Best Scannable B&W Film/Dev Opinion... : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

Hey all,

I recently asked for opinions on best B&W film/dev combo. Got a lot of useful feedback for that one, so thanks!

Today's more refined question is:

What are your favorite B&W films for film-scanner scanning? What do you develop them in? What do you "really" rate them at? Finally - any worthwhile tips on how to scan them?

Remember that I will never be "wet" printing these photos so anything that would be good for conventional printing need not be considered. I have had very very bad experience thus far with b&w films and film scanners, getting horribly grainy (_not_ "noisy" - black shadows were fine) scans from my negs - even with FP4+, which is supposed to have good grain charactaristics. (I admit I did rate and dev according to manufacturer specs, with rodinal).

I put up a small page showing comparisons/blowups of scans:



-- Idan Gazit (, September 19, 2001


If you are not making real photographic prints why not dump your cameras & film and get one of the digital cameras? Seems that it will be a lot fewer headaches for you.

-- Dan Smith (, September 19, 2001.

Digital cameras don't come anywhere near image quality and features of even the simplest 35mm manual SLR, not resolution, not exposure control. The ones that do cost as much as a used car.

In short - 35mm and film scanner. Not digital.

-- Idan Gazit (, September 19, 2001.

Well excuse me, but good scanners start around the $2000 street price. Add another $2000 for a good 35mm and a couple of lenses, and you can get one hell of a Digital camera or rusty used car for that.

-- Wilhelm (, September 19, 2001.

Well, yes - if you want a really swank new nikon, sure it costs 2000. If you're willing (read: coerced by my bank account) to buy used there are deals to be had under a thou. The new canoscan 4000 retails _new_ for under a thousand and has gotten really good reviews from plenty of people I've read.

Besides, I live in new york -- I already have a rusty car, it's called the subway :)


-- Idan Gazit (, September 19, 2001.

Hmmm! I can't understand why you didn't get good scans from FP4+. I've had some of my best negatives ever on it, and they scan perfectly well. Try D-76 or Ilfosol-s instead of that grain-juice Rodinal.
T-max 100 scans reasonably well, but I've had one or two problem negatives from it. Not with grain, but the long gradation sometimes doesn't transfer to a scan very well.
My daughter uses XP2super, and I've scanned some of her negatives with great success. Nothing else at a 400 ISO speed comes near it for 'scanability', IMHO.

-- Pete Andrews (, September 20, 2001.

Ya Idan, I would also recommend you give the chromogenic films a try.


-- Christian Harkness (, September 20, 2001.

Idan, I have found that the silver in traditional Black and white films can cause "grain/noise" problems with scans. I have been using Kodak CN since it came out, and have had great success with it. It is virtually grainless. You could also try any color neg film, and convert it. ( I like film with a low contrast like Fuji Supra 400) Although, I now find myself missing the delicate grain of a "real" B+W film. Tri-X forever!

-- Peter Casolino (, September 27, 2001.

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