Select Page

Film review: Bergger Pancro 400 Part 3 – 35mm EI 1600 (bracketed +/- 1 stop)

Welcome to part three of my Bergger Pancro 400 review series, which this time takes the film to EI 1600, while maintaining the +/-1 stop brackets that you’ve come to know and love.

In case you’re new to the series, you can read part one, which covers Pancro 400 in 35mm shot at EI 400 and bracketed +/- 1 stop, and part two, which describes the film when shot at EI 800 (again bracketed +/- 1 stop).

My aim with this series is to provide an exhaustive reference of this film shot and developed at EI 400, 800 and 1600 in 35mm and 120 formats (with each bracketed as described above). I’ll also be publishing results of developing both formats of this film as slides – spoiler alert for slide film nerds: it has very high DMax. In the future, I hope to supplement 35mm and 120 tests with those on 4×5 sheet film.

So here we are, Bergger Pancro 400 in 35mm format shot at EI 1600 and bracketed +/- 1-stop. That’s a two-stop push process (expansion development) combined with over / as metered / under exposure. Here’s how this article breaks down:

Here’s another recap of this film, in case you haven’t already read the previous parts:

BERGGER, Pancro 400 is a two-panchromatic emulsion film, each emulsion being composed of silver bromide and silver iodide. The film is offered in 35mm, 120, plate and large / ultra large formats. No word yet if we’ll ever see it in 110 format but there’s always hope for us Pentax Auto 110 fans.

In 35mm, Pancro 400 uses a 135 micron acetate base, which should make for some interesting results when I publish my slide development tests. In 120 and sheet film format this base is switched out for a 100 micron PET base.

Futher details are provided in part one of this series.

 

 

Shooting / development methodology

As with both tests so far, the film was shot using a Nikon F100 set to manual and a Nikkor AF-D 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 zoom/macro lens. The lens was set to a constant f/5.6. The camera was used in spot meter mode and each frame was bracketed with a single stop of over exposure and under exposure.

I developed the film at 20C in Rodinal 1+25 and for this two stop push process, I the roll was developed for 16 minutes using my “normal” development method of 60 seconds of continuous agitation followed by 10 seconds more at the top of every minute thereafter. I will continue using Rodinal for the remaining tests in order to provide consistency across the series.

After development, Ilford Ilfostop and Rapid Fixer were used at the recommended dilutions for one and five minutes respectively. Per Bergger’s instructions, the film was fixed for an additional minute before being dunked in Kodak Photoflo and then rinsed in tap water for a further five.

As with parts one and two, the film was scanned on an Epson v750 scanner with minimal post production: cropping/flipping as necessary and the occasional light straighten.

The six sample sets you see below show the underexposed frame, correctly exposed frame and overexposed frame in that sequence.

Unlike the overcast and partly sunny weather I experienced for the first two rolls, this roll was shot under pretty great light!

 

 

First impressions: Bergger Pancro 400 (35mm) at EI 1600

Sample 01
The order of images for this and other sample sets is: overexposed one stop, exposed per meter reading and underexposed one stop. Click or tap on the thumbnails below and use the gallery to navigate left and right.

 

 

Sample 02

 

 

Sample 03

 

 

Sample 04

 

 

Sample 05

 

 

Sample 06

 

 

Conclusions

As with most of the samples from the EI 400 and 800 tests, my preference leans towards the underexposed frames. Sample 03, 05 and 06 especially. The richness of the blacks and purity of the whites (06 in particular) is what catches my attention here.

The film has certainly developed a reputation for flexibility with me, and even shot at box speed one could conceivably take a roll out for an entire day’s shooting from dawn past dusk, and rely on that flexibility to shoot anything from the brightest midday sun to the darkest night.

That said, I’ll wait for the results of some night time testing before I put an official stake in that claim.

I finished off part one of this series of short reviews saying that I’d developed a liking for this film and saw a lot of potential that the “wide latitude” touted by Bergger. Part two built on this, especially considering the mediocre light I shot the film under.

With the third test here, and my 120 and 35mm reversal development tests still unpublished at the time of writing, I can safely say that this film has found a place in my stable of dependable, “workhorse” fast black and white films.

That it adds a certain element of character to the equation is all the better and I no longer need to go scouting the internet for Kodak’s discontinued Double-X AEROGRAPHIC 2405 film any more – bonus.

I should state that Rodinal isn’t the optimal developer to use when pushing but still, I’m very pleased with the results here. I will be trying other developers over the coming months to understand how the character of the film changes but the remainder of these tests (with exception of reversal development) will continue to use Rodinal.

On the subject of pushing, push processing typically bunches up highlights and shadows resulting in a higher contrast look with less fine detail but the feeling I have when comparing the samples above to those shot and developed at EI 400 is that Pancro 400 doesn’t seem to respond in quite the same way as many films.

 

 

What’s next

Part four will be our very soon, where I’ll be showing how the film deals with the same under / as metered / over exposure when it’s subjected to a reversal development process – aka Bergger Pancro 400 slides. Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading and as ever, keep shooting folks.

~ EMULSIVE

 

 

Contribute to EMULSIVE

EMULSIVE NEEDS YOU. The driving force behind EMULSIVE is knowledge transfer, specifically engendering more of it in the film photography community. You can help by contributing your thoughts, work and ideas.

Help drive an open, collaborative community – all you need do is drop us a line and we’ll work something out.

 

 




About The Author

EMULSIVE

Self confessed film-freak and film photography mad-obsessive and OVERLORD at emulsive.org. I push, pull, shoot, boil and burn film everyday, and I want to share what I learn.

3 Comments

Comments are welcomed and encouraged on EMULSIVE but there are some instances where comments will deleted, and authors of those comments banned. They are as follows:

  • Comments deemed to be spam or solely promotional in nature will be deleted. Including a link to relevant content is permitted, but comments should be relevant to the topic at hand.
  • Comments including profanity, containing language or concepts that could be deemed offensive will be deleted. Note this may include abusive, threatening, pornographic, offensive, misleading or libelous language.
  • Comments that attack an individual directly will be deleted, as will comments that harass other contributing authors. In short, please be respectful toward others.

 

 

  1. I’ve just read thru all three parts of your review of Bergger Pancro 400. I think your images came out great showing the latitude of this film at various speeds.

    I have shot Pancro 400 in 35mm format, developed in Rodinal at the same dilution and temperature as you and with same agitation scheme. Used water rinse as stop bath, fixed for five minutes but did not add the extra minute of fixing. Rinse 10 minutes with 30 seconds in Photo Flo rinse. My film has much more pronounced grain, heavier than both Tri-X and HP5. I wonder if the difference is in scanning. I scan for a neutral output on a Nikon Coolscan V film scanner at 4000 resolution. I wonder if the higher resolution of my scanner is emphasizing the grain. Any thoughts on this?

    Reply
    • That’s very strange, Anthony. Can you drop me a line via FB/Twitter/Instagram DM or the contact page on the site? Let’s see if we can compare some 100% crops. I’ll happily go and rescan a few frames from each roll at a comparable resolution to yours, too.

      Reply
  2. Dang, the blacks look so good – deep! My first roll is being sent to the lab tomorrow and hope to have results by week end. This makes me very hopeful!

    Reply

Add your voice to the discussion

Recent Tweets

Categories

Pin It on Pinterest

Get EMULSIVE updates to your inbox

Get EMULSIVE updates to your inbox

Join our daily and weekly newsletters to receive the latest from EMULISVE.

* indicates required
EMULSIVE News

You have successfully subscribed. Please check your email for our confirmation link.

%d bloggers like this: