The Silberra company announced 3 new 35mm (135) black and white film stocks and new photographic papers for amateurs and professionals alike. They begin an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign on 25th of October to upscale manufacturing and fund the continuation of their R&D work.
The 1st new film stock is Silberra PAN. They have already produced and begun worldwide testing of this new panchromatic film series, which includes: Silberra PAN50, Silberra PAN100, Silberra PAN160 and two limited editions: Silberra PAN200 and Silberra Ultima200.
You can easily find Silberra PAN images from different photographers on Instagram using the #silberra hashtag. You’ll find many examples of results from these films, as we’ve already provided samples to several black and white photographers around the world.
The Silberra PAN series is derived from technical and surveillance films by Agfa. In order to adapt the emulsions for everyday and professional use, several amendments were made to the original emulsions: contrast has been lowered, acutance set higher, and the dynamic range has been increased. One special property which was left unchanged however, is sensitivity to the IR and near-IR spectrum. Due to higher sensitivity in the IR range the films can be used as pseudo IR stocks and some IR effects can be achieved in certain light scenes in landscape photography without any filters at all.
But Silberra PAN is just part of the story. There is also a second new film series: Silberra ORTA: a totally brand new orthochromatic emulsion, which is available in sensitivities of ISO 80 and ISO 50. ORTA is currently subject to beta-testing and the emulsion itself is almost ready for general release. Since the number of orthochromatic films currently on the market are very limited, we truly believe that Silberra ORTA will be able to find its own special place on the market.
A third film-related announcement covers the Silberra IC series, which is isochromatic black-and-white film, and Silberra PAN II series. Both new film stocks incorporate new emulsions, which are currently in the chemical engineering phase. They should be ready to test these new films in approximately six months.
The final announcement - the “one more thing” - is the Silberra RC photo papers. Well, when you have developers, fixers and films it’s obvious that you should have photo paper too! The emulsion is ready and the company will start to place the order at manufacturing facility to start coating and packing.
Silberra have been focusing a lot of efforts on new emulsions and not on their mass production. They still hand rolling those films into cartridges and use reliable bulk loaders for that operation. They also use recycled cartridges, which makes Silberra a bit more eco-friendly and gives them an opportunity to offer to future backers at Indiegogo real rewards within a reasonable timeframe and not years of expectations.
Funding the ability to start manufacturing these films in serious volumes is the primary goal of Silberra's Indiegogo campaign. There are many components to purchase in wholesale quantities, and so many R&D aspects that we simply can’t manage without support from the film photography community.
Support them, support analog photography!