Name: AgfaPhoto Vista Plus
Film type: Colour Negative
Character: Sensitive to red colour, saturation is high
ISO 400 is the perfect box speed to shoot under different conditions. Since my beloved Kodak Super Gold 400 has already been discontinued. I need to find a replacement for it. I tried Kodak Portra 400 but we didn’t really work out. I always have the impression that the Agfa Vista 400 is cheap with low quality reflected on its price tag. But I was totally wrong to have this impression to it. Why? Let me explain with the follow points.
Sharp colour and fair sharpness
“RED” is the first impression of Agfa Vista, at the same time it is the signature. It has great skin tone reproduction which I am quite surprised. I love how it can enhance my presentation on street snaps. When I do photo walk in Hong Kong, I always wanted to bring up colour as one of the key matter in my content. Agfa Vista 400 helps me a lot with bringing up the sharp colour rendering. Also, it is great to use under different weather as other film cannot really bring up the right mood when the weather is bad. And normally I will just shoot with black and white film immediately when I knew it is going to rain on that day. Frankly speaking, I like it more than X-tra 400 or Superia Premium 400 because it doesn’t has the Fuji green tint. I like it presented in warmer tone like the Kodak film and it is cheap in price. Sharpness is fair, not so sharp compare with Kodak Portra 400 but you couldn’t ask for more with such price.
Even though they stated it has fine-grain structure on their website. But I think their grain formation is a bit coarse. When you compare other film with ISO400. Agfa’s grain is less appealing. I find Fujifilm Superia Premium 400 and Portra 400 are much better in grain structure with more consistent and smooth grain particles.
Why do I prefer Agfa Vista 400 than Kodak Portra 400, Fujifilm Superia Premium 400 and X-tra 400?
Based on my experience of using these films. The main reason I love Agfa is that it has wide exposure latitude that makes me achieving consistent result under different lighting environment. Whether it is sunny or cloudy, it maintains great grey balance. However, for Fujifilm Superia Premium 400 and X-tra 400, when you use it on cloudy day and lack of sunlight, the mood will be more depressed. So I would describe Agfa Vista as a happy film, it absorbs colour and present it in high saturation. On the other hand, the thing that I like Agfa Vista more than Kodak Portra 400 is that I can get better tone in various environment, such as landscape, portrait even though the grain is not as fine as Portra 400. But all these characteristics shape the Agfa Vista 400 to be an all -rounded film.