Having just finished my first same scene, same developer comparison of Bergger BPF 200 and J&C Classic 200, I can verify that there is no comparison between these two films.
The scene had a SBR of 4 and I developed two sheets of 4X5 film in Pyrocat HD at a 1-2-100 dilution.
The Classic 200 with a 13 1/2 minute development at 75 degrees had a net peak density of 1.20 (after subtracting for FB+fog). This is one of the finest negatives that I have ever observed coming out of my system. Development was very even and details are sharply delineated...this is one that I look forward to printing. Development was much more even then ABC pyro which is certainly a good developer...but not on the par of Pyrocat HD. PMK, which is a good developer for enlarging is "far and away" removed from the results that I have obtained with Pyrocat HD.
The Bergger BPF 200 with a 20 minute development time (same temp and same dilution) arrived at a .90 net peak density (again subtracting for FB+fog). Certainly this will print ...but not with the same ease and with a considerably higher paper grade.
Had I wanted to contact print on Azo, I would have followed Sandy's recommendations. These negatives were developed at the higher dilution for enlarging purposes.
The Classic 200 was exposed at one stop faster EI then the Bergger. (125 vs. 64).
I need to add a coda to one of my previous messages on testing J&C Classic 200 film. It turns out that the digital thermometer used to measure the temperature of the developer and the water bath was low by about four degrees. So what I thought was 70 degrees F was in fact 74 degrees F. Adjusting my previous recommendation I would now suggest adding about 15-20% time to the previous time recommendation and have adjusted the times accordinly below.
For development of J&C Classic 200, using Pyrocat-HD 2:2:100 at 70 degrees F, for AZO and Palladium printing, use the following times.
SBR 7.5 4:15 minutes
SBR 7 6:00 minutes
SBR 6 8:30 minutes
SBR 5.5 10:45 minutes
Negatives for silver printing should be developed for about the same times as above, but using the 1:1:100 dilution of Pyrocat-HD.
For clarification, the above times in the lighting conditions described will produce an effective negative density range of about 1.6 for palladium printing using UV light, and an effective printing density range of about 1.30 for AZO printing. The dual purpose nature of the negative is of course due to the stain, which functions as a highly efficient filter to UV light. In measuring the difference between a blue channel reading and a UV channel reading I have found that there is a much greater difference between these two readings with Pyrocat-HD than with PMK or Rollo Pyro. This is due to the fact that the yellow/brown stain of Pyrocat-HD provides greater actinic filtration than the greenish/yellow stain we usually see with PMK and Rollo Pyro.
Sandy or Don, did any of you get the J&C 400 film? what were the EI for the 200. If the J&C 400 exposes at 400 it would be a great film for ULF! or even at 320.....no?
I just ran a set of BTZS tests for both the J&C Classic 400 film and Fortepan 400 with Procat-HD 2:2:100. Don't have time to post the results today but will try to do so here within the next day or so.
I too am about to try JC 200 8x10. Have you any experience with this film for SBRs >10 using Pyrocat HD of course?
Wish I could give you some good advice but I have only tested JandC Classic 200 film with the 2:2:100 dilution of Pyrocat-HD and at this dilution Pyrocat-HD is much too energetic for SBRs of greater than 8.
I could interpret from my data and conclude with some confidence that for silver gelatin printing you could handle a SBR of 8 with the 1:1:100 dilution, at a development time of about four minutes. But beyond that I won't speculate.
However, if I were working with these kinds of high contrast scenes I would dilute the developer even more, say to 0.5:0.5:100, and run some on-site tests. And two side benefits of further dilution would be even greater acutance and slightly greater effective film speed.
Is this film the same as this stuff http://www.fotoimpex.de/Home/home.html, scroll down to the 'classic'. I'd like to try it and being in europe shipping is easier.
To the best of my understanding JandC Classic 200 and 400 are same as FomaPan Classic 200 and 400.
Makes sense to buy it in Europe since it is made there!!
BTW, I also tested the Classic 400 and found it to be a very nice film with good capability for N+ development, at least as good as Ilford HP5+. In fact, bought a box of 25 sheets of it in 12X20 and plan to work with it in the coming weeks.