I hadn’t ever shot slide film until I bought a few fresh rolls of Agfa CT Precisa 100 in January this year. A mate with much more experience than myself told me he wanted to shoot slide film at the London Lumiere Festival and that sounded like it could be fun.
Online advice is that shooting slide film at night is really tricky because it has zero latitude, don’t over expose it but don’t under expose it, what light meter are you using? Blah, blah.
I didn’t use a handheld light meter I just bunged it in my OM10, selected 100 ISO and hoped for the best. This was partly because that’s how I roll, but mainly because I’m a tight arse and I’m really impatient. I packed my tripod and went for a bit of a mooch around the South Bank.
A few days after my evening stroll I took the OM10 to a woodland while the sun was very low. It was just entering the morning golden hour. Again, when cross processed the CT Precisa takes the orange and reds and just goes nuts.
So I finished the roll and took it to a lab to be developed. I handed the slide film canister over the counter to Bob like I’ve been doing with my other rolls for years but this time he asked me to pay a lot more than usual. “How much?” I asked, trying to disguise the shock in my voice and silently vowing to never to shoot slide film again. I really had no idea it would cost nearly a score just to dev and scan one roll. “There is another option.” said Bob with a smile. I’d never tried cross processing before but Bob said it was cheaper than E6 processing and that pretty much swung it for me.
I’m really happy with the way the colours came out. The sharp citrusy yellows and vivid blues are way better than I expected. Since I shot this roll of fresh CT Precisa I’ve gone through about 15 rolls of slide film most of which was over ten years expired and cross processed. I have had some Velvia, Provia, Lomo 100 and fresh CT Precisa E6 processed though and loved the results and I must say I love shooting slide film. It doesn’t have to be expensive, there are many rolls of expired slide film available online of varying age. The results can be very unpredictable but that’s the beauty of film.
You can find a curated collection of thought provoking analogue art and info about a range of workshops and photo walks and a few of my own bits on my Instagram – LondonCameraProject