"real" B+W.

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by Weaving Wax, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. Weaving Wax

    Weaving Wax TPF Noob!

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    Ok, I've been using C-41 since I started, but my scans/prints have this warm/cool "tone". Now, I know that the paper can do this, but I was wondering if using "real" b+w would change this or if I just need to get my negs printed on paper that doesn't give a tone.

    Also, what is the difference between real b+w and C-41? Should I go into using real b+w? I know I'd have to have them send it off if I wasn't using C-41.
     
  2. selmerdave

    selmerdave TPF Noob!

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    Well certainly a B&W film should not print with any "tone". In my experience the C41's certainly have that, although I think some have had better results with certain paper combinations. I have never had a "real" B&W film come back anything but B&W.

    Dave
     
  3. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Why not take the plunge and learn how to develop "real" B&W film at home? ;) It's not at all expensive to get going (the setup will have paid for itself with the $ you'll save by not sending off your next few rolls) and it's a skill you'll have forever. It's a great feeling knowing you're no longer dependent on labs or the C41 films.

    Seriously, the trickiest part of developing film is teaching yourself how to load it on the reel in the dark. You practice it in the light with used film until you get a feel for it, then go for it. Development itself is a piece of cake. Then you have high quality negatives you can scan or have prints enlarged from, unless you ever get into a darkroom to do your own. But you don't need a darkroom to develop film.
     
  4. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

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    I also had the same experience, a kind of green tone over the b&w. completely disapointing, yes.

    c41 was conceived to process b&w film the same as color. so that's what they do at most labs: put them in the same machine as color film. but those processing machines are prepared for color, and that explains the tones they gey.
    regardless of whether it is c41 or not, b&w has to be processed as b&w. Ink and paper has to be for b&w. otherwise, using those for color will put some color tone in them

    by the way, I second the suggestion of start doing your own processing. I myself don't do it (shoot mainly slides, which requires a little more control over the temperatures) but have been wanting to start for a long time and I believe I will start very soon now. i'm really looking forward to it!
     
  5. ksmattfish

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

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    Color casts in the print are from using regular color paper. You would probably have even more problems if you switched to "real" BW film, because it doesn't have the orange film base that the printing machines are designed to function with when printing on color paper.

    Traditional BW film uses silver to create the image. C41 is chromogenic, and uses a minimal amount of silver, along with dye to create the image. In color film these dyes are colored; in BW C41 the dye is color neutral. I'm not up on what C41 BW films are available currently, but in the past you could purchase C41 BW film that had the orange film base, and was intended to be printed on color paper, and there was also C41 BW with a neutral base designed to be printed on traditional BW papers.

    You could find a lab that prints on BW paper (traditional or chromogenic papers), but any decent lab should be able to print your C41 BW photos without a color cast on color paper.
     
  6. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Got to agree with Matt. Then I used C41 B&W film never had a problem when printing on B&W paper
     
  7. New Hampshire

    New Hampshire TPF Noob!

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    You know, I was pondering this very thing not too long ago. I was thinking about developing simply for the negatives. Then I would scan and/or pick the ones I want and sent them out for enlargement. The reason being is, lets say I get 12 out of 24 expsoures on a roll that come out great. If I send the film out for developing, like it or not, I get 24 prints, 12 of which I don't like, and 12 others I now have to resend back out if I want enlargements. I feel it a bit of a waste of money and paper to throw away 12 prints just for 12 good ones. At least what you propose would allow me to be selective and more in control with as little waste as possible!

    Brian
     
  8. Weaving Wax

    Weaving Wax TPF Noob!

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    I agree and I'm going to look into doing it myself. A few others don't think I should because I have no darkroom experience whatsoever and it's too difficult. I read Torus34's guide and it seems easy enough. The only thing is, I wish it had pictures of what all these different things (tanks, reels..etc..etc..) looked like in the guide. Pictures helps a great deal.

    The most difficult thing to me would be mixing the chems and loading the reel.

    Can you do color as well? I heard it's next to impossible to do color by yourself because the temp is less forgiving with color prints, but I've heard of people doing it themselves. Is that really hard? I shoot both b+w and color...
     
  9. New Hampshire

    New Hampshire TPF Noob!

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    Weaving Wax,

    This is the book I bought:
    Black and White Photography: By Harry Horstein

    It has a great couple of chapters on B+W negative developing, and then one on making Prints. VERY detailed, with pictures and drawings, as well as a trouble shooting section. This is the book that gave me the idea of shooting B+W, developing myself to use the negatives for scanning. Im still very seriously considering it.

    Brian
     
  10. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can start by checking out the b&w series of articles here on TPF.
     
  11. Weaving Wax

    Weaving Wax TPF Noob!

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    I did. I mentioned it in my above post. You did an awesome job! I just wish it had pictures..like of the reels/tanks..etc..etc.. I'm going to use it for my development. Once I get the funds to actually do it.
     
  12. ksmattfish

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

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    It's not really any harder; precision, attention to detail, and well honed skills are a requirement to make good BW prints in the darkroom too. Most color processes that I'm familiar with are more expensive and more toxic. For me the advantages of doing my own BW in my darkroom are very obvious when comparing my hand processed BW film and prints to machine produced lab prints, and the expense is about the same (not counting time, but I enjoy the work). My experience with processing color film and prints by hand (which admittedly is significantly less) is that the differences are much less obvious. At least not significant enough to me to go to the expense and trouble to maintain a stocked color darkroom.

    While I do enjoy working in the darkroom, the main reason I do it is to take advantage of the creative controls it allows me. For instance, burning and dodging are wonderfully simple techniques in the BW darkroom that can easily be used to improve a BW photograph; I can darken and lighten tones to my liking. In the color darkroom it's just not as simple; burning a section of red doesn't just make it darker tonally, it can also change the hue and saturation, which may not at all be what I'm after. Color adds an extra dimension that makes things exponentially more complicated and time consuming, and I just don't have the time. I used to occasionally sign up for the color photography class at the local community college just to get access to their kick-butt color darkroom (with a lab assistant to stock the chems and keep the place clean), but now those complicated techniques can be done in moments in Adobe PS with a level of precision that is impossible for me to match in a traditional wet darkroom.

    If you want to take advantage of printing techniques that are not available from your lab, and you don't want to do them digitally, or you just enjoy working in the darkroom, then a color darkroom might be for you. Taking a color film photography class at a school with a good color lab would be a less expensive way to see if it's something you'd enjoy.
     

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