Diff. btwn. MONOCHROME and BLACK&WHITE film?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by swaly, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. swaly

    swaly TPF Noob!

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    Could anyone tell me the difference between monochome and black and white film? I've heard that monochrome film is like black and white but is developed in chemicals for color film: is this true? What other differences are there? Are there any upsides to using monochrome rather than black and white (better grain, contrast, whatever), and if so, what are the best brands? I've tried many a google search but there is very little information on the internet, so any insight is appreciated.

    Thanks! :D
     
  2. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    I think it's all semantics. There are some b&w films that are developed in c-41 (color like an hour lab would use), as well as the more traditional b&w films.

    The best of these, imho, is Ilford XP2 400. I have tried the Kodak, which is OK, but I like the look of the Ilford better. It's like $2.89 at Adorama for a 36 exposure roll.
     
  3. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Yup. It's all about the processing.

    I've prefered the Kodak myself, but that seems to be more of a taste thing.
     
  4. ksmattfish

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

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    It's C41 process so that it can be done easier at any lab, even the mini kiosks.

    Often the econo-labs print it on color paper with a brown, blue, or green tone. The photos really aren't just black and white, but they are made up of shades of a single color. To me that's what monochrome means; more of a print thing than a film thing, as they could make these same monochrome images from standard BW process film.
     
  5. ksmattfish

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

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    All the C41 process film is labeled ISO 400, but when you read the small print it usually says it has a lot of exposure latitude, and can be shot at ISO 100 to 800 with no change in development.

    With my personal exposure style I find the C41 BW film to be very low contrast, particulary when it's rated slower than ISO 400. Also there are different varieties marketed for printing on color paper or gelatin silver paper. The stuff for color paper usually has an orange base which can make it difficult to raise contrast in the traditonal darkroom.

    I use the C41 process BW occasionally, and I like it a lot, but I still prefer traditional process BW films such as Tmax100 and HP5.
     
  6. GerryDavid

    GerryDavid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    $3 for 36 exposures? I paid $6 Canadian for Ilford 125 with 24 exposures. :0) Then again I bought it from blacks which isnt cheap, and its not like that film is common around here so who ever sells it gets to charge what they watn. :0).

    something else that not everyone knows about color film is you can get it printed B&W if you ask them to, apperantly.
     
  7. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I know a lot of people who don't like using it in the darkroom. Where it seems to shine is when it's scanned for digital output.
     
  8. motcon

    motcon TPF Noob!

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    c-41 b&w film ROCKS in the darkroom. the highlights hold tightly and the blacks are BLACK.

    ilford xp2 is a standard along with fp4, hp5, hie, delta 3200, and tech pan.

    it's so very easy to control on vc paper in the darkroom.
     

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