The first question you probably will ask is “Why the hack should I develop a colour film in a b/w developer?” The answer is simple: Just in order to try it ;-) Well, the other day I had two rolls of T120 rollfilms on my desk: a Kodak Portra 400 (colour), and a Fuji Neopan Acros (b/w). Late (very late) in the evening, and after having an appreciable amount of red wine, I decided to thread the b/w film into the tank. And so I did; I went into the bathroom, and I was glad, that threading worked with the first trial (normally I need 3 or 4 trials). Back in my room, I noticed a roll of Fuji Neopan Acros lying on my desk …
ARRGGHH! I had the Kodak threaded into the tank – dummkopf, me … So what to do? I thought about what pictures I had taken, and I found, that there were two with rather beautiful colours (hopefully). Not enough, I decided, to fumble the film out of the tank again.
I knew, that somebody had tried to develop a C41 in Agfa Rodinal with a pretty good result, of course the result was b/w, but with very good contrast. So I compared the developing times of some films using Rodinal 1:25 and Caffenol-C, and I came to a factor of roughly 3 when using Caffenol-C instead of Rodinal. That brought me to approximately 30 minutes of developing time for a 400 ISO C41. The result was surprisingly good: good contrast, good grey tones, and good sharpness. So the experiment was successful. You may have a look at , , and .
Back to the initiatory question: “Why should I do?” The answer now is: “Because it works!” Honestly , I think, that in the next supermarket a 35mm colour negative film is less expensive than a b/w film purchased in the ‘net. And finally, this successful experiment means, that I can develop a Kodak BW400CN, a b/w film for C41 developing process, in my favourite Caffenol soup. QED the other day – I have one in one of my Voigtländers.