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.
Click on the audio play button to listen to an hour interview with Arnold Newman conducted by my wife, author Eve Schaub. The interview was the source material for an article she wrote for PhotoVision Magazine back in 2002 featuring the father of the environmental portrait and his expansive photographic career. This interview has never been heard before anywhere and I am very happy to bring it to the Figital community.
Note from Eve Schaub: Holy cow, I sound young here. Although as a writer I had done interviews before, this was the first time I was speaking to someone we had actually studied in photo history in college! As far as I was concerned he was a living legend, and I was quite terrified. I’ll apologize in advance for the poor audio tape, not to mention all the nervous laughter.
But Arnold Newman was gracious, patient, and incredibly fascinating to talk to. There’s all kinds of great stuff here that never made it to the final PhotoVision article… including the story of how Newman’s wife used to smuggle guns for the Zionist movement, the untimely demise of Holiday magazine, and how the photographers went on strike for a year when Life demanded the rights to all their past work- and won.
Hope you enjoy it.
Eve Schaub is the author of Year of No Sugar (2014). Her next book is due to be released in January, 2017.
I have done my best to bring up the volume and equalize it as the original tape is all over the place.