After much consideration, I finally purchased a few rolls of the new Bergger Pancro 400. I’ve only shot the first roll, so this is an early first impression.
Berrger Pancro 400 is one of a handful of new films from 2017, and a completely new emulsion from the French company. It’s always refreshing to see some resurgence in the world of film.
The best way to check out film is to load a roll and have a go with it. So I loaded my trusty Pentax MZ-6 and attached the DA*200 f/2.8. It’s a great combination, nicely balanced and second nature to use, especially when I have the battery grip attached to the camera.
For a couple of days I carried the camera to work and out for a walk or two, looking for shots that would tax the latitude of the film. And I found them, from mid-day sun to dark of night, the fast 400 speed film handled every situation much better than I expected.
The film has enough contrast that I didn’t feel the need to push the contrast up in post processing. I also like the film for shadow detail, though at times it is at the expense of blowing highlights.
I process my own film and did this one with Adox R09, what they claim to be the replacement of Rodinal, which was always my favorite developer. I noticed immediately the film base is thick, much like older films. I’ll point out also that Bergger states this film needs a longer fix time than normal with a non-hardening fixer. This I can attest to. I fixed the film initially at 6 minutes, the recommended time, but ended up fixing an additional 4 minutes. Something to consider.
You can check out the company website here. One final thought; it is a very affordable film. I’ll have to shoot a few more rolls, but I may have found my replacement for the original Agfa APX films.