TMX 400CN : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

I usually develop and print my B&W photos but I have been asked to shoot "tons" of b&w pictures for my son's school. I don't have the time to process all this film on my own and really don;t have time to make the prints (I use most of my darkroomtime for class work). Anyway, the TMAXCN400 has been recommended. Question- If I take the film to a lab, is it better to ask them to process on B&W paper or does it matter? I've never seen this film developed-- am I crazy to do it this way? Any suggestions on its use ie: should I leave the ISO at 400 or some other setting? Thanks- Gail

-- Gail Green (, September 18, 1998


Gail, For what it's worth, Shutterbug has a review of this film in this month's issue. They appear to answer some of your questions. Sergio.

-- Sergio Ortega (, September 19, 1998.

And, of course, the standard advice applies: try it out before committing yourself.

-- Alan Gibson (, September 20, 1998.

When printed on colour paper, your proof pics will have what varies from a slight colour cast to a strong colour tone ranging from sepia-like brown to blue, depending on the settings on the printing machine. Some labs will make adjustments if they are expecting T400 CN, but a lot don't. If they are just for proof prints, with other copies and enlargements to be ordered, I;d say go ahead with the colour printing. It is probably cheaper to just let it runt hrough the machine. If the prints will be the final product, I'd suggest that you go with the B&W paper.

When TN400 CN first came out, I remember reading about its incredible latitude. One magazine claimed that they exposed from ASA 50 to 800 on the same roll with little or no detectable difference in the final prints. Personally, I've shot it with great results. I use it with old cameras where I'm not too concerned about shutter accuracy, but to determin optical quality and whether or not they actually work. To evaluate shutter speed consistency, I'll shoot chromes. But I digress.

Go for it. Some might be concerned about archival stability of dye-based B&W film, but I think the convenience factor far outweighs it.

Good luck and keep us posted on the results.

-- Daryl Hiebert (, September 22, 1998.

I am just starting to shoot black and white film and have been using T-Max 400CN. I like it, I can get 4x6 b&w machine prints; instead of a contact from my local photo lab.I have had a few enlargements, they seemed good to me. Gail, I hope this helps you a little. David

-- David Schroeder (, September 27, 1998.

FYI- I just got back 5 rolls shot under less than optimum conditions (mid day on a farm (few trees) in sunny weather). I asked the lab to print contact sheets on B&W paper (they used RC) and I did not ask for any compensation (wanted to see it without). To my surprise, they look good! I can see where, if I had processed myself, I would have altered development time etc. but for this project, this film is clearly the way to go. I am going to print a few myself and have the lab do the same ones (on 8x10 and 11x20 Fibre paper, prob. multi-grade) and see how they compare. I'll keep you posted if you are interested! Gail

-- gail green (, October 22, 1998.

Recently, I too have been experimenting with both Kodak TMAX400CN and the newer Ilford XP2 Super. From my short tests, I found I realy like the T400CN film for shooting landscapes and scenics while I preferred the Ilford XP2Super for portraits. As I shoot more of this film my thinking may change but for now this is my observations. You might want to try both yourself and see which you like for various purposes. BTW, I shot both at ISO 320 not ISO 400.


-- Gary Richards (, December 27, 1998.

I work in a local one hour lab, and process quite a bit of the C41 B&W films. There are three available now, that I know of: Ilford's XP-2, Kodak's T400CN, and Kodak's Black & White+. I personally like the T400CN better. A problem that I do run into is the wide range of "color" that I get from one roll. The best I can figure is that the lighting changes and affects the results. Definately test a few rolls. Also, for B&W prints, true B&W, I would reccommend the XP2 over the Kodak. You will also need to either make the B&W prints yourself, or find a lab that does them. Most small labs do not have the paper or equipment for "true" B&W.

-- Kim Coast (, June 10, 1999.

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