View Full Version : Bergger Film

25-Aug-2014, 14:44
Do they still make Bergger film, and is it the same as Fomapan?

Peter De Smidt
25-Aug-2014, 14:52
I don't think it's made any more.

Richard Wasserman
25-Aug-2014, 15:10
I believe the site of the Bergger factory is now a shopping mall. I think they call that progress...

25-Aug-2014, 15:29
BRF-400 is still produced, but only in 135-36 size. B&H carries it.

N. Riley

25-Aug-2014, 15:40
I have a freezer full of 4x5 Bergger 200 from an aborted project 15 years ago. Just curious about it -- the woods seem to be full of all kinds of non-major-brand sheet film, I presume from eastern Europe.

Drew Wiley
25-Aug-2014, 15:42
Bergger 200 was apparently made in the same plant as Forte, but was not the same thing as Fortepan. The plant is now closed. It was also sold under the Lotus label at one time. It was a superb film for 8x10 use, similar to Super-XX but a bit finer grained, but could not be plus-developed quite as much. Fompan 200 is a very different animal and is also sold under the Arista label. It similarly has a very long straight line, but has a much lower effective speed and much more serious reciprocity failure issues.

Peter De Smidt
25-Aug-2014, 16:58
It's a very grainy film, ime, having more grain than HP5+, while being at least a stop slower. It stains heavily in pyro developers. If you keep it to about a 4x enlargement, and avoid + development, it gives excellent results.

25-Aug-2014, 17:42
"Bergger 200 was apparently made in the same plant as Forte, but was not the same thing as Fortepan. The plant is now closed. It was also sold under the Lotus label at one time."

Bergger 200 and Forte 200 were the same film IMO. I tested them side-by-side with BTZS methodology and they walked and quacked exactly the same. I also spoke once to someone who claimed to have been at the factory and saw the workers packaging the same film under three names, Bergerr 200, Forte 200, and some other brand I can not recall.

I also compared Bergger 200 to the old Kodak Super-XX and they were quite unlike in terms of expansion potential. The marketing claim that Bergger 200 was similar to Super-XX was marketing genius, but plain BS.


25-Aug-2014, 18:09
I thought it was markwtting genis, and then I used the film. That ended my impression of "genius" and had me thinking more about the "plain BS". I still have some and have no idea why I keep storing it.

Keith Fleming
25-Aug-2014, 19:16
I liked Forte/Bergger 200 in 8X10 at an EI of 100 and developed in PMK for contact prints. If anyone has some of the Forte 200 in their freezer and wants to get rid of it, please let me know.

What does make me sad about this present exchange is that I never had the pleasure of using and developing Super-XX film. I think I missed a great experience.


Domingo A. Siliceo
26-Aug-2014, 08:24
Reading from Bergger official web site (http://bergger.com) its history as a film and paper manufacturer (https://m2.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=262592927280925&id=164633817076837&refid=17), seems that the Bergger company we can find nowadays is not exactly the same Bergger we can find before 1995.

Anyway, as you can read in their site, Bergger is in Paris (France, not Texas) but is making some kind of business movement joining or so with Labo-Argentique (https://m2.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=238167676390117&id=164633817076837&refid=17).

26-Aug-2014, 08:30
hi bill

this thread is an oldie but goodie

i think from what i remember forte used to make bregger film but it was aged differently, just like the j+c film, it was all the same stuff essentially ..
but maybe that was then, and now thoughts are different about what film was what ... i am still as confused now as i was then
but at least i know adox and efke are the same ;) (maybe)

Drew Wiley
26-Aug-2014, 08:38
Sandy - academic history at this point, but Bergger was simply a marketing label, and the 200 product was markedly different from any Fortepan I ever personally
tested. And I did test it. Maybe at some point in time this changed and the products were the same. This kind of change happens from time to time, but no sense
crying over spilled milk, since we've all had to move on from anything Forte. The quality was excellent, and at "normal" to "plus one" etc expansions it behaved very similarly to Super XX, with that very long straight line way into the toe. It even had a very similar response to deep tricolor filters used in color separation work, and was in fact deliberately engineered for this kind of application. But in this respect, as well as in reference to certain contact printing applications, it did indeed diverge from Super XX in terms of its inability to be developed to an even higher gamma. Since I mainly used it in 8x10 for silver enlargements, this didn't bother me, but it was an annoyance to at least some of the azo and alt crowd. For my own range of usage, I've largely replaced it with TMY, which is even less
similar to Super-XX, but in many practical applications a worthy successor, and itself highly versatile.

Drew Wiley
26-Aug-2014, 08:43
... I never knew of J&C to market Bergger 200. They did distribute something equivalent to "Classic 200" at one time, i.e., Fomapan "200", which is still available.
Bergger 200 was distinctly more expensive back then, with conspicuously better quality control. Not the same thing at all. One of my favorite 8x10 films ever, given
the fact Super-XX was simply no more.

26-Aug-2014, 09:07
Seems to be a lot of nostalgia for Super XX. Frankly, I don't miss it at all -- used it for 3-color seps for Dye Transfer, but other than that always thought it had ugly grain, and somewhat flat middle values. I think Michael and Paula love it, and have a freezer full of it.

26-Aug-2014, 09:12
Whatdayaknow.... I just processed some Bergger 200 8x10 yesterday. I haven't proofed it or scanned it but the negs look pretty good. I did it for 6.5 min in HC110B. I have another two to process and I think I will give it about another minute or so in HC110B. The subjects are kind of mundane because I was really testing a 121/8 Super Angulon to see if it can cover 8x10 as its reputation suggests. It can at f22+. I placed the main subject about 15 feet from the camera (actually vice versa because the subject was a big boat)and, when I stopped down to f22 and f32, the whole thing is in focus. The other two shots I took were at f45 and f64

Drew Wiley
26-Aug-2014, 10:23
Bill - both Super XX, Bergger 200, and the slower Foma 200 have that infamous "blue bump" problem when it comes to color separations. I've lost my notes on the
long extinct Kodak Color Sep Film type whatever, which wouldn't have been objective anyway, given my own limited level understanding of this stuff way back then. Both the 400 and 100 speeds of TMax work much better for color separations than any of the old standards. TMX even works far better for masking than the old Pan Masking film ever did, once you have the right developer tweak. So no functional loss there. But yeah, It's Michael & Paula really screaming. Bergger 200 did have a bit less noticeable grain than Super XX, though I kinda drew a line at 8x10. In 4x5 it got irritating for me personally. But you could dig a tad deeper into theshadows than TMY. And Super XX was a true thick emulsion film, for those arcane tricks like reticulation and true water bath dev which needed that particular characteristic.

Jim Fitzgerald
26-Aug-2014, 17:30
I've used it in 8x20 and I still have some in 14x17 along with some J&C 200 in 1417. One of my best negatives was shot on the J&C 200 in 8x10. I love the film and in Pyrocay HD and minimal agitation it was wonderful. Glad my freezer is full of this film, especially because of the 1417 size.

Peter Gomena
26-Aug-2014, 22:43
I bought a couple of boxes of the 8x10 when it was available. I was completely unimpressed. Not having ever used Super XX, I had only Tri-X and T-Max 100 to compare it to. Both outperformed it in every way. Worst reciprocity characteristics of any film I've ever used. I won't be buying any more.:)

Drew Wiley
27-Aug-2014, 12:45
Peter - you must be confusing two different films. Bergger 200 was very similar to Tri-X in terms of recip characteristics, equivalent to many other pan films, though
very different in other respects. I shot it at long exposures quite a bit. No problem. It's Fomapan 200 that has the long exposure issues and that is more of an odd duck. But once I learned what it is, or is not, good for, have gotten some wonderful negs with it too. The bigger problem has been with quality control. I never had a bad sheet of Bergger. One of my favorite8x10 films ever. But like I said, I've moved on to TMY, which is even more versatile.

31-Aug-2014, 07:09

1-Sep-2014, 07:54
No pricelist for film though...



2-Sep-2014, 02:09
I guess that best way is send or to Lotus / near Saltzburg, or to Bergger directly. - I sent them some two-three yrs ago and got address of Lotus.