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The C-41 Black and White Film Challenge: Ilford XP2 400 and Kodak BW400CN

We all love Black and White film, but with the resurgence of the digital age, less and lesser labs provide traditional black and white developing. But no need to worry, the Kodak BW400CN and the Ilford XP2 400 are here to save you from your miserable uhm... misery. For a price

Browsing through Lomography and Flickr’s sample shots of the two rival films, I was skeptical if it really would give me pure black and white. Some photos turned out sepia while others turned muddy brown. But I was itching to try these out since the only lab that develops traditional black and white is really far away. So I bought it, It wasn’t cheap I’ll tell you that. One roll costs around 275 PHP, which is roughly around 6 or 7 American Dollars. I sure hope it was worth it.

And it was! The sepia and poop I mean, muddy brown images i feared so much weren’t present on my roll. (I bought one that was expired for over a year.) Here are some sample images from the Kodak BW400CN 35mm.

Ilford XP2 400 medium format

Pros

  • C41 processing so it can be developed at any lab
  • Just as good as any traditional Black and White film out there

Cons

  • Rather hard to find (Well, here in the Philippines it is.)
  • Expensive

Verdict

If you love the look and feel of Black and White film but don’t have the means to develop it I recommend to grab a couple of these. You know, if you have the money (but if you do can you give me some please.)

written by folieadude

5 comments

  1. herbert-4

    herbert-4

    Good Article!! Here's the results from a very heat damaged, outdated roll of 35mm Ilford XP2. It colour shifted fetchingly. Look at this: http://www.lomograph(…)tos/1288160 Read the story with the photos. I think the roll was >5 years outdated. Enjoy.

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  2. herbert-4

    herbert-4

    Above was wrong link... here's the right one for the album of abused XP2... http://www.lomograph(…)-amp-w_film sorry.

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  3. lokified

    lokified

    Ah, dangit, I was planning a review of Kodak bw400 myself in the coming weeks. I too had a muddy washed-out experience, but was pleasantly surprised by a new roll.

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  4. noe_arteaga

    noe_arteaga

    @lokified you should still do your review! it's great to get others' perspectives, too!

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  5. tanip

    tanip

    Your shots look great. Often labs (especially mini drugstore labs) will scan that film as color, hence the weirdo, often magenta/brown color casts. Yours were properly scanned as b&w!
    almost 2 years ago · report as spam

Read this article in another language

This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Deutsch & Spanish.