Developing AGFA color films in non-Agfa labs?
I've bought several 120 rolls of Agfa color films (Portrait, Optima and RSX slide) from their last stock, but was frustrated to know that our Agfa lab (which lasts the only lab to use Agfa chemicals) develops only 35mm negative films.
I've heard some rumours that Agfa color films are more sensitive for developing in the non-Agfa chemicals and could give the unpleasant results.
So, before I'll aim my feet to the Kodak-Express (Fuji-lab, Konica) to develop my beloved Agfa Portrait, I would like to know the opinions from you guys, especially from those, who had the real experience of developing Agfa color films in Kodak or Fuji or Konica chemicals - is the abovementioned Agfa behavior only rumours, or this is the painful reality. If this is the reality, can somebody advice which chemicals give the closest results to the original Agfa?
there is one Agfa film which is very succeptible to certain bleaches used beyond limits (maskless Aviphot Color X100 [Agfa themselve give a warning], might be maskless X400 too)
as the films above are films intended for aerial surveying (though Maco sells the X400 rebranded as film for terrestial use [Rollei Scanfilm]), you should have no problems with the films you stated.
The latter ones are the consumer films once made in their `consumer´ plant, and intended for all C-41 processes. No warning given.
I used Agfa's consumer range of films for years (& still have a lot left). In the UK it was very rare for them to be used in Agfa's own chemicals, most of the time they were run through Fuji-Hunt or Kodak chemicals & occasionally Konica. I have never seen the slightest difference - the films seem capable of excellent results whatever the brand of chemistry
Kind of a moot point now, but previously I used quite a bit of the rebranded Agfa Vista and had it processed in the regular Fuji Frontier minilab. No problems at all.
Just to add weight to previous comments. I have used Agfa Vista colour neg and developed and printed it myself via non Agfa chems. It was fine but of course Agfa Vista does have a slightly different colour signature from Kodak, Konica or Fuji film.
As Brac has said most Agfa films in the UK must have gone through non Agfa mini-labs. If it could not have been satisfactorily developed and printed, Agfa film sales would have been neglible and the company would have been in trouble long before it eventually was for reasons which were entirely unconnected with quality.
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I'd never even heard there could be a problem, and I've shot an awful lot of Agfa, slide and neg, over the years, without worrying for an instant whose chemicals were used. Plenty were published, too.
Add my name to the list of people who've used Agfa films (often sold as store-brand product) and either had it processed commercially in non-Agfa chemistry or done it myself in non-Agfa chemistry. I've done lots of rebranded and Agfa Vista in Paterson Photocolor II, for instance. Now that I've used up my stock of that stuff I'm trying a mix-it-yourself formula.
FWIW, in the United States the Walgreens drug store used to sell Agfa film under their house brand, but they run Fuji Frontier minilabs in-house. I've spotted boxes of what looked like Kodak chemistry sitting next to those minilabs, although I wasn't close enough to investigate further. Of course, this is a minilab that caters to snapshooters, not professional photographers, so if you're talking about very subtle effects this bit of trivia may not be relevant. At the very least, though, it indicates that any troubles can't be all that huge.
This is what I used to shoot quite a bit of. The current Walgreens house brand film is mostly Fuji, but it seems like some of the Agfa pops up every so often as new old stock.
Originally Posted by srs5694
When one of the local Walgreens I go to installed a new Frontier 550, the one guy there did say that they used Kodak chemicals in it.
I've spotted boxes of what looked like Kodak chemistry sitting next to those minilabs, although I wasn't close enough to investigate further.
Back in 2005 (IIRC) Kodak made a sweetheart deal with Walgreens, part of which was that Kodak was to be their only name-brand film sold. I think this might have been when they switched to Kodak chemistry. Green boxes disappeared from Walgreens at that time. I'm sure it was a real touche' for Fuji to become their new house brand supplier.
Thank you all friends for your replies and for the good news!
I've relaxed and threw this problem out of my mind!