For long, my go-to ISO 400 film in 120 format has been Kodak Tri-X 400. However, since I read about Bergger Pancro 400 on EMULSIVE, I wanted to give this film a go. Obtaining film in India is a challenge, and getting the Bergger is next to impossible. But, thanks to a courier from the US I got my hands on 4 rolls of this film.
The Bergger website states that this film is made of two panchromatic emulsions of different grain size giving the film a wider latitude. I usually develop all my Tri-X 400/any film using the very lazy Thorton Two-Bath developer. A lot has been written on the web about this developer, but I love it for its simplicity and ease of finding the required chemicals.
Tri-X 400 developed in this formula gives exceptional latitude and the grain size is very controlled when compared to Rodinal. Naturally, I was curious how Pancro would fare in my favourite developer as well.
The frames were shot on my Pentax 6×7 (MLU version) with an SMC-Pentax 105mm f2/4 lens at a market in Bangalore with the light changing often, indoors/outdoors and some deep shadows. The film was shot at EI 400 and developed in the Thornton Two-Bath developer for 5 mins with no pre-wash (Bergger does recommend a 1 min pre-wash).
The resulting images are packed with tonality and very sharp. The highlights/shadows hold details, and the mid-tone range contrast is very pleasing. As for the grain size, it’s very fine and prominent only if you have a severely underexposed shot. Sample images showcase the capability of the film, and also the Pentax 67 as a street shooter 🙂
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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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