A reader asked about black-and-white shooting, so I reiterated:
- Outdoors, use an orange filter otherwise the sky washes out to white. A yellow filter is OK, but a weaker effect. A red filter turns blue sky much darker, and combined with a polarizer makes it black — all while the clouds stay white.
- Use about a stop more exposure than you think. Set the ISO to about half the rated ISO for starters. This will help make your blacks black and detailed, not gray and dull.
- You have to get your system calibrated. Learn to make a "perfect proof," which means to use the minimum exposure needed to get the maximum black at the film edge on your contact sheet.
- Make a test strip to determine the minimum time needed to get the film edges as 100% black as the paper around it. Use whatever the first time on the test strip os that there is NO visible difference between the black of the film base and the black of the paper next to it.
- Once you get that down, set your camera exposure (ISO) to look correct in these proofs.
- If you need different contrast, try different papers, presuming you're developing your film per manufacturers directions.
- Trying to get the process nailed down with real optical printing takes a lot of trial and error.
- Personally I send my film to NCPS for processing. Local labs rarely develop B&W film properly. I have NCPS scan everything and then I do my "printing," burning and dodging in my computer.