Morning Walk, a brief Agfa Precisa 100 CT review

After some rather disappointing results with Cross Processing the Agfa Precisa 100 CT, I resolved not to shoot the second roll I had until I got some proper chemicals… That day finally came in late 2016, and so I shot my second roll one Saturday morning, on a nice, long walk around the neighborhood, and around the house shortly after.

tl;dr (not that this is going to be that long anyway): it may be a bit contrasty, it goes a bit red/gold in early morning light, and it turns a horrid green when x-pro’d, but Agfa Precisa 100 CT (apparently repackaged Fuji Provia 100F Professional (according to Dexter)) is a great, relatively inexpensive, slide film, and I’d shoot it again.

So first, let’s take that walk with the Hanabibti…

I just want to point out a couple of favorites. First, my largely failed attempt at an Eggleston:

And next, a marginally more successful attempt at a Foote…

Now, let’s compare those to some cross-processed results from the Chicago trip back in 2015: Hana, outside in the early morning in Springfield, IL; the view from our room at the Blackstone in Chicago; and Hana at Epic Burger, downtown Chicago.

As maybe you can see, interiors work better with cross processing, but only just. Everything goes green in natural light, and it’s at its worst in soft, overcast daylight: yuck. Night scenes are better, though. The darkness and horrid chemical streetlights mask the wretched green that washes everything in daylight.

It’s not an apples-to-apple comparison, but here’s some C41 vs. E6. The difference might not be so clear, so here’s a hint: the C41 shot took me about 15 minutes of levels play in C1P before I finally got this mediocre result. The E6 shot received a minor white balance and straightening adjustment. And the x-pro’d shot looks as good as it does only thanks to my vastly improved Capture One Pro skills (and the improvements made to the program in recent years).

Cross processed Precisa has some possiblities, but really, for my money, if I were shooting chrome with more regularity, I’d stick with E6. Overall, when properly developed, grain is well-controlled, it’s easy to DSLR scan, and the Precisa has a nice warm character to it. If I recall, it has a tendency to curl up like a spiral. I have ways around that now,* but it was a headache a couple of years ago.


So, Agfa Precisa 100 CT: decent, relatively inexpensive, slide film, but don’t X-Pro it. Overall, I’d give it 4 stars.

Let’s end this review off with a nice shot of my darling, adorable wife, thrilled to be dipping her toes into lake Michigan… The FG had some failing batteries at this point, I think, that I mistakenly attributed to incorrect Aperture settings (learning/experience, FTW).  These beach shots (and the street photography I shot from the tour bus later that day) were wildly underexposed, and you can see how much I had to massage the file to correct it by the red edges and digital noise. The photograph therefore has some problems, but I really like it anyway…

So what has been your experience have with Agfa Precisa 100 CT? Have you had better results with X-Pro, maybe by rating it a couple of stops over? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

For lengthwise curl, when the film is just dry, cut, sleeve, and press between a couple of heavy books overnight: Voila. (I use a first edition Magnum Contact Sheets and a copy of An American Century of Photography: From Dry-Plate to Digital, 2nd Ed.)

For lateral curl, reverse-roll the film tightly (emulsion side out), and stuff into an empty plastic 35mm canister for about an hour. It’ll come out flat as a pancake.

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