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  1. #1

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    B&W prints from colour negs

    Looking at the few threads on this, the classic answer seems to be to use Kodak Panalure paper for best results. It appears from the threads I have seen that oridinary B&W paper is a very poor substitute.In the UK which is where I am, David Wolliscroft is an advocate of Panalure and I have had some helpful correspondence with him.

    He seems to import it from the Calumet in U.S. I have looked at Calumet's site in the U.S and it is still available in limited sizes but very expensive. In the U.K. there is none in stock at the primary warehouse and I cannot get a reply from Calumet UK on the likely availability of Panalure.

    My questions are:

    1.Has anyone in the UK had any dealings with Calumet or know of another Panalure stockist.
    2. Has Panalure been discontinued by Kodak as part of its B&W paper policy so that Calumet's stock, limited as it is,will eventually run out?
    3. As an alternative to Panalure,does anyone have experience of using Kodak
    Portra paper which is processed in RA4 chemicals and of which there seems to be no shortage in Calumet UK.It is a reasonable price but only worth buying if it does a better job of printing B&W from colour negs than B&W paper. So how does this compare to Panalure and if inferior how much better is it than ordinary B&W paper?

    I do B&W and will continue to do so but a good B&W print from a colour neg would be a real advantage on those occasions I have colour loaded but realise that the shot calls for a B&W print.

    Thanks for any help from any members on questions 2 and 3 and from UK members on question 1.

    Pentaxuser

  2. #2
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    With Kodak dropping all B&W papers, including Panalure and the B&W RA-4 materials, in the near future, it would probably be simplest (long term) to make an interpositive on panchromatic film, then an internegative to print from. I've seen examples of this done using TMX sheet film, so I presume the same could be done with other panchro films of similar speed. ISO 100 is about four stops faster than the fastest enlarging papers, however, so you might have to stop down your enlarger a long way to get comfortable exposure times, and of course you'll have to work in total darkness, at least from pulling the film out of the box to getting it into some kind of daylight processing unit. Reversal processing is easiest with a daylight fill tank of some kind, but it might be simpler to make an interpositive on the panchro film, then a copy negative on ortho film (Kodalith equivalent), which is both slower, and can be used in safelight, so more comfortable to work with. You might find you need to filter the light for the first printing step in order to get a good panchromatic response, due to the orange mask of C-41 negative films.
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  3. #3
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    I realise that I’m not directly answering you question, but can I query if you have tried printing on standard paper? Whilst I accept that the results may not be quite as good as when using the Kodak product they may well be acceptable. I have never used Panalure, but have printed on to Ilford multigrade and achieved reasonable results, albeit some 6 years ago. The main problem that I remember is finding the filtration setting that will overcome the orange negative cast to achieve a satisfactory contrast, and also putting up with the long exposure times that result.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  4. #4
    George Papantoniou's Avatar
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    I've seen panchromatic paper marketed by Wephota, the German firm that rebrands B&W paper. I don't know where it originally comes from (is it rebranded Panalure ? I doubt it) but it might still be available.

  5. #5
    ann
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    We have students print color negative all the time using standard black and white materials. Usually Ilford paper and LPD developer.

    We work in a gang darkroom and couldn't or wouldn't use panalure as it is not practical as that paper must be handled in complete darkness.


    Success varies, but it can be done, with patience and work. The times will increase and the contrast issues are always a challenge

  6. #6

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    B&W prints from colour negs

    Thanks for all your prompt replies. In summary, the Kodak situation in respect of Panalure and its B&W Porta paper seems clear enough. It's time is limited and there's no chance of a reprieve. However using B&W Ilford paper receives a reasonable vote of confidence.

    I have not tried B&W paper but I am an Ilford paper user although I use Nova's own developer in a Nova Quad Slot processor rather than Ilford developer. Quite frankly I had discounted B&W paper as being a very poor second choice based on replies I had previously seen on the subject. One of the problems with APUG or any other open forum especially for a beginner is getting a balanced and objective view. Rodinal is probably the best example of this. It tends to be love or hate. It's the film developer equivalent of the elixir of life or it's the last resort depending on the member. Sometimes its like the old joke: If you lay all the economists in the world end to end you still won't reach a definite conclusion.

    I often think that it's a pity that members don't submit evidence of their views more often where this is possible. In this case example of Panalure prints and Ilford prints. However I am digressing now.

    It would appear that Eastern Europe does seem to be prepared to step in where Kodak and Ilford(almost) were no longer going to tread so I'll try and check this out.

    Maybe it's laziness or lack of confidence but going down the route of pancromatic film and producing internegatives seems an awful lot of trouble and time unless I was sure the resulting print was going to be something very special. The learning curve sounds steep. Nevertheless my thanks to Donald Qualls for his reply on this as a possible solution.

    Pentaxuser

  7. #7

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    I haven't tried the Portra RA4 paper, but I would bet that it's better than regular B&W paper. Kodak notes that it's useful for enlarging color negatives, and like Panalure, it has to be handled in complete darkness, so it seems to be panchromatic. Tray processing RA4 isn't very hard.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by psvensson
    I haven't tried the Portra RA4 paper, but I would bet that it's better than regular B&W paper. Kodak notes that it's useful for enlarging color negatives, and like Panalure, it has to be handled in complete darkness, so it seems to be panchromatic. Tray processing RA4 isn't very hard.
    As you say Portra RA4 should be better than regular B&W paper although the other replies suggest that B&W is better than I had assumed. Hopefully some member who has used both Portra and regular B&W paper will answer. I'd feel happier if I had an actual comparison of the two or better still several comparisons before I commit to a box of Portra.Even that will be gone very soon with Kodak's decision to stop all production of its B&W paper including Portra.

    Looking at various sites via a search engine suggest that a supply of Panalure may already be be a thing of the past except via individual e-bayer sellers who are all North America based. It seems that Panalure was a minority tool in the U.K.

    My search tonight has increased my concern for the long term viability of film and the traditional darkroom. An ex England football (soccer) team manager called Terry Venables wrote a book about the future of football entitled "They used to play on grass". I fear we'll take our grandchildren to museums and point to items saying " They used to take pictures on a thing called film, using a darkroom where there was no daylight. The kids will look at us in disbelief and awe in the same way kids do now when you tell then that for thousands of years we survived without electricity.

    Pentaxuser

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxuser
    My search tonight has increased my concern for the long term viability of film and the traditional darkroom. An ex England football (soccer) team manager called Terry Venables wrote a book about the future of football entitled "They used to play on grass". I fear we'll take our grandchildren to museums and point to items saying " They used to take pictures on a thing called film, using a darkroom where there was no daylight. The kids will look at us in disbelief and awe in the same way kids do now when you tell then that for thousands of years we survived without electricity.
    You're looking for a product that was kind of niche even in the heyday of the analog photo business. We don't take our kids to the museum and tell them "Look at this, people used to paint pictures instead of photographing." Plenty of people paint, even though it's messy, expensive and completely obsolete as an imaging tool (its main original purpose) so I'm not expecting the complete demise of film.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Miller
    the results may not be quite as good as when using the Kodak product they may well be acceptable. I have never used Panalure, but have printed on to Ilford multigrade and achieved reasonable results, albeit some 6 years ago. The main problem that I remember is finding the filtration setting that will overcome the orange negative cast to achieve a satisfactory contrast, and also putting up with the long exposure times that result.
    Likewise, I've used Ilford Multigrade and a 4/5 filter. Exposure times are nearly long enough to go and make a cup of tea whilst it's do-ing, but the results can be surprisingly good, especially when considering that it's really making the best of a bad job and trying to get the film to do something for which it was never intended. I have a shot I took of Acker Bilk in action on 400 ASA print film that is far better as a "fudged" B/W print than it ever was in Glorious Technicolour!

    Steve

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