Fuji Acros and Bergger Pancro 400

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markjwyatt

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This is an unscientific comparison, but may still be interesting. I shot a roll of Fuji Acros 100 (35mm) and one of Bergger Pancro 400 (120). I have one scene that is fairly close in both film types so thought it might be interesting to compare. In order to compare I used digitized negatives (In picking this section to post, I going by the rule that Simply scanning your Analog work and uploading it, does not make it "hybrid"). Keep in mind given both scenes encompass approximately the same angle of view, and due to the nature of how each as digitized, the 120 film has about 1.5x the linear scan resolution than the 35mm. This is part of the reason (if not all) that you can see utility cables clearly in the 120 shot (lower 1/3 of the scene), but less apparent in the 35mm. I do not intend to discuss digitization, but thought it necessary to mention the difference in scanning resolution to facilitate comparison of the images. Both scenes were shot with "normal" lenses for the format. Note that the grasses in both images are of similar "straw" coloration.

I have yet to get the negatives back for the Pancro 400, but I suspect the exposure for both images was reasonable. I shot the Acros at ISO 100 (negatives have good visual density). On the advice of The Darkroom (based on developing Pancro 400 in DDX), I used ISO 300 for this scene metered "average". I could find very little information on this film/developer combination, so sought the advice.

Scene1: Chino HIlls landscape
Pentax Spotmatic
Carl Zeiss 50mm f1.8 Ultron
Carl Zeiss yellow filter
35mm Fuji Acros 100
Developed (and scanned) by The Darkroom in Ilfotec DDX
Late July 2018; late afternoon


Oaks Landscape
by Mark Wyatt, on Flickr


Scene2: Chino HIlls landscaep
Mamiya C330f
Mamiya 80mm f2.8
Hoya X0 yellow-green filter
120 Bergger Pancro 400
Developed (and scanned) by The Darkroom in Ilfotec DDX
Late September 2018; late afternoon


hilly landscape
by Mark Wyatt, on Flickr

Both shots were taken in late afternoon; the 120 was clearly closer to sunset. Some clear differences include (Acros/Pancro):

(Fujifilm/Bergger)

ISO (100/400)

format (35mm/6x6cm)

filter (yellow/yellow-green): could account for some tonality differences between the grasses and oaks

lighting (further from sunset/closer to sunset): the Pancro shots have longer more obvious shadows

sky: the Acros shot was shot on a day with more dramatic clouds

cropping: the shots were cropped slightly differently

physical changes: a new trail showed up in the lower 1/3 of the shot in September, and clearly was not there in July.
On the other hand the hillside cracking in the same section looks like it was there in both, but made more apparent due to shadow details in the Pancro (sun position), and may have been enhanced in the Pancro due to either the scanning parameters (1/1.5) and/or the format (35mm/6x6 cm).

Any thoughts on this? Any preference of one film over the other (as opposed to format or scanning density)? I considered a poll, but based on the complexity of the comparison, it would likely be inconclusive.
 
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Doc W

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I have never used Acros but I use Panchro in 4x5 and 8x10 so here is another example. I hope it is useful. I shoot Panchro at EI 125 and develop it for 10'30" in D76.

Here is a scan of a 4x5 negative shot on a very bright and sunny day. There is lots of detail in the shadows in the towel and the highlights are just on the edge.. I would probably print this up a little more.

pancro 1-001-mod.jpg
 
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markjwyatt

markjwyatt

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I have never used Acros but I use Panchro in 4x5 and 8x10 so here is another example. I hope it is useful. I shoot Panchro at EI 125 and develop it for 10'30" in D76.

Here is a scan of a 4x5 negative shot on a very bright and sunny day. There is lots of detail in the shadows in the towel and the highlights are just on the edge.. I would probably print this up a little more.

View attachment 209100

That is a challenging shot. When I asked The Darkroom about recommended ISO for Pancro 400 in DDX, I actually got two responses, one was 'shoot at box ISO (400), but watch the shadows'. The other was 'shoot at ISO 300'. In the end I proposed to shoot at 300 for "average scenes" (i.e., with sky) or closer to 400 if you meter in the area of interest (especially shadows), and they agreed. I asked for their recommendation, as there seemed to be little information here or on other sites about developing Pancro 400 in DDX.
 

Peter Schrager

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I have never used Acros but I use Panchro in 4x5 and 8x10 so here is another example. I hope it is useful. I shoot Panchro at EI 125 and develop it for 10'30" in D76.

Here is a scan of a 4x5 negative shot on a very bright and sunny day. There is lots of detail in the shadows in the towel and the highlights are just on the edge.. I would probably print this up a little more.

View attachment 209100
So this is a asa125 speed film masquerading as a 400 speed ..where's the advantage over hp5 trix or tmy400?? Tonality?? Contrast ?? Feeling??
 

Doc W

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Some people use Panchro 400 as a substitute for Tri-X because it is similar but a lot cheaper.

I think you should run some simple tests to see what EI and development gives you the best results. So far, I like it better than FP4 and I plan to do some comparisons with HP5.
 
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markjwyatt

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I am looking at the negatives for both these (Acros and Bergger). The base+fog on Bergger seems very significant (almost diffusive) while the Acros is pretty clear. It may be the way it was developed and fixed in a commercial lab (The Darkroom, Ilfotech DDX). I suspect handling Bergger is best done in your own lab under your control. Anyone know a good lab to send Bergger Pancro 400? I have a roll of 135 and am having second thoughts on shooting it. I may be developing at home in the near future so maybe I can wait.

I don't want to put down The Darkroom. They have done a great job and most of my film (B&W and color). The Ektar 100 I just sent came out beautifully. Great color and scans. I am awaiting prints (and the negatives).
 

Andrew O'Neill

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I am looking at the negatives for both these (Acros and Bergger). The base+fog on Bergger seems very significant (almost diffusive) while the Acros is pretty clear. It may be the way it was developed and fixed in a commercial lab (The Darkroom, Ilfotech DDX). I suspect handling Bergger is best done in your own lab under your control. Anyone know a good lab to send Bergger Pancro 400? I have a roll of 135 and am having second thoughts on shooting it. I may be developing at home in the near future so maybe I can wait.

I don't want to put down The Darkroom. They have done a great job and most of my film (B&W and color). The Ektar 100 I just sent came out beautifully. Great color and scans. I am awaiting prints (and the negatives).

I shot Panchro400 and Acros over the weekend. Panchro for the first time... I too noticed the substantially higher b+f... almost like the film had been pre-fogged...so I don't think it's because of the lab you took it to. Both films were developed in Pyrocat-HD. EI 200 and 64, respectively. Another thing I noticed about Panchro, it also has quite a curl to it. The negatives look fine, though.. but not sure if I'll regularly buy it as $14 a roll up here is expensive.
 
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markjwyatt

markjwyatt

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I agree with the curl! I have Bergger Pancro 400 120 and Acros 100 135 both processed by the same lab:

Bergger120_Acros135.JPG


I then made a mask with the two blank sections

Bergger120_Acros135_mask.JPG


Shooting through the mask yields:

Bergger120_Acros135_mask_filter.JPG



I know some films use a clear base and others do not, but I find the amount of diffusion through the Bergger pretty high. Maybe it is just the way it is. The pictures turned out well, but the scans were very flat. I had to expand the dynamic range a lot to get them to look normal. The negatives may be a little thin (I exposed at ISO 300, but maybe 200-250 may be better).
 
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DREW WILEY

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???? Apparently this is a "comparison" between one product in 35mm, and another in 120 roll film. Of course they're dramatically different because 120 film requires a strong antihalation base. Pyro lends a differential stain in this case due to the thicker Bergger emulsion. Otherwise, comparing Acros to Bergger 400 is like attending a wine tasting offering Chenin Blanc in one cup, and gasoline in the other. Not much in common.
 

momus

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I have to agree w/ Drew, it's not really possible to do a comparison on this (unless we're talking about $4 a bottle Chenin Blanc, in which case the glass of gasoline might be a legitimate option).
 

DREW WILEY

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Some dramatic differences : Bergger 400 is panchromatic, while Acros is Orthopan - entirely different spectral sensitivity category. Acros is also unusual in that it has an almost nil long-exposure compensation. B 400 is obviously a rather grainy high speed film, while Acros is among the very finest grained med speed films. It's difficult to develop Acros to a high contrast gamma, while I'd surmise that is not the case with B400. It terms of detail capacity along with edge acutance, Acros is like very fine 320 grit sandpaper, while B400 more resembles a spiked ball used in Medieval combat. I'm not saying one is "better" than another. But I couldn't see myself using B400 in any format other than 8x10, if even that. If you like Triassic X, you might like B400 too. But it is available in sheet film version, which Acros sadly no longer is.
 

mjbovee

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FWIW I've heard rumors that Bergger Pancro is rebranded ORWO 74+ (or is an emulsion based on / closely resembling N74+).The datasheet for N74+ recommends development in D-96 (ORWO instruction no. 1182). I've personally gotten decent results developing ORWO N74+ in stock D-76 as well, but I don't mind a healthy dose of grain here and there.
 
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