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Printing black and white onto colour printstock


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#1 Henri Titchen

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 06:30 AM

Hi,

Is it possible to obtain good results by printing a black and white negative (eg Kodak 5231) onto colour print film (eg Kodak 2383)?

The motivation is that 2383(Colour) is much cheaper than 5302 (B&W).

Thanks From,
Henry.
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#2 hoyte

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 08:48 AM

possible, but it is very hard (or impossible) to get "real" tintless black and white. I did a lot of tests and I never got it anywhere close to using B/W printing stock.

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#3 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 09:07 AM

That's right, but it's done very often. Especially when you have a part of the film B/W and that it then turns to color, you have no choice but printing on color print stock. You can watch any movie that mixes both as to figure out what it looks like.
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#4 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 12:32 PM

Hi,

Is it possible to obtain good results by printing a black and white negative (eg Kodak 5231) onto colour print film (eg Kodak 2383)?

The motivation is that 2383(Colour) is much cheaper than 5302 (B&W).

Thanks From,
Henry.


It definitely can, and has been done -- for many productions.

Color print film is optimized to produce color images, so there is a bit of deliberate "crossover" in the cyan, magenta, and yellow dye curves to optimize color and tone scale when printing from color negative film. When you print a silver-image B&W film to a perfectly neutral gray midscale, the highlights may appear a bit "warm" and the shadows may be slightly "cool". Most audiences don't notice this slight tint, but compared to a silver-image print, the tone scale does have a little coloration at the extremes.

Labs usually do a very good job of maintaining consistent color and density from reel-to-reel, but even a one printer light (0.025 log exposure unit) variation in printer exposure or color processing can produce a slight but noticeable change in color between reels.

Silver image B&W print films have their own issues related to the added radiant energy absorbed during projection with larger lamps (focus shift, focus flutter, heat damage), and have more need of proper edgewaxing for longer projection life (per SMPTE Recommended Practice RP151). Silver images absorb infrared energy, dye images absorb little infrared.

Many productions have chosen the option of making a few dozen silver image prints for premier venues, and neutral image color prints for general release (e.g., "The Man Who Wasn't There"). Others have chosen to have only silver image B&W prints (e.g., "Good Night, and Good Luck").

Intercutting color and silver-image prints is usually NOT a good idea, because of the heat-related focus shift. This presented a problem with some prints of "Schindlers List", as theatres did not always have projectionists adjusting the focus for the color scenes intercut with the rest of the silver-image B&W movie.
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#5 Henri Titchen

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 04:46 AM

It definitely can, and has been done -- for many productions.

Color print film is optimized to produce color images, so there is a bit of deliberate "crossover" in the cyan, magenta, and yellow dye curves to optimize color and tone scale when printing from color negative film. When you print a silver-image B&W film to a perfectly neutral gray midscale, the highlights may appear a bit "warm" and the shadows may be slightly "cool". Most audiences don't notice this slight tint, but compared to a silver-image print, the tone scale does have a little coloration at the extremes.

Labs usually do a very good job of maintaining consistent color and density from reel-to-reel, but even a one printer light (0.025 log exposure unit) variation in printer exposure or color processing can produce a slight but noticeable change in color between reels.

Silver image B&W print films have their own issues related to the added radiant energy absorbed during projection with larger lamps (focus shift, focus flutter, heat damage), and have more need of proper edgewaxing for longer projection life (per SMPTE Recommended Practice RP151). Silver images absorb infrared energy, dye images absorb little infrared.

Many productions have chosen the option of making a few dozen silver image prints for premier venues, and neutral image color prints for general release (e.g., "The Man Who Wasn't There"). Others have chosen to have only silver image B&W prints (e.g., "Good Night, and Good Luck").

Intercutting color and silver-image prints is usually NOT a good idea, because of the heat-related focus shift. This presented a problem with some prints of "Schindlers List", as theatres did not always have projectionists adjusting the focus for the color scenes intercut with the rest of the silver-image B&W movie.


Thanks for all the excellent advice and information. Your feedback has inspired me to ask a further two queries....

*Is it possible to develop Kodak 2382 in B&W chemicals for a truely B&W print? I guess that the results will be poor.

*Is it possible to film with regular colour 35mm negative MP stock and then print a B&W image onto 2382 ? My guess is that colour correction would be very complex...is it possible?

Thanks From,
Henry.
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#6 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 05:40 AM

Thanks for all the excellent advice and information. Your feedback has inspired me to ask a further two queries....

*Is it possible to develop Kodak 2382 in B&W chemicals for a truely B&W print? I guess that the results will be poor.

*Is it possible to film with regular colour 35mm negative MP stock and then print a B&W image onto 2382 ? My guess is that colour correction would be very complex...is it possible?

Thanks From,
Henry.


If you processed Kodak VISION Color Print Film 2383 in a B&W (D-97) process, you would get a silver image, as you developed the exposed silver halide in the green, red, and blue sensitive layers to form silver. I wouldn't know how good the image would look, as this is a non-standard condition that has not been tested. I suspect the contrast would not match that of a good print on Kodak B&W print film 2302. You likely would be leaving some unreacted color couplers, absorbing dyes, etc. in the film, which could have visible coloration, or adverse long-term keeping effects.

Just as with the recent "Good Night, and Good Luck", you can shoot a B&W film with the VISION2 Color Negative films, and get a monochrome image by use of Digital Intermediate or a panchromatic B&W intermediate film. Getting a B&W image on 2383 would then be similar to what was done with "The Man Who Wasn't There", as discussed in my previous post.
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#7 dd3stp233

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 07:53 PM

I have tested some 2383, developed in black and white chemicals, but as negative. Even with a high contrast developer and extended developing times(longer then most machine processor can do), the film is rather low contrast. The base does come out clear and there is no apparent colored tints to it. It would definity not be the best choice to make prints on, that way. Most labs that I have seen, charge the same or less for printing B+W neg. onto 5203.
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#8 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 12:02 PM

I have tested some 2383, developed in black and white chemicals, but as negative. Even with a high contrast developer and extended developing times(longer then most machine processor can do), the film is rather low contrast. The base does come out clear and there is no apparent colored tints to it. It would definity not be the best choice to make prints on, that way. Most labs that I have seen, charge the same or less for printing B+W neg. onto 5203.


In a color film, dyes normally form the image, not silver. So the silver image you can get in a piece of color print film processed as a B&W film will be relatively low in contrast, since the action of the oxidized color developer and dye couplers "amplifies" the image formed as the silver develops. Of course, the silver is normally removed by the bleach and fix steps in the ECP-2D process, leaving only the dye image.

Here is the data for Kodak print films, both color and B&W:

http://www.kodak.com...s...1.4.8&lc=en
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