Up until 2004 when Kodak last made B&W paper, Kodak made Panalure panchromatic B&W enlarging paper. This was a B&W paper specifically designed for making prints from color negatives and made enlargements that had realistic tonal values in B&W.

There are several problems in trying to print B&W from color negatives. The biggest problem is the orange color printing mask built into color negatives. Its color shares some of the color found in safelight filters. This significantly increases printing time and results in unpleasant tonal relations in B&W prints from color negatives on standard B&W enlarging papers.

In the Kodak book, Creative Darkroom Techniques, the use of Panalure is illustrated with two B&W photos. One was done on a fixed grade paper that gave the best results possible on conventional paper. This would be more difficult with variable-contrast paper due to its variable contrast response to the color of the printing mask. Fixed grade paper has some hope of success.

The print shown in the Kodak book on fixed grade paper had odd tonal relationships. The print from the same negative enlarged on Panalure paper looked like what we’d expect from a well executed B&W print. Unfortunately Panalure is no longer made.

If you want to try this, you’ll get the best results from fixed grade paper.