Testing, testing, and more testing. That’s all I’ve been doing here for the past few months.
I’ve been shooting tons of different film stocks, but lately I’ve been shooting Agfa Vista 400 to see what its capabilities are, when it’s best used, and what the key features of this film are. Although it is relatively cheap, I was surprised by how well it performed, even under harsh light and dark, night-time conditions. For anyone looking to get into analog photography or for anyone trying to shoot a lot of film on a budget, this is a great film stock for you. And just because it isn’t one of the main, name brand companies like Kodak or Fuji does not mean you should set it aside. This film is really great to take out when shooting life around you and fun pictures of your friends.
Without any more waiting, let’s take a look at Agfa Vista 400’s notable features and highlights!
Agfa Vista film stocks were originally created for amateur photography in all conditions. Agfa features stocks ranging from low speeds of 50-100 all the way up to high-speed film speed like 800 to capture low-lit situations. With a diverse range of films available, the mid-range speed, Vista 400, is great for any time and is capable of capturing still subjects, subjects in motion, or groups of people with clarity and sharpness every time.
Some of the incredible features of this amateur film stock include EYE Vision Technology, exposure balance, and spectral sensitivity layering! Let’s take a deeper look at some of the features to find out how we can use them and how they can show throughout your photos.
EYE Vision Technology
A film’s color rendition is contingent upon more than a few factors. However, one of the main components of Agfa Vista film stocks is their EYE Vision 3.0 Technology.
With this advanced technology it is possible to match the films’ sensation to the color perception of the human eye!
EYE Vision Technology is more accurate than other mechanisms of color matching/perception and greatly eliminates the color falsifications that are more noticeable in films with conventional sensations. Some examples of these falsifications that EYE Vision Technology is able to diminish include:
- unpleasant green cast with fluorescent lighting. (ex: neon tubes)
- red-shift in certain blue-colored objects. (primarily flowers)
- brown rendition of green colors. (mainly seen in fabrics and linens)
- absence of texture in certain red colors. (ex: flowers)
These incredible features of the EYE Vision Technology are more noticeable than one may realize and you can truly see the effects when compared to other film stocks. For example, take a look at the comparison photos below.
Looking at these photos side-by-side it is easy to see that the EYE Vision Technology definitely affects the way you capture colors, and in my opinion, the technology does help to show the colors in a more natural tone that would mimic what the scene looked like in real life.
Another great factor of this film stock is its exposure capabilities. Shooting this film, you can use natural daylight, artificial flash to boost clarity, or artificial lighting. Under all circumstances, Agfa Vista 400 will perform and show colors throughout the film in natural, life-like settings.
Agfa Vista reads the quality of light by measuring the color temperature using Kelvins as its means of measurement. What this means is that the film’s color can be altered depending on the temperature. For example, at mid-day when the sun is directly above you, the light is colder and will contain more blue. However, if it is early morning during sunrise or later in the day during sunset, you will see warmer light, which contains more red. This beautiful color tone will show throughout in your images. This feature, although some may see it as an issue, is actually a great way of showing natural light according to the hour of the day.
When scanning the photos, you will be looking at accurate representations of what you saw in real life every time. Check out the photos below to see examples of the cool and warm light exposures!
(cool tone photo taken at mid-day)
(warm tone photo taken in the late afternoon)
In case you haven’t figured it out yet – the main benefit of this film stock has to do with its light balances and color coordination, which is why the last key feature we’re going to be discussing is the film stock’s spectral sensitivity.
Using the charts above, you can see how the color is taken and interpreted by the film. We can also look at the spectral sensitivity graphs on the right to help us better understand how we can utilize the film. Knowing what your film is capable of is always important before you go and shoot with it because you may under/over-compensate for something that is unnecessary.
The graphs on the right are crucial to know and will greatly affect how your photos turn out so be sure to read p and study these charts before shooting any serious projects with the film.
Thanks so much for checking out our review of Agfa’s Vista 400 film stock and feel free to let us know what you think about this stock below in the comments! For more analog articles, feel free to check out:
- Super 8 Test Footage: Boston, MA – Fall 2017
- Kodak Portra 400 vs. Kodak Portra 800
- Fuji Superia 800 vs. Kodak Portra 800