Technical Information

Black-and-White Tips and Techniques for Darkroom Enthusiasts

PATHWAYS TO BLACK AND WHITE

The pathway you choose to produce a finished black-and-white image will depend on your original and your specific application. The most basic pathway is to make a positive black-and-white reflection print from a black-and-white negative. The following information describes many techniques for arriving at your final image.

KODAK BLACK-AND-WHITE FILMS

Kodak offers a wide variety of black-and-white films, including continuous-tone (or pictorial) films and copy (or laboratory) films in a variety of sheet and roll sizes.

Continuous-Tone Films. General-purpose continuous-tone films, such as KODAK TRI-X Pan Film and KODAK T-MAX Professional Films, are usually used to make black-and-white enlargements on conventional black-and-white papers. However, you can also use some of these films to make positive slides or display transparencies in a range of contrasts.

Kodak also makes a variety of continuous-tone black-and-white chemicals for processing these films.

Copy (Laboratory) Films. Kodak makes a variety of films for producing copy negatives, duplicate negatives, positives, and images with special contrast properties.

Copy negatives are usually made by photographing black-and-white reflection prints. For best results, use KODAK T-MAX 100 Professional Film or a special copy film, such as KODAK Professional Copy Film.

Duplicate negatives are copies of other negatives. You can make a duplicate negative in two ways. The first way is to make the duplicate negative directly in one exposure by using a special-purpose film such as KODAK PROFESSIONAL B/W Duplicating Film SO-132. The second way is to expose the original negative onto another negative film to obtain an interpositive, and then expose that interpositive onto a second piece of film.

In some copy applications, you may need to use a conventional developer in a non-conventional way or use a special-purpose developer. This applies especially when you need to alter the contrast of the original. You may want to experiment with some special-purpose developers such as KODAK Developers D-19 and D-8, KODALITH Developers, and the KODAK T-MAX 100 Direct Positive Film Developing Outfit.

KODAK BLACK-AND-WHITE PAPERS

Kodak papers are either fiber-base or resin-coated (RC), and are available in graded or variable-contrast types. Their most common function is to make black-and-white reflection positives (prints) from black-and-white film negatives.

Fiber-Base Papers. These papers are made from a chemically pure paper base coated with a bright-white barium sulfate layer over which the emulsion is coated. The base is highly absorbent and requires relatively long wash times to remove processing chemicals.

Resin-Coated Papers. These papers are coated with a waterproof resin on both sides, which prevents processing chemicals from penetrating the paper base. Therefore, processing and washing times are much shorter.

Graded Papers. You can control the level of contrast with these papers by selecting the appropriate grade number. A grade 2 paper is normal. For higher contrast, use grade 3, 4, or 5. For lower contrast, use grade 0 or 1. Not all contrast grades are available in all paper types. Graded papers are primarily used in applications such as portraiture, where negative contrast is controlled by standard lighting and processing conditions.

Variable-Contrast Papers. You can control contrast levels with these papers by using filters, such as KODAK POLYMAX Filters, to alter the blue/green ratio of the exposing light. POLYMAX Filters are available in kits and in sets of 90 and 150 mm squares in grades -1 through 5+ that produce 12 contrast levels ranging from very low to extremely high. In many cases, using these filters with variable-contrast papers will produce contrast ranges much greater than those available with graded papers.

Special-Purpose Papers. To make black-and-white prints from color negatives, you can use KODAK PANALURE SELECT RC Paper or KODAK EKTAMAX RA Professional Paper.

PANALURE SELECT RC Paper is processed in conventional black-and-white chemicals, but EKTAMAX RA Paper requires processing in KODAK EKTACOLOR RA Chemicals for Process RA-4. EKTAMAX RA Paper is designed for the convenience of finishers who want to make black-and-white prints without having to maintain a black-and-white process. It's an alternative to conventional black-and-white papers, and is not designed for long-term keeping.

To Make B/W Positive Slides from B/W Negatives
Start with an Original Image on Any of These KODAK Films To Produce a Final Image Exposed Onto One of These KODAK Films/Materials Color Sensitivity[1] Process in KODAK Developer[2]
Continuous-Tone B/W Negative Continuous-Tone Positive Transparency
Technical Pan
EKTAPAN
T-MAX 100 Professional
PLUS-X Pan
PLUS-X Pan Professional
VERICHROME Pan
TRI-X Pan
TRI-X Pan Professional
T-MAX 400 Professional
T-MAX P3200 Professional
Commercial
EASTMAN Fine Grain Release Positive 5302 Blue D-76, DEKTOL
Technical Pan (all sizes)[3] Pan, extended red HC-110, D-76
Line-Copy High-Contrast Positive Transparency
EKTAGRAPHIC HC Slide Ortho D-11, KODALITH Super RT
KODALITH Ortho 2556/6556, Type 3
KODALINE Rapid 2586
Technical Pan (all sizes) Pan, extended red DEKTOL, D-76, HC-110
Continuous-Tone Display Positive (contrast depends on original)
PROFESSIONAL DURAFLEX RA Print Material (reflection) Pan EKTACOLOR RA Chemicals for Process RA-4
PROFESSIONAL DURATRANS RA Display Material (transparency)
PROFESSIONAL DURACLEAR RA Display Material (transparency)
Fine Grain Positive 7302 Blue D-76, DEKTOL, D-11 (depending on contrast)
[1]Color-Sensitivity Classifications--
Blue-sensitive films are sensitive only to ultraviolet radiation and blue light. You can use a safelight with a KODAK OA Safelight Filter (greenish yellow), OC Safelight Filter (light amber), or 1A Safelight Filter (light red) during handling and processing. These filters permit a fairly good light level for darkroom work.
Orthochromatic films are sensitive to ultraviolet radiation and blue and green light. You can use a safelight with a KODAK 1A Safelight Filter (light red) during handling and processing. This filter also permits a fairly good light level in the darkroom.
Panchromatic films are sensitive to all colors of light as well as ultraviolet radiation. They produce gray-tone rendering of subject colors that approximate their visual brightness, and can provide a variety of gray-tone renderings when you expose them with filters. No safelight is recommended, although you can use a KODAK 3 Safelight Filter (dark green) with black-and-white films other than T- MAX Professional Films for a few seconds during processing. This filter transmits only enough light to determine contours, not detail.
Extended red
films are panchromatic films with extended red sensitivity. Do not use a safelight; handle these films in total darkness.

[2]Note: This list includes the Kodak developers most commonly used to process these films. See the developer or film instructions for processing and special agitation procedures.
[3]For low contrast, use KODAK TECHNIDOL Liquid Developer. For high contrast, use DEKTOL or HC-110 Developer.

To Make B/W Negatives from B/W Negatives or Prints
Start with a B/W Original Image To Produce a Final Image Exposed Onto One of These KODAK B/W Films Color Sensitivity[1] Process in KODAK Developer[2]
Continuous-Tone B/W Print Continuous-Tone Copy Negative
T-MAX 100 Professional Pan T-MAX, T-MAX RS, XTOL, D-76, HC-110
Professional Copy Ortho HC-110, DK-50
High-Contrast or Line-Copy B/W Print High-Contrast B/W Negative
Contrast Process Ortho Ortho D-8, HC-110
Technical Pan (all sizes) Pan, extended red DEKTOL, D-76, HC-110
Line-Copy B/W Negative
EKTAGRAPHIC HC Slide
KODALITH Ortho 2556, Type 3
Ortho D-11, KODALITH Super RT
Technical Pan (all sizes) Pan, extended red DEKTOL, HC-110
Continuous-Tone B/W Negative Duplicate B/W Negative
PROFESSIONAL B/W Duplicating SO-132 Ortho DEKTOL, DK-50
[1]Color-Sensitivity Classifications--
Blue-sensitive films are sensitive only to ultraviolet radiation and blue light. You can use a safelight with a KODAK OA Safelight Filter (greenish yellow), OC Safelight Filter (light amber), or 1A Safelight Filter (light red) during handling and processing. These filters permit a fairly good light level for darkroom work.
Orthochromatic films are sensitive to ultraviolet radiation and blue and green light. You can use a safelight with a KODAK 1A Safelight Filter (light red) during handling and processing. This filter also permits a fairly good light level in the darkroom.
Panchromatic films are sensitive to all colors of light as well as ultraviolet radiation. They produce gray-tone rendering of subject colors that approximate their visual brightness, and can provide a variety of gray-tone renderings when you expose them with filters. No safelight is recommended, although you can use a KODAK 3 Safelight Filter (dark green) with black-and-white films other than T-MAX Professional Films for a few seconds during processing. This filter transmits only enough light to determine contours, not detail.
Extended red
films are panchromatic films with extended red sensitivity. Do not use a safelight; handle these films in total darkness.

[2]Note: This list includes the Kodak developers most commonly used to process these films. See the developer or film instructions for processing and special agitation procedures.

To Make B/W Contrast-Reducing Masks
Start with This
Original Image
To Produce This Result with This
KODAK B/W Film
Color Sensitivity[1] Process in KODAK Developer[2]
Contrasty Continuous-Tone B/W Negative Contrast-Reducing Printing Mask
Pan Masking 4570 Pan HC-110, DK-50
T-MAX 100 Professional D-76, XTOL
Contrasty Continuous-Tone B/W Positive Contrast-Reducing Printing Mask
Pan Masking 4570 Pan HC-110, DK-50
T-MAX 100 Professional D-76, XTOL
Color Negative Contrast-Reducing Printing Mask
Pan Masking 4570 Pan HC-110, DK-50
T-MAX 100 Professional D-76, XTOL
Color Transparency Contrast-Reducing Printing Mask
Pan Masking 4570 Pan HC-110, DK-50
T-MAX 100 Professional D-76, XTOL
[1]Color-Sensitivity Classifications--
Blue-sensitive films are sensitive only to ultraviolet radiation and blue light. You can use a safelight with a KODAK OA Safelight Filter (greenish yellow), OC Safelight Filter (light amber), or 1A Safelight Filter (light red) during handling and processing. These filters permit a fairly good light level for darkroom work.
Orthochromatic films are sensitive to ultraviolet radiation and blue and green light. You can use a safelight with a KODAK 1A Safelight Filter (light red) during handling and processing. This filter also permits a fairly good light level in the darkroom.
Panchromatic films are sensitive to all colors of light as well as ultraviolet radiation. They produce gray-tone rendering of subject colors that approximate their visual brightness, and can provide a variety of gray-tone renderings when you expose them with filters. No safelight is recommended, although you can use a KODAK 3 Safelight Filter (dark green) with black-and-white films other than T- MAX Professional Films for a few seconds during processing. This filter transmits only enough light to determine contours, not detail.
Extended red
films are panchromatic films with extended red sensitivity. Do not use a safelight; handle these films in total darkness.

[2]Note: This list includes the Kodak developers most commonly used to process these films. See the developer or film instructions for processing and special agitation procedures.

To Make B/W PositiveTransparencies from B/W Negatives or Prints
Start with a B/W Original Image To Produce a Final Image Exposed Onto One of These KODAK B/W Films Color Sensitivity[1] Process in KODAK Developer[2]
Continuous-Tone B/W Negative Continuous-Tone Positive Transparency
T-MAX 100 Professional Pan T-MAX 100 Direct Positive Film Developing Outfit[3]
Rapid Process Copy Blue DK-50
Line-Copy B/W Print High-Contrast B/W Positive Transparency
PRECISION LINE, LPD4 or LPD7 Ortho D-11, KODALITH Super RT, DEKTOL
Technical Pan (all sizes) Pan, extended red T-MAX 100 Direct Positive Film Developing Outfit[3]
Line-Copy B/W Negative High-Contrast B/W Positive Transparency
Technical Pan (all sizes) Pan, extended red DEKTOL, D-76, HC-110
EKTAGRAPHIC HC Slide
KODALITH Ortho 2556/6556
Ortho D-11, KODALITH Super RT
[1]Color-Sensitivity Classifications--
Blue-sensitive films are sensitive only to ultraviolet radiation and blue light. You can use a safelight with a KODAK OA Safelight Filter (greenish yellow), OC Safelight Filter (light amber), or 1A Safelight Filter (light red) during handling and processing. These filters permit a fairly good light level for darkroom work.
Orthochromatic films are sensitive to ultraviolet radiation and blue and green light. You can use a safelight with a KODAK 1A Safelight Filter (light red) during handling and processing. This filter also permits a fairly good light level in the darkroom.
Panchromatic films are sensitive to all colors of light as well as ultraviolet radiation. They produce gray-tone rendering of subject colors that approximate their visual brightness, and can provide a variety of gray-tone renderings when you expose them with filters. No safelight is recommended, although you can use a KODAK 3 Safelight Filter (dark green) with black-and- white films other than T-MAX Professional Films for a few seconds during processing. This filter transmits only enough light to determine contours, not detail.
Extended red
films are panchromatic films with extended red sensitivity. Do not use a safelight; handle these films in total darkness.

[2]Note: This list includes the Kodak developers most commonly used to process these films. See the developer or film instructions for processing and special agitation procedures.
[3]The KODAK T-MAX 100 Direct Positive Film Developing Outfit is for producing continuous-tone positive black-and-white slides from T-MAX 100 Professional Film and for producing high-contrast positive black-and-white slides from KODAK Technical Pan Films.

To Make B/W Presentation Slides from Printed Text or Graphics
Start with a B/W Original Image To Produce a Final Image Exposed Onto One of These KODAK B/W Films Color Sensitivity[1] Process in KODAK Developer[2]
Typewritten or Computer Print- Out (White Background) High-Contrast Presentation Slide or Reverse-Text Title Slide (Black Background)
Technical Pan (all sizes) Pan, extended red DEKTOL, D-76, HC-110
EKTAGRAPHIC HC Slide
KODALITH Ortho 2556/6556
Ortho D-11, KODALITH Super RT
[1]Color-Sensitivity Classifications--
Blue-sensitive films are sensitive only to ultraviolet radiation and blue light. You can use a safelight with a KODAK OA Safelight Filter (greenish yellow), OC Safelight Filter (light amber), or 1A Safelight Filter (light red) during handling and processing. These filters permit a fairly good light level for darkroom work.
Orthochromatic films are sensitive to ultraviolet radiation and blue and green light. You can use a safelight with a KODAK 1A Safelight Filter (light red) during handling and processing. This filter also permits a fairly good light level in the darkroom.
Panchromatic films are sensitive to all colors of light as well as ultraviolet radiation. They produce gray-tone rendering of subject colors that approximate their visual brightness, and can provide a variety of gray-tone renderings when you expose them with filters. No safelight is recommended, although you can use a KODAK 3 Safelight Filter (dark green) with black-and- white films other than T-MAX Professional Films for a few seconds during processing. This filter transmits only enough light to determine contours, not detail.
Extended red
films are panchromatic films with extended red sensitivity. Do not use a safelight; handle these films in total darkness.

[2]Note: This list includes the Kodak developers most commonly used to process these films. See the developer or film instructions for processing and special agitation procedures.

To Make B/W Reflection Prints from B/W or Color Negatives
Original Image Finished Print on KODAK Paper Process in KODAK Developer[1]
Continuous-Tone B/W Negative Graded Fiber-Base Print
Contact-Printing Paper: AZO DEKTOL, POLYMAX T
Projection Paper: ELITE Fine-Art[2] DEKTOL, POLYMAX T
EKTALURE[2] EKTAFLO, Type 2; DEKTOL
KODABROMIDE[2] DEKTOL, POLYMAX T
Graded RC Print
KODABROME II RC DEKTOL, POLYMAX T
Reflection Print Suitable for Oil Coloring
RC: P-MAX Art RC DEKTOL, POLYMAX T
Fiber: EKTALURE[2] EKTAFLO, Type 2; DEKTOL
Selective-Contrast RC Print
POLYCONTRAST III RC DEKTOL, POLYMAX T
POLYMAX II RC DEKTOL, POLYMAX T
Selective-Contrast Fiber-Base Print
POLYMAX Fiber DEKTOL, POLYMAX T
POLYMAX Fine-Art DEKTOL, POLYMAX T
EKTAMATIC SC DEKTOL
Continuous-Tone Color Negative Graded RC Print
PANALURE SELECT RC DEKTOL, POLYMAX T
EKTAMAX RA Professional
(for Process RA-4)
EKTACOLOR RA Chemicals
for Process RA-4
[1]Note: This list includes the Kodak developers most commonly used to process these papers. See the developer or paper instructions for processing and special agitation procedures.
[2]To be discontinued by December 1999.

GLOSSARY--
Continuous Tone An image that exhibits a smooth gradation of tones or shades of gray from light to dark. Continuous-tone images may be positive or negative and have high or low contrast.
Contrast The difference in brightness between the lightest and darkest tones of an image or scene. Images or scenes that exhibit very light to very dark tones with few intermediate tones are called "high-contrast." "Low-contrast" images are usually characterized by a short range of tones--such as middle gray to dark gray, without any black or white.
Copy Negative A negative made from a positive print for the purpose of making additional prints by conventional photographic means. Can also be used to correct defects or adjust the contrast of an original image to make subsequent printing easier, such as when hundreds of prints must be made from a negative that is difficult to print.
Duplicate Negative A negative made from a negative that matches the contrast and characteristics of the original as closely as possible. Often made when an original is too valuable to be subjected to frequent handling. Usually made from direct-positive materials or by the "interpositive" method.
Internegative Usually a negative made from a transparency for the purpose of making prints by conventional photographic means.
Interpositive A specific type of transparency, or film positive, that is the first step in a two-step negative duplication. A negative is printed onto a negative-working film that reverses the tonal values. The resulting film positive is then printed onto negative film, which restores the tonal relationships of the original negative. Requires rigorous control to maintain the exact contrast of the original.
Line or Line Copy An image exhibiting only solid blocks or lines of tone with no tonal gradations, such as text on a page. These images may be positive or negative.
Mask An intermediate image made from a negative or transparency to alter the characteristics of the original. The mask is sandwiched in register with the negative or transparency to increase or reduce contrast.
Negative A developed photographic image in which the tonal relationships of the original scene are reversed--light tones are recorded as dark and dark tones as light. The negative is then printed to restore a normal, or positive, image.
Negative Working A photographic material that reverses the tones in an image. Conventional photographic materials are negative working because light-sensitive compounds usually darken or increase in visual density with increasing exposure to light. Therefore, a negative-working camera film reverses the tones of the original scene, and a companion negative-working print material reverses the tones again, back to their normal, or positive, relationship.
Positive A photographic image with light-to-dark tonal values similar to those in the original scene. The result of the photographic process is usually a positive image. If it is on paper or a similar opaque support, it's called a print. If the positive image is on a clear support, such as glass or film, it's called a transparency or slide.
Positive Working A photographic material that retains the tonal values of the original scene (rather than reversing them). Light areas in the original create light areas in the camera film, etc. Also called "direct positive" because it does not require a separate printing (interpositive) step as negative-working films do.
Print A print is usually a positive image on an opaque support, such as fiber-base or resin- coated paper. The image is viewed by light reflected from the print surface.
Transparency A positive image on a transparent or translucent support, such as film; also called a "film positive." The image is viewed by light transmitted through the support.

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O-3  • October, 1999