Sunday, October 08, 2017

A Well-done Bergger!

A few months back, I finally ordered a brick of the Bergger Pancro400, a new French B&W film. Bergger is well-known for its printing papers, but the film is a 2016 introduction. The film is a two (panchromatic) emulsion film, with the emulsion being composed of silver bromide and silver iodide, and is supposed to result in a wider exposure latitude.

First of all, it is well-packaged, with development information on the inside of the box. To me, that is a great touch and a detail that is very useful with a new film. Of course, the Bergger website has more information, but you don't have to go there, because the info is inside the box. I loaded the film into my Nikon N8008s, and shot it in upstate New York back in July. After I returned, I loaded it into one of my Jobo tanks and set it aside in my darkroom until I could have time to do the developing. Well, no matter how long one has been doing something, there is always a way to screw it up. The roll was a mess, as I had not tightened down the lid on the developing tank, and while the film sat out for a few days, enough dark leaked out that I had obvious light leaks on the film. While many of the shots were ruined, a few looked pretty good.
For the developing, pre-soak the film for 2 minutes. Dump the water and then develop in straight D-76 for 9 minutes. Of course, the usual water rinse for stop bath, and fix for 7 minutes. I chose the D-76 because it's a standard developer that many people use and one that I use a lot. My first roll was developed in HC-110B, per instructions, and I felt that the D-76 developed negs looked better to my eye.
Once dry, the film has a slight cupping to it in the scanner film holder, but lies mostly flat when everything is tightened down. It’s nowhere near as bad as Kodak Tri-X, but not as flat as Ilford HP-5+.

Since then I have shot several more rolls. All are at the box speed (ISO 400), and I did not do any bracketing. I like my results thus far. It's not every day that we get a new b&w emulsion on the market, and I think the Pancro400 fills a niche that will be appreciated by street photographers. Others have pushed the film to ISO 800 and 1600 with excellent results.

Overall, it’s a fast b&w film with nice grain, wide latitude (others have shot it 800 and 1600) and rich blacks. It’s worth a try, for sure. It also is available in 120, 4x5, 8x10, etc. I felt the price was also very good, at less than $6 per 36-exposure roll, making it very competitive with Kodak and Ilford's offerings.

Herewith are some examples.

My messed up roll

Another from the messed up roll

My neighbor's dog, Mollie.

Dinner at Frasier's Pub

Chamomile in  vase

Cobblestone Farm at dusk

Sun and bluebird


My office

Chelsea, MI

Chelsea, MI

Manchester, MI

1 comment:

Unknown said...

A good reason to look at a new stock. Thanks