Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/09/22

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Subject: [Leica] Black and White C41 Film
From: max_weisenfeld at (Max Weisenfeld)
Date: Wed Sep 22 11:41:11 2004
References: <>


Kodak consumer films:
Kodak Pro films:

BW400CN (and Ilford XP2, for that matter)  are very different critters than 
silver films.  The C-41 films, in my experience, yield less contrast and 
edge sharpness, and more shadow detail when handled well.  They have a 
smooth transition from light to dark that I like for portraits, and often 
less grain in low-light (IMHO).   My work is not the best example of the 
abilities though.  Take a look at Graham's:  (the T400CN he uses is the 
previous version of BW400CN, he must have a big freezer).


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jim Nichols" <>
To: "Leica Users Group" <>
Sent: Wednesday, September 22, 2004 12:36 PM
Subject: RE: [Leica] Black and White C41 Film

> Dan,
> My experience with C41 film has been limited to Kodak BW400-2, the 
> comsumer
> film available at Wal-Mart.  In some instances, it appears to offer less
> contrast and more bland images than I recall from my years of using
> silver-based film.  I was just looking for comments from others about 
> their
> experiences with this type of film.  I have actually made a few very good
> images with the film, so my problem may stem more from my technique than
> from the film.
> I was also curious about the differences in Kodak films of this type.  Do
> you know of a reference website that explains the various films and their
> intended uses?
> Jim Nichols
>> [Original Message]
>> From: Dan Colucci <>
>> To: Leica Users Group <>
>> Date: 9/22/2004 7:17:25 AM
>> Subject: RE: [Leica] Black and White C41 Film
>> James - I have read your comments twice - what are you saying ?  I find
>> Kodak Portra BW400, used in contrasty lighting, is just superb with
>> final tonal range and superb detail...Edge sharpness is lacking, but I
>> enjoy the smooth tonality, especially for portraits
>> Dan
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From:
>> [] On Behalf Of
>> Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2004 1:27 PM
>> To:
>> Subject: [Leica] Black and White C41 Film
>> Comparing results with C41 B&W to the results I got with Plus-X, Super
>> XX, and Tri-X in the 1950s and 60s when I had my own darkroom, I have
>> been somewhat disappointed.  Though, without a darkroom, it appears to
>> be the most convenient way to shoot B&W.  However, after pulling the
>> image below from a cluttered negative taken amid the confusion of a
>> wedding rehearsal supper, I find that, if I do my job, the film will
>> take care of itself.  The image shows the bride-to-be, my granddaughter,
>> in a reflective mood after a busy day, with an even busier day ahead.
>> Leica IIIf RD, Summitar 5cm f/2.0
>> Exposure 1/50 at f/2.8
>> Kodak BW400-2
>> _______________________________________________
>> Leica Users Group.
>> See for more information
>> _______________________________________________
>> Leica Users Group.
>> See for more information
> _______________________________________________
> Leica Users Group.
> See for more information 

In reply to: Message from nicholsj at (Jim Nichols) ([Leica] Black and White C41 Film)