I’ve just started a film test in preparation for my trip to Italy next month– the two films in consideration are Kodak Ektar 100 and Agfa Precia CT cross processed. Thus far, most of the artworks from my current series A New Eden are either XPRO (cross processed- E6 film in C41 chem) or expired film. However- after much testing here on FR I have recently fallen in love with the new Kodak Ektar …SO I decided to do a quick comparison test and find out: does the XPRO effect really have to be actual cross-processed film?
So what do YOU think? Look at the snapshots below and see if you can pick out the one that is the Agfa Precia CT XPRO…only one is true XPRO…the others are all Kodak Ektar in Photoshop using Alien Skin Exposure 2!
Think you have the right answer? Then give a listen to the Audio portion of this post for additional thoughts on cross processing / Xpro… as well as the answer!
Please watch this video first for a discussion on the pros and cons of the Olympus XA vs the LOMO LCA and LCA+. Please note that the video is of high quality and may take a few seconds to load depending on your connection speed.
General Info: All test images were shot at F 2.8 on Kodak TX, processed in Diafine Developer, scanned on an Imacon with no sharpening applied, natural light. Please be sure to click on the images to see them larger.
LCA: Notice the general soft focus/ appearance…I shot this image 10 times and this was the sharpest. I changed my lens to subject distance and I changed my zone focus setting but in the end this was the best. It is not real sharp but does have a nice soft visual quality with some subtle vignetting.
XA: Very sharp at the point of focus (glasses)… and this sharpness is at F 2.8! The XA achieves its best sharpness around F 5.6 – F 8. The OOF (out of focus) quality is nice in the background and general illumination is pretty good edge to edge.
XA+: This is the same negative as the XA sample image above with the addition of a bit of a vignette and a bit of a general surface blur applied in Photoshop…I feel this hits the mark perfectly for my visual needs.
A New Eden – Artworks by yours truly made on the LCA and XA (the new XA artworks can be found on the home page). This overlapping negative technique is possible with both the XA and the LCA and it the subject of a future post here on the Figital Revolution…stay tuned!
Notes: The Olympus XA came in other later versions such as the XA 1, XA 2, XA 3 and the XA 4 all of which are Zone Focus cameras. My favorite and the most collected and used is the original XA followed by the XA 4.
Final Thoughts: I will be posting additional articles regarding the XA with info on fill flash, long bulb exposures and additional tips and techniques in the coming weeks so again stay tuned!
Viva la Revolution- Stephen
UPDATE: I was wrong on the current price of the Lomo LCA+…it is not $199 US as I state in the video but rather $250 US…the XA is now a real bargain!
Over the next few months I’ll be writing several articles on the LOMO LCA and LCA+. I’ve decided to use these small and very opinionated cameras for my new artwork series, entitled Vanishing Vermont. Articles will focus on working with these cameras, how to carry them, films to use and why… XPros, where to buy and differences in current and older models.
I know there are a lot of opinions out there (both pro and con) about the LOMO (LOMOGRAPHY) and I look forward to an open discussion, so first lets agree on two things: 1. Its the print that counts! 2. See number 1.
Here are a few helpful links to get things started…check them out and stay tuned!