My thoughts on Silberra Pan 160

Let me start by saying that this is not meant to be a technical review. I barely get by developing my own film to a decent degree of consistency. I was just presented with a chance to shoot a test roll for this new player and I was delighted by it.

 Asahi Pentax Spotmatic - Silberra Pan 160@160 - D76 1+1

Asahi Pentax Spotmatic - Silberra Pan 160@160 - D76 1+1

With that out of the way, what to say about Silberra? First of all, I love to have a new alternative for a medium speed, fine grain black and white film. I am usually more of a 400 ASA guy, but it's nice to know there are new alternatives out there.

I only got one roll to play with. Add that to the fact that I don't go out shooting as much as I would like (damn day job!!!) and you'd find yourself in a very limited testing scenario: an overcast sky that forced me to look for other ways to have a little contrast to play. Fortunately enough, I had the chance to spend a few days away from the city in the middle of the woods and this provided its fair share of contrasted subjects.

 Asahi Pentax Spotmatic - Silberra Pan 160@160 - D76 1+1

Asahi Pentax Spotmatic - Silberra Pan 160@160 - D76 1+1

 Asahi Pentax Spotmatic - Silberra Pan 160@160 - D76 1+1

Asahi Pentax Spotmatic - Silberra Pan 160@160 - D76 1+1

As for the recipe used, it was nothing too fancy. I heard someone say that a film that doesn't develop well in D76 is not of much use. I asked our Silberra guy for the recommended times and off I went exposing at the box speed of 160 and developed with D76 1+1 at 20 degrees C for 19:00 minutes, using a regular agitation scheme of 15 cycles at the beginning and then 4 inversions every minute.

 Asahi Pentax Spotmatic - Silberra Pan 160@160 - D76 1+1

Asahi Pentax Spotmatic - Silberra Pan 160@160 - D76 1+1

What I found out in the end was a fairly well developed roll with good density (just judging by eye) and grain that showed up quite a bit for a film presented as fine grain in a relatively fine grain developer. Sometimes, you can attribute said grain to digital noise from the scanning when the shot is poorly exposed. I think I can safely say that this wasn't a problem since I measured for every single shot I took. None of the shots shown here was tampered with beyond simple levels and slight exposure adjustments.

 Asahi Pentax Spotmatic - Silberra Pan 160@160 - D76 1+1

Asahi Pentax Spotmatic - Silberra Pan 160@160 - D76 1+1

 Asahi Pentax Spotmatic - Silberra Pan 160@160 - D76 1+1

Asahi Pentax Spotmatic - Silberra Pan 160@160 - D76 1+1

The contrast and tonal latitude of this film are lovely, somewhat reminding of that of Ilford HP5. It presents you with intense blacks and very rich midtones. Again, all of this is mere personal perception.

 Asahi Pentax Spotmatic - Silberra Pan 160@160 - D76 1+1

Asahi Pentax Spotmatic - Silberra Pan 160@160 - D76 1+1

All in all, a good general purpose film to bring in your bag for when you're in the mood of shooting a bit wider in broad day light.

Also, one of the things I enjoyed the most of this assignment is the fact that there is a new player in the scene of black and white film. That, in and out of itself earns Silberra it's share of kudos. You can find out about more of their products in their website.

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Efraín Bojórquez is a film photographer based in Monterrey, Mexico. You can connect with him on TwitterInstagram and on his blog Crónicas de una cámara en Monterrey