5 Frames… Of a gradually re-opened Bangkok on an Agfa Record III (120 Format / EI 160 / Kodak Portra 160) – by Graham Rogers

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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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