Film Fun Folio #4: Zeiss Ikonta A 521 and Agfa Crossbird 200

Periodically, I'll be posting scans of some complete rolls of film on here, showing both the good and the bad, and giving some basic information as well a little write up of the shoot as well as the reasons why I selected each camera and film.  Enjoy the trip! 

Feature #4:
Camera: ca. 1946 Zeiss Ikonta A 521 645 120 folding camera
Film: Agfa Crossbird 200 (processed in traditional E6)
Locale: Oregon
June of 2015

I had one more trip to Oregon to make following my trip there in mid-March.  This time, I would be likely to journey farther afield than Portland, and I would have much more of an opportunity to shoot during daylight hours.  Thus, I could focus on far more than simply the lovely scenes of Neon present in my Portland After Dark feature.  One thing I knew for certain was that in a retro-savvy town like Portland as well as its neighboring environs, I wanted to bring a roll of Agfa's CR-200, also marketed as Agfa Crossbird.  I figured that the warmly nostalgic hues of this film would be ideal to have at my disposal for some scenes on this trip, and elected to use the smaller Zeiss folder for this purpose so as to enable more images to be captured.  My last experiences with this camera were underwhelming at wider apertures, but I figured that most of the scenes I would shoot would be done at f/8 or smaller.  

1 - Camas, WA - f/8 1/50 - I made one small diversion just to be able to say I walked in Washington State, and these few photos serve as my proof.  While the mill in the small town of Camas gives it an odor, the downtown and Liberty Theater look quite nice, and made a fitting retro subject for this film.

2 - Camas, WA - f/8 1/50 - A view of the main shopping district.  I realized after I shot this grab shot that I really had no visual point of focus. 

3 - Camas, WA - f/5.6 1/50 - A closer look under the marquee of the Liberty Theater.  Love how this film renders incandescent lights so warmly.

4 Portland, OR - f/16 1/5 - One of the same Neon signs as seen on my last visit, this time at dusk.  Overall a good shot, but the shadow areas are lost, which, in some ways, tends to help keep a retro feeling by obscuring present day details. Now if only that modern pedestrian signal wasn't there. 

5 - Portland, OR - f/5.6 1/50 - softly focused, and a little underexposed on an overcast morning, I actually do have to say that I like this shot regardless. 

6 - Cape Meares, OR - f/11 1/250 - I decided to see what this 200 speed film could do with natural landscapes, and this was the result.  Not too shabby, though the green coastline at right gets a bit murky - seems to be a trademark with this film.

7 - Cape Meares, OR - f/11 1/500 - Underexposed by at least a stop, this result manages to be somewhat palatable.  Detail and color in the darker areas is underwhelming though.

8 - Cape Meares, OR - f/16 1/250 - Another underexposed shot - looks a bit better than the last, but still pretty problematic.

9 - Beaver, OR - f/16 1/250 - A scene pretty much in the middle of nowhere, the film definitely shows a bias towards a cream yellow tone in areas that should be more of a white tone, particularly in the walls of the barn.

10 - Newburg, OR - f/8 1/100 - As overcast looms, this shot lacks a degree of pop in the colors, but to be fair, the scene was lacking in color anyway as viewed by the eye.

11 - Portland, OR - f/10 1/250 - Back under full sun, the results are certainly improved, though the golden cast is readily evident on the banner atop the food carts.

12 - Portland, OR- f/16 1/100 - An old park facility provides a nice retro scene for the film, which manages to mostly render the shadow areas and highlights reasonably well.

13 - Apparently wound the exposure twice.  Oops.

14 - Cascade Locks, OR - f/16 1/100 - A scene looking across the Columbia River into Washington renders nicely, even amid a summer haze.  

15 - Cascade Locks, OR - f/16 1/100 - A paddle boat wanders through a similar scene.  Overall a decent job of focus and rendering by the combination of film and camera.

16 - Columbia River Gorge - Corbett View, OR - f/16 1/250 - One of several shots taken of the same scenic viewpoint of the river, this one shows how the CR200 rendered this scene.  I took a number of shots on other films and cameras, and will be posting their results in future posts. 

Thoughts: My first run of this slide film through a 645 folder, and my first to try to shoot a varied roll that plays upon its strengths.  Overall some great results in the batch, but a few lessons learned, namely, that this film has a surprisingly narrow exposure latitude.  That said, I still have a soft spot for this interesting film, and am now curious how one of the Trioplan lens equipped cameras will render with this film.