I am not particularly a fan of color film, although I take many color photographs with my DSLR.  When I had my first cameras as a kid, it was all black and white, but I did try some color before digital cameras began to appear. I returned to film when I bought a used Hasselblad 500C/M here in Thailand.  I later picked up an Agfa Record III on eBay which I wrote about last year. I prefer the 6×6 and 6×9 output, working almost exclusively in black and white.

For a while, I had a Bronica ETRS. The 6×4.5cm format did not appeal to me. Rather than lock the camera away, I gave it to a student who is interested in photography. He prefers Kodak Portra 400: his results with the Bronica were good and he gave me a roll of Portra 160 which I tried in my Hasselblad with mixed results: I exposed at EI100. I thought that I should try this again and ordered some online.

Agfa Record III
Agfa Record III

I put a roll in the Agfa. A major problem was aligning the film through the old, red film window. With the unfamiliar text lead-in, totally different from the series of rings on films like those from ILFORD, I missed the first frame.  Pablo Olvera mentions this Kodak difference in his recent article on shooting panoramas.

The first roll was not a success. The second outing, starting close to where I now live, produced reasonable results. As Bangkok is beginning to open up gradually, more photographic opportunities are appearing and I like street shots. Apple has just opened its second store here: a circular, transparent design on two levels. Much wood is used inside. Outside is surrounded by trees. Most images from this roll were usable, with light leaks on a couple of frames.

While scanning the negatives, I try to imagine the original and edit to enhance the scene that had first attracted me. With the Portra 160 examples here I am close to that.

~ Graham

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Graham Rogers

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a...

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