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DIY C-41 to B&W Cross Process

If you already develop your own B&W films, you may want to try to develop C-41 color negatives with B&W chemicals :)

Since the digital madness started, it is now really hard to find good labs in order to have the films developed as you all aware of. If you use b&w film, it is even harder to find films and place which can develop them. At least the situation is like this in Turkey. So, a few months ago, I decided to prepare a dark room in my home and got the chemicals, purchased a scanner. Since then I’ve been doing all b&w developments at home.

On the other hand, as I said above also to find b&w films is getting harder nowadays. Because of that, I decided to try something I used to read from the internet and now I figured out how to develop C-41 regular color negative films with b&w chemicals at home.

Here are some tricks and the results… (I am going to refer to the materials that I used but of course you can try with different films and chemicals as well)

• Any analog 35mm film camera 
• Capital (Does anybody know this film actually??? Or did the seller make them at home? :) ) 400 ASA C-41 expired film (unknown date) (extremely cheap : 0,65 USD)
• Developer: Ilfosol 3
• Stopper: I used lemon salt which I bought from supermarket. (30 gr. With 1 lt. water) (But of course you can use regular stopper chemicals)
• Fixer: Ilford Rapid Fixer
• Ilford Phot Flo

• 2 rolls film taken with Holga 135BC in Masukiye – Izmit – Turkey
• Films developed 10 minutes at 26 degrees. (This was not I meant actually. Normally I develop b&w 100 ASA films at 20 degrees and I know c-41 films are developed at 38 degrees. I prepared the developer and measured, it was 26 degrees and I kept it that way. )
• Water treatment a little bit.. (15 sec. maybe)
• 30 sec with stopper
• Water treatment again.. (10-20 sec… I think)
• 6,5 minutes with fixer (normally I use fixer for 5 minutes but that time I decided to fix them for 6,5 min. I don’t know why?  )
• Then 15 minutes water treatment again..
• 1 min. with photo flo and no more water.
• After 45 min. drying, funny thing happened.

I looked at the negatives and orange mask was not removed. I could barely see something but nothing look like real image. But when I turned the negatives and through the light then I could see the images…
After cutting the negatives I scanned them with Canoscan 8800F scanner as if they were color negatives. So you can see the results. They look like sepia but if I scanned them as b&w the results would be b&w of course.

I hope this info helps to people who try new things and if you already develop your b&w films by yourself, you will find how easy is to develop C-41 films as b&w. So if some day all b&w film manufacturing stops, we can continue with C-41 with this method. And if some day chemical materials manufacturing stops we can start developing with coffee  And if some day all film manufacturing stops, better someone find a way to produce films at home by ourselves :)

Good luck.. 

written by smbilgin


  1. brettac


    I'll try it tomorrow :)

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. savarian


    I've learned through accident and then experimentation that kodak color films, processed the same as tri-x, produce well developed black and white negatives. The orange/brown mask is still present and thus the contrast is still lower when printing through an actual enlarger, but scanning works well.
    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  3. jvujnovi

    I just tried this last week with C-41 black and white (ilford) film. It was a roll I thought was unsuccessful (I was using a camera I was unfamiliar with and thought film wasn't exposed).
    Much to my pleasant surprise, the pictures came out good. Basically, I just followed directions for developing standard balck and white film. Voila! Les photos ont reussi.

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam