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Thread: AGFA Vista

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    AGFA Vista

    Hi all, There is loads of cheap Agfa Vista 400 on ebay at the moment. It's the later eye vista which won European Film of the year EISA awards 2002 or 2003. Has any body used this stuff and what were the results like?
    If anybody likes it then what paper does it print well on?
    Thanks in advance.
    Richard.

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    Just a quickie. There is cheap Kodak Ultra400, Ultramax400 and Max400 on the bay also. Is this the same film and is it as bad as previous threads seem to suggest? Kodak only seems to list Gold200 and max400 on its consumer film website now. HD Royal gold etc seem to have gone and no 100 speed film. The pro website has a little more choice but in the UK Kodak pro film seems very expensive compared to Fuji which is always cheap somewhere. I tend to buy and put it straight in to the darkroom fridge.
    Richard.

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    JPD
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    Haven't used the 400 version, but Vista 100 and the pro version Optima 100 and 200. Very good films for those who prefer clear and neutral colours. They seem to print well on Fuji papers, but I wonder how they would have looked on Agfa.

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    I bought Vista 400 at Longleat Safari Park in 2005 so unless Longleat keeps film on counters a very long time it suggests it was the stuff you mention. I liked it for animal shots. Quite muted but very neutral. I have a shot of a lioness in shade and it seemed to get the shadow details well.

    Someone, I think it may nave been Roger Hicks in one of his books once said that the colour signatures used to be: Kodak had a slight blue look, Fuji tended to be warm and european films like Agfa were neutral. He was I think referring to colour films of some years ago but I think that Agfa maintained its neutral colour signature.

    pentaxuser

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    I've shot a fair amount of Agfa 100, 200, and 400, mostly sold as store brands, which I take to be equivalent to the Vista line, but I'm not positive of that. I concur with others that the Agfa palette seems to be a bit more muted than Kodak or Fuji products, at least in their "consumer" range. I think Kodak's Portra line is more muted, too. Somehow I've always liked the skies that Agfa film produces. I'm not sure it's really any more accurate a shade than what Fuji or Kodak produces, but I like the look of it.

    I've still got about a box of Agfa Signum II color paper in the freezer, so I can still print some of my remaining stock of Agfa film on Agfa paper. I haven't done any side-by-side comparisons of Agfa film on Kodak vs. Fuji paper, so I can't offer any advice on that score.

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    Vista stash -and happy with it

    I bought a case of 100 rolls of 27 exposure Agfa Vista 400 in 2004 off the bay for about $CAN 2.30 per roll. Better deals can be scored, but I wanted consitency, because I develop my own C-41 and print my own RA-4.

    Keeping the film stock constant eliminates a varaible in the end result. The box I store it in the chest freezer now has other films in it; I think we have gone though about 35 rolls to date, mostly in the point and shootthat my wife usually uses.

    It works fine as a straight film - not too flashy in any circumstance. It seems to print very happily onto Supra III and now Endura Supra.

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    Agfa Vista 400 is not as fine-grained as Kodacolor VR400 Plus and of course not as Fujicolor Superia 400, 800, or even 1600. Especially in the shadows grain may become too pronounced. The last generation of Agfa print films has been optimized for digital minilab (and home) scanning with a lighter mask, but in general Agfa didn't seem to have advanced much beyond its technology of about 15 years ago.

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    I've been using the Optima professional film from Agfa and found it quite to my liking. The results have always been satisfactory. Good colour rendition and sharpness. I have made up to x15 and the results tended to have exceeded my expections. I would imagine the Vista would perform comparably to other color consumer films from the major film producers.
    "The secret to life is to keep your mind full and your bowels empty. Unfortunately, the converse is true for most people."

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    Thanks Guys,
    I think I'll hang out with Superia 400 as my 35mm general purpose film. Nobody replied regarding Kodak Max, Ultra etc but I just don't have confidence in Kodak supplying a consistent product. The nomenclature changes, appearance and disappearance of lines and general malaise is stupid in a global market.
    I often make 10 X 8s from partial negative enlargements and do not want a jump in grain size. I also have a stock of superia in 120 roll and having two looks is maybe not a good idea.
    I have found in my fridge about 20 35mm rolls of pro400 the new NPH, this is my normal portrait / wedding film allthough I find it incredibly grey and dull. Does anybody out there change the processing or exposure of this film to lift the colours. I have mentioned before that when I shoot superia400 in 120 format during a wedding the couple always prefer the punchier colours than those from the NPH negs. It's just holding the image together in higher contrast situations is much harder and I dont like blown out whites or no black suits.
    Richard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Harris View Post
    Thanks Guys,
    I think I'll hang out with Superia 400 as my 35mm general purpose film. Nobody replied regarding Kodak Max, Ultra etc but I just don't have confidence in Kodak supplying a consistent product. The nomenclature changes, appearance and disappearance of lines and general malaise is stupid in a global market.
    I often make 10 X 8s from partial negative enlargements and do not want a jump in grain size. I also have a stock of superia in 120 roll and having two looks is maybe not a good idea.
    I have found in my fridge about 20 35mm rolls of pro400 the new NPH, this is my normal portrait / wedding film allthough I find it incredibly grey and dull. Does anybody out there change the processing or exposure of this film to lift the colours. I have mentioned before that when I shoot superia400 in 120 format during a wedding the couple always prefer the punchier colours than those from the NPH negs. It's just holding the image together in higher contrast situations is much harder and I dont like blown out whites or no black suits.
    Richard.
    I once rated Fuji 400 at 320 as I had done in the past without problems but then accidentally overdeveloped by about 25-30 secs. Boy did that make a difference to the contrast! The negs were printable but very contrasty and the colours while still authentic were a little over saturated not to say garish.

    I don't think I'd repeat the accident on purpose but it was proof to me that somewhere between correct time and 25-30 secs too much there might be a point at which extra punch is delivered without any downside.

    I think it's risky and only to be tried with non critical negs until you nail the right over-development. Might be an interesting experiment to cut a film into three and then develop at 3:15; 3:30 and 3:45 and then do prints. My guess and that is all it is, is that the scales are tipped into the overdeveloped and too much contrast at somewhere between 15 and 30 secs over but it might be earlier.

    Maybe at the cost of two films, it could be nailed down to almost the exact second to suit your purposes.

    I'd certainly be interested in scans of prints or even neg scans of such an experiment. Maybe the Technical Gallery is the place. Let us know if you try it.

    Thanks

    pentaxuser

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