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12-26-2009, 10:55 AM   #1
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Just bought some B&W film, tips?

Yesterday, with the $25 Walgreens gift card from my boss in hand, I purchased a 3 X 24 exposure pack of Kodak BW400CN. Been wanting to try some B&W in my pops old Spottie, and decided now was the time

So, to all of you B&W shooters, do you have any tips for exposure? I have read people talking about "pushing" B&W film, but am not really sure what that means. I will be using a hand held meter as the battery cap seems to be fused on the bottom plate of the old Spottie. Should I just expose normally? Underexpose a little? Overexpose a little?

Thanks in advance for any tips you care to share with me!!

Steve

12-26-2009, 11:08 AM   #2
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With BW400CN - and XP2 for that matter - I find exposing normally at ASA400 gives best results. These films don't have quite the latitude that real B&W has and tend to get very grainy when the exposure is too little. Ie. not a good idea to push.

But with a hand meter and a bit of judgement you won't go wrong. It's really good film and easy to use.
12-26-2009, 11:25 AM   #3
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Just expose normally for now for the most part. Pushing film means to intentionally underexpose by a stop or two, and pulling film means to intentionally overexpose by a stop or two. Development time needs to be changed when you push or pull, and a lab will usually charge you a little bit extra for this. What I sometimes do is expose 400iso film as if it were 320iso, but then just develop it as normal. I've noticed doing that tends to give my exposures a little bit more contrast.

And you will need to take this film to a lab/drugstore to get processed. BW400CN needs the C-41 color process for development, so the regular black and white chemicals won't work.

*Edit: I got beat to the punch. It sounds like Nesster has more experience than I do using BW400CN, so just expose it at its rated ISO speed.
12-26-2009, 11:35 AM   #4
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Thanks fellas !! I hope it warms up JUST a bit so I can get out and shoot this stuff. Might even try a roll with my pops old Retina IIa and go really old school

12-26-2009, 11:47 AM   #5
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Go for it! This is with the IIa and either BW400CN or XP2 (I didn't note which)


Last edited by J.Scott; 12-26-2009 at 05:11 PM.
12-26-2009, 12:35 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stratman Quote
Thanks fellas !! I hope it warms up JUST a bit so I can get out and shoot this stuff. Might even try a roll with my pops old Retina IIa and go really old school

Hee. Well, that stuff actually tends to look quite nice, I think. The drawback is that the backing isn't made for conventional B&W printing, so you pretty much always must send out for prints, but if you send out anyway, it's capable of giving some nice results.
12-26-2009, 12:47 PM   #7
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I won't be printing anything (unless I mess up and somehow get a stunning image) These will just be processed, and scanned to a CD. I just have never shot B&W film before, and have had an itch to try it for quite some time !!
12-26-2009, 01:30 PM   #8
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I have a question for Neester. When composing the shot, is the viewfider "full"? As in, what I see in the finder is what I'll see on the photo? I know on the Petri my father has, there are yellow lines in the viewfinder, anything outside of those lines, are NOT on the negative. The Retina does not have the "framing" lines.

Here she is by the way.






Last edited by Stratman; 12-26-2009 at 01:47 PM.
12-26-2009, 01:57 PM   #9
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Yes, the view finder's pretty much the full view. That IIa is in beautiful shape. Great cameras these - you can put a wrist strap, from a regular p&s cam, and it becomes a really nice street shooter.
12-26-2009, 02:03 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info !! Now all I have to do is get out and fire off the shutter
12-27-2009, 09:16 PM   #11
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Personally, I find the C41 BW films a bit lacklustre compared to real BW. But it's a good place to get started. I like to shoot colour negative film and convert to BW in post, if I need to. I find that Fuji Superia 400 pushed two or three stops looks and converted looks better than BW400CN pushed two or three stops.

But chromogenic's are a good place to get started. In terms of shooting and processing, it's not very similar to real BW film, but it's a good place to start thinking in shade rather than colour.

Remember, processing true BW yourself is nowhere near as hard as you think (nor as others may have you believe.)
12-28-2009, 12:23 AM   #12
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BW400CN from Kodak is a decent BW film.
Depending on what you shoot you may wan to adjust the exposure +1/2 stop (Overexpose).
Especially for portraits it works better as 200/320 in giving "creamier" skin tones.

When you get your CD back, images will probably look purple or greenish depending on what they use. So just make them monochrome to start with


Have fun
12-28-2009, 09:57 AM   #13
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Stratman, it seems your dad has a nice collection of cameras. I guess the one suggestion if you continue shooting B&W with the Retina would be a nice set of Kodak Series filters with a good yellow and green to work with. And I once had a decent Retina "sports finder" from a grab-bag of sale items but they're very difficult to find.

If you have a photo or two of the Petri and you're interested in posting them please do.
12-29-2009, 07:03 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by B Grace Quote
Stratman, it seems your dad has a nice collection of cameras. I guess the one suggestion if you continue shooting B&W with the Retina would be a nice set of Kodak Series filters with a good yellow and green to work with. And I once had a decent Retina "sports finder" from a grab-bag of sale items but they're very difficult to find.

If you have a photo or two of the Petri and you're interested in posting them please do.

Will do, and here ya go !!






Last edited by J.Scott; 12-30-2009 at 03:07 AM.
12-29-2009, 10:01 PM   #15
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That Petri is one of the best-looking RF's I've seen. Clean, neat, looks like it means business. And a f1.9 45mm colour lens is just icing on the cake.
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