C-41 BW film other than ISO 400?

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by JamesD, Aug 13, 2006.

  1. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    All I can find for C-41 films are 400-speed. Since the labs are all going (most have already gone, it seems) to C-41 only processing, is there such a thing as a monochrome C-41 film thats faster or slower than this stuff?

    Thanks.
     
  2. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I know that the older Kodak T400CN worked really well rated at 320 (and still developed as 400). I've heard of people pulling it fairly low, but don't know of many places left that do push/pull processing either, though you I hear you can get away with more than 320 and still process at 400. Personally I've pushed it to 1600 with decent results.

    I don't know how any of the newer films deal with it. I haven't heard of any monochrome C41 films other than 400 speed, but give them a try at 100 and see if you like them. You might have to boost the contrast a bit. People seem to like Ilford XP-2 Super, though I never got around to trying it.

    ---

    I found this: http://photography.about.com/library/weekly/aa090202d.htm
     
  3. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    if i recall correctly Ilford clams that theirs’ can be push or pull will the standard process, Ilford’s has the spec sheets (PDF) on their site, used XP-2 super for few years before switching back
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Any brand of C-41 BW can be rated ISO 100 to 800 with no change in development times (so you can vary ISO on the same roll). Some brands even claim ISO 50 to 1600 without needing to change development time.

    You can find more details at the manufacturers' websites.
     
  5. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Who other that Kodak & Ilford make a C41 BW?
     
  6. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    Fuji, I think.

    Thanks for the replies, y'all. I'll have to look into that about the wide range of exposure latitude, Matt.
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Konica used to. Probably discontinued now. I've only ever used Kodak and Ilford.
     
  8. saulmr

    saulmr TPF Noob!

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    Wow, that sounds practical. Have you tried it to see if the claims live up to reality? I'd love to hear more on that matter!
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Yep, it works. I like to process my own BW, so the only time I use C-41 BW is when I know I'll need to shoot at different ISOs on the same roll (like ISO 100 outside, and then moving inside for shots at ISO 400 and 800).

    Check out the Kodak and Ilford websites for the technical publications on their films. You can probably google "c-41 bw" and "exposure latitude" and find lots of articles about it.

    Once I had to shoot a test roll with a camera to show that the aperture was working. I loaded a camera with c-41 BW, went out in the parking lot, set the shutter to 1/125, and went from f/22 to f/2 in one stop increments. When the pics came back they all looked great! Maybe the camera was broken? Looking at the negs I could see density differences though, and when I redid the test with E6 the differences were very obvious. But the exposure latitude was so good with the C-41 BW that I could hardly tell from the prints.

    EDIT: Does anyone remember those Kodak Gold 800 commercials where the father is photographing his kids on the beach in the sun, and then in the kitchen preparing dinner, and then again on the beach at sunset releasing the lobsters they were going to have for dinner? Kodak claimed their Gold 800 was the perfect film for any lighting conditions. Of course they never mentioned that it was ugly as sin in any lighting condition. Working in a photo lab where I had to explain to people why their ISO 800 color consumer film shots had so much coarse grain I came to hate that Kodak ad campaign. Well anyway, with C-41 BW you can actually pull of those kind of changing lighting conditions.
     
  10. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    Talk about learning something new everyday.

    If I didn't know who you are, I'd write you off as a madman.

    So, silver halide BW is worse (dynamic range wise) than this C41 stuff? :meh: :crazy:
     
  11. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    It's only three stops difference. If you really think about it, that's not a lot. It's nominally 400, and if you expose it at 100, that's two stops overexposure. Overexposure is pretty easy to deal with. Exposing at 800 is one stop underexposure... again, not much of a push.

    With slide film, any more than one stop would be a big deal. With color negative, it's not much, and with BW negative, it isn't much either. It makes sense in this light, at least to me.
     
  12. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I wouldn't say that. Dynamic range and exposure latitude aren't the same thing. Some people claim to get up to a 15 stop dynamic range out of conventional BW films.

    JamesD is right, a few stops in either direction isn't a big deal for most print films, but what I have noticed when I've used the C41 BW is that there doesn't seem to be as big of a difference in neg density compared to what I would see with traditional BW films over and under exposed by a few stops, and developed with a normal dev time.

    The downside of C-41 BW is no development control. There's no choosing a developer for particular characteristics, no increasing or decreasing the contrast, no zone system, etc...

    I'm a traditional process BW man myself. I've used C-41 BW some, but I know there are much better sources of knowledge out there on it than I. I know that Kodak and Ilford believe in it enough that they don't bother to market it at any other speed than ISO 400. It would be one thing if it was only available as a consumer film, but they only offer it to pros in ISO 400 too.
     

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