c-41 Black and white film

greenspun.com : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

I have used the Kodak T400 CN film and have had it commercially developed using color paper to get a very clean sepia toned portrait. I am extremely pleased with the result, but when I went to purchase more film, the woman behind the counter told me they had been notified by their supplier that this film should be sent away for proper black and white development as they're finding degeneration of the negatives after 5 years. Has anyone else heard about this at all? I like being able to see my pictures quickly and at reasonable cost, and right now don't have access to a darkroom.

-- Ellen Mudge (denmudge@telusplanet.net), November 27, 1998


Hi Ellen,

as you state in your question, it's meant to be developed in c41. If sent away to "proper black and white development", i.e. put in Tmax developer or some other non-c41 chemicals, the film will be ruined. Since the CN hasn't been around for more than one year we don't know yet how long it will last. But we know it can produce beatiful prints on black and white fibre paper and those prints can last for perhaps 100 years properly developed, fixed and toned. So your insurance for archival stability would be prints on baryta paper!

I like the film, it is really nice in the 120-format. I stopped using it anyway because it is so much cheaper to develop regular b&w film in Xtol at home.

-- Peter Olsson (Peter.Olsson@sb.luth.se), November 27, 1998.

C-41 B & W

Something you should keep in mind when using any of the C-41 "B&W" films is that they are in reality color films. Their stability is no more or less than any color negative film. Its been my experience that between the two most often used ( Kodak CN & Ilford XP-1 ) that the Ilford film offers the nearest translation to print to B&W films.

-- jim megargee (mvjim@interport.net), November 29, 1998.

Five years seems a bit drastic for expected life of this film. I have some Ilford XP-1 I shot about 12-15 years ago and the negatives are still quite printable. I'd expect the new XP-2 and CN400 to last about as long as any other C-41 film: about 25 years. This is only one reason I use T-Max 100 now. The other is so I can process it myself and control the contrast.

-- Darron Spohn (sspohn@concentric.net), December 01, 1998.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ