Tag: Bergger Pancro 400

CCR:FRB – Review 07 – Bergger Pancro 400

CCR:FRB – Review 07 – Bergger Pancro 400

The name Bergger has been until recently been relatively unknown here in North America (at least to me) until recently when I learned that they were planning on introducing a new film stock, Pancro 400. While, Pancro 400 is the only offering from the company, and while you might still find their older BRF400+ film stock, Pancro 400 is a beautiful classic film emulsion. When I heard about the film through the Film Photography Project when they were just releasing the stock, I made a point to pick it up. I found a surprisingly beautiful film, despite the increased amount of grain. I would wager to say, Pancro 400 has the look of the early HP and Tri-X emulsions from Ilford and Kodak respectively.

CCR:FRB - Review 07 - Bergger Pancro 400

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-400, Latitude: 200-1600
Formats Avaliable: 35mm, 120, Sheets

Roll 01 – Kodak D-76
What better way to develop a classic film than with a classic developer and D-76 does the film justice. You can see the full range of tones and the beautiful grain. While you can see a definite increase the grain for a 400-speed film in medium format, but it’s not as bad as it could be. While I did notice the film is a little more contrasty than it can be, you could probably tame that by cutting to dilution 1+1 or using the slower working D-23.

CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645

Technical Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 45mm 1:2.8 N – Bergger Pancro 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Kodak HC-110
You can see the increased amount of grain that Pancro 400 has when souped in HC-110, but don’t let that scare you because it’s a beautiful grain pattern again. Oddly enough, you don’t see any increase, in contrast, using HC-110, but you do see an increase in the film’s sharpness. I also noticed that you see a darkening in the skies as if I had a yellow filter on the lens, which is a nice touch.

Spike in Blue SkyA Peaceful SceneThe Ultimate BankThe Falls!

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Bergger Pancro 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Kodak TMax Developer
I’m going to come right out and say it, TMax Developer and Pancro 400 is not the best combination. While shooting it in 35mm didn’t help, but the grain is fairly out of control, and the contrast is way too strong, and that’s with using a 1+9 dilution which should tame the contrast in the film. And while I’ve seen TMax do good jobs with classic grained films, it certainly does not do that job with Pancro 400.

CCR:FRB - Review 07 - Bergger Pancro 400 - Roll 03 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 07 - Bergger Pancro 400 - Roll 03 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 07 - Bergger Pancro 400 - Roll 03 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 07 - Bergger Pancro 400 - Roll 03 (TMax Developer)

Techincal Details:
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Bergger Pancro 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak TMax Developer (1+9) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Rodinal
You’d think I was crazy for putting a one-stop push and developing in Rodinal, but hey, when you’re reviewing a film, you have to take the good and the bad. But you know, Pancro 400 is a surprising film, even when shot indoors under less-than-ideal lighting conditions. Is the film grainy, yes, but not as much as I would have expected! The tones are rich, the contrast is deep, but the shots are amazing! And they actually look better than the TMax developer and that was shot at box speed.

CCR:FRB - Review 07 - Bergger Pancro 400 - Roll 04 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 07 - Bergger Pancro 400 - Roll 04 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 07 - Bergger Pancro 400 - Roll 04 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 07 - Bergger Pancro 400 - Roll 04 (Rodinal)

Technical Details:
Nikon F90 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D – Bergger Pancro 400 @ ASA-800
Blazinal (1+25) 13:00 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
If you’re looking for a solid option for a classic film that looks like the high-speed films of the mid-twentieth century. Rich tones, contrast and grain, but all in a good way. You get a look at your images like those from the photography of the Second World War. While grainier than most modern films such as HP5+ and Tri-X, it still is a solid option for most photography out there. But I would avoid using TMax developer, especially in the 35mm format and stick with more classic developers like D-76, HC-110, Pyrocat-HD and Rodinal even with a push.

CCR Review 78 – Mamiya m645

CCR Review 78 – Mamiya m645

There are many cameras out there that hold iconic status, others that carry a cult status, however, when it comes to the Mamiya m645 the camera holds neither but remains an essential camera to many a wedding photography. The m645 is a workhorse, designed to take a beating and keep on getting photos, and there’s a strong chance that if you got married when medium format was king of the wedding market, or you’re of a certain age where school photos were still taken on film the m645 was the camera in the hand of the photographer. And while the m645 has evolved and changed over time many originals are even shooting strong.

CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645
The Dirt
Make: Mamiya
Model: m645
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: Medium Format, 120/220, 6×4.5
Lens: Interchangeable, Mamiya m645 mount
Year of Manufacture: 1975

CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645

The Good
As a camera, the m645 is compact robust and easily operated in any situation. Without a grip, the camera can be carried in almost any camera bag without too much trouble. A side grip or motor drive will make it wider but doesn’t do much to add any weight. The controls are well laid out and are easy to operate with either an eye-level (ELF) or waist-level (WLF) finder. As a bonus, if you are using a WLF a secondary shutter release on the top of the body makes it easy to release the shutter. Even without a grip using an ELF the controls are easy to find and operate, but adding a grip (such as the Deluxe L-Grip) does make life a touch easier. The optical quality of the glass is decent, it’s no Carl Zeiss, but they aren’t too bad, the 35mm ultra-wide is soft at the corners, but the 150mm and 45mm are excellent lenses to get. However, the crown jewel is the 80mm f/1.9 a lens that is fairly magic. As for the cost of getting into the m645 system, it’s fairly inexpensive as there are plenty in good working order, but the best part is the cost of the lenses most of the optics are decently priced most under 100 dollars, of course, the 80 f/1.9 does carry a higher price tag as does the WLF accessory. The best part about the camera, however, is how easily it operates in the winter, I can easily shoot and operate the controls even with gloves on. Which, as someone who lives in Canada, is a big deal, even the electronic nature of the camera doesn’t seem affected by the deep freeze we’re currently under.

CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645

The Bad
The big issue with the camera is age, the m645 is from the mid-1970s and is electronic. While you may never have an issue, if something does go wrong, finding someone to repair them could be difficult, and it does use a non-standard battery to power everything. If you’re on an extended trip, you might need to carry a spare and be sure to get the silver-oxide version of the battery as it lasts just that big longer though alkaline does work. The second biggest issue with the camera is the lack of a leaf shutter, though it may have helped keep the price of the lenses down having a fixed shutter speed of 1/60 for flash sync would be a hindrance for operating the camera with strobes. The biggest issue in my case is two-fold, the first is the lack of hot-swappable film backs, like the Pentax 645, the m645 uses a film insert. As a result, you cannot switch part way through which could be a problem for wedding photographers, and the second is that because of this you only get 15 shots per roll of 120. Both these issues were resolved in the next version of the camera.

CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645

The Lowdown
The m645 is a polarising camera among photographers there are those who love them, and there are those who hate them. You’ll find both in many photography groups on Facebook. Because if a person is looking for an inexpensive way to get into Medium Format, many out there will roll out the parade for the m645 and immediately get flamed by those who dislike the format. I am neither of these, taking a firm middle-of-the-road grasp rather on the camera. If you have a chance to get an m645 go for it, but be warned, like that old Police Interceptor Crown Victoria the camera like the car probably saw heavy using in a previous life. I would not blindly go into purchasing the camera through eBay; you certainly want to have it looked over first and ensure it works especially the lens. The 80mm f/2.8 does have issues with oil on the blades and the aperture spring, at least you can get a new one for a low cost. Another note on the optics, stick to the newer lenses, those marked with N. I do have a good recommendation for the m645; it is a solid, inexpensive, decent quality camera to explore the world of medium format, just be a little cautious and make sure there are no major issues before you pay.

All Photos Taken in Belfountain, Ontario
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 45mm 1:2.8 N – Bergger Pancro 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 9:00 @ 20C

Ottawa on Film

Ottawa on Film

One of my favourite cities in Ontario to photograph is Ottawa, Ontario, also the Capital City of Canada. While not as grandiose in planning as Washington DC, this city has plenty of offer the photographer. A recent week’s holiday there with my wife gave me a chance to exersize several cameras from my toolkit and having plenty of my pro gear having shot a weekend before hand I was loaded for bear both in gear and film stock.

Alexandra Bridge
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D – Eastman 5363 @ ASA-25
Kodak HC-110 Dil. F 5:00 @ 20C

End of Line
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – ORWO UN54 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C

Day One found us going to the newly renovated Museum of Canadian History in Gatineau then across the river for lunch. Having been blessed with a sunny week I decided to keep most of my film stocks on the slower side, most rating no more than ASA-100. It also saw a return of Eastman 5363 a favourite motion picture stock that I did extensive tests with the first time it came to the still photography market through the Film Photography Project.

Spike in Blue Sky
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Bergger Pancro 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 9:00 @ 20C

More Old Hydro Systems
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Bergger Pancro 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 9:00 @ 20C

Another film that I gave a try with, and only the second time shooting in 120 is Bergger Pancro 400, a new film stock out of France from a company better known for their traditional photo paper I was fairly pleased with the stock. This time around I shot it at the full speed of ASA-400 just so that shooting at waist level I could get some deep depth of field and fast shutter speeds. While a little more grainy than I was expecting from a 400-speed film in medium format I am fairly pleased with the results.

MosaïCanada 150
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 (Orange-22) – ORWO UN54 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C

MosaïCanada 150
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 (Orange-22) – ORWO UN54 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C

While if you’re a following of this blog, you’ve already seen some of the film shots from Day Four through my review of the Holga 120N. But after the National Gallery, which has a beautiful photography exhibit at the moment, I swung up my trusty Nikon F2 Photomic. With blue skies and white clouds, it was time to get some filtering on the camera. While the MosaïCanada 150 display was begging for some Infrared work, I was rather pleased with the results of the Orange-22 filter.

The Victoria Bell
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C

The Bank of Canada
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C

The final day saw us kicking around Parliament Hill. Sadly I had to check my bag and Nikon F5 for the tour of Parliament and the Changing of the guard, I made a point to head back with the ultra-wide lens and some Fomapan 100, a beautiful film that I had yet to shoot in 35mm, to capture the seat of power for Canada. When I’ve run a project I like to keep the film stocks fairly consistent. And while I did make sure to bring multiples of two (mostly), I use vacations as a time to play around with new/odd film stocks, sometimes it turned out great. Other times not so much.