Le Blog Argentique

by Damien TROLARD

Agfa APX 100 & 400 review

Agfa APX 100 & 400 review

Today we are back to talk about a film that I particularly appreciate. As proof, I even used it in my last series of art photographies. So let’s discover this film as affordable as it is soft!

A sweet price for a sweet result

Agfa APX films are very low contrast films with a very fine grain. Almost like the Kodak Tmax, they have, nevertheless, less depth in the images. It’s great if you want low contrast image or if the situation is really contrasted, all images will result into really soft photographies.

The main advantage of this film is that it’s very affordable. With 36 exposures for less than 5€ at almost every reseller, it’s hard to find a better price-quality ratio. Despite its very low price, the quality still there. The sharpness of this film can make very beautiful pictures.

Photographie de Montmartre à Paris par Damien TROLARD
Agfa APX 400
Paris – September 2020
Damien TROLARD

Its very fine grain allows this film to keep a lot of details. But be careful, the Agfa APX badly endure overexposure. If you are not sure, prefer to underexpose a little bit your photographies to avoid a mistake.

How to get contrast ?

Even if this film has a low contrast, you can get a lot of it out of your roll. In fact, with a good kick, you can still get a lot of depth in the picture. And it is very surprising for a film known to be so soft.

Photographie d'un couple au Louvre à Paris par Damien TROLARD
Agfa APX 400
Paris – September 2020
Damien TROLARD

In a situation of very strong light contrast, it mark nicely the shadows to create a pretty contrast. In addition, its fine grain is able to keep a lot of detail in the darker parts of your photographies. So they are very pleasant to work with even for photographers looking for contrast. Even if they will not replace the Ilford HP5 + or other films with more contrast, you can take it a day of strong sunshine!

Capable of being very sweet like very strong,, I highly recommend it. Not easy to work with, it’s a really great film after training with few rolls.

Photographie de Paris par Damien TROLARD
Agfa APX 100
Paris – September 2020
Damien TROLARD

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  1. Thank you for the review.
    I read so often, that AGFA is missing contrast and that this is understood as an attribute that makes this film less desirable to photographers who are seeking for higher contrast.
    But the trick is, that you always can add contrast to a picture with a high tonal range (often perceived as low contrast).
    Because the film with a high tonal range just shows information in the bright and dark areas in opposition to a contrasty film you just need to cut off the highlights or shadows to make it more contrasty. If you use the curves tool in PS for example, this can be done very easily.
    Bur you can’t do it the other way around. If you have. a film which does not capture information in the shadows or the highlights, you can not add these information afterwards in post processing.
    This is, why from a technical point of view, low contrast film is a film of a higher quality, more possibilities, than a low contrast film. It just is able to capture more information.
    If you don’t want these information in your final picture you can just get rid of it in the post processing.