Back at the end of 2017, the film photography groups across Social Media began to talk about a photographic media producer in St. Petersburg in Russia called Silberra. While Silberra is not a new company they launched their Crowd Funding Campaign to expand their film manufacturing, introduce new film stocks, and expand their markets outside Russia and Eastern Europe. And while they encountered a pile of setbacks, but after waiting for nearly a year, we finally started to see some of the film starting to hit the market. Silberra Pan100 is the one film that I liked right off the mark, having done a first-look back in December of last year when the film first arrived. I became rather excited at what the film could do! All the social media images from Silberra is from their new stock Ultima 200, however, I wish they had shared more of their 100, 50, and 160 versions of the film. Because frankly, Pan100 is brilliant!
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-100, Latitude 50-200
Formats Avaliable: 135 and 120
Roll 01 – Kodak D-76
Sometimes you just know you’re going to have awesome images right from pulling the negatives out of the tank. And that’s exactly how I felt, the images turned out beautifully. Even after putting them through the scanner and post-processing very little had to be done to get the levels and curves to the right spot. Is there grain, yes, this isn’t the fine grain film you’ve come to expect from Ilford or Kodak, but it certainly is finer than I expected, not to mention the grain adds to the overall feel of the film. Plus tone, contrast, and overall image quality is top notch. And I’m sure it would look as good in a 1+1 dilution as it does in stock, with a bit less contrast.
Roll 02 – Kodak HC-110
The one thing that surprised me is that Silberra does not have any HC-110 times, and while I might have been able to calculate something based on D-76 times, after looking through my own logs, I could not find another 100-speed film with the same D-76 times. I decided to try out something I had never done before, semi-stand developing in HC-110 using Dilution J. And the results were dead on the money and pretty incredible. Letting the film just soak in HC-110 significantly reduced the visibly of grain yet left the film sharp! Not to mention amazing tones that are smooth with an equally smooth contrast while maintaining good blacks and whites. Certainly a worthwhile combination. Now if there were only a way to calculate from J to H, B, or G.
Roll 03 – Rodinal
You know what? Pan100 in Rodinal came out exactly as I had expected it to. Beautiful grain that only added to the image a sense of dimension. Plus having that grain includes beautifully sharp images. Of course, you get that beautiful contrast and amazing tonality that I’ve come to enjoy with Pan100. You would probably see even better results dropping the dilution to 1+50, but maybe with another roll. Everything adds up to a beautiful classic look, it actually reminds me of the original Adox CHS and Efke films. Which makes me very happy.
Roll 04 – Pyrocat-HD
The first thing that comes to mind, in this case, is crispy! These images are sharp enough to cut yourself on and surprisingly they have a fine grain! Much more than with any other developer I’ve used here. I think these images are almost too sharp for my own personal tastes. That said, the tonality and contrast are right on point, with white, blacks, and every shade of grey between them. Even without a yellow filter, I see some clean separation in the sky. And while there is still a bit of grain, it’s not as much as some of the other developer combinations I’ve used, but the grain does add to the image overall.
Pan100 is an alright film, but I don’t see it as anything special about the stock, it doesn’t stand out like Pan160 does which is a far more interesting film even with such a small increase in film speeds. That said there is nothing wrong with the film, it has great tonal range, responds well to all developers, with the best being Kodak D-76 and Rodinal and of course semi-stand in HC-110. I wouldn’t make an effort to purchase the film again but certainly would not turn my nose up to it if offered. I just wish they had proper HC-110 times available.