5 Frames With… #06: New Agfa APX 100 (EI 100 / 35mm) by Marco North
As a young cinematographer in the 90s, Agfa was a legendary European movie film stock that I longed to shoot. It was barely available in the States and most American films were shot on Kodak. So, unable to source their motion-picture stock, I used their still camera films to satisfy my love affair with the old master colors of Agfachrome RSX200, and of course, their APX 100, a black and white negative as gentle and honest as La Strada.
When Agfa disappeared from the market some years ago, I was heartbroken. Their Scala (a black and white slide film) was a rare, magical stock. But, sometimes the winds of change bring back an old friend. Is the “new” APX 100 the same, or as good as the “old” one?
In my opinion and experience, the difference is negligible. At the end of the day, this stock has many of the fantastic qualities of stocks made in the 1950s, and it is readily available. That is good enough for me. If you want an open palette, and plenty of graduations in your tones, I cannot urge you enough to try this stock. I shoot mine in a cherished Leica M4-P, typically with a 35mm Summilux.
I overexpose slower films like this one a third or half a stop – unless I am in snow, or some other heavily bright scene. The images from this set of 5 are from one roll.
~ Marco North
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