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Kodak 400CN Black & White
Old 01-27-2009   #1
nitrogen28
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Kodak 400CN Black & White

Hi,

I just got my first roll of film developed and I m very surprised with the results. I didn t expect the results to be so soft.
I would like to shoot with harder contrast, could you recommend me any B&W film?
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Old 01-27-2009   #2
Pickett Wilson
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If you got it processed at a 1-hour photo place, the automatic prints are going to suck. You need to scan it and print it yourself to get great results. I shoot BW400CN almost exclusively for B&W these days.
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Old 01-27-2009   #3
nitrogen28
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It got it developed at a local Photo Store. It took 24 hours.
So when I want to get them scanned, what should I look for? At the Photo store they also offered my digital scan for additional 5 €. The scans won t be any better in this case.
I also don t have a good scanner myself.
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Old 01-27-2009   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitrogen28 View Post
I also don t have a good scanner myself.
That would be the problem. A scan you do yourself is going to be much better than any you can have done at a one-hour place. Pro scans can be good, but they are not cheap.

In my case, I just did the math. A film scanner quickly pays for itself.

Although dedicated scanners do a better job than flatbeds for things like 35mm, I really have no complaints about my Epson 4490, and it's pretty inexpensive. Just a thought.
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Old 01-27-2009   #5
Pickett Wilson
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BW400CN - totally overcast, flat lighting.
Nikon Fm, 35 2.8 Nikkor - Scanned on Epson 4490

outbuildings.jpg
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Old 01-27-2009   #6
Michael Da Re
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Here's a question. Since bw400cn is a c-41 film that basically makes it a black and white color film so to speak. So when scanned you still have to convert it to b/w. So what is the difference between using bw400cn or doing the same to say Kodak 200 Gold or the equivalent?
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Old 01-27-2009   #7
sleepyhead
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Michael, I can't answer your question except to say that BW400CN in my experience behaves like a B&W film with a yellow filter on the camera (i.e., slightly darker blues but without the filter of course.). Sure you can shoot color film and then convert to B&W and then of course use photoshop to digitally apply any color filter you wanted.

I've tried this approach to B&W and while it's flexible and convenient (only need to carry one camera and no filters), I found that unless I have "real" B&W film in my camera I don't "think" in B&W, I don't see in B&W. But that's just me.

I really really like the tonality i get from the BW400CN. I agree that you have to scan it yourself to get the best results. In 120 size, I usually shoot it at ASA 800 and then ask my lab to push it TWO stops. This way i effectively expose for the shadows and bump up the contrast a bit.

Here are some examples (Mamiya 6 with 150mm lens):





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Last edited by sleepyhead : 01-27-2009 at 05:06. Reason: added more information
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Old 01-27-2009   #8
Michael Da Re
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I'm not saying that bw400cn doesn't produce excellent results. What I am saying is that bw400cn is still just a type of color film and even though you can use filters to reduce the color cast it's still present when scanned and must be removed to get a b/w image. When you say that you need real b/w film to think in b/w do you mean bw400cn or something like TriX or such. Because I can't consider bw400cn real b/w film no matter how good the results.

Michael
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Old 01-27-2009   #9
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Okay, Yaron, now you better explain that first picture before I have nightmares tonight. LOL

Is this in an opera house?
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Old 01-27-2009   #10
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I love the photo with the heads by the way.
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Old 01-27-2009   #11
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If you put a yellow filter on your lens, the result with BW400CN is the same as if you shot it with Tri-X. BW400CN is not just another type of color film. I think you are straining at gnats. I shoot it just like I do Tri-X.
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Old 01-27-2009   #12
Michael Da Re
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickett Wilson View Post
If you put a yellow filter on your lens, the result with BW400CN is the same as if you shot it with Tri-X. BW400CN is not just another type of color film. I think you are straining at gnats. I shoot it just like I do Tri-X.
May I ask how you process your film? You shoot all film basically the same but it all comes to life in the processing. I will try a yellow filter though because the less processing the better.

Michael
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Old 01-27-2009   #13
Tuolumne
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"In 120 size, I usually shoot it at ASA 800 and then ask my lab to push it TWO stops. This way i effectively expose for the shadows and bump up the contrast a bit."

Is this what you really meant to say? If you expose it at ISO800, then you are underexposing by 1 stop. How can that be exposing for the shadows, no matter how hard you push it?

/T
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Old 01-27-2009   #14
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Toulumne,
I'm not sure if this is directed at me or not,but I understand what you mean. And i guess what I meant to say is after getting your bw400cn negs how do you process them for printing? Are they scanned? If so then what? Are adjustments made such as levels or contrast or converting to gray scale? Pickett Wilson said that he shoots bw400cn the same way he shoots TriX. That's neither here nor there. Even when you shoot 120 film you pretty much shoot it the same way you would shoot say Fuji 100. You adjust for lighting conditions, compose, focus and you shoot. All I'm trying to say is that since bw400cn is a c-41 film them I can't see much of a difference between it an color film. So what is the difference in the final results between scanning bw400cn and processing or scanning and coverting any c-41 color film to b/w?

Michael
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Old 01-27-2009   #15
Tuolumne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Da Re View Post
Toulumne,
I'm not sure if this is directed at me or not,but I understand what you mean. And i guess what I meant to say is after getting your bw400cn negs how do you process them for printing? Are they scanned? If so then what? Are adjustments made such as levels or contrast or converting to gray scale? Pickett Wilson said that he shoots bw400cn the same way he shoots TriX. That's neither here nor there. Even when you shoot 120 film you pretty much shoot it the same way you would shoot say Fuji 100. You adjust for lighting conditions, compose, focus and you shoot. All I'm trying to say is that since bw400cn is a c-41 film them I can't see much of a difference between it an color film. So what is the difference in the final results between scanning bw400cn and processing or scanning and coverting any c-41 color film to b/w?

Michael
Actually, my question was directed to Sleepyhead, whom I quoted. As for your question about BW400CN vs Color film converted to B&W, I have to agree with you. I see pretty much the same result using BW400CN and Color film converted to B&W. Mindset aside, this is one reason I am considering giving up on BW400CN. Color film is much more flexible and it's much easier to get a filtered B&W in post-processing with it, something which is impossible with BW400CN.

/T

Last edited by Tuolumne : 01-27-2009 at 09:17.
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Old 01-27-2009   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Da Re View Post
Here's a question. Since bw400cn is a c-41 film that basically makes it a black and white color film so to speak. So when scanned you still have to convert it to b/w. So what is the difference between using bw400cn or doing the same to say Kodak 200 Gold or the equivalent?
The difference is that you have less choice with BW400CN. Once you've dealt with the orange-base, that's your B&W image. Just like when you use Tri-X, etc.

With a color film like Kodak 200 Gold, you have more choices on how to get your B&W image after you dealt with the orange base.

For instance, using filters or its digital equivalent in Photoshop, you can make a red sweater to become either white or black in the final image. That can totally change the way an image looks.

So if I'm looking for simplicity, I'd use BW400CN, otherwise, Kodak 200 Gold.

Both are my favorites, btw
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Old 01-27-2009   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Da Re View Post
When you say that you need real b/w film to think in b/w do you mean bw400cn or something like TriX or such. Because I can't consider bw400cn real b/w film no matter how good the results.

Michael

BW400CN works for me as a real B&W film regarding the mindset thing - it is afterall only capable of rendering B&W!
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Old 01-27-2009   #18
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Okay, Yaron, now you better explain that first picture before I have nightmares tonight. LOL

Is this in an opera house?
Thanks for the positive words about this shot guys.

It was taken at the Kelvingrove Gallery in Glasgow in May 2007. I title the photo "Psychosis" (hence the nightmares...), but unfortunately I don't know the name of the artist who created and hung up all those heads. They're suspended from the ceiling by thin wires.

I will write an email to the Kelvingrove Gallery later today in order to try to find out the original artists name.
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Last edited by sleepyhead : 01-27-2009 at 20:04. Reason: speeling mistakes
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Old 01-27-2009   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuolumne View Post
"In 120 size, I usually shoot it at ASA 800 and then ask my lab to push it TWO stops. This way i effectively expose for the shadows and bump up the contrast a bit."

Is this what you really meant to say? If you expose it at ISO800, then you are underexposing by 1 stop. How can that be exposing for the shadows, no matter how hard you push it?

/T
Well, when my lab pushes this film two stops it really seems to behave like a 1600 ASA film. So if I then expose it at 800 and push two stops then I'm effectively over-exposing it given the processing regimen.

I don't know if thiis is what is really happenig chemically, all I know if that exposing at 800 and pushing two stops gives me good results. It allows me to handhold the Mamiya 6 under relatively low light conditions with the 150mm lens. The three photos I posted above were all either indoors or taken on heavily overscast/rainy days, handheld. They are SHARP.
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Old 01-27-2009   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepyhead View Post
Thanks for the positive words about this shot guys.

It was taken at the Kelvingrove Gallery in Glasgow in May 2007. I title the photo "Psychosis" (hence the nightmares...), but unfortunately I don't know the name of the artist who created and hung up all those heads. They're suspended from the ceiling by thin wires.

I will write an email to the Kelvingrove Gallery later today in order to try to find out the original artists name.
Looks a bit like the work of Juan Munoz. At least in facial expression and treatment. Normally, he suspends entire figures though, not just heads.
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Old 01-27-2009   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepyhead View Post
Well, when my lab pushes this film two stops it really seems to behave like a 1600 ASA film. So if I then expose it at 800 and push two stops then I'm effectively over-exposing it given the processing regimen.

I don't know if thiis is what is really happenig chemically, all I know if that exposing at 800 and pushing two stops gives me good results. It allows me to handhold the Mamiya 6 under relatively low light conditions with the 150mm lens. The three photos I posted above were all either indoors or taken on heavily overscast/rainy days, handheld. They are SHARP.
Interesting. I will give this a try myself. Thanks for the idea.

/T
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Old 01-28-2009   #22
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I will write an email to the Kelvingrove Gallery later today in order to try to find out the original artists name.
ACCORDING TO THE KELVINGROVE WEBSITE:

Expression - Heads by Sophie Cave


The head sculptures in Kelvingrove were designed by Sophie Cave of Event Communications Ltd. There are 95 heads, with four different expressions.
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