Tag Archives: film

Agfa Vista Plus 200 vs Fuji Superia 200 – edge markings

Currently Poundland in the UK are selling a film called Agfa Vista Plus 200 for a pound. It says “Made in Japan” on the box, so it’s pretty much got to be Fuji. But, fuji sell two different branded films at 200 ISO, (although I’m not 100% certain they really are all that different) – Fujicolor 200 and Superia 200. In theory the Superia is, well, superior.. but both seem like quite decent films for the price.

Anyhow, I wanted to compare the edge markings on the film itself, to see if I could tell if the Vista Plus was the same as Superia. Turns out the markings are different – the key bit to note is that the Superia has code “CA23” while the Vista Plus has “CA24” which I’m pretty sure means they’re not the same, although they are both made by Fuji.

Here’s the Fuji Superia 200:

Fuji_superia_200_edge_markings

… and here’s the Agfa Vista Plus 200:

Agfa_vista_plus_200_edge_markings

I’ll be posting shots from both rolls to my flickr stream over the next few days – so far both look great for cheap films, colour rendition far better than the Kodak Colorplus poundland also sell. If anything the Vista has slightly less obtrusive grain, but that might be becase my Superia roll was a few months old – should have been in date though, and has been kept in the fridge. Both were developed in the same tank at the same time.

 

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New camera…

1687945670

Voigtlander Bessaflex TM with an unusual lens – Tamron twin-tele 135mm/f4.5.

The Bessaflex is a modern 35mm film SLR camera built in the mid-2000s by Cosina in Japan – completely manual apart from a coupled lightmeter.

The Tamron lens is ancient and possibly not that great (I have a couple more lenses on order!) but I think it looks fantastic!

Bleach Bypass processing

I was idly reading through the I Shoot Film forums on Flickr yesterday on the way home, when someone mentioned a process called “bleach bypass”. I’d heard of it before but didn’t really understand how to do it, or what the effects would be. A few clicks later and I realised that it’s actually pretty simple if you’re already set up for C41 and B&W development.

When I got home the sun was still out, so I threw some cheap film (yes, I still have stacks of expired Ferrania 200) into my trusty Yashica and headed out to take some local shots as the sun was setting. The light meter on the camera was telling me that it was quite bright, which I didn’t believe (sunny 16 at 7.30pm in the UK in April?!) so I increased exposure slightly – in hindsight I should have trusted the meter as a lot of the shots were quite overexposed.

Yashica Minister II <- My trusty Yashica Minister II

Development

Normally with colour development I use the Tetenal 1l kit, which is a 3-bath system – colour developer, “blix” (a mixture of bleach and fixer) and stabiliser. To do the bleach bypass I had to replace the blix with a B&W fixer (I use Ilford rapid fixer 1+4). I also added an extra rinse between the developer and the fixer as I didn’t want to contaminate my fixer.

One thing I struggled with was temperatures which no-one seems to discuss – the colour developer works best at exactly 100F, but I don’t normally use the fixer at those temperatures. However, I know from reading that you’re supposed to keep temperatures roughly consistent while developing as film emulsion doesn’t react well to sudden temperature changes, so I decided to heat everything (including the rinse water) to around 100F before starting.

I ended up with this recipe:

  1. Colour developer for 3.45 minutes @ 100F (mine is quite exhausted)
  2. Rinse for 4 minutes @ ~100F
  3. Ilford Rapid Fixer 1+4 for 4 minutes @ 100F
  4. Rinse for 4 minutes @ ~100F
  5. Stabiliser for 1.5 minutes @ ~100F

Next time round, I’m going to rinse the fixer for much longer – I realise I normally do this for 10 minutes with B&W and I’ve ended up with a lot of gunk on the negatives, so maybe this is why.

Scanning

As the negatives dried I was glad to see some recognisable images coming through with patches of colour, so at least it vaguely worked. However, scanning them as normal colour negatives proved problematic – the scanner really struggled to find the images, and even when it did it was unable to get the contrast right – I’ve never had this problem before with the scanner so I’m guessing the extra silver in the negative must really be confusing it.

In the end I found some hints on the web suggesting scanning as colour positive, then inverting and adjusting in Photoshop – this worked brilliantly, using “auto-tone” in Photoshop to bring out the colours.

The Results

The end results are.. well.. you decide! I’m quite pleased with them for a first attempt, although I think I can do better. Many of the shots were over-exposed, and the bleach bypass enhances the over-exposed parts as well, so they didn’t work very well. However, some worked just fine, and the grain is much finer than with my colour-film-in-black-and-white experiments.

Here they are – streaks, fingerprints, dust and cat hair included for free:

The Horsebridge Masts Harbour Huts Starvation Point Steps

– click on the images to see higher resolutions on Flickr.

 

 

Image samples from slightly dodgy Canon EX Auto

So I’ve been using this old Canon EX Auto but it’s got a few issues.. here are some shots which really didn’t come out well:

Lost-image-1Lost-image-2

Also, these ones from Flickr have a lot of banding in the sky:

My assumption is that it’s a sticky shutter, but tha banding above could be due to scanning artefacts, also someone has suggested light leaks which I hadn’t previously considered.

[edit: this is being discussed on Flickr here: www.flickr.com/groups/ishootfilm/discuss/72157629183564421]

It worked! My first home-developed film…

So, I’ve got some water streaks, especially towards the bottom of the film where it was hanging (these might rinse out if I could be bothered to put it back through some Photoflo solution) and a few random development artefacts but on the whole I think this is a real success! The random colours are what the scanner decided they should be – I like them that way so I left it – these are unprocessed 1200dpi scans straight off the Epson V500 using Epson’s scanning software.

I’m really pleased with the Yashica too – it was well worth the effort of fixing it, and maybe worth a bit more of my time to get it working more reliably.

Ferrania200-rodinal005Ferrania200-rodinal004Ferrania200-rodinal003Ferrania200-rodinal006Ferrania200-rodinal007Ferrania200-rodinal008Ferrania200-rodinal010Ferrania200-rodinal009Ferrania200-rodinal011Ferrania200-rodinal001

I’ll put higher resolution scans of the best ones up on Flickr later in the week when I’ve got more time – right now it’s way past my bedtime (plus I think Lynne will kill me if I wake her up with the scanner again) and I have to go to work in the morning!

For reference here’s the recipe I used, a hybrid of many different ones I found on the web. The film is supposedly Ferrania 200 (I guess Solaris), rebadged as “Capital Plus”, but in theory all C41 films have the same development time as long as you shoot them at the speed on the box so this should be pretty generic:

  • Presoak in water (3 mins warm 35°C, 2 mins 20°C)
  • Develop 1:50 APH 09 (6ml in 300ml) for 15 mins at 20°C. Agitate 15 times slowly to start (30 seconds) then 3 times every minute by slow inversion not twisting
  • Stop with 5 water rinses and agitation
  • Fix (Ilford Rapid Fixer 1:4) for 5 mins (agitate for 30 seconds then at intervals, not critical)
  • Rinse many times with running water, for at least 10 minutes. 
  • Final rinse use a few drops of photoflo (wetting agent)
  • 2 hours drying time, hanging in the bathroom