Best color film to scan for black and white printing

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Andy-J, Jan 26, 2004.

  1. Andy-J

    Andy-J Guest

    I have read different things about this, and opinions have varied widely
    over time. I print only black and white, but I like the ability to use
    color negatives so that, in Photoshop, I can simulate the effect of using
    B&W filters (which is a great advantage since I hate carrying around filters
    and fidgeting with stuff when I am trying to make an image).

    Anyway, time passes and opinions/experience changes. I like people shots
    (some street; interactions) and also old buildings on the side of the
    road....... (
    http://images.home.mchsi.com/paw2004/HighwayhouseS20030911-60web.jpg ) and
    such. What color films are you finding are the best to use if you intend to
    scan and print B&W?
     
    Andy-J, Jan 26, 2004
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Andy-J

    Gregg Guest

    a couple Kodak T-Max 100, or Ilford Delta 100
     
    Gregg, Jan 27, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Andy-J

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Kodak T400CN works fairly well for scanning, and still allows for enlarging to
    B/W papers. While I prefer true B/W films, I find this one works okay in 120
    roll film size. If you only have C-41 processing available to you, it is a good
    choice. If you do not a way to get enlarged B/W images, or just not convenient,
    then Kodak Portra 400BW prints better to colour print film, and scans almost as
    well as T400CN.
    I really prefer true B/W films to the C-41 films, even for scanning. There are
    just so many more choices in true B/W films, and they have very characteristic
    responses to light and shadows that colour based films just cannot match.

    I have quite a bit of experience with PhotoShop, since I use it for work on a
    daily basis, but I do not believe that simulating an effect in PhotoShop even
    approaches the quality of capturing an image properly in the camera. PhotoShop
    is fine used that way for experiments or just as a hobby, but it has no proper
    place in professional work, but that is just my opinion.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    <http://www.allgstudio.com>
     
    Gordon Moat, Jan 27, 2004
    #3
  4. I think you will find any of the color negative films within a speed
    group pretty much the same. If you have a good scanner the latitude of
    color negative film will make your task easier than shooting color
    transparencies.
    Some people think that color film is not as sharp as black and white,
    but this may depend upon the size enlargement you are planning.
    See some of my scanning tips on how to do this.
     
    Robert Feinman, Jan 27, 2004
    #4
  5. Andy-J

    Andy-J Guest

    Best color film to scan for black and white printing? Am I missing
    something here?
     
    Andy-J, Jan 27, 2004
    #5
  6. Andy-J

    Gordon Moat Guest

    If you really like the effect of converting a colour file to B/W using
    PhotoShop, then any colour film that scans well will work for you. In reality,
    that sort of simulation will never give the tonal range nor sharpness inherent
    in true B/W films.

    If you have trouble scanning B/W films, or have no B/W film processing options,
    then the best alternative is C-41 B/W films, like T400CN, and others. In
    reality, T400CN and other similar C-41 films are really colour negative films,
    despite that the images may appear as B/W. In fact, they often scan better
    using the colour negative settings.

    If you want a recommendation for easy to scan films, there are three I have
    found really easy to use on a wide variety of equipment. Those are Kodak E200,
    Kodak E100VS, and the new Fuji Astia 100F. It is my opinion that no colour
    films are good to generate B/W images from scanned film, but I do this stuff
    for a living, so perhaps I am more picky about the image quality.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    <http://www.allgstudio.com>
     
    Gordon Moat, Jan 28, 2004
    #6
  7. Andy-J

    stan Guest

    scanning color film then using channels to change tone and highlight in a
    particular "color" is what scanning color film for black and white is about. You
    can selectively change tonality in blue red green the effect can be very dramatic.
    Then in the end you convert the whole think to greyscale. Adobe has a nice tutorial
    on the process.
    Stan
    Visual Arts Photography
     
    stan, Jan 31, 2004
    #7
  8. Andy-J

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Thanks Stan, but (not to sound ungrateful) I know full well how to do that; I am a
    master of PhotoShop. However, it is my opinion that it never looks as good as true B/W
    scanned images. While it is fine for some people to do that, you will never find me
    trying to pass something like that off in my work. I am a stickler for quality, and
    doing as you suggest would be like me using clip art to finish up a project. If
    someone else wants to do that, then fine for them, but I find the process to be below
    my quality standards.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    <http://www.allgstudio.com>
     
    Gordon Moat, Feb 2, 2004
    #8
  9. Andy-J

    stan Guest

    It's Ok Gordon. You made it seem as if the concept of scanning color for black and white
    was foreign. Some people don't know how or why to do it. I personally am not real sure if
    the results are OK or not.. I love darkroom printing and whenever I shoot B&W I rent a
    darkroom and have a ball. If I could find a job hand printing B&W prints I'd sell my
    cameras. Peace
    Stan
    Visual Arts Photography
     
    stan, Feb 3, 2004
    #9
  10. Andy-J

    stan Guest

    It's Ok Gordon. You made it seem as if the concept of scanning color for black and white
    was foreign. Some people don't know how or why to do it. I personally am not real sure if
    the results are OK or not.. I love darkroom printing and whenever I shoot B&W I rent a
    darkroom and have a ball. If I could find a job hand printing B&W prints I'd sell my
    cameras. Peace
    Stan
    Visual Arts Photography
     
    stan, Feb 3, 2004
    #10
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.