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Kodak BW400CN processing
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Author:  threeputt [ Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:39 am ]
Post subject:  Kodak BW400CN processing

I have a few rolls of this I've been trying to use up ~ I am also about ready to try my hand at developing myself. I've never been happy with the sepia toned results of this film when one-hour processed at local drug stores, etc. Would it do any better using D76 or the like? I have other B&W films that I plan to practice with (T-max, Tri-X, Delta, etc), but didn't know what I should do with the 400CN.

On the same subject, can anyone point me to a shopping list for processing gear/chemicals? I have absolutely nothing yet. I have been reading as much as I can online, but I know I'll forget something when I put an order together.



Author:  Nando [ Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kodak BW400CN processing

BW400CN is a C-41 film and should be developed using C-41 chemicals. This film, like nearly all C-41 films, has an orange mask, which must be compensated for when printing or scanning. When prints come out with a sepia tone, it probably means that the lab didn't compensate for the orange mask correctly. Developing this film in traditional B&W chemicals is possible but it won't get rid of the orange mask.

For beginners, I suggest Tri-X with HC-110. HC-110 gives similar results to D-76 but it comes in a syrup, which is easier to mix. A bottle of HC-110 also goes a much longer way than a pack of D-76 powder.

Besides developer, you will need to get chemical stop (optional but recommended), fixer (aka hypo), hypo clear (optional but recommended), and a wetting agent (optional but recommended). Also, if you live in an area with hard water like I do, you will need to buy some bottles of distilled water. One can use water as a stop but with some films, a chemical stop is recommended. I almost always use a chemical stop. Hypo clear will reduce washing time dramatically. A wetting agent will help reduce streaks and spots when your negatives are drying. Hard water may cause spots on your film. I use distilled water when mixing chemicals and for the final wash.

For stop, I use Kodak Indicator Stop-bath. For fixer, I use Kodak Kodafix with hardner. For hypo clear, I use Heico Perma Wash. For a wetting agent, I use Kodak Photo Flo.

For supplies, you will need a dark bag. You'll need a developing tank with reels - I highly recommend a Patterson tank and the new Arista Premium plastic reels from Freestyle Photo. I find that the new Arista Premium reels are much easier to load the the older Arista "Classic" and Patterson plastic reels. (I never got along with the stainless steel stuff.) A bottle opener to open the film canisters and scissors. To hang the film to dry, I use some wire coat-hangers and heavy clips on both ends of the film. You will need storage bottles for your chemicals as your going to reuse your stop, fixer, hypo-clear and wetting agent. You'll need some graduates to measure and mix the chemicals. Get a small, thin one to measure small amounts along with some larger ones. Get a stirring paddle.

I also develop C-41 films at home in additional to B&W films. Developing colour negatives using C-41 chemicals is not too difficult. One just has to keep the temperature of the developer at 39ºC and blix (fixer with bleach) between 38º and 43ºC. For C-41 chemicals I use the K2 Unicolor kits which comes with all the chemicals you need but I use an additional wetting agent at the end.

Author:  kokoshawnuff [ Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Kodak BW400CN processing

Good breakdown by Fernando. It may sound like a lot to buy, but don't let it overwhelm really isn't as much as you'd think, and things like tanks, reels, bottles, etc will last a very very long time.

Author:  threeputt [ Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kodak BW400CN processing

WOW Thanks Nando! I really appreciate the info. I looked at the Freestyle Photo website and ordered one of their catalogs. We'll see how this goes, but the initial plan is to scan after developing the film. I have a Plustek 7600 and I've already discovered that scanning is an art in itself. If I end up with a nice shot here and there, I'll have it properly printed. As for the water, yes, I'm surprised our water isn't a solid. We have a Reverse-Osmosis filter system under our kitchen sink that's supposed to remove the hard stuff. Do you think that water would suffice? I'm looking forward to this!


Author:  Nando [ Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kodak BW400CN processing

Experiment using your tap water with a test roll. If you see spots or residue, switch to distilled water. I'd still recommend using distilled water for mixing chemicals.

And you may also want to order some plastic Print File sleeves to store your negatives. For 35mm film, I use Print File Style No. 35-78XW sheets that allow me to cut strips of up to 6 frames. Perfect for 36-exposure rolls. If you buy the sleeves for 5-frame strips, you'll need two sheets to store a 36-exposure roll.

Author:  threeputt [ Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kodak BW400CN processing

Thanks for the tip Nando. I already use the sheets to store slides, I'll pick up some for neg strips too. Putting a preliminary chemical order together now.


Author:  threeputt [ Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Kodak BW400CN processing

I haven't given up on trying my hand at processing, but I haven't ordered anything yet. Been shooting a lot of Tri-X and having Dwayne's process it for me. The resolution of their scans leaves a lot to be desired, but I love the results of their processing. At $3.99/roll with no print and no scans, and only $0.50/roll shipping after the first roll, I'm not in a hurry to convert my bathroom just yet. Scanning them myself doesn't take up much time and I'm happy.


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