AgfaPhoto Vista 400: It Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

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Having never used Agfa film before, I had no idea what to expect with the Vista 400. Kindly given to me as a gift from Lomography with a camera I had purchased, I was eager to give this film a try. Join me as I discover that life doesn’t always have to be hard in order for it to be worthwhile!

400 iso film, in my mind, has always been a bit of a cop-out. The awesomely forgiving exposure latitude means that it handles over and under-exposures extremely well, with the only trade-off being the level of grain which it comes with when compared with, say, 100 film. This has always struck a nerve with me as I have always thought those who use 400 film simply can’t be bothered exposing it properly and will put up with the grainy image. I was wrong.

Unlike any other 400 film I have used in the past, Agfa’s Vista 400 comes with a surprisingly fine grain. The ease of use and simple exposures are completely preserved, as you will soon find out, but gone are the unbearable grainy pictures, and in their place are simply some of the most beautiful, saturate colours I have ever witnessed. Some pictures taken with my Lomo LC-A+ Russia Day even look almost as if they were cross processed!

Because of the great forgiving exposure thresholds, double exposures are a breeze. Exposures that would have rendered other film way over-exposed turned out amazing on this film! If I had to find a single strong point of this film, I would say it was the double exposure capabilities, as I was continually surprised with how well it could deal with this.

However, even when taking simple single-shots, I was never disappointed. Yes it was still as easy as any other 400 film, but I felt that it didn’t compromise on quality like Kodak Ultramax 400 did, with each of my images turning out with a professional appearance. In daylight, with bright scenarios, the colors were simply stunning. Some of the hues seen in pictures of the sky were breathtaking to say the least, and as I had said before, reminiscent of cross-processed slide film, yet without the downsides of extremely fine exposure tolerances.

Taking the same roll into the dark, it never ceased to disappoint. Flash or no flash, this film dominated every scene and every photo turned out magical. With no flash, the 400 iso meant I could still get relatively sharp pictures because of the quicker shutter speeds, but with flash, my subjects still weren’t whited-out because of over-exposure! It was simply a breeze to use!

Sometimes you have to work for the good things in life. No Pain… No gain! However that isn’t always the case! Agfa’s Vista 400 film has taught me that sometimes… just sometimes… it can be easy and still special at the same time! Take a chance on this underrated film and you will not be disappointed!

The AgfaPhoto Vista 400 35mm delivers bright, bold, contrasty colours every single time. And with a speed of 400 ISO, you can count on this film to capture your subjects in action or in low light. See the whole range of colour negatives in our Shop.

written by wangtacular on 2012-05-16 in #reviews

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