribute it here. I got a yes, then a no. However Calumet in New York do have it, and will do mail order to Britain if you're happy to pay the postage. I got 200 sheets a few months ago with no trouble. Retro in Britain had a Chinese substitute a while ago. I bought some, but haven't used any yet so can't say how good it is.
After my previous post, I recalled that Kodak recommended using Dektol to check exposure with the early Type C materials. As psvensson suggested, I thought it might be worth a try with RA-4 materials. The many comments about using Multigrade, especially the comment that Ilford said satisfactory prints could be made from color negatives, prompted me to re-explore that area, too.
The results were, in a word, terrible.
I used Fuji Crystal Archive CDII paper for the RA-4 tests. I exposed it exactly as I would for color. First I tried developing in Formulary BW65, which has given good results for black and white papers. The print showed that the exposure was exactly correct, but the print was extremely flat. RA-4 papers are high in chloride salts and do not have an incorporated developer. This suggests that developer manipulation may be possible. I tried a longer developing time. Except for some development fog, the results were the same. Next I tried using Agfa 108 developer, known for high contrast with print materials made in the 1930s. The results were better, but I could still not get a good black. An even stronger developer may produce acceptable results, but I am doubtful. It may be that the RA-4 papers just do not have enough silver for good black and white results. After all, silver is just used to trigger the color coupler reactions in them, not for the actual image.
The results using Multigrade IV produced good blacks, but the prints were still bad. I used BW65 developer again, which I've found works well with Multigrade. The best print came using about grade 3-1/2 filtration from my color head. Shadow separation was poor, however. I did not have much highlight detail in the negative to judge highligh separation. Unfortunately, the color sensitivity problems also produced bad results. The print looked like the picture had been taken on non-color-sensitized film. There was very little separation between the sky and the clouds, the sky was very light, and the red rocks were extremely dark. Bad, bad bad!
I have produced "acceptable" black-and-white prints from C41 negatives using Ilford MGIV and Multigrade Portfolio. Not easy, however; all Ilford suggested Dichro head starting color filtration seems to be considerably "off" due to the negative's unique coloration.
I've found the best method to be a comparison of the analysis of a black and white negative on a "regular" color negative printing channel in my ColorStar 3000: Take an averaging reading and "balance" a black and white negative using the color negative mode. NULL that channel. Place the C41 negative in the carrier and adjust the dichro settings to balance the ColorStar display on that channel.
I've found that those settings will approximate a Grade 2. With experience, and some "squinting" at the recommended Ilford filtration for various contrast grades, contrast can be controlled - at least within partial limits.
I hope the above procedure makes some sense. I also recognize the fact that I am "burned" and "fried" after a couple of weeks of unusual stress. I need a couple of days of R&R including lots of sleep (even minimal amounts will do) and fine Scot's Whisky.
Be that as it may, I'll be more than willing to give "clarification" a shot if necessary.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Thanks Ed but I am going to have to take you up on your offer of clarification.
Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
I take it that the Colorstar 3000 is a colour neg analyser which has yellow magenta and cyan dials which have been calibrated for an ideal print with known YM and exposure from a colour test neg. Once the dials on the analyser have been set to the correct YMC for the test print then altering the YMC on the enlarger head for each neg to null the dial for the YMC buttons on the analyser gives a balanced print from each colour neg. My analyser is a Philips one with just such dials. The Cyan one being used for exposure. Not sure what a regular colour printing channel on your analyser equates to on my Philips. By averaging do you mean taking an integrated reading using the diffuser under the lens.
If I have followed you up to now then good but even if I have I then get completely lost. You seem to use a B&W neg to obtain a comparison for setting the dichroic head to obtain the correct setting for the colour neg that you wish to make a B&W print from but I haven't grasped how you do this.
Can you take me through it slowly on a step by step basis. Please risk insulting my intelligence by making it as simple as possible. Once I can picture in my mind's eye the correct sequence and understand the "how", I may grasp the "why" or at least be able then to ask sensible questions.