There are plenty of reasons to shoot film. If you are one who swears by the choice of film stocks, there is now one more reason for film. Adox Color Mission probably does not need an introduction here. Despite the shipping costs, I decide to order only a single role on the day of introduction. Not just because, you know, who knows what it’s like, but also because it’s an interesting experiment of its own to test a film with just 36 shots.
Adox promises minty greens, peachy reds and airy grain. Now what could I shoot to test out a color rendering that comes with the sort of analogies you usually find in the description of some fine bottle of wine? Late afternoon, early evening light seems to be a good fit for a film that is said to be a tad on the warmer side. To challenge the film a bit, I also add a day in the snow covered Swiss Alps to the menu.
As a vague motif I have melting colors in mind, so I choose the Zeiss Planar 85mm 1.4 ZF on my trusty Nikon F2; a camera that clearly looks like it has been tested much more seriously before I bought it and decided to hunt for peachy reds in early evening sun light.
Generally, I do not see the output of a scanner as ‘true to the negative’. So if necessary, I edit my film scans with a layer of RGB curves. For the urban pictures, I reduced the greens in the shadows a bit to fit my taste. For the snow pictures I had to work a bit harder and the curves ended up being a bit more complex.
Will I shoot more Color Mission? Tricky question for someone who shot tri-X exclusively for ten years and only decided two years ago that color is probably too big to ignore… My fascination for film lies a bit more in the fact that it makes me think about light before taking pictures rather than the subtle rendering differences between different film stocks. So for a comparison to Portra and friends, I am probably the wrong one to ask. Surely, the grain of Portra 160 is finer. But I certainly got the results I wanted with pretty minimal post-processing.
That being said, I am sure there are many more interesting film stocks that could be developed (ha!) and it’s great to see someone quite literally invest in this direction. At a time where film is clearly niche. In that sense, all the best, Adox on this color mission…
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