Colour film developed in B&W chemicals

Experimented this week in developing pound shop C41 colour film in B&W chemicals for an upcoming pinhole camera project for my scout group. The film is Agfa vista 200, and is close to, if not re-branded, fujicolor C200. There's no official word on this, but it's made by Fuji that's for sure.

Developing C41 film in traditional B&W developer is referred to as cross processing. Like the popular form of cross processing that is E6 slide film developed in ordinary colour film developer, colour film can also be developed in B&W developer. The only problem is the orange mask that is on most colour films.

Before I started, a number of sites were useful such as I found a recipe there for C200 with the developer I had, ilfosol 3. Also this Flickr group 'COLOR Films developed in B/W chemicals' is full of useful information

I followed the recipe, which is nothing out of the ordinary for black white film, only the C41 colour film needs a long time in a fixing agent. 7 Minutes of fixing was required at the end. I scanned the negatives as colour negatives, this lets the scanner software deal with the orange mask and gives a usable sepia image. Then I used my favourite opensource workflow Darktable to convert them to mono.


The images don't look like real black & white shots that films like Kodak Tri-X can produce, but they have a look to them. One or two actually remind me of old black white photography. The process isn't strictly 'traditional' or ideal for prints, but it will allow me to introduction kids to pinhole cameras and traditional photography on a low budget. 

 All the shots were taken on a Olympus xa2.