Kodak Discontinues BW400CN Film

With Kodak's release of another discontinuation notice, one more high profile film bites the proverbial dust. BW400CN has a reputation for being a creamy toned, tight grained film. The smooth grain is a nice balance to the Tri-X stock, admittedly I prefer the latter but still sad to see it go. A collective sigh was seen throughout film shooter groups, some even soliciting Kodak reps for stockpiles of the film.

Due to a steady decline in sales and customer usage, Kodak Alaris is discontinuing KODAK PROFESSIONAL BW400CN Film. Product should continue to be available in the market for up to six months, depending on demand.
We empathize with the Pro photographers and consumers who use and love this film, but given the significant minimum order quantity necessary to coat more product combined with the very small customer demand, it is a decision we have to make.

Ilford however, continues to produce it’s C-41 black and white film XP-2 which may be an alternative when the stocks inevitably run dry. 

B&H currently has stock left. If this is one of your favorites you’d better hoard some while you still can. 

[via Kodak]

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15 Comments
Ray Larose's picture

I am a huge fan of the Tri-X and Portra 400 films from Kodak. I really hope they continue to produce those...well...forever. It's the only stock I shoot now.

Kyle Ford's picture

I'm right there with you, Tri-X just feels right to shoot with the M3 and Portra is wonderful. I don't see these two stocks going anywhere.

Jennifer Kelley's picture

I love Tri-X as well. It's the first film I shot, ever. It's what I used all through college and to this day I "see" everything in Tri-X.

Matthew Taggart's picture

Sad to see another film go. . .

Ralph Berrett's picture

I cut my teeth on trix there were times KODAK PROFESSIONAL BW400CN Film was so convenient and it scanned extremely well. Such as this image

https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.fstoppers.com/styles/full/s3/photos/10687/07...

Fetching image ...
Anonymous's picture

That's a gorgeous image, and yes, totally agree with you on scanning. This film was so easy to scan it became my favorite B&W film. A royal bitch to print, in my wet darkroom at least, w/o a color cast. I have a good stock of this film and will buy more if finances allow.

Zach Sutton's picture

Welcome to the team, Kyle.

Kyle Ford's picture

Thank you kind sir, glad to be a part of such a great group!

Serge Chabert's picture

I do not understand why, instead of discontinuing film, Kodak did not try to sell the film division to another company.

Jennifer Kelley's picture

Well.... I think I'm going to need a bigger fridge. I may go get a dorm fridge just for my hoard of discontinued film.

Kyle Ford's picture

That's exactly what I'm using for all my film storage. Keeps it separate and then my guests don't think I'm a nut job for having more film than food.

Jennifer Kelley's picture

I just got rid of a ton of darkroom equipment so I'd have more space for new digital gear and studio equipment... and in comes more film lol.

My guests already know I'm a nut job ;) The secret was out when I nearly tackled my mother who almost opened a canister of Kodak HIE at Thanksgiving.

Spy Black's picture

Considering this film actually sucked, it's no surprise it's being discontinued. It's not even needed. If you want to shoot B&W and want to process locally using C-41, simply use any standard color film and either print using panchromatic B&W paper (and if you're doing that you're already shooting and developing real B&W film LOL!), or scan it in color and convert to B&W in your computer and print it out on your inkjet.

This film was really a no man's land. Prints made at the local processing store always had whatever color casts their poorly maintained print processor dished out that day (no offense to the untrained non-photographic staff at places like CVS, Walmart, etc., they simply don't know).

If you're going to really want B&W, you need to shoot with real B&W film and either process it yourself or send it out to get processed if you're not near a major metropolitan area (and if so, really, it's not that difficult to do it yourself, and you'll be glad you did). For the time being there are still options with B&W film, and in the long run they might very well outlive color film.

Michael Osborne's picture

I used this stock when I first started shooting and I can't tell you how many time I told my local riteaid print B&W, then I would get my prints back with a color cast. I know how to process my own film now and I don't know why people take there B&W film to a lab. It's easy to process and you can push or pull it for as much time as you want and chose the developer you want to use for the stock your using.

Ralph Hightower's picture

I am depressed about this announcement. In 2012, when I used B&W film exclusively, of the 62 rolls that I shot, 75% was probably BW400CN. I like the convenience of getting it developed locally instead of having to send traditional B&W film out of state for developing. The scanned BW400CN does have a sepia tone, which I had to adjust in Lightroom to make it look like traditional B&W. My scanned images of Ilford XP2 had a cyan tone to adjust.