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04-12-2019, 08:11 AM   #1
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Any experience with Bergger?

I've shot 4 rolls of Bergger, 3 in 120 and one in 135, and my experience has been very uneven. I shot the first roll a couple of years ago and was happy with the results. Then Bergger disappeared for a while and I couldn't find any either through the company, or retailers (eBay aside). Last summer I bought some Bergger on eBay and shot a roll of 135. The results can be best described a soup. I also shot a roll in 120 and the results were good, aside from me messing up exposure in some challenging lighting. I shot a 120 roll a couple of weeks ago and got around to scanning it yesterday. The results are soup again. Will post some examples when I get home today. I am scanning my grandfather's archive shot between late 50s and early 90s on terrible Soviet film (well, at least older film was pretty bad) and my bad Bergger results remind me of that.

So I am not sure what's going on. Is it inconsistent Bergger quality? Or inconsistent development? It doesn't help that I shot all my rolls using different equipment. Pentax 645 with Sonnar 2.8/180 and 2.8/120 was good. LX with Helios 40 and Primoplan 1.9/58 was bad. Mamiya RB67 with 4.5/180 was good. Mamiya RB67 with 4/150 SF looks bad so far. After I got bad results from the 135 roll I thought that maybe it was because I was shooting poor (from the optical point of view) lenses wide open. But now my latest results from the RB67 and 150mm SF don't look nice either...

What has your experience been like?

04-12-2019, 08:47 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by IgorZ Quote
What has your experience been like?
My experience has been that they have not provided stock to dealers for almost a year (longer?).

Edit: I spoke too soon! Apparently they are delivering product again, but not 35mm.


Steve
04-12-2019, 11:08 AM   #3
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They announced recently that 35mm is now being restocked. I think Ars Imago posted on their social media that 35mm is back. I love Bergger Pancro 400 - it's pretty much the only B&W I've used the past two years with the exception of some P3200.

Minolta Autocord: Bergger Pancro 400 | Dave Morgan | Flickr
Minolta Autocord: Bergger Pancro 400 | Dave Morgan | Flickr
Minolta Autocord: Bergger Pancro 400 | Dave Morgan | Flickr

Last edited by clavecinist; 04-17-2019 at 11:17 AM. Reason: Added some examples
04-12-2019, 08:06 PM   #4
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Here are some examples, as promised. The photo with the flowers looks pretty good when I apply denoising in Darktable.


Last edited by IgorZ; 05-06-2019 at 07:34 AM.
04-15-2019, 01:24 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I have only experience with 120 Pancro 400... All souped in Caffenol CLCS (Cold Start) stand 80 min. @15-20C









4 photos pano
04-15-2019, 12:59 PM   #6
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Your results look much better than my recent results, and remind me of results I used to get with Bergger. Do you have any theories as to why my photos come out like that?
04-16-2019, 01:54 AM   #7
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You didn't say how you developed the films.
-Is the film dark, uniformly grey or nearly clear ? Dark is overexposure or overdevelopment, grey is old developer or light exposure and clear is underexposed, underdeveloped.
-As you are in Canada, perhaps the films have been X-rayed when mailed from Europe, which can cause a uniform pre-exposition of the film. You should buy a film from a local reseller to see if the result is the same...
-Is it newly mixed developer and fixer ?
-Constant temperatures for pre-wash, developing, fixing and washing is also important.
04-16-2019, 05:57 AM   #8
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I purchased some Bergger Pancro 400 but haven't tried it due to reports of inconsistent results.
Perhaps when another batch has been released best use practices will become more widely known.

Chris

04-16-2019, 09:27 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by fs999 Quote
You didn't say how you developed the films.
That is a good point, given that Pancro 400 is a dual emulsion film. I just reviewed the film's datasheet and was struck by the long development times with standard developers and a little surprised at the recommended agitation scheme. Something tells me that following that playing it safe by following instructions and using fresh standard developers might be wise with this film.

QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
I purchased some Bergger Pancro 400 but haven't tried it due to reports of inconsistent results.
Same here...though a good number of the posted results I have seen have been exceptional. With any luck they have worked out the bugs now that their products are back on the shelves.


Steve
04-16-2019, 11:21 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by fs999 Quote
You didn't say how you developed the films.
-Is the film dark, uniformly grey or nearly clear ? Dark is overexposure or overdevelopment, grey is old developer or light exposure and clear is underexposed, underdeveloped.
-As you are in Canada, perhaps the films have been X-rayed when mailed from Europe, which can cause a uniform pre-exposition of the film. You should buy a film from a local reseller to see if the result is the same...
-Is it newly mixed developer and fixer ?
-Constant temperatures for pre-wash, developing, fixing and washing is also important.
I took them to the lab. All of my 4 rolls of Pancro went to the same lab. Two were good, two were bad. I am not really sure what they do, but I have never had any problems with any other films, aside from some greasy fingerprints

Thanks for the tip, I will check the negatives to see what they looked like. Having said that, I usually don't tweak my scans much, if at all, and if I do, I just add some contrast.
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