35mm AGFA Vista Plus 200 Film
Matthew Osborne Photography
35mm AGFA Vista Plus 200 Film can be purchased in the UK from Poundland stores for only £1.00 making it the cheapest camera film available (to my knowledge).
Find it here – http://www.poundland.co.uk/agfa-photo-camera-film-20024
Even when considering C41 film developing costs of £2.99 per roll (I use AG Photographic film lab in Birmingham) the cost of AGFA Vista film plus developing is still approximately the same cost as a roll of cheap black and white film developed at home in low cost Rodinal film developer. For those film photographers that do not develop their own film AGFA Vista is the cheapest option for 35mm film photography (that I am aware of!).
Is AGFA Vista 200 film suitable for professional work?
I took some AGFA Vista 200 to Poland to test for my portrait photos / model photography, to a location model shoot in Birmingham and also shot some AGFA Vista at a recent wedding. Results below.
(Photos taken with Leica M3, Leica M2 and Nikon FM SLR cameras)
AGFA Vista Plus 200 vs Kodak Portra 160
AGFA Vista film gives more saturated colours than Kodak Portra film but has a similar bias to yellow and red tones (from my personal experience). Portra films have more latitude and can be overexposed (and underexposed) more without losing highlight and shadow detail. For Portra I tend to overexpose by one stop or more but for Vista I tend to shoot it at box speed or slightly over. AGFA Vista 200 vs Portra 160 gives me almost half a stop more light which can be useful in low light conditions even when using a slow shutter speed and a fast f1.4 aperture lens.
AGFA Vista Plus vs Fujicolor C200
I have used Fujicolor C200 film in the past and to my eyes the colours of AGFA Vista are quite similar to C200 in certain conditions. I think C200 has a similar ‘Fuji’ look to Fuji Pro 400H with greens and pinks but for reds and yellows it is similar to AGFA Vista. I think C200 has slightly finer grain and ‘better’ colours (from my examples) and I don’t believe AGFA Vista is rebadged old C200 stock as some photographers have considered. To me, AGFA Vista has grain more similar to 400 speed film whereas C200 has finer grain closer to Ektar (I think). I have yet to use AGFA Vista when we have leaves on the trees so spring will be the real test for that.
Fujicolor C200 example photos as a comparison –
AGFA Vista the same film stock as Fujicolor C200?
Fujicolor C200 looking more like Fuji Pro 400H
Would I use AGFA Vista film again?
Yes. I just bought another 10 rolls of AGFA Vista 200. At £1 a roll I really cant go wrong! I think for wedding photography film portraits I will continue to use the less saturated Kodak Portra 160 and 400. For fashion photography Kodak Ektar 100 has stunning fine grain and more saturated colours vs Vista. For low light / night colour film photography I would use the new CineStill 800T (examples coming soon) but for anything in between such as holiday snaps, detail photos or colour film street photography in good light AGFA Vista Plus 200 is fine. Lastly, if you ever buy a 35mm film camera and want to test it works OK AGFA Vista is the perfect solution!