Reviewing B&W film scans

You can review color slides very easily. They all go thru the same standardized process no matter what lab develops the film. We all look at the same non-interpreted results on a light table. B&W film on the other hand has waaayyy too many variables. To review a black and white film you would have to explain your process in detail so it can be replicated by the person reading your review. 

For example:

  • Tri-X exposed at EI 400
  • Developed in D76 1+1 using distilled water at 20 degree Celcius
  • Using 3 agitation cycles every minute after initial agitation 20 cycles within 1 minute.
  • Total dev time 12:00

Film was then printed onto

  • Adox MCC110 glossy 5x7 paper
  • using Adox MCC developer 1+4 dilution with distilled water at 20 degrees
  • constant agitation for 2:00 mins in developer
  • on LPL 7700 enlarger with a filter head and a Nikkor 80mm lens

Developing a few B&W films according to the massive dev chart and reviewing scans of the negatives makes little sense. Scanners are different. I don't like scanning yet I have five scanners:

  • Nikon Coolscan 5000 something
  • OpticFilm 8200i
  • Canon Flatbed Mark II something  
  • Pakon F135
  • Frontier SP500

I get very different results from the different scanners. What scanners also do is auto-correct badly exposed or developed negatives.  So when I review B&W film in the future I'll try to concentrate on the negatives and how they print and how they scan rather than comparing scans of one film to another. 

In case you didn't know. Ilford Delta 3200 in Microphen is magic.