Developing black &I white prints from color negatives.

likely2forget

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I have a black and white darkroom which houses both a black and white and color enlarger. I have old family slides/negatives that are color and was wondering what was the best enlarger to use to print black and white prints? Suggestions on the best paper, which process to use, chemicals, etc. I'm just getting back into developing pictures after a rather long hiatus and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Carol
 

480sparky

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I recall using special panchromatic paper when desiring a b&w print from a color neg, but I think Kodak has discontinued it. Maybe some other brand is available.
 

Derrel

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Kodak's Panalure enlarging paper was the most common one I knew of back in the day. APUG from 2007 seems to indicate there is no replacement made these days, but they suggest the idea of scanning the negatives, and printing via inkjet printing. Panalure
Perhaps in the intervening time there has been a replacement/alternate paper?
 

vintagesnaps

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Yeah, Panalure was made for that purpose, to get a B&W print from a color negative. I'm not sure if anything similar is still being made but I don't think so.

I've been doing lumen prints, which are basically sun prints made using expired B&W photo paper (the paper turns various colors in the sun). I've used Panalure with a color negative under a fluorescent light to do basically the same thing.

So you might be able to get a print, but since old paper is 'fogged' it takes a long exposure - you'd probably have to zap a lot of light thru the enlarger! And I don't know but I doubt a standard lightbulb would work, I'd think you might need tungsten??

There are color C41 kits being made I think if you wanted to try color processing, maybe using the color enlarger would be an option.

Or, the scan and remove color digitally and print idea might be best. You could look into making a digital negative from that, but from what I read it seems to be a somewhat involved learning process.
 

480sparky

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I'm sure you can use normal, panchromatic b&w paper, but the shades of gray won't be true to the colors. Meaning, you'll get an image, and most likely an acceptable image, but not an accurate one.
 

Alexr25

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You may find this article of some interest but IMO scanning the negs, converting to B&W and making inkjet prints will give you the best quality and greatest control over the final result.
 
OP
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likely2forget

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Thanks for all the information.
 

BlackSheep

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I'm sure you can use normal, panchromatic b&w paper, but the shades of gray won't be true to the colors. Meaning, you'll get an image, and most likely an acceptable image, but not an accurate one.

Yep, if you try to print a colour neg on regular b&w paper it will turn out with very very low contrast because of the orange colour of the film base. It's tough to get a decent print that way.
 

480sparky

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I may have to dig out some old color negs and see if I can make some decent prints using b&w paper.
 

BlackSheep

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It's been 20-odd years since I tried it (before I knew about panalure) but I remember it taking a much longer exposure time and bumping up the contrast to the max. And picking an image that was contrasty to start with helped of course.
 

compur

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Forte had a paper for this purpose called Equitone. Of course, it is long gone too so I mention it only as trivia.
 

wyogirl

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I'm sure you can use normal, panchromatic b&w paper, but the shades of gray won't be true to the colors. Meaning, you'll get an image, and most likely an acceptable image, but not an accurate one.

Yep, if you try to print a colour neg on regular b&w paper it will turn out with very very low contrast because of the orange colour of the film base. It's tough to get a decent print that way.
So what if...to counteract the orange film base... He uses the color enlarger with regular black and white paper and cranks up the cyan until he gets the results he is looking for?? Thoughts?? Would that work??
 

480sparky

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So what if...to counteract the orange film base... He uses the color enlarger with regular black and white paper and cranks up the cyan until he gets the results he is looking for?? Thoughts?? Would that work??


Black & white printing paper is only sensitive to the blue end of the spectrum. That's why safelights are red & orange.
 

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