Best BW film for digital prrocessing

blumesan

Well-Known Member
I am looking for recommendations for the best film type when the negative will be scanned and digitally processed. It is known that silver halide based negaives cannot be scanned using the Digital Ice (or similare infra-red based methods) to reduce dust & scratches. Does anyone have experience using a chromogenic b&w film such as Kodak 400CN? Or is the best solution to shoot with color negative film and desaturate in the post-process?

I sure hope this post gets noticed. Not a single post in this section since it was started. Can there be that little interest in shooting b&w?? Or is the interest in this forum overall going the same direction as Kyocera?

Cheers,
Mike Blume
 

coyot

Well-Known Member
> Hi Mike,

Seems like any of the B/W films that require C-41 processing (Same as colour neg film) would be good candidates for standard scanning.

I hve scanned quite a few Plus -x and Tri-X with a standard film scanner (Kodak RFS -3600) and think they look pretty good. The Kodak, though has no ICE for dust and scratch removal.

Good luck. I will be interesting to hear other comments.

Michael.
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albert4321

Well-Known Member
Yeap, as Michael H. stated, any C41 B&W film will be fine. I exclusively shoot Kodak Portra 400BW nowadays mainly for scanning. It is a great film optimize for scanning. You get very nature tone on printing from C41 lab as well.

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blumesan

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys.

Next question: Albert, when using a color neg film like Portra 400 do you scan in greyscale or RGB and then convert to B&W in photoshop?

Mike.
 

mohican

Well-Known Member
Mike,

It's my personal opinion, but I think all C41 B&W are not really worthy to be called Black and White. They're normally not even printed on a real Black and White paper (most labs print them on color paper). They don't look like traditionally made black and white either. So, technically, if scanning is an overriding concern, I would say you can simply shoot with color negative film and convert it to B&W in PhotoShop. If what you want is a traditional look of a Black and White photograph, I would say that you would be definitely better off by using real B&W film (which also has significantly better archival properties than any color film) and simply using a a blower and brush before scanning the film.
 

artzifartzi

New Member
> Mike

I use T400CN a lot and get really good results from scanning in 16-bit grayscale - I haven't tried scanning in RGB, maybe I should.

Dave
 

albert4321

Well-Known Member
Hi Mike Blume,

My lab scans the film in RGB. The tone come out very neutral. I was told you get better tonal range in RGB on prints but I have not run a test myself. I love tri-x in tradition darkroom. But personally don't like the grainy look on screen and on ink-jet print.

I agree with Mike (Mohican) that you can use color C41 and convert your image into B&W in PhotoShop. Now, I have tons of plug-ins to convert color image into B&W in many ways including all the B&W filter options. With a push of button, I can see my color image in various B&W tones. For me, shooting the porta B&W film force me to see B&W when I shoot (if you know what I mean.) I can apply filter when I shot just like the real B&W film. It is impratical and silly in today's standard. But I am the old dog old trick kind of guy when it comes to personal for fun project. Pratically, I would shoot digital in color.

Give the C-41 B&W film a try and see what you think.
 

blumesan

Well-Known Member
Hey Albert,

I know what you mean. I shot with b&w for 20 years before I put my first roll of color in the camera. My jeans still smell of acetic acid. And I am really too old a dog to make the switch to a digital camera.

After a long absence from b&w I have the urge to return, but I'm not returning to the wet darkroom. So I guess I'll just have to experiment. Mohican's idea of Plus-X, a brush and a blower versus one of the c-41 films.

Thanks to all for your input,
Mike.
 
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