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Thread: Kodak T400CN query

  1. #1

    Kodak T400CN query

    Hi! I am looking for any opinions on Kodak T400CN in 5x4. As I want to do only o ccasional architecture/landscape in B+W (I normally shoot transparency) I am con sidering this film in preference to procesing conventional B+W myself. I've read that grain and tonal range is excellent but sharpness is inferior to convention al B+W films. Is any sharpness difference noticeable with print sizes no larger than 16x20? If chromogenic films are as good as they claim to be, why are they n ot more popular? Any comments gratefully recieved.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
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    Kodak T400CN query

    I made the switch to chromogenic film a few years ago after using silver for 20 years. My reasons were (1) processing convenience (2) fine grain (better than 100 asa films)(3) tonal range esp. the fact that highlights dont block up. As for the sharpness; you would have seen a significant difference in 35mm from the first generation of chromogenic films. You can see a slight difference in 35mm with TCN400 (which I dont mind in 35mm). I defy you to see differences in medium format upwards in terms of sharpness and as I have said I believe the overall end package to be superior to silver films. It may be that for many B&W shooters, the cost of chromogenic film and processing and the lack of a reliable lab may put them off. I think the BIG question is archival stability. However, I recently printed some negs on XP1 from 20years ago for an exhibition and for publication and I saw no deterioration versus archival prints made at that time.

    Try it and see.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 1999
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    Kodak T400CN query

    chromogenic dye films are for amatuers and wedding photogs...tcn is a fine film for the masses...don't be lazy learn black and white!

  4. #4

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    Kodak T400CN query

    Dont be lazy -try it. Convenient doesnt mean bad. I produce fine art black and white prints - call me old-fashioned but I believe it is the final result that counts not how much effort you had to put in to get it or which school you went to.

    Also call me old-fashioned while you are at it for thinking that if you express a view on a subject it might just be the tiniest bit helpful to your audience to advance some reason why you hold it...

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 1999
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    Kodak T400CN query

    Highlights don't normally block themselves "Up". I think that would be your fault. Now I know why you like this film so much. If you don't do your own black and white processing you are stuck with tcn/xp2 and that's not necessarily a bad thing but it's definitely not the best thing either. I've printed tcn for clients and liked the results some have even won regional contests but only shot in contrasty light even then I see the edge def going south. Also a one layer chromo film stands a better chance of falling apart at higher mags so if you know you will need 16x20's rate it around 200! hope that helps...p.s. it looks compressed in the mid-tones too!

  6. #6

    Kodak T400CN query

    Notwithstanding the reactionary comments above, T400CN offers large format users several significant advantages:

    1) a better speed-to-granularity ratio than non-chromogenic films

    2) effectively no reciprocity failure

    3) ability to record subjects having a very large brightness range (alternately, large exposure latitude)

    4) wide availability of high-quality, standardized commercial processing

    5) Zone Systems procedures are largely unnecessary. This is a feature, not a bug.

    There is no reason why the tones achievable in prints of chromogenic negatives should differ from those of traditional negatives. Any fine print requires that paper, exposure, contrast, and manipulation be chosen with the negative characteristics in mind, and vary with choice of film, exposure, development, and intended result.

    I have been extremely pleased with my results using T400CN, and encourage you to try this film.

  7. #7

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    Feb 1999
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    Kodak T400CN query

    make sure and print that on ektamax ra too

  8. #8

    Kodak T400CN query

    I recommend T400CN. It has several advantages over regular black & white for someone coming from chromes, most of which were listed above.

    I use this film a lot in 35mm, and it prints well for me up until 8x10, from negs exposed @ ISO 320. It is a truly long-scale emulsion that records detail much further into the highlights than I expect it to. (Note: if your proofs are on color paper, you'll have no idea how much detail is in the highlights on the negs.) It is the best compromise I can find on a ~400 speed film where grain is an issue. Most people, used as they are to color film, react well to the grain pattern.

    For your proposed 4x enlargement you should be fine. I wouldn't use it for something which requires more than an 8x enlargement, however. I personally don't like the way the grain shows up at that point and the sharpness of the film, well, it just isn't as sharp as regular B&W at that magnification (to me).

    Compressed midtones on 4x5 T400CN? Interesting. I've seen that a bit in 35mm, but wouldn't figure it to be problem in LF. Or are you making 40x50's, Trib?

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 1999
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    Kodak T400CN query

    no...just 8x10's from 35mm I made a 48"x60" last weekend though!

  10. #10

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    Kodak T400CN query

    sorry from 120 3200 delta...fer fun...looks good from 12 feet away!

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