Fun with Film: Agfa 100 HDC

When it comes to color film, there have been Kodak loyalists, Fuji Loyalists, and those who just like shooting film regardless of who made it.  I'm certainly one who falls in the latter camp, but I've long admitted a particular fondness for Agfa color films.  I love Ultra 50, used to shoot a bit of my favorite portfolio shots on Portrait 160, and had also liked using their "general purpose" color films as well.

One of those films, not often found today, was Agfa 100 HDC.  It was a very clean and snappy film, and one that I tended to find more neutral than the warm tones of Kodak Gold or the cool hues of many Fuji stocks.  

I managed to come across a short sample roll of HDC not too long ago, and decided to give it another try.  To get as many images from the roll as I could, I spooled it onto my custom 828 backing and shot it in square format through the Bantam RF for which I had the 24x24mm square mask made.  Here is a look at some of the good and not so good from this roll.  

I was quite pleased at how this long expired film had held up over the decade and change since it was made.  Taken in late afternoon light, this image conveys a look that looks just like the scene taken.  The blue-green color of the street posts is actually the shade they are painted.

Curiously, some of the green tones have picked up some warm rosy undertones, as this image conveys. 

Contrast in my results could tend to be soft in spots, such as in this image. 

When immersed in shadow, the colors were muted, but still rather neutral. 

Unlike many expired films, the grain has held together well in this sample roll. 

I tried zeroing out the saturation in this image to see how it would appear.  Nice tonality, though a true black is missing. 

I wish I had shot more of this film in better light, as the soft overcast tends to take a bit from the rendering of this film stock. 

Overall, I was happy with the results from this roll of 100 HDC, and have managed to find a longer roll to put into use in the not too distant future.  Maybe I'll shoot it in a true 35mm camera, or maybe I'll have a bit more fun with that square format Bantam!