Posts

Printing Color C41 (Negative) Film in the Darkroom

Image
As I started to write my post on Chromogenic film I realized I was digging deeper into the whole subject of printing C41 negatives and the reason why Chromogenic black and white film exists. It just so happens I had finished a couple of rolls of film in my Mamiya 645 Pro.  These rolls violated one of my rules of mixing color and black and white shooting in the same session. The great thing was I had some photos of the same subject taken back-to-back on both black and white film (Ilford HP5+) and color negative (Kodak Portra 400).  Here is the color version.  When I first got into film photography (over 10 years ago!) I preferred reversal (slide film) over color negative film. I had struggled to get good colors with scanned negative film. Eventually I learned enough to know how to get good color correction on color negative scans. After I came back to color negative film I thought

Chromogenic Film: XP2 Super Experience

Image
A while back I was reminded of chromogenic film such as Ilford's XP2 Super and Kodak's BW400CN No longer available) and Fuji Neopan 400CN. These are based on C41 color film principles except that they only have dyes for black rather than Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. They also lack the orange mask layer found in color c41 films. (Kodak retained the orange mask in their version intended to make black and white prints on color paper.) The rest are meant to be printed on black and white paper generally and so can offer C41 benefits with the ability to print on black and white paper.  Printing C41 color negatives on black and white paper can be done however the colors and mask limits the effectiveness of variable contrast filters. Because the film has color in it you get different amounts of contrast filtration inherent in the image negative colors. This ultimately influences the amount of contrast control achievable. Another limitation is that most black and

Print Flattening Update: Completed System and Further Notes

Image
(This is a reprint of an update I appended to the original post .) The new magnets have arrived and I have been able to complete the flattening fixture. It continues to perform as expected.  The new magnets are solid 10mm x 3mm discs and are in fact stronger. I have modified the wooden strips the magnets are mounted in to include a 4mm through-hole behind each magnet. This allows me to push the magnets out again if needed or they become skewed.  In the end I found the magnets press-fit tightly enough in the 10mm holes I drilled that no adhesive was needed. I used a wood block and mallet to gently tap the magnets flush with the wood surface. The through-holes allowed me to adjust his if I tapped them in too deeply or they became skewed. The next step was to cover the magnets in polyurethane varnish.  I noticed with my first test print that the magnets had left a stain (see below). This is despite the claim they are corr

Print Flattening Third Generation: Arbitrary Sizes Revisited

Image
Earlier this year I revisited this subject as my darkroom printing had changed to using odd sized papers based upon a new aesthetic of smaller prints with wider borders. Since I found myself cutting down larger standard paper to custom sizes my flattening solutions based on standard paper sizes (8x10", 12x16", and 16x20")  were not up to the job  (Click the link above to see that solution and find links to the original versions.)  The fixture I made earlier this year works well and has offered the needed flexibility. It is however not simple to fabricate and requires woodworking tools like a router and skills that are not available to everyone. At the time I considered using magnets and metal sheeting but with a quick search on the web I couldn't find the sheet material I wanted in the quantity (1 sheet) and size I needed. Last week I looked again in eBay and found a vendor who sole 600x400mm (23 1/2"x15 3/4") sheets of perfo

Some Springtime Color

Image
We are entering summer now and what I call the 'tyranny of green'. It is never a very productive time for capturing new images for me. I tend to stick with black and white as a result and spend more time in the darkroom as well. Ironic in that when the weather is nicer I find myself in s small darkened room! I have been taking a few photos with my Mamiya 645 after I had some meter problems which I adjusted. I broke my rule about not shooting black and white and color at the same time. I find each requires a different mind set and alternating film backs can be confusing and not very satisfying.  So I accumulated a roll of images on Kodak Portra 400 over the past month plus. I have a parallel roll of black and white I am not quite through the roll however. Despite mostly being snaps without any real intent artistically a few images came out well. I took most of these with my 150mm f3.5 lens sometimes with the 2x teleconverter. One image was with my 80mm f1.9 which is the widest l