Experience with Bergger film

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Hi, has anyone had any experience with Bergger 200 5x4? I would like to know the general character, and if the film speed is really what it says on the box, ect. Thanks

-- David Ivison (david_ivison@yahoo.co.uk), July 17, 2001


I've shot about 3 boxes worth of this stuff in 4x5 now and really like it. I rate it at EI 100 and develop for 11 minutes in PMK. This combination gives me consistently good results. It's not exactly a fine grain film, but I don't think that you would even really notice this unless you were to enlarge to more than 16x20. Some people have also complained that it's not very sharp, but the results I've gotten out of it seem to indicate otherwise. Midtones in particular come out looking *very* nice, and the film responds very well to N+/N- development. I like it so much, in fact, that I haven't even touched the half-full box of FP4+ I've got laying around somewhere since I started using the Bergger.

-- David Munson (orthoptera@juno.com), July 17, 2001.

I had a similar experience. Went through half a box of the Bergger 5x7 and found it easy to use with Rodinol. Because I was doing portraits exclusively (with a pictorial lens to boot), sharpness in the sense of edge definition was no issue at all, so I dunno about that. Even so, resolution and gradation remained critical and were very pleasing. An oddity: BFP 200 is "thick emulsion" film (that's a reason why it works well with Pyro etc.) and it looks funny on the emulsion side if you're just used to modern thin emulsion film, like FP4+. It looks, like, "bumpy" as you hang it up to dry. Never mind. It dries smooth.... I'm right on the fence as far as really switching to it from HP5+, which is great film too (and which I have a fair amount in stock!). If I switch to PMK, which I may do shortly in conjunction w/ learning platinum/palladium printing, I guess I'll switch to BFP 200. I assume you're aware of the lore about BFP 200 sharing many of the characteristics of the late-lamented EK Super XX.... -jeff buckels (albuquerque)

-- Jeff Buckels (jeffbuck@swcp.com), July 17, 2001.

David, I'm afraid that I'm not that impressed with it!! I found it lacked the "sharpness" of say FP4 + and was slightly soft. I used PMK to develop it but get better results with FP4+, which is my fave film in 5x4. IMHO, the only good point is its price!! Regards Paul

-- paul owen (paulowen_2000@yahoo.com), July 17, 2001.

David -

I've shot about 50 sheets of BPF 200 in 6.5x8.5 format and developed in D-76 and HC-110B via Jobo Expert drum. Results have been quite nasty, with an effective speed at least two stops less than the rated 200 and a gritty, unpleasant tonality that suggests a very S-shaped characteristic curve. UGH!

I've seen results from other users that suggest to me that BPF 200 really wants to be developed in one of the pyro formulations, but I'm not interested in messing with that, so I'm probably going to give up on the stuff; HP5 Plus is vastly superior for my purposes.

For what it's worth, there is one plus - the fairly rough retouching surface on the base side makes the stuff virtually immune to Newton's rings in contact printing...


-- Oren Grad (orengrad@world.std.com), July 17, 2001.

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