3rd Week March 2015
I bought a handful of Agfa rolls (24exp) from Poundland for, yes you guessed it, £1 each !
I shot a roll in my Olympus Trip 35 and a roll in my Olympus OM1n, to see how the quality compared. And no, I didn’t intentionally set out to be an Olympus user. It’s just turned out that way…..strangely!
Trip 35 :
Agfa stopped producing and selling consumer film back in 2006. A company called Lupus Imaging bought the rights to use the Agfa name. The current Agfa Vista Plus film is made by Fuji and is the equivalent to Fujicolor C200. The price varies from £1 to £5 depending where you buy.
The overall price of 35mm film has gone up partly due to the Lomography movement, which I think is a good thing and the closure of some film manufacturers and the chemicals and film lines. If paying more for our film keeps the film industry alive, then great. However, you can still pick up bargains if you search them out.
Both rolls were processed and scanned by ADSA at £2.50 each. And tweaked in PSE10. How good is that!
I once tried an experiment with Kodak Portra 36exp and sent them to One Vision, Peak Imaging and DS Colour Labs to see how each performed for processing, scanning and printing the film. Including the price of the film, the whole thing cost me £110. Looking back now I think… YIKES…What a crazy thing to do.
So now I find it difficult to square this one. I’m not sure I can justify spending an average £36 for 36 exposures. I don’t want to deny the companies an income. But do I really need to spend so much? Admittedly the cost also included the prints. Although, I didn’t really need to print every shot. Only the keepers.
For this comparison the OM1n clearly gives better quality. And Agfa is not as good as Kodak. Just go and have a look at some of my Kodak Portra posts to compare. However, I’m starting to question whether I really need to spend £1 a frame when I can spend 1/10 (£1 a roll + £2.50 process/scan) on everyday shots.
Does it really matter if the image is grainy, or not as vibrant? Do I really care if the subject is framed correctly, or slightly blurred? Let me explain something here, I recently took a load of shoots for a friend and proudly showed her my results thinking she would pick the images that were technically correct. You know what she did? She completely surprised me and picked all the shots that she said she looked good on. Some were blurred. Some were too contrasty. But she didn’t care.
Why? Because the viewer picks the shot they like. Vanity kicks in. Not photographic excellence. So why bother spending a load of money when it comes down to getting a good shot that “they like”!
I can shoot expensive if I want, or I can shoot cheap. Either way I’m happy when I like my work. And people like my work.