After not being able to use the UCCS darkroom last year during the pandemic, I decided to patronize my local camera store a bit more, which has included buying/processing color negative film almost exclusively. One thing I didn’t want was to be stuck with even more rolls of black & white that will either take a lot of money to be developed or will sit in my freezer until I can get back to developing at the university. I still wanted to try to continue my current photo project for just a little bit longer and for that I decided to go chromogenic black & white. Here are a few of the shots I took over the Summer:
I shot just a roll or two of BW400CN before Kodak discontinued it and man do I wish that Kodak would bring it back but I’m happy and thankful that Ilford is still here for us. I would not say that XP2 is a worthy replacement for Tri-X but for what I needed I think it works well. One thing that I noticed was that it behaved very much like a color negative film in that I think its true speed is not 400 but 200, so I tried to overexpose when I could. The shadows can fall off really quickly and yet it is so flat when scanned. That’s mostly good because I have never been thrilled with how black & white is scanned by the lab; it’s usually way too contrasty and if the exposure isn’t exactly perfect you’re losing quite a lot of information. I prefer to scan myself at low contrast and dial it in on the computer, something that XP2 does nicely even when lab scanned.
I will eventually go back to Tri-X when I can develop it myself but for what it is and what I need right now I’m pretty happy to continue shooting Ilford XP2 Super.