Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
06-22-2008, 11:33 AM   #1
Veteran Member
troyz's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 389
Back to B&W: BW400CN or Tri-X?

Hello all.

I've haven't used B&W in years. . . but some of the recent posts in this topic make me want to try it again.

My immediate impulse is to go back to Tri-X; it's what I learned with many years ago and there's a B&W lab in town (Panda Lab) with an excellent reputation.

(1) Should I think about BW400CN?
-- Are there any advantages over Tri-X beyond convenience?
-- How does its exposure latitude compare to Tri-X?

(2) Is it practical (with either film) to do a negative scan, review and crop digitally, do a print from digital, and then (for the really good photos) send the negative and print to the lab to get a better/larger print?

Thanks.

06-22-2008, 02:45 PM   #2
Veteran Member
morfic's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: San Antonio, TX
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 428
Try Ilford XP2 if a convenient chromogenic film is desirable, i liked it better than BW400CN.
06-24-2008, 09:43 PM   #3
Inactive Account




Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Brisbane, QLD, AUS
Posts: 3,262
Ilford XP2 Super is on a clear base, which is great if you're optically printing your photos.

BW400CN is on an orange base, which makes it easier to get prints from a photolab C41 machines.

Tri-X is beautiful. I find it cheaper, per roll, to buy than BW400CN, but I'm in Australia and our prices should not be taken as a guide. If you dev it yourself, it is much, much cheaper than any C41 lab.

The digi processing with optical printing sounds good, but it will be expensive. There're two labs here that I know of that do it, so, if we extrapolate the data, there'll be around 5000 in Seattle that do it .
06-25-2008, 03:01 AM   #4
Veteran Member
Nesster's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NJ USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 13,047
The easiest way is to give it a whirl - drug stores around here often sell BW400CN, and it costs $6 or less to have them develop and scan to CD... just like color print film. See if you like it.

Both the Kodak and Ilford films are extremely flexible and have good latitude. You can get a high grain look by underexposing and (the drugstore/minilab) scan auto-exposure compensation. The scans tend to come out greenish, both at home and from the minilabs - so at a minimum you'll want to desaturate when you get them home.

I find myself using color film most of the time these days, as I can apply all the color filtering etc. in PS afterwards. Even though I say that, I realise I always have a couple of rolls of XP2 usually around and one of the cameras tends to have it loaded. Currently the Diacord.

06-25-2008, 08:54 PM   #5
Pentaxian
jgredline's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: LosAngeles, Ca.
Photos: Albums
Posts: 10,587
I have been using both and they are both different.
Tri -X is a true B&W so it's colors are true to gray scale. Now in saying that, they both have a very distinct look. The Tri-x has a more vintage look about it. The BW400CN however is sharper....They are both quite different and both quite beautiful. Digital ''IMO'' can't touch this.

Here is an image shot with BW400CN and K1000.



Here is an image shot with Tri -X
06-28-2008, 06:51 AM   #6
Inactive Account




Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Brisbane, QLD, AUS
Posts: 3,262
QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
The scans tend to come out greenish, both at home and from the minilabs - so at a minimum you'll want to desaturate when you get them home.
The prints/scans of XP2 will come out much, much more green than BW400CN. They don't with Kodak BW400CN, as the Kodak is still on a normal, orange film base.

All the minilabs automatically compensate for orange film base in negatives by having a perman green filter in them; the orange from the colour C41 films cancels this out.

Because there's no orange at all on XP2 - it's designed to be printed like a standard BW negative - the green light shines through unimpeded. It's really, really, green. A rather sickly green - the kind of green Bugs Bunny turned whenever he was on a boat.

While I'm sure that some green light isn't completely filtered out, as it depends of the film, you don't notice it as much in colour prints, as there'd be other colours to drown it out. That's probably why some Kodak BW400CN prints look greenish, as you say, nesster.

Just theory. I'm not knocking any of these films at all; on the contrary, I bought two rolls of BW400CN yesterday, and am waiting to use them againt.
06-28-2008, 08:52 AM   #7
Veteran Member
morfic's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: San Antonio, TX
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 428
One thing to consider with scanning is that dust removal does not work with true B&W film, the orange base is needed there.
from BW400CN i got brown prints and green scans, from XP2 i got B&W Scans and prints from the minilab, from the other experiences here i'd say the operator of the same minilab has a lot to do with our results.

Last edited by morfic; 06-28-2008 at 09:03 AM.
06-28-2008, 09:35 AM   #8
Inactive Account




Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Brisbane, QLD, AUS
Posts: 3,262
No, no, nononononononoooooo - they're both great for home scanning! There's no film you can't scan.

Simply set you scanner to "Black and White negative" if you're scanning XP2, and to "Colour Negative" if you're scanning BW400CN.

Any colour imbalance is easy to correct.

If you're worried about the colour imbalance, just hit "Grayscale" in Photoshop.

In fact, to be honest, Tri-X, like all traditional black-and-white films, is harder to scan than C41 films, even more so if you dev it yourself and can't the the %$*#ing stuff to dry flat.

Because the blacks in traditional BW films are solid, opaque silver particles, you can't use infrared dust removal (ICE or FARE, as the scanner companies call it) because the IR light treats the blacks as dust.

IR dust removal works on the principle that the dyes that form the colours and tones in slide and C41 film are transparent to IR light, and that dust isn't. So, therefore, any parts of the film that block the IR light the scanner assumes they're dust and uses something like the Photoshop healing brush to remove and repair them.

So if the blacks in BW film are opaque to IR light...then the scanner says they're dust and tries to heal them. What happens is you end up with blocked shadows. Ugly.

Since you can't get the scanner to clean automatically, you've gotta go in there the old-fashioned way and do it by hand.

PS: Incidentally, I'm mentioning this because it's one of the things they never tell you in the scanner's instruction manual - god forbid that the scanner you've purchased is implied to be limited to the laws of physics, a system of arcane and tedious scientific proofs that have nothing on the laws of marketing. It's not lying, it's just an omission.

No one ever tells you that IR dust removal doesn't work with traditional black-and-white film because of three reasons:

1. It's so obvious, why would anyone need this explained to them? If you didn't know that, maybe you should just shoot digital...amateur.

2. Ansel Adams never used IR cleaning, dagnabbit! Nosiree. Anyway, how big an enlargement of an 8x10" negative do you have to do before a dust speck shows up, consarnit! Why do you have a dust speck anyway, you goshdarned whippersnapper? Why aren't you processing your film in a sealed, positive-pressure room that's scrubbed by a biological warfare clean-up team on loan from Fort Dietrich, and why aren't you wearing a spacesuit when you process, anyway? I'm sick of you kids bothering me - I'm gonna go out and have fun by dividing the Brazilian Carnaval that's lit by a laser light show in a series of eleven Zones of tonal gradation, the yell at everyone to sit still while I capture it at f64 on ISO 50 film pulled to ISO 12!

3. Hello sir...would you like to buy this film scanner? I assure you it does everything.

So...yeah. And the lengthy explanations of how IR dust removal are there because I believe that learning the "how" and "why" are nothing without the "because" part.

06-28-2008, 10:07 AM   #9
Veteran Member
morfic's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: San Antonio, TX
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 428
I'm glad you agree with me, that you can scan all film, just real B&W film w/o the dust removal built into the software.
06-29-2008, 05:58 PM   #10
Veteran Member
troyz's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 389
Original Poster
I am convinced that I need to try all three; starting with BW400CN so the local minilab doesn't have to think too hard.

Thank you all for your opinions and advice. . .
06-29-2008, 10:17 PM   #11
Inactive Account




Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Brisbane, QLD, AUS
Posts: 3,262
Local minilab probably won't be able to process Tri-X. Grab a Paterson tank and some D-76 and do it yourself!

QuoteOriginally posted by morfic Quote
I'm glad you agree with me, that you can scan all film, just real B&W film w/o the dust removal built into the software.
I actually started typing that before you replied...
07-02-2008, 11:01 PM   #12
Inactive Account




Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: California
Posts: 4
I have been using the Kodak 400CN for about 2 years now. Recently I have been using it in my recently acquired collection of modest German rangefinders: Agfa Ambi-Silette and Zeiss Ikon Contessamatic e ( Tessar 2.8 ) The results are truly amazing with a nostalgic mild sepia tone to the prints processed at ( please don't laugh ) my local Target ! I recently completed a trip to Yosemite and my image of the Valley from the Wawona Tunnel using a yellow filter with the Agfa is a keeper. I am new to this forum, so I hope to post some of these results when I get a chance to scan them.

Next project with the 400CN is in my K1000 with SMC M 28mm f3.5, once the smoke clears from California and I can get some decent views again.:ugh:
07-24-2008, 02:40 PM   #13
Junior Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Underhill, VT USA
Posts: 41
QuoteOriginally posted by 701tomato Quote
I have been using the Kodak 400CN for about 2 years now. Recently I have been using it in my recently acquired collection of modest German rangefinders: Agfa Ambi-Silette and Zeiss Ikon Contessamatic e ( Tessar 2.8 ) The results are truly amazing with a nostalgic mild sepia tone to the prints processed at ( please don't laugh ) my local Target ! I recently completed a trip to Yosemite and my image of the Valley from the Wawona Tunnel using a yellow filter with the Agfa is a keeper. I am new to this forum, so I hope to post some of these results when I get a chance to scan them.

Next project with the 400CN is in my K1000 with SMC M 28mm f3.5, once the smoke clears from California and I can get some decent views again.:ugh:
Any advice regarding using a yellow filter with Kodak 400CN. Or could the same effect be obtained in Adobe?

Thanks

Jan
07-24-2008, 03:40 PM   #14
Veteran Member
Nesster's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NJ USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 13,047
Filters: shoot color film, scan in color, apply photoshop filters and/or mess with the channels when converting to b&w. This is how to apply filters in ps. (I know first hand: I tried this out with a deep red filter on the K100D shooting clouds. YUCK)

With b&w film the filter goes on the camera: the b&w 'conversion' is at the film, so if you want any tonality shifts you have to do it the old fashioned way.

I've used both the Kodak and the XP2, I like both but because it's a bit cheaper (plus there's a guy at the monthly camera show who sells it for $1 a roll) I use XP2 on both 35 and 120 cameras. I do not see a need to go for 'real' b&w film, especially since I scan everything, not having an enlarger setup. But no doubt I will take that plunge at Any Moment Now. The Fuji Arcos Ive shot is fantastic film.

XP2, the drug store scan came out a bit brownish on this (the toning can vary from image to image, but like everyone notes, you can always desaturate or re-tone to your hearts content). This was with a circular PL filter on a 28mm SMC-A lens. The tone is pretty much what came on the drugstore scan.



Shh, don't tell anybody, this next one is a Fed with Jupiter 12, XP2 again, tone is from the drugstore scan.


And double shh: diacord 6x6, Fuji Arcos 100, yellow-orange filter:
07-24-2008, 05:07 PM   #15
Veteran Member
troyz's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 389
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by gussegutt Quote
Any advice regarding using a yellow filter with Kodak 400CN. Or could the same effect be obtained in Adobe?

Thanks

Jan
I advise you to use a yellow filter with BW400CN to make blue things darker if you want to !

To get the similar effect from a color image (DSLR/scanned color film/whatever) in photoshop (e.g. Photoshop CS 8.0), you can

Layer/New Adjustment Layer/PhotoFilter and select your filter color/density.
Layer/New Adjustment Layer/Hue Saturation and set saturation to zero.

To change color filters (this is the part that's easy with digital), go to the layers palette, click on the layer thumbnail, and select a new filter.



I haven't compared tri-X + yellow filter to BW400CN + yellow filter; however I would expect the yellow filter to have a similar (and relatively subtle) effect for each.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
bw400cn, lab, print, tri-x
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Kodak BW400CN question Jetsam1 Pentax Film SLR Discussion 22 05-12-2010 08:13 PM
Misc B&W - Scans of Tri-X ve2vfd Post Your Photos! 7 12-23-2009 04:32 AM
Cityscape First Roll of Kodak BW400CN SCguy Post Your Photos! 1 09-26-2009 09:02 PM
Tri x B&W film jgredline Pentax Film SLR Discussion 62 06-17-2008 08:36 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:06 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top