5 Frames with Retocolor Aqua 400, Konica Hexar RF and 7Artisans 35mm f/1.4

The topic of today’s post is a roll of  Retocolor Aqua 400 I picked up at my local camera shop. Never heard of the company. I did not look up sample photos in advance. I decided to give it a try with no background. Interestingly this is a 27 exposure roll instead of the 24 and 36 exposure rolls I am used to.

Camera? A favorite rig of mine.

Konica Hexar RF

For a lens, I chose the far sharper than it has any business being 7Artisans 35mm f/1.4.

Konica HEXAR RF - 7Artisans 35mm f/1.4

This is a wonderful lens that I should really use more. I typically fall for the goofier 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 instead, but I am impressed by the 35mm every time I use it. As usual, developed at home with Cinestill CS41. Nothing Earth-shattering. My intention was to capture whatever I came across. Most of the images were posted here, but I will share 5 of my favorites below.

Konica Hexar RF - 7Artisans 35mm f/1.4

Konica Hexar RF - 7Artisans 35mm f/1.4

Konica Hexar RF - 7Artisans 35mm f/1.4

Konica Hexar RF - 7Artisans 35mm f/1.4

Konica Hexar RF - 7Artisans 35mm f/1.4

Last thoughts.

I like this film… but under very specific conditions from what I see. It fared well and suited the mood for the evening, small town photos, but I was not as keen on other images taken on this hazy evening. Also, I am seeing less dynamic range than I have seen in more common films. Not bad. Just not my particular cup of tea for general use. As stated above, I am a fan of mainstream emulsions evidently.

That being said I am much more of a fan of the aqua tint than I thought I would be. Especially with the storefront shots above.

Would I buy it again? Not sure. But not because I do not think it is a good film. It is. And if the look this film gives is up your alley it is an excellent choice. And I do like many of the exposures I captured with it. My reluctance has more to do with the price. While not out of line, other favorites of mine either cost less, almost half as much in some cases, or no more so there is not much incentive for me to stray out of my comfort zone. That being said, I really like supporting smaller companies and that will likely play a part. It does help that I develop at home, so that does offset some of the cost. There will likely be more rolls in my future.

I appreciate having this opportunity to share my experiences with these lenses.

Eric L. Woods

I shoot a variety of new and old digital and film cameras. Industrial Engineer by education, IT is my vocation, and I really enjoy using, testing, and writing about cameras. All three of the latter are very therapeutic exercises for me. If you are so inclined my blog address is ewoodsphoto.com and I can be found on twitter and Instagram. All the best to you.

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6 thoughts on “5 Frames with Retocolor Aqua 400, Konica Hexar RF and 7Artisans 35mm f/1.4”

  1. All of your shots are nice, but that alley shot is stunning! The film definitely has a Noir look and feel and IMHO, would be perfect for a nighttime photo-walk! As for price? I would probably buy several rolls, keeping them in the freezer for those moments when Noir is the look you’re seeking.

  2. I agree with the noir vibe. But, like you, I’m not sure what I might use that stock for. Maybe a very specific shoot? Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I’m looking forward to trying some more offbeat films soon.

    1. Thank you for the kind words. After having fun trying out a few new film stocks to me I have since gone back to my usual ones. I may try this film again. The surprise performers were two CatLABS films. Color and B&W. Very reasonably priced and excellent performers. I have bought more of those since.

  3. Enjoyed reading this and I thought the film has a quite interesting style. I don’t know why but the images put me in mind of 1970’s journalism. I actually quite like it and might be tempted to give it, or something similar a try if it turned up.

    1. Thank you. 1970s journalism is an accurate assessment. The moodiness worked well with the more timeless scenes. It is great to try something different now and then.

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