Well, it looks like Christmas came a little early for me with the arrival of the first round of Silberra films from their Indigogo campaign. And while I’m still waiting on the 120 film I got, I figured might as well give you my first impressions of the film before the full reviews drop in the Spring. For those who followed the crowdfunding campaign and subsequent rough ride following the end of the campaign, like our friends at Film Ferrania, Silberra faced several challenges in getting the new film mass produced and out to a broader market. But when I found the box waiting for me in the mail cubby, I was rather pleased. And having five rolls of their 100 and 160 panchromatic films, I decided to get two shot first to give the first look and feel to the film.
Okay, so I do have to say I’m blown away by the results from this first roll. As soon as I pulled the roll from the tank I knew I had a winner. But the real magic was when I scanned the film. Immediately I saw that the tonality and contrast are dead on point. The film is also sharp and far less grainy than I was expecting. Now it probably helped that I used Microphen as a developer. Now the reason I went with Microphen is that I don’t have it down for the full review of the films later in 2019. So based on the first look at Pan100 I’m excited to see what else the film can do!
I think I much prefer Pan160 over Pan100. That’s not saying that Pan100 is a bad film, it’s excellent for that bright outdoor look. But if you’re looking for something with a bit more contrast, than Pan160 is your film. And you don’t sacrifice much, such there’s a bit more grain, but you do have a sharp image, excellent tones, and those deep blacks and clean whites. Again Microphen did a superb job in developing the film, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the film can do in other developers.
Now a couple notes to round out this post. First is the DX code marks on the film cassettes, the colour is different from what you’re used to, being of a copper colour rather than silver. The F5 had no issues reading the marks and set the ISO setting correctly. And there was no damage either. Secondly and the most surprising is that the film appears to be bulk loaded, but in clean fashion, and makes sense for a small producer to bulk load their product from master reels. I’m not sure if that will change as production ramps up, but I don’t see it as a bad thing. Just helps keep things on the inexpensive side.