When I first became a part of the film shooting community here online, I was on a quest to become a better photographer. Growing up, I was always the family photographer. I took pictures for friends at weddings, and for family at events. They would be really happy with the results, but I always had that same comment that got under my skin, “I love your pictures, you must have a great camera.” That always upset me because it sounded as if I had nothing to do with the quality of those shots.
One day, I decided I would prove my skills. I had to learn to shoot in manual mode, and better yet I’d shoot on film. Even more of a challenge. So I hoped to find a mentor in the community. I messaged people who I admired from watching them shoot film on YouTube, but most of them ignored me. I even asked one if they’d be my friend, they read it and ignored me. I never felt so pathetic in my life. But then I met a group of guys and one lady, (they know who they are), and they have all become my mentors. Who needs just one.
One of those guys is Alex Luckyx. You may know him from the podcast, Classic Camera Revival. He has been so kind to me. Answering any question I have with patience, and even sending me a camera with some film to help me out when the camera’s I have became too heavy for my arms after recovering from a long hospital stay.
That brings me to todays topic. The roll of expired Agfachrome AGFA RSX II 100 film that Alex sent me.
This is a professional grade color slide film made from 1999-2005. It originally came in 135, 120 and sheet film. This film is said to not require refrigeration except in hot/humid situations, so that may be why it didn’t have any weird variances for me.
The negative is the fun part of shooting color positive film because unlike color negative film, the picture appears right on your film the way it will appear on print. It doesn’t need to be reversed after scanning.
When I received it I was a little intimidated because I had never shot color positive film before and I had heard that there’s not much room for error when it comes to exposing it. So at first I put it away in the refrigerator hoping to try it when I became more experienced with this type of film. Then I realized Alex wouldn’t have sent it to me if he didn’t think I would make good use of it. So I messaged him for advice on how to shoot it and he said “just shoot and embrace the weird.” Ive never heard better words to live by. So even though it expired in March of 2002, I shot it at box speed of ISO 100. I shot the roll also using the camera Alex sent me (article on that in the future), the Pentax ME Super with its built in meter on manual.
I didn’t look at any examples of this film online before I shot it because when I shoot expired I like to be surprised. Some of the shots came out very under exposed when the sun was strong and I stood in shadows, but the majority of the shots came back pretty nice in my opinion.
I love the colors of this film. It’s very saturated with fine grain, although it isn’t too saturated in my opinion the way Fujicolor 200 tends to be. It seems to simply enhance the colors. It also has a blue/purple cast to it.
I have read that this film does well when pushed to ISO 200, so I hope one day I can get my hands on some more rolls and try that out. I recommend you try it too.
Overall, my first experience with color positive film was a positive one.