5 Frames with RETO Amber 800T, Contax G1 and 28mm f/2.8

By Eric

I was looking for color film stocks I had not tried before at my local camera shop and purchased a couple of rolls of RETO film. I had never heard of the company. I usually look up sample images before purchasing a new film, but this time I decided not to. Decided on letting myself be surprised. Glow and Aqua variants of Retocolor 400 films were tested previously.

Retocolor 400 Aqua and Glow

This time? A third RETO film.

Leica M Type 240 - 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1

Interestingly these are 27 exposure rolls instead of the 24 and 36 exposure rolls I am used to.

Camera? A favorite rig of mine. The Contax G1 and Zeiss Biogon 28mm f/2.8

A fantastic camera and lens. I normally go with the 45mm f/2, but given the 800 ISO and expected tight quarters, I went with the also great 28mm f/2.8 instead. I once owned the G2 also and as seems contrary to popular opinion I preferred the G! Personal preference.

  • Smaller and lighter.
  • Less precious. At a fraction of the cost of the G2 I find it preferable to carry with.
  • On the very rare occasion that I would use MF the distance scale on the focus wheel here is preferred to the unmarked vertical scroll wheel.
  • Some malign the AF but it works just fine for my purposes.

The G2 is a fine camera and I understand why someone else would go with that instead. Whatever floats your boat.

As usual, developed at home with Cinestill CS41.

These images were taken one recent evening while singing with 100 Men In Black Male Chorus ensemble for the dinner crowd at Urban Ministries in Durham, NC. It was a great day. I got to sing, spend time amongst some wonderful people, and capture images with film. It does not get any better than that. Here are my 5 favorites from the roll below with some thoughts after.

Contax G1 - Zeiss 28mm f/2.8 Contax G1 - Zeiss 28mm f/2.8 Contax G1 - Zeiss 28mm f/2.8

At the close, a young man named Adonyah approached us, spoke with us for a while, and blessed us by singing a song himself.

Contax G1 - Zeiss 28mm f/2.8
Adonyah
Contax G1 - Zeiss 28mm f/2.8
Adonyah

Clip of Adonyah singing above in the second frame.

Last thoughts.

I like this film…. But unlike the two previous RETO films there are no caveats. No excuses. This film creates clean images with a pleasing color cast. As stated above, I am a fan of mainstream emulsions. But I am easily swayed when an interesting film comes along. Well, this film can now be added to my list of favorites.

Would I buy it again? Yep. My usual reluctance due to price does not apply here. Reasonably priced, especially if purchased directly from RETO (as of the date of this post). I also really like supporting smaller companies. It does help that I develop at home which offsets some of the cost of film photography.

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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About The Author

By Eric
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.
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Comments

Stefan on 5 Frames with RETO Amber 800T, Contax G1 and 28mm f/2.8

Comment posted: 23/11/2023

Great write up and photos! Also agree about the G1, somehow I much prefer it, and for pretty much the same reasons.
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Eric replied:

Comment posted: 23/11/2023

Thank you Stefan. The G1 is a definite favorite of mine.

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SteveB on 5 Frames with RETO Amber 800T, Contax G1 and 28mm f/2.8

Comment posted: 22/11/2023

Great article and pictures, Eric. I always wanted a G1 - Contac didn’t make a bad camera, in my mind. Thanks for posting this! Steve
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Eric replied:

Comment posted: 22/11/2023

Thank you Steve. I agree about Contax. Another favorite of mine is the 137 MA Quartz.https://ewoodsphoto.com/2018/08/04/this-old-camera-contax-yashica-137-ma-quartz-zeiss-planar-50mm-f-1-7/

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Lance Rowley on 5 Frames with RETO Amber 800T, Contax G1 and 28mm f/2.8

Comment posted: 22/11/2023

Great article and I enjoyed the images too. I’ve never heard of this film and you provided a wide variety of examples showing how it handles different situations. Looks like I have a new film to check out!
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Nicolas K. on 5 Frames with RETO Amber 800T, Contax G1 and 28mm f/2.8

Comment posted: 22/11/2023

The full portrait of Adonyah is marvelous! Lovely work.
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Eric replied:

Comment posted: 22/11/2023

Thank you very much Nicolas. A great subject.

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Martin on 5 Frames with RETO Amber 800T, Contax G1 and 28mm f/2.8

Comment posted: 22/11/2023

Agfa had those 27 exposure rolls in the 1990ies. The were marketed as 24 3. AFAIR the price was that of a 24 roll. It's a length I love. 36 is too long and like that you still have three shots when you thought you ran out ;-) . dubblefilm had/has them as well. Thanks for an interesting review of this film stock! Take care, stay safe and good light Martin
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Eric replied:

Comment posted: 22/11/2023

I agree with you Martin. With 36 I tend to burn through the last few exposures at times just so I can develop the film. 27 is a good compromise. Thank you for the kind words. Happy capturing.

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