Rodinal 1+100 & Bergger BRF200 : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

Hi ... I just picked up some Bergger BRF200 (35mm) and would like to try it with Rodinal @ 1+100. Has anyone used this combination? What time/temp did you use? How were the results? Thanks!

-- SCB (, August 24, 2001


I've been playing with Bergger BRF200 in 120 format in HC110. All I can say for the moment is that my EI is around 50. I'd be curious to hear what others have found.

-- David Parmet (, August 24, 2001.

Here's what I've found so far...

In Rodinal 1-50 I'm getting an EI of 200. The time given by Bergger (12 minutes) might be too short but I'm not done testing.

12 minutes might end up being my N-1 time.

-- David Parmet (, September 03, 2001.

I do not know what happened but it concerns me a lot: I had posted a message in response stating that I would expect Bergger 200 to work fine in Rodinal, since it was actually Forte. My post must have been taken off the list of responses. I repost it here and will see if it disapears again. Could it be that I hit the "wrong button" and that information on this listserve is being censored. If so I think we are all entitled to know this, if manufacuters and distributors take influence on the information which is allowed to be distributed. With this post I want to make everyone here aware of this.

-- Volker Schier (, September 07, 2001.

Volker: I am the forum maintainer and I deleted your post, as well as a response that was made to it. Can you tell us what proof you have that Bergger and Forte are one and the same? I find their papers to have quite different properties. Does Forte make film as well? My understanding is that Bergger products are manufactured in France and Forte products are manufactured in Hungary. Please back up your claim.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, September 07, 2001.

Off course they do, as can be seen from the B&H catalogue. There are only a couple of film makers out there and most products by newer companies come from the pot of one of them: Paterson Acupan is Foma (I myself have seen the edge exposure on a Foma film saying Acupan instead of Fomapan), Maco is made by Efke (statement by a dealer and importer of Efke on this forum), and I must suspect that Bergger is made by Forte since the characteristics seem to be identical to the Fortepan 200. I have been using Forte and the EIs described on this listserve are the same I got in Rodinal. According to my knowledge only Forte makes "thick emulsion" films in this speed range at the moment: The ISO 200 Fortepan seems the only emulsion currently coated on sheed film by Forte. I am not aware that Paterson, Maco or Bergger actually run a film manufacturing plant and -- according to my knowledge -- they actually do not claim they do. The problem seems to be that all of the above stated products sell for more money than what their "makers" products sell for. What I did not like at all is the fact that I was not made aware about the fact that my mail was taken off. I do not think that this is good style at all.

-- Volker Schier (, September 07, 2001.

Below, please find a letter from Bergger Products, Inc. President Guy Gerard:

" For several years now, the photographic industry has seen a decline in its number of small companies. The founding of Bergger came after the closure of Guilleminot which was the only French company in this field of activity and the oldest in the world as it was established in 1857 when photography was created. For the present president of Bergger, it was unacceptable that such expertise could be lost. Bergger continues to manufacture products for black and white photography to the standards attained by Guilleminot even though they have faced many difficulties : working in this specialized area, in a profession where only multi- national companies survive. It has been necessary to work with small photographic products manufacturers who are still surviving to be able to manufacture original products in small quantities. Consequently it is not unusual to find different makes of products in the same factory. There is no reason to conclude that all products are identical and are manufactured solely by the multi-national companies. Rather than disseminating information, which could harm small companies who work to defend originality and quality, black and white photography enthusiasts should on the contrary defend small companies thus avoiding bad publicity and untruths. The world of photography needs small companies, which manufacture niche products, allowing the expression of talent in this particular art form"

All the best Guy Gerard

-- John Horowy (, September 08, 2001.

What a wonderful post, which doesn't say anything, neither denying nor affirming. Is it or isn't it?

-- Wilhelm (, September 08, 2001.

Still, I think manufacuters such as Maco, Bergger, Paterson, Wephota etc. etc. will not lose anything by stating who makes their products. It is all a perception problem: Will someone pay "my" price for a product if they knew that in fact it was something different, something that is associated as "less good", even if this it not the case? For example would you pay the price for a Leica 28-70 lens as readily if you knew it was made by Sigma, and the matching Leica tele-zoom lens was made by Kyocera? In Europe this informatin is published by Leica and can be found in the big photo journals, not in the US, probably because it will largely affect public perception of the product. In the Leica case the lenses will largely differ from the products with other brand names made in these factories, but -- in most cases -- not in the case of paper and film. Mostly the product will only be rebadged, because no company would have the cost to develop really "differing" products, nor have the distributing company in most cases the knowledge and expertise to do this. This will not make the products any worse or better and I believe that Efke, Foma and Forte make excellent products that are usually underrated in public perception. I use them all the time. It is only an intersting phenomenon that such products under a different name often get "better" in public perception and that importers and manufactuers do everything to prevent the spread of information, sometimes with success as on this listserve. I think this case here is interesting and it should give the readers of the listserve and the listowner to think about, if the free spread of information is not one of the most important values we have! Anyone can conradict me, this is not the point. But censoring me is a totally different story and I would hope that this spreads among this community.

-- Volker Schier (, September 09, 2001.

The issue is simply about who benefits and who does not from discussing these issues on a public newsgroup. Anyone who reads my various posts will see that I do use mostly material for my work by smaller companies and that if I like them will say so. I am in no way against Bergger or any other manufacturer nor do I profit in any way by saying that I like a specific product. I clearly have a right to voice my opinion. Back to the initial question: Who will not benefit if it is not known who really makes specific material and which material it is identical to (as in the case of house or store brands): Clearly the customer, because he will not have the opportunity to use market mechanisms to compare the availability and get the product for the lowest price. Would the availability of products be affected if the customer would know who really produces it and that it is also available under different brand names: No, because the number of B&W users is the determining factor of this market . The number of users will not increase or decrease because a "new" product makes it to the marketplace. Only the distribution of products on this market will be spread differently among the few real producers through differing retail and marketing channels (which most of the newcomers on the market are strictly speaking). Users of traditional emulsion will continue to use them, due to the specific characteristics they prefer, "low grain fetishists" still will not like them. The same is true for users of high quality fiber papers. New companies on a specific market will analyse the market potential, also in the case of a niche market like B&W. The analysis will produce the fact that there is interest in high quality products that the mass manufactuters often do not provide, but also that there is more supply and production capability out there then. The analysis will also produce the fact that building new production would never pay, because the amount of paper and film produced would never justify the investment in hardware (despite no bank or group of investors would finance it). Even big colour film producers are in trouble and according to information in the business section of the large papers even Bayer thinks about selling AGFA. The basic idea of many companies obviously is to use the huge potential of traditional photo companies in Eastern Central Europe with excellent products, which due to the opposition and valorizations created by mostly widespread urban myth would not lead into products that could be sold profitably in new markets under the manufacturers name, and create demand by building a positives reputation (to prove this you must only compare what is posted about specific films on this newsgroup). This is nothing bad at all. It is good business practice. BUT there is also nothing bad in making these things known to the customers, since what counts for the consumer is the product, its quality, its availability and its price. This is FREE MARKET and FREE SPEECH. What producers want is selling products. This is fine and in the interest of the consumer. The spectrum of interests and intentions of manufacturers, sales companies, distributors, importers and consumers are clearly different though. Does -- for example Consumer -- Reports influence markets by stating which products are identical or similar? I would say yes. Is it against the interest of the consumer? I do hope that my last post may be thought provoking and that I see some responses. This is a discussion forum. Cetero censeo censuram delendam esse!

-- Volker Schier (, September 09, 2001.

Dear Ed Buffaloe: I forgot to ask that you repost the answer to my initial post. I have not read it and I think that the other members of this forum should be allowed to make themselves a picture of what was going on. Who wrote this email? Was it the importer or the company? Are there any differences in "perception" between importer and Bergger? Please let us know. Perhaps the anonymous person could repost his email. Also dear Ed Buffaloe could you please comment on your censorship policy and if there are any ties to importers and photo companies that make you "interfer"?

-- Volker Schier (, September 09, 2001.

Volker: Let me say first of all that you are a very welcome contributor to this forum. You obviously have much knowledge and experience of photography, and we are all enriched by your contribution. Secondly, I apologize for deleting your post. I will not replace the original posts because I did not save either of them. The person who made the ill-considered response to your original post has apologized in private. It will not happen again. I would very much appreciate it if the whole matter could be dropped and we could get back to a friendly exchange of information.

I have said several times that I have two guiding principles for moderating these forums: keep it relevant and keep it friendly. I very rarely interfere with what people write--usually only to try to keep things friendly. I should have notified you when and why I deleted your post, but I would also emphasize that I am not required to do so. In the future, if I find it necessary for any reason to delete one of your posts, I will notify you of the reason.

I do not make any money off these forums--I work for free. My web site is a for-profit business, but I have never made any money from it. For the record, I do not have any ties to any companies that manufacture photographic products. But if you make such insinuations again, I guarantee it will piss me off.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, September 09, 2001.

Dear Ed Buffaloe, thank you for your clarifying comments, which -- I think -- were neccessary not only for me but for the whole group. One point however: I did NOT say that you had ties that made you interfere, I simply asked if there were any, since I felt that this matter needed clarification. You gave the answer and I accept this. I also feel that friendly communication is what we need in this group. On the other hand I strongly have to point out that censorship can only be a last resort for unethical (or even worse) behaviour and should be used with the greatest discression possible. If you see this too I think we both are in total accord. Voicing an opinion clearly is not. This is what this newsgroup is all about, at least this is my take on it.

-- Volker Schier (, September 10, 2001.

I heard that Fuji Neopan 1600 is actually licensed from Agfa 1000. Any truth to that?

-- Russell Brooks (, September 10, 2001.

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