film choice : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I bought some film in Europe which was fogged. The supplier (Lotus View Camera to their credit) issued me a credit for more film. This is for the 8X20 format by the way. I can get either Ilford HP5 which I am familiar with or Bergger BPF with which I am not familiar. I develop the film with PMK and contact print on Azo.

Can anyone offer experience with the Bergger film and/or compare it with the Ilford HP5? Thanks in advance.


-- David Flockhart (, November 16, 2001


I use BPF in 4x5 a lot and develop in PMK. I can't compare it to HP5, but I can to Tri-X, which I shoot back-to-back with the Bergger film. I find that the Bergger has a more pronounced shoulder than the Tri-X and a slightly different spectral response (reduced red sensitivity), rendering red objects (i.e. a tomato) slightly darker. The grain is comparable. This film stains very nicely in PMK. The film has an interesting cyan-colored anti-halation backing that turns your pre- soak (or developer) a beautiful blue-green. In my experience, you need to be a bit more careful when processing, as the emulsion is more sensitive to damage (scratches) than the more hardened emulsions from Kodak and Ilford. This film has been compared to the discontinued Kodak Super XX film, but, since I have no experience with the latter, I cannont confirm this. I find the mid-tone separation excellent, and the speed to be (for me) EI 160, which is closer to its rated speed than for any other film I use. It comes nicely packaged with paper interleaving sheets. However, the edges are not as smooth as Ilford or Kodak sheets. I suspect it is cut differently. I can recommend this film, especially for "rainy day" or back-lit situations where the sky or background is a lot brighter than the mid tone subjects you want to keep detail in. The film's shoulder helps a lot here. It is easily plus and minus developed as well.

Hope this helps, ;^D)

-- Doremus Scudder (, November 17, 2001.

Try the 200 speed FORTE, I think the bregger is just repackaged forte < need to be criticised on this before I change my mind. AND develope it in TMAX just like triX use the same times BUT rate it at 100 ASA. You will have a film that has great tonality, great shadows and the highlights will not block up , You can go N-2 to Nplus 2 just like trix. AND forte is cheaper tha bregger. and cheaper than hp5. But like all films and papers and formulations we all have to experiment to see what we are happetst with. I like tri x too but the forte is 20USD cheaper for a box of 25 and in Toronto it is more availble.THe 400 speed has GRAIN and is ok for contacts. The forte 200 is alot better>

My friends who do platinum printing swear by HP5 in pyro, BUT remember PYRO NEEDS!!!! alot of ventilation,It will poision you if you darkroom is not vented!!!!!, AND who wants dark Nails anyway. For scenics outside in the daylight the standard developers are fine! If you want to do a loooong tonal scale in and extreem dcircumstance the shoot and take the film to a PYRO EXPERT, like Silver Shack in Toronto. Then you cna do your own prinitng.


-- ED (, November 17, 2001.

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