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Shot a roll of Ilford XP2 400 C41 and had it developed at Longs 1 hr. The prints seem to have different tones, some blue, some sepia and some b&w. Could this be the auto correct function at the 1hr lab? Pics here:
Shot these with a Summicron 35/2 ASPH. No brightlines but I sure like that 1:1 finder. I'm also really enjoying RF photography, never used one before. Now I'm looking for a used .72 M6 in the $900-1200 range. Is ebay my best bet?
XP2 is a chromogenic BW film developed as color, some labs don't bother removing the color cast when printing or scanning this film so you'll get anywhere from sepia to a nice deep purple haze. Try wallmart for a cheap developing and scans, some say they do a good job with XP2, or ask your lab to remove the color!
Welcome to the forum andcongrats on the new R3A
Originally posted by jameshays
Now I'm looking for a used .72 M6 in the $900-1200 range. Is ebay my best bet? No. Probably the most productive places to go are the FS notices in the Leica forum on photo.net (http://www.photo.net/bboard/forum?topic_id=1548) or the Classifieds there, the LUG (http://www.leica-users.org/leica-users/v29/topics1.html) (FS notices only on Fridays), or some well regarded dealers like Rich Pinto at Photo Village (http://www.photovillage.com/html/shop.html).
Hi James -- I'll say the lab is veering around trying to find a neutral color balance while printing your B&W order on color paper, and not doing very well! Chromogenic films that have an orange mask can be printed on color paper with little or no operator adjustment, and come our relatively neutral. But Ilford XP2 has no mask, and prints best on B&W papers. Certainly, if the lab is willing to make the effort, XP2 can print fine on color paper too.
I'm very fond of Ilford XP2 Super, having begun using it a couple decades ago when it was XP1. I prefer the lack of mask, making it much easier to print in my darkroom on multi-contrast papers... which use magenta and yellow filters to raise and lower contrast. Orange mask throws that for a loop. Also, I suspect the density of the mask reduces the dynamic range of the film.
XP2 has a very wide density range and tends toward lower contrast. Especially for shots in low contrast lighting, prints tend to look dull. In printing, a #3 paper grade is about "normal". But the lab won't do that; you'd need custom printing.
That's the downside... The good thing about this is that the film records a broad range of light and dark, giving you lots of flexibility in printing and scanning. The data is there, your job is to deal with it how you wish. It's easy to bring the scans to life with a tweak in the histogram control.
Chromogenic films, and I think C41 process films in general, are not happy with underexposure: The shadow areas go all flat and grainy. But they're very tolerant of overexposure. Almost impossible to totally block up the highlights; it may take you some work to display those highlights, but the data is there in the neg.
And a generous exposure seems to smooth-out the tonality, for a characteristic creamy richness. So I set my meter to give 2/3 stop more than the manufacturer recommends; EI 250 for an ISO 400 film. Or you could just pay more attention to metering the shadows to make sure you retain detail where you want it.
As I'm just starting (or slightly returning to) BW and RF as well, I won't comment on technical issues more than that I like the image quality, though I would guess there'd be some more detail to be found in the shadows if scanned straight from film. And I like your pictures, too, especially "r2", great. My daughter is 2y6m so I'll be shooting plenty when my replacement R3a w/ 40mm Nokton finally arrives and hopefully is operational :rolleyes:
As to film, I'll be experimenting a lot, since I'll be doing the "paperwork" in PhotoShop after scanning with a filmscanner. Shooting in color would give far more possibilities for BW results using the channel mixer. But I would imagine pure BW films give better grain quality when using faster ones... or?
Some, and I'm thinking of one very vocal person on Photo.net, are of the opinion that desaturating color film is the way to go when you want B&W results. I'm doubtful, but expect it takes close examination to see the difference.
An interesting argument states that scenic details in a color image are distinguished by differences in color as well as tonality, and therefore it's less important to record fine distinctions in tonality; the photo doesn't suffer.
But in a B&W image no color information is recorded; tonality is of paramount importance since that's all there is. B&W film is more capable of recording subtle differences in tonality, so results should be somewhat superior to desaturated color images.
Ilford XP2 film is said to be made with three layers of sensitive material, same as color C41 films. But in XP2 the three layers all have the same black dyes, the distinction being that each of the three layers has a different sensitivity. This should help XP2 record tonal microcontrasts in the scene, and give results superior to desaturated color films. I have not done any studies to see if this is the case, or to what degree. But XP2 can produce very rich tonality in the prints.
Interestingly, this same idea of three layers of different sensitivity is also used in the new non-chromogenic B&W film marketed by Rollei, and claimed to have wide exposure latitude.
Even without regard to the above, I prefer to use B&W film for B&W photography because I need to keep it straight what I'm doing! If I'm shooting color I need to have a color mind-set. And I don't want to try to separate later those color-film shots I had intended to desaturate to B&W.
Exactly. When I load with monochromatic film, I try to see with a B&W eye. To think in terms of contrasts and tones, not colors and hues.
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