black & white prints from color negative

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by michelle_peterson, Jun 9, 2003.

  1. I recieved a order from my lab today and they mistakenly sent me
    black and white prints from my color negative. I have never ordered a
    b&w print from a color neg before. They actually look really good,
    better than the dull TCN(with dark skintones)I've been getting from
    them. I love TCN when I can print it myself. So now I'm wondering if
    I should just shoot color for situations such as weddings. I'd like
    to hear from anyone who has been doing this and if they're happy with
    the results.
  2. one problem I have seen is that what the lab is calling black. They are still printing it on color paper I am sure. I got black and white prints back and put it in a black frame and it was more like dark blue and white.
  3. If the lab is using a digital Frontier type machine as I suspect, there's little need to shoot the chromogenic films like XP2 or TCN. The digital printers can also yield dead neutral prints.

    TCN and XP2 has a bit less contrast than most C-41 films which you can either like, or find too flat.

    Most wedding pros I know that use digital labs have B/W made from color films. They don't bother with the chromos any more.
  4. I'd expect a Fuji Frontier B&W print from a Sensia 100 slide to be really sweet, with good tonality and crisp contrast. I only do this stuff on my computer monitor though, never printed it (I'm not much of a "printer type").
  5. There are a number of ways to get B&W prints from color film and most of them will produce results that are acceptable to 99% of the general public. Short of using a digital machine, which almost always produces good results, you can ask the lab to use B&W RA-4 paper when you want B&W prints from color. You're much more likely to get neutral blacks than if the lab uses regular color paper.

    However, if you're getting dull results from TCN and dark skin tones, might I suggest you find a competent lab? I have never had bad results from any chromogenic film unless the lab technician was either too lazy or too incompetent to set up the printer correctly.
  6. You're much more likely to get neutral blacks than if the lab uses regular color paper
    When I tell a digital lab I want grey-scale prints I *GET* grey prints. There's no need for the B/W RA-4 papers with a digital lab. The digital labs also allow you to get B/W prints from a wide variety of color materials and pick and choose the contrast characteristics you like from the original film, as per what Michelle just found out. While conventional custom B/W prints from the chromos are exceptioanl in terms of quality, using a Frontier type lab is what I feel is the best 'option 2'.
  7. I called Millers today and they told me they are using the same paper to print all their C41 b&w. It is a matte "D" surface paper. So Scott, if I'm understanding your correctly, the reason I like the look of the color neg print is because a color neg has more contrast than the TCN?

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