B&W film or Color Film scanned

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by jcrutcher, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. jcrutcher

    jcrutcher TPF Noob!

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    I just started scanning all of my film shots. The question is since I scan it anyways should I shot B&W film or Color Film (I like slides since I get a better scan) and convert it to B&W? Another issue with this is fewer labs are processing B&W film. I don't develop my own film, I use a professional lab. Thanks
     
  2. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I shoot both... I don't think I've ever converted color scans to B&W, but I see no reason that you couldn't do it...

    I do think that B&W film looks better than color converted though.

    Not to mention that B&W film has low ISO options that just don't exist for color film, and it's usually sharper.
     
  3. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    One of the great things about film is that you can pick one that suits your subject matter. Sometimes that's B&W over color or vice versa. Other times it's one color film over another or on B&W film over another.
     
  4. Orrin

    Orrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you use an image editor that has a 'Channel Mixer', you can ajust the amount of the red, green, and blue record to include in your monochrome image. Sort of like shooting with filters on B&W film.
     
  5. jcrutcher

    jcrutcher TPF Noob!

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    Thank you guys for the input. I'll stick with B&W film and try mixing in colors as filters to get the right look.

    Jim
     
  6. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The thing with shooting in color is that you can always conver to black and white in post processing

    You will never convert a black and white image to a true color image in post.

    However, there are many advantages to shooting black and white film. For instance, a color filter can change the feel of your B+W image, but will just look strange on color film. Also, as O mentioned you have more types of B+W then color film...

    I think the best thing is to take shots with different kinds of film and see what you like. Some people hate B+W, some love it and prefer shooting B+W film to color...

    Also -- if you look around the net you can find a lab that will develop your B+W film through the mail. They'll also probably be cheaper then your local photolab (B+W film is in general cheaper to buy and develop)
     
  7. cooltouch

    cooltouch TPF Noob!

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    There's also Kodak's BW400CN, which is a C-41 film and can be developed at any lab that processes color print film. And BW400CN is a very nice B&W film, too. Google it and look at some of the examples. Very nice and smooth.

    I disagree about there being more B&W emulsions than color film, though. There are still many different color emulsions to chose from in all ISOs. My favorite color print film is Ektar, which is ISO 100. My favorite color slide film -- for now -- is Kodak's Elite Chrome, also ISO 100. And my favorite B&W film -- for now -- is Kodak's Tri-X Professional 400TX.

    I've converted color to B&W in post, and had decent results, but it won't match B&W. It can't because B&W generally has a wider dynamic range than color print film and a much wider range than color slide film. So B&W will catch details in the highlights and shadows that color print film can't before it blocks up or blows out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  8. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Pretty much the only Kodak film I like. Good stuff.



    All I meant was that there are low ISO options (50, 25) that either don't exist, or are hard to find in color... Wasn't saying that there are more emulsions.


    I think the biggest differences in converting color film to B&W (that just seems weird to me) and B&W film would be in the contrast and grain...
     
  9. cooltouch

    cooltouch TPF Noob!

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    Okay, probably true about the low ISO emulsions. Velvia's the slowest I can think of, at ISO 50. I don't know of any print color emulsions slower than ISO 100. Heck, far as that goes, I don't know of any B&W emulsions slower than ISO 100 either. Must be some sort of specialized emulsions?

    I think probably the biggest reason for not finding any low speed emulsions anymore is that the technology has continued to advance. Kodak claims that Ektar 100 has the finest grain of any commercially available color print film, and based on my experiences with it, I'm not inclined to disagree.

    As for B&W, I have a bunch of rolls of ancient Plus X Pan (ISO 125) that's been frozen for the past 25 years that I'm slowly working through. Back in the day it was well known for its very fine grain. But compared to the modern Tri-X Professional 400, honestly I don't see much difference.

    Regarding converting color print film to B&W, it seems to me that converted color print film will appear to have more contrast when viewed side by side with a B&W example, since dialing up the contrast blocks up the shadows and blows out the highlights, which will correspond to the smaller dynamic range of color print film.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  10. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    There are a few, actually.

    A lot of the ISO 25 stuff is specialized film (tec-pan, and stuff like that - document film), but pretty much all of the ISO 50 stuff is just 'normal' B&W film.

    Roll Film
    ^^^ What B&H carries for 35mm print & slide film, ISO 25-64. Other than the Velvia and T64 - every single one is B&W.

    Yeah, there isn't exactly a huge selection - but there is a selection...
     
  11. kimsmarkin

    kimsmarkin TPF Noob!

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    New certification of the Federal Aviation Administration explosive detection systems used in U.S. airports scan (x-rays) in checked baggage. This high-scanning equipment is also used in many airports, not American. The new team will fog any unprocessed film that passes through the scanner.
     
  12. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I know how to do it, I just meant that if I wanted B&W pictures, I would just use B&W film...
    Checked baggage gets a much higher dose of X-rays than carry-on... If you're traveling with film, bring it carry-on, and have it hand inspected, if possible.
     

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