I Shot a Roll of Agfa Vista 400 by Florian Merlet

Nov 5, 2019
3 min read

Finding your daily film stock is one of the many questions I came across. I started with the classic google search “best 35mm colour film stock”… As you can imagine, I have concluded from this research that Portra 400 was my best option. After all, pictures are only taken once, so they deserve the best. But I soon realised that my wallet cannot sustain it, especially when doing street photography, where you miss a lot of shots. 

Then, I discovered Agfa Vista 400 when shopping at a well-known “drogerie markt” in Germany.  A 400 iso film, less than 4 euros and easily available? Exactly what I was looking for! It instantly became my daily colour film, until this happened…

I wanted to share with you my second last roll of Agfa Vista 400 and why I loved this film stock. It was shot in June this year in Nice, the home town of Vincent from On Film Only. Unfortunately we couldn’t meet as he was busy with his new-born, congrats again! 

I loaded the film in my beloved Olympus XA at the airport in Hamburg just before the flight. Look at how cool the reds looks!

Once you arrive in Nice, and if you have a bit of time, you can walk from the airport to the city center along the famous “Promenade des Anglais”. Take a deep breath and smell the salt from the sea, the sun cream from the tourists and the Chanel n°5 from some of the nearby hotel residents…

As you can see, Agfa Vista 400 is a warm film. It is not to everyone’s taste but I like that, especially when shooting during a hot summer day. I find colours are also well-balanced and I really like how reds and blues are rendered. 

You have now lost 2 litres of sweat, your skin is turning red, and your throat is getting dry. It is time to look for shade in the Vieux Nice district. Not only the narrow streets have many restaurants to offer but also intense shades that contrast with the burning sun. My internal lightmeter was easily fooled in this tricky environment but there are a lot of opportunities for nice street photography. Look at the pictures from the talented local photographer Rudy Boyer to get an idea of how good it can be!

I wish I could have shown you more of Nice but there are only 36 exposures in a roll and they were all gone in 2 hours which is not usual for me! Definitely the sign of a good day in Nice with my Olympus XA and a roll of Agfa Vista 400 😊I hope you have enjoyed it too.

You can find more of my pictures on my Instagram: @comikanalog

Vincent here! For the curious and warm tones lovers, here’s a little episode I shot a while ago in Nice on Kodak Gold 200

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