I have heard and read about cross-processing slide film for a long while now. But only recently was I able to purchase and test one. As it turns out it was the cheapest one available at the store, but for a first try it was okay. The results of my first cross-process experience left me with a bit of mixed feelings, in a good way.
What I like more about this film is the colors. The pictures I took didn’t sport a similar hue of the same color throughout the entire roll, as I have come to expect from cross processing slide, at least going by some of the results available online. Instead I was presented with a wide range of tonal differences.
For example, I got a stunning shade of blue on a grey shaded background area while photographing a blue peacock. Subject and background almost mix in a beautiful saturated way.
Yellow light sources, photographed in the dead of night got me stunning, highly contrasted shades of lime green and strong dark blacks.
Regular sunny day light got me a slightly greenish tint overall, but with a very strong sense of contrast.
I would most aptly describe it as a sobering effect over the entire picture. This film is edgy, rough and sober. But give it a little yellow and it will come out and play with you.
I absolutely love the colors: the high saturation, the strong contrasts, the unexpected hues. What baffles me a little though, is the lack of sharpness. On some places it’s very sharp, but on pictures that otherwise would be perfectly focused, in this film they are not quite as sharp. I’m not sure how to explain as the objects are very visible still. There’s this unease I get though, while looking at the subjects. It’s like the emulsion was twisting as it was registering the picture. There is a small feeling of a little distortion that I’m unable to easily pin.
I must admit I’m not sure this is the result of my inaccuracy as a photographer/snapper or if it is the result of this film. I’m inclined to point at the film as the roll before this one (Agfa APX 100) came perfectly sharp. As opposed to that one, this slide film wasn’t quite as forgiving of my mistakes and shortcomings while photographing. There is also the fact that I tried this film on very hard conditions, not always with the best of lights, but still, the results mock me in a pleasant way I’m unable to describe.
Overall, this is a very pleasing roll to work with, even if it isn’t the easiest one. It isn’t a ready-for-everything kind of guy. The best pictures need some thought behind them. I found that the best ones for me were the ones where I looked at the subject and imagined a green tint over all of it. If it was still an appealing picture then it was a worthy shot (this is of course a completely personal approach as I’m not always a fan of green in the pictures).
I think this little red roll canister might inhabit my camera bag again some other time in the future.