AgfaPhoto CT Precisa 100 Review

The Agfaphoto CT Precisa 100 is a 35mm slide film, daylight balanced and rated as ISO 100. This film rivals directly with the Fujifilm Provia 100 F, but depending on the store, but generally presents a higher price tag.

First, a little bit of background, this film is not just “Agfa” is “AgfaPhoto”. Agfa film and cameras were once prominent consumer products. However, in 2004, the consumer imaging division was sold to a company founded via management buyout. AgfaPhoto GmbH, as the new company was called, filed for bankruptcy after just one year. Nowadays, Lupus Imaging & Media has the exclusive global rights to manufacture and sell films, single-use cameras and analog cameras under the AgfaPhoto brand.

agfa-logo-300x300

So, the iconic rhomboid logo found in old cameras like the “Optima” and film like the Chrome RSX was substituted by the new round logo of “Agfaphoto”.

AGFA_Photo_Logo

In the same way, this film is the “Agfaphoto CT Precisa 100” not the old “Agfa CT Precisa” discontinued in 2005. Manufactured initially by Ferrania, and nowadays by FujiFilm.

Name AgfaPhoto CT Precisa 100
ISO 100
Developer E-6, AP-44
Available formats 35mm
Exposures 36
DX coding Yes
Availability ★★★☆☆

In “Lomography” stores and online.

IMG_20170819_145941_HDR

The Afgaphoto CT 100 precisa is a slide film, that means we will get a positive colorful strip, instead of the common negative film.

negativevsslide

The benefit of slide film is that we can get a clear image of the colors capture and we will be able to correct the scanned image,  and we can also use it in a slide projector (not so useful nowadays…). It will give us the correct tone that we captured that day, and we will be able to adjust or editing accordingly, a problem often found is that we will archive this slides and then forget how was the light or situation that day. The biggest inconvenience is that slides are less forgiving then negatives.  A slight over or underexposure will give you a too dark or bright image. Negatives have a much more wider latitude, something similar to the digital dynamic range, it will give us much more room for error.

My idea for this film was to shoot landscapes, so I took it through a trip around Spain.  The Nikon FM2 paired with a 28mm and a 50mm was the perfect setup to capture the vivid colors and blue skies that I found in the south of Spain and the Pyrenees.

IMG_20170806_175058_HDR-01

IMG_20170819_145855_HDR

The first thing to notice is that the AgfaPhoto CT Precisa 100 gives amazing and saturated colors, especially blues. But, the overall images lacks in contrast. Is actually not a flaw, the scanning is flat, but retains a lot of information, even in the shadows with minimum grain. That means that with a 30 second edit, you will obtain a crisp image with lots of detail. In this review all images are unedited.

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -008-2

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -008
Before and after doing a basic tune of the image

As mentioned before, the blue tones in AgfaPhoto CT Precisa 100 are amazing, they are really vivid and deep.  In the first picture of the fisherman, we can see that from the very top of the sky to the seashore, the picture retains all the shades of blue. Simply exceptional.

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -014

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -024

Greens are more bleached than blues, they lose vibrancy compared to the blues. Like I mentioned before, we a few edits, it will provide a great image but just the scan without any edit shows a muted green tone. I added a comparison with Ektar 100. We can see that Ektar has more latitude (like digital dynamic range) but definitely is less sharp than the CT 100.

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -005-2

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -029

Film - Pyrenees hiking - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Kodak Ektar 100 -030
Same time, place, camera and lens but shot with Ektar 100.

The whole warm palette, although is not well represented in this pictures is a medium point in between the vibrant blues and the washed out greens. IT can be more accentuated through editing, but is really balanced and true to color. Reds a little bit more than yellow. But, in any case really pleasant.

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -038

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -034

I also decided to use this film for a series of portraits, as I keep mentioning during the article, it just needs a little bit of editing, with an extra “pop” to look great, here is an example:

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -010-3

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -010-2
Above, unedited scan. Below, re-framing and changing a bit shadows, blacks and contrast.

Other portraits with and without flash in different skin tones. I’m not a fan of slide film,because it is very easy to completely blow up or darken the background, wasting an opportunity for a nice portrait. The film is great, the skin tones are really natural and look really true to color, with natural light and direct flash. Under controlled lighting, I’m sure it can deliver excellent results. Just using the light-meter in my camera I got tricked with the reflected light and under-exposed this portraits for at least one step. One of the reasons I prefer negative over slide, it is much more forgiving.


Color chart and measurement of the colors.

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -013

  • RED: Average Colour R:195.0 G:105.0 B:105.0
  • GREEN: Average Colour R:92.0 G:108.0 B:101.0
  • YELLOW: Average Colour R:148.0 G:121.0 B:107.0
  • BLUE: Average Colour R:54.0 G:60.0 B:88.0

You can take also a look at this article on How do I measure the colors?


In conclusion, the AgfaPhoto CT Precisa 100 is an excellent performer. The film here in Asian can be only found in Lomography stores. Therefore, I was really surprised since many of the examples that I found on-line are shot with “Lomography” cameras or developed in cross-process, all the pictures I found were kind of blurry or with funky colors. Nevertheless, the AgfaPhoto CT Precisa 100 was great, really sharp, retaining a lot of detail and with a surprising latitude for a slide film.

This film would be amazing for landscapes, portraits, macro or product photography. All the kinds of photography that need extra time in the darkroom or Photoshop if you have a more hybrid flow and you edit on your computer. It’s a shame that this film is not available in 120mm. Those massive slides would be amazing!

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -023

This film is definitely not for me, one of the reasons why I shoot film is to spend less time editing pictures. Shooting negative film I always obtain great pictures without the need of any editing other than occasional cropping and some scratch removal (in older negatives). That’s why I wouldn’t love to use this film as my standard. I also prefer negative films in the ISO range of 200-400, faster and more forgiving, but definitely far away from the quality offered by the AgfaPhoto CT Precisa 100.

YES ⇑

  • Landscape, product photography, portrait.
  • If you plan to work with those negatives after shooting.
  • Clean, grainless, extremely detailed image.

NO ⇓

  • If you don’t have the time to shoot carefully, you can’t just load the film and shoot.
  • Portraits or situations with strong light contrast.
  • It can be hard to find someone to develop this film, ask your local developer before invest in buying this film. You might consider Ektar 100 or Portra 160, easier to find and to develop.

Check out the gallery for more shots taken with this film!

Advertisements

Fujifilm Fujichrome Provia 100F Review

Fujichrome is the Fujifilm product line that carries the color reversal films (also known as positive film, transparencies or slides). A few years ago there was an extensive line of Fujifilm slide film, however, after the discontinuity of the Astia, Sensia and Fortia, only two remaining series hold the fort, Provia and Velvia.

Unlike with other films, there are several reviews on-line for the Provia 100F, especially from the early 2000’s. These are professional films, with a professional niche of customers that do research in advance and share their opinions. Therefore, it will be some reviews comparing it with Astia and Velvia and praising how good was this film when converting it to digital. This review will be more informal, less technical and just clarifying some points of this film.

Provia100FRDPIIIBoxFront

Name FUJIFILM – FUJICHROME PROVIA 100F
ISO 100
Developer E-6
Available formats 35mm, 120mm
Exposures 36 in 35mm, Depends on the format for 120mm
DX coding Yes
Availability ★★★☆☆

The first thing to notice is that is a slide film, that means it’s positive, not negative, what is the difference? A negative stripe of film will look something like that:

Filmstrip

While slide, or positive film looks like this :

[FILM] TAIWAN friends sakura APR2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor ProviaF 100029-2

The benefit of slide film is that we can get a clear image of the colors capture and we will be able to correct the scanned image,  and we can also use it in a slide projector (not so useful nowadays…). It will give us the correct tone that we captured that day, and we will be able to adjust or editing accordingly, a problem often found is that we will archive this slides and then forget how was the light or situation that day. The biggest inconvenience is  that slides are less forgiving then negatives.  A slight over or underexposure will give you a too dark or bright image. Negatives have a much more wider latitude, something similar to the digital dynamic range, it will give us much more room for error.

Personally I also found harder to find a place that develop slides (or E-6 development process) properly. While with negatives (C-41 most commonly) there is no problem at all.

In conclusion, either because you really know what you are shooting with, or because you randomly or accidentally bought some of this film to try it out, without getting too technical, in a more informal way, let’s see how this film responds.

[FILM] TAIWAN friends sakura APR2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor ProviaF 100005

Greens  and reds are the most true to color, balanced and natural that I’ve ever seen in a film. Very consistent and not excessively contrasty. Red tended to lean more on a brownish tone than on bright red, but that makes it even better as a portrait film, giving a really pleasant skin tone. That make it great to play with editing, slightly flat images give lot of room to add a personal touch.

[FILM] TAIWAN friends sakura APR2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor ProviaF 100025

Blues are little bit particular, giving a pastel tone specially under bright light conditions. Most of this films were shot in overcast days (Taipei’s weather…), but the days that the sky opened, it really gave beautiful pastel tones. I understand why this slide film is one of the favorites for landscape photographers.

[FILM] TAIWAN friends sakura APR2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor ProviaF 100022

[FILM] TAIWAN friends sakura APR2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor ProviaF 100013

Grain is almost inexistent, This picture was taken with strong backlight and even so, no grain or weird color shifting, it gave a really great image. You can see how much detail was retained even in a 200% crop.  Making the film great for portrait, landscape or product. The only problem found was a really strong glow (or halo) but I believe that was during development, First I thought that it was the scanner, however after looking carefully the film, I can feel it in the film itself, therefore, I believe it was a mistake or old chemicals used in the development. Not related to the film itself or the camera/lens/scanner combo.

noise bee

[FILM] TAIWAN friends sakura APR2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor ProviaF 100006

I decided to use this film to for a set of portraits, with light skin tone and a darker skin tone. The film is great, giving really natural skin tones for both of them. It would behave even better in a controlled-light situation, like a studio, or using a couple of reflectors. I’m not a fan of slide film, because as you can see, for a couple of casual portraits, not taking much care of the background lighting, or the general light, it was very easy to completely blow up or darken the background, wasting an opportunity for a nice portrait.

 


Color chart and measurement of the colors.

[FILM] TAIWAN friends sakura APR2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor ProviaF 100017

  • RED: Average Colour R:153.0 G:107.0 B:74.0
  • GREEN: Average Colour R:97.0 G:119.0 B:78.0
  • YELLOW: Average Colour R:166.0 G:168.0 B:86.0
  • BLUE: Average Colour R:65.0 G:69.0 B:106.

You can take also a look on this article on How do I measure the colors?


 

In Conclusion, Provia 100F is an excellent film. Compared to the other Fujichrome series, Velvia seems to be more contrasty and with more vivid and saturated colors. Provia 100F is a perfect flat film, for a natural look, in the blue/golden hour you will obtain beautiful blue/golden tones. I would definitely use it for a controlled situation, like a portrait, or product photography. If you are in the mood for grabbing your backpack, tripod, set of gradient filters and your shutter release cable, you will enjoy this film so much.

However, this film is NOT for me, for two big reasons:

It doesn’t make any sense to me to use this film in 35 mm, If you go through the struggle of using slide, measuring the light, paying more for developing, more expensive than negative, etc. Why stop in 35 mm? Shooting it in 120 mm, giving you a massive slide that you can scan with tons of detail makes more sense to me. It is a shame that other slide film  like the AgfaPhoto CT Precisa 100 does not offer other formats.

I really don’t like positive film, it gives you an amazing slides to work with and admire in the light table. I prefer negative film, cheaper, it gives you much more room for mistake. I don’t really mind the grain, in fact, I love it! I would rather load a 200-400 ISO negative film, close the aperture, and enjoy more the shooting without worrying too much about the exposure. If I had to shoot on assignment with film, I would go for Portra, Ektar or 400H, excellent films, easier to shoot and cheaper too.

YES ⇑

  • If you need maximum color fidelity  and great detail.
  • Landscape, product photography, portrait.
  • If you are a control freak and plan every shoot carefully.
  • If you plan to show the slides, slides are easier to read than negatives.

NO ⇓

  • If you don’t have the time to shoot carefully, you can’t just load the film and shoot.
  • Portraits or situations with strong light contrast.
  • It can be hard to find someone to develop this film, ask your local developer before invest in buying this film.

Check out the gallery for more shots taken with this film!