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Thread: C-41 processed in bw chemicals

  1. #1
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    C-41 processed in bw chemicals

    Probably already seen this article, but interesting.

    https://mraggett.wordpress.com/2014/...ite-chemistry/

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    Re: C-41 processed in bw chemicals

    The big problem is the orange base of the film makes it a "safelight" not sensitive to b/w papers, so no go...

    Color negs had to be printed on Panalure, that was pan sensitized for a full spectrum, but also had to be handled in total dark...

    If you expose the hell out of it, an image barely appears, but massive exposure times are needed, and even a test strip will bore you getting to your final exposure...

    No offense, but some recent posts here regard things someone might want to try, but will make someone nuts trying to get right... Concentrate on getting the process nailed with standard materials and processes, and you will enjoy the fine results...

    Steve K

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    Re: C-41 processed in bw chemicals

    I have done this several times and while exposure times for prints are certainly much longer, the negatives printed just fine.

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    Re: C-41 processed in bw chemicals

    I had found several rolls of C41 film processed in B/W process, in the trash, from photo students who made a mistake with their films... I tried to print several frames that were dense enough to print, and besides the ND of the base, contrasts were harsh, and IMHO not worth further experimentation, but that's my take on it...

    As with many variations of materials or process, if it were the last supplies on earth, it's worth the effort, but with proper materials on the upswing, get 'em while you can, use 'em, learn 'em, and enjoy them...

    Or you will be doing a lot of post production processing for a possible save to the images that got trapped in that medium... ;-0

    Steve K,

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    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: C-41 processed in bw chemicals

    I wasn't suggesting to try this, I just found the article which was sent to me interesting. The article mentions: "...This is excellent for scanning but is likely to be problematic for anyone wanting to darkroom-print onto gelatine-silver paper..." so it was never suggested to print it. And yes, many things get suggested, and why not? Doesn't mean everyone will run out and spend months or years trying to make some idea work. I look at it as an exchange of ideas. Some good, some great, some not. Just because one does not believe it will work, doesn't mean it won't nor mean it shouldn't be mentioned. Thomas Edison is a prime example. Suppose he listened to everyone as he tried to make a light bulb? He may very well have quit trying because he was fiddling with it an awful lot. But he didn't give up and now we have the light bulb, one hell of an invention. And had he given up, someone else would have succeeded.

    I for one, am not content just following the status quo. I do agree on learning basics and expanding from there, but without the what if, there is no excellence.

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    Re: C-41 processed in bw chemicals

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Ruttenberg View Post
    I wasn't suggesting to try this, I just found the article which was sent to me interesting. The article mentions: "...This is excellent for scanning but is likely to be problematic for anyone wanting to darkroom-print onto gelatine-silver paper..." so it was never suggested to print it. And yes, many things get suggested, and why not? Doesn't mean everyone will run out and spend months or years trying to make some idea work. I look at it as an exchange of ideas. Some good, some great, some not. Just because one does not believe it will work, doesn't mean it won't nor mean it shouldn't be mentioned. Thomas Edison is a prime example. Suppose he listened to everyone as he tried to make a light bulb? He may very well have quit trying because he was fiddling with it an awful lot. But he didn't give up and now we have the light bulb, one hell of an invention. And had he given up, someone else would have succeeded.

    I for one, am not content just following the status quo. I do agree on learning basics and expanding from there, but without the what if, there is no excellence.
    Read this:

    https://www.bulbs.com/learning/history.aspx

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    Re: C-41 processed in bw chemicals

    without the what if, there is no excellence.
    There's no exellence to be found in B&W processed C41. It works, but that's all to be said about it.

    And Edison didn't invent much. He was a very apt manager and bean counter.

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    Re: C-41 processed in bw chemicals

    Quote Originally Posted by LabRat View Post
    The big problem is the orange base of the film makes it a "safelight" not sensitive to b/w papers, so no go...

    Color negs had to be printed on Panalure, that was pan sensitized for a full spectrum, but also had to be handled in total dark...

    If you expose the hell out of it, an image barely appears, but massive exposure times are needed, and even a test strip will bore you getting to your final exposure...

    No offense, but some recent posts here regard things someone might want to try, but will make someone nuts trying to get right... Concentrate on getting the process nailed with standard materials and processes, and you will enjoy the fine results...
    That has not been my experience at all. Some of my best prints have been made with C-41 negatives onto ordinary multigrade B&W paper. It is generally a straightforward process and my exposure times and contrast are quite normal.
    Here is what the Ilford darkroom manual has to say:

    "...provided that a blue/green sensitive paper such as Multigrade is used, the tone rendering will be much the same as if the subject had been photographed with an orthochromatic film or plate.
    All colour negatives are developed to the same gamma and in the same developer formulation (C-41), so a negative of a typical outdoor subject usually prints quite well on glossy surfaced multigrade paper, perhaps with the aid of a pale magenta filter to increase contrast slightly. The exposure required is not very different from what would be expected when printing a black-and-white negative to a similar degree of enlargement."

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    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: C-41 processed in bw chemicals

    Interesting write up from ILford.

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    Re: C-41 processed in bw chemicals

    The Ilford writeup seems to be about C41 developed in C41 chemistry. Since C41 negatives have a generally lower gamma than b&w negatives, you need quite a hard contrast grade to get a good print, but yes, it sometimes works out okay, especially with high-contrast scenes. However, this is a different scenario from C41 film developed in b&w chemistry! The latter in my experience results in rather grainy results. And I did note quite long print exposure times. I really see no benefit in b&w developing c41 film. It's a nice experiment, but a proper b&w negative is just a better way of getting a b&w print.

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