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Author Topic: B&W Film basics  (Read 3061 times)
aloomens
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« on: August 23, 2007, 01:17:56 PM »
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After a few months with a digital camera, I've just gotten a 35mm SLR and some lenses.

I would eventually like to process my own film and make my own prints, when I can afford the equipment. In the mean time, what types of B&W film should I be using, and where would be a good place to get it processed?

Kodak has a B&W film that can apparently be processed by any color lab. Is this worth using? What other types of film should I be considering? Any other suggestions for an absolute beginer?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: August 23, 2007, 01:18:22 PM by aloomens » Logged
DarkPenguin
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2007, 11:38:19 PM »
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C41 B+W films are a nice way to try to learn B&W photography without any lab hassles.  As to which films to use I'm not sure.  You might try photo.net's forums to see if they have more information.  (I'm sure people here know but it doesn't look like anyone has found your question.)

Actually, I just found some stuff at flickr.com.  I'd search flickr for c41 b+W and read some discussions.
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mahleu
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2007, 07:18:24 AM »
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Developing yourself is a lot more fun, albeit time consuming.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2007, 10:44:47 AM »
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B&W photography has its own joys and challenges - some colour photos are good simply because of the colours - but with B&W you're left with shadows, tones, contours, shapes...  It requires seeing with a different eye, especially with film because you won't know if you got the shot until you see the final image.  The last B&W film I used a lot was the Ilford XP2-400.  It's a C-41 process film that allows you to vary the ISO from 100-400 or thereabouts on the same roll so you have some latitude in exposure, and the grain is very fine.  Panchromatic films are what most people think about when they think B&W (Kodak's Plus X or Tri X for example).  Be aware that panchromatic films 'see' differently than your eye does.  IIRC correctly it was often necessary to use a yellow filter when shooting panchromatic films in order to set the gray balance properly, but it's been a long time since I've used them.

Mike.
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