This is Part 1 in a series on Silberra Film. Subsequent articles will include fsc photos and reviews of Silberra PAN film. We thank Silberra for the opportunity to shoot and review their film.
Silberrra, a company founded by Vladimir Vishnevski and Konstantin Shabano of St. Petersburg Russia, are producing new film and photographic papers and have kicked off a crowdfunding campaign to mass produce and make these products available worldwide.
The founders run one of the top three photography schools in St. Petersburg and also run one of the oldest online stores for film photography products in Russia. Vladimir and Konstantin first started producing film chemicals (developers, fixers, stop baths and alternative process chemicals) in 2009 when the demand for supplies for the school weren't being met.
“We started it in our own lab, relying on the recipes we managed to acquire from different sources: encyclopedias, chemistry books, photographic guidebooks and many others. We’ve been studying chemistry, reinventing the solutions, trying to bring back the variety of the developers and auxiliary solutions from the times when analog photography flourished" -Konstantin Shabano (Emulsive interview)
In February of 2017, their journey expanded from producing chemicals to producing film. They are looking to bring 4 new film series to the worldwide market. These films include:
- SILBERRA PAN: in ISO 50, 100, 160, & limited edition 200*
- SILBERRA ORTA: in ISO 25, 50 and 80
- SILBERRA IC: in R&D
- SILBERRA PAN II: in R&D
Here's a look at each:
This is panchromatic film derived from Agfa surveillance stock, modified to yield lower contrast, wider dynamic range and higher acutance. Panchromatic film This fine grain film was formulated to have a higher sensitivity in the near-IR spectrum. This sensitivity yields brilliance in reflections and an IR effect in landscape photography during golden hours.
SILBERRA PAN IS READY NOW AND AVAILABLE AS AN INDIEGOGO REWARD IN 35MM AND 120 FORMAT
This is a brand new orthochromatic film being produced from scratch by Silberra. Orthochromatic film is not sensitive to red light and can be a great tool for interpretive landscape and interesting portrait work. Silberra's ORTA film is being produced at Micron Labs, Micron is one of the oldest labs in Russia that has a coating machine and technology for coating orthochromatic, isochromatic and panchromatic films. Working with Micron obviates the need for Silberra to build their own factory to produce new film.
ORTA will be available in 35mm, 120, 4"x5" and 8"x10"
SILBERRA ORTA IS IN LATE BETA-TESTING AND IS AVAILABLE AS A INDIEGOGO REWARD IN 35MM AND 120 FORMAT
SILBERRA IC & PAN II:
Two brand new emulsions:
- Isochromatic (sensitivity range between orthochromatic and panchromatic emlusions)
- Panchromatic II (a brand new panchromatic film)
Both of the emulsions are in R&D and are in what they are calling:
"our second and third generation Silberra films (ORTA being first generation). We cannot produce PAN II wihout IC, or IC without ORTA: they are stepping stones and represent the same leaps that companies like ILFORD and Kodak made in their own early histories" -Konstantin Shabano (Emulsive interview)
Closing comments from Silberra:
"We've been here for almost 9 years, watching the industry and all the start-ups. We've seen all the mistakes and we've made a lot of conclusions. And what we are is quite close to what Bergger is: we have formulas, we have our own sales channel here in Russia, and we have several partners to manufacture our products. We don't have to pay a lot of salaries: we have to pay for the product only, and it gives us huge advantage when compared to anyone who tries to build his own full scale manufacturing. Minimal monthly expenses. A lot of knowledge and really good specialists that are available on demand. We'd like to make it full scale sub-contract manufacturing: that's really the best and the only way out."
Given their experience, that film has been tested/ready to be packaged and knowing that they don't need to build a factory to manufacture the film, their campaign seems to be an exciting, promising and solid investment. If you are passionate about film and want to send a message of support to those who endeavor to contribute to the industry, this is an excellent opportunity to do so. Perks start at $5 and go up to $250 for a limited edition collector's box, $15-$20 will get you two rolls of 35mm PAN or ORTA film.
You can find more information on their Indiegogo, Website, Instagram, Twitter pages.