Archival B&W Negatives and Print Lab Recommendations

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Jeremy, Sep 24, 2003.

  1. Jeremy

    Jeremy Guest

    x-no-archive: yes

    I am about to begin a project of taking a series of photos for long-term
    archival purposes. It seems that B&W will outlast color, both for negatives
    and prints.

    I haven't shot B&W in 40 years, and have completely ignored that area pf
    photography. Can anyone give me a recommendation of a slow-speed (ISO
    100??) sharp B&W emulsion that has archival qualities?

    Also can anyone recommend a lab that can do B&W work and print it onto
    something other than RC paper--which I understand is not archival? I don't
    require any custom services, like burning or dodging, and machine-made
    prints will be OK. I'd prefer to keep the cost down, by avoiding
    hand-printing if possible. I need nothing bigger than 8x10.

    I'm in Philadelphia, but have no problem with a mail-order service. Any
    suggestions or recommendations will be appreciated.


    Jeremy, Sep 24, 2003
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  2. Jeremy

    Leicaddict Guest

    Why not just shot Kodak color neg film and get a Kodak CD?
    Leicaddict, Sep 25, 2003
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  3. Jeremy

    Nick Zentena Guest

    If looked after right.
    Archival would be the result of the processing. Try Agfa APX100.

    One thing B&W isn't exactly a standard process like C-41 or E-6. You might
    find it's better to get yourself a daylight tank some chemicals and do the
    film processing yourself.

    Nick Zentena, Sep 25, 2003
  4. Jeremy

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Like another poster, I will put in a recommendation for AGFA APX100.
    Platinum is really good, but not cheap. Bromide paper works well. If you want
    to try some alternative processes, you can use some better art papers that are
    more archival, though you might need to coat them yourself to make a print.
    Very involved, but very satisfying.
    A good B/W lab should have Bromide paper. They may also suggest something
    easier to print that is more archival than RC, so just ask the lab about
    Try Duggal in New York <>

    Also, I would like to suggest Ilford Pan F 50. This is an ISO 50 B/W film. The
    results are very good, though your exposure needs to be very accurate to get
    the best results. Not as easy to use as AGFA APX100, though very nice tonality.
    I have a few samples at:


    While the JPEGs are okay, the actual prints are really much better. It is
    tougher to print than APX100, since it is tougher to get the focus correct on
    the enlarger. There really is not visible grain in the final prints.


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Sep 25, 2003
  5. Jeremy

    Hickster0711 Guest

    Good B/W printing is not cheap. By the time you find a lab that prints them the
    way you want them, you will prolly have spent enough money to set up a few dark
    rooms. The main problem is, that after a few rolls not coming out right, you
    start shooting the way they develop best. Next thing, you wind up w/ a zippo
    combination like T-Max in XTOL. If you don't arrive at your own standards,
    you'll always feel cheated. APX 100 in Rodinal comes out pretty brilliant.
    FP-4 in FG7 comes out much softer and flatters people. Times depend a lot on
    the water. Good luck. Bob Hickey
    Hickster0711, Sep 25, 2003
  6. The film base is the limiting factor in preservation, if the film is
    processed properly. Any good film will do. There's no reason to pick
    just a 100 speed film, because many of today's films are very
    fine-grained, even the 400-speed ones.


    Kodak Plus-X (ISO 125)
    Kodak Tri-X (ISO 400)

    Ilford FP4 (ISO 125)
    Ilford HP5 (ISO 400)

    Ilford Delta 100 (ISO 100)
    Ilford Delta 400 (ISO 400)
    Michael Scarpitti, Sep 25, 2003
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