A picture is worth a thousand words… so this is going to be a very short review!
Bergger Pancro 400 reminds me a lot of XX by Kodak– it has a very classic long greyscale with just the right amount of grain and amazing highlight control. The quality control is very high, and I love that it’s available in all formats, 35mm through 8×10 sheet film. After extensive testing I have decided to make it my go-to 120 film… yeah it’s that good! In 4×5 the grain is very, very smooth and round. In 120 the grain is there, but very fine and beautiful which I think adds a wonderful depth to the scanned film. As for 35mm? There will be grain, but again it is a classic looking grain, which I love.
So, if you want lifeless, flat, smooth boring film? Bergger Pancro 400 is not for you! This film is classic… and combined with Df96 developer it hits all the right marks.
- Rate Bergger Pancro 400 at between 100-325…. I find 200/250 to be the sweet spot if you want full shadow detail. This holds true for all the developers I tested this film with.
- CineStill Df96 MonoBath developer produces the very BEST negatives I have seen with this film; it is a perfect combination.
- Try pulling the film with Df96… shoot it at 200 and pull 1/2 to 1 stop in development. Note: I did not do that in the sample image above but I could have… it’s a nice way to control high contrast scenes.
Viva la Revolution- Steve
PS- in case you missed it here is a link to the review I did on the CineStill Df96 developer.
An article I interviewed for in Singapore during XEdition 2018 has just published on Lifestyle Asia… its on how the iPhone/ camera phones and film simulation apps like Instagram, Hipstamatic and Huji Cam may actually be encouraging younger shooters to look towards film.
Running a test with my new ORTHOTOPOSCOPE SS camera (6×12) and a non optimized pinhole of around F70 (optimized is around F130 for the 25mm focal length). I am looking at the following films with EI from approx 100-1600 all in developers I have found that works best for maximum compensation and best overall tonality with each specific film. Reciprocity corrections were kept to just a gerous doubling to time— with this type of camera and work I like to keep it simple if possible. Exposures ranged from 1 second to 30 seconds all handheld as that is my standard way of shooting with a pinhole system.
- 400TX • Diafine
- 400Tmax • 510 Pyro
- Delta 3200 • 510 Pyro
- Fuji 400CN • C41
- Portra 400 • C41
- CineStill 800T • C41
All test results will be converted to B&W as that is my current need with these materials.
UPDATE: So I’ve looked at the film and I am very drawn to the Porta 400 and VERY drawn to the Cinestill 800T when both are converted to B&W. The regular B&W film was amazing but due to the pinhole capture I had a lot more range of possibilities in the conversion process that really helped to bring out crazy tonal separation in the two color negative materials.
So…. I did a film test recently that begs the question: is Fuji Neopan 400CN really just rebranded Ilford XP2 Super? This is my opinion, but it sure looks like it to me! Both films are best at EI 200 and have a very usable range from EI 50-640.
Look at the histogram- they are virtually identical! So very close, shot only a few minutes apart, any difference is attributable to the changing light outside. Hey- I still like XP2 Super… and it’s nice to know that when in the UK or Japan the 400CN is a go-to option as well.
Viva la Revolution- Stephen
I am heading to the Cotswolds (UK) in just over a week and running one last set of tests over the next few days…. looking at chromogenic B&W films (and converted Portra 400) compared to traditional B&W films processed in Pyro 510 (stand development)… all for the purposes of scanning.
PS- and yes that is Fuji Neopan 400CN… very hard to get here in the USA as it is not imported… made by Ilford for Fuji, based on XP2 Super but it is a different film made to Fuji Specs… time will tell.