Shooting Expired Mystery Film – AGFA RSX II 100

Shooting Expired Mystery Film – AGFA RSX II 100

Published by Dave Roberts on  February 15, 2023 under Film Photography Tips and Tutorials and tagged AGFA Film, Expired Film, Mystery Film

A while back, I was lucky enough to find a good batch of AGFA RSX II 100 from a reputable seller on eBay, who threw in a number of bonus rolls with the order.

One of these was a blue roll, and I thought it was exposed as the tab was folded over, and puzzled over it a while. The vendor wasn’t sure what it was and was convinced it was unexposed.

The answer in the end was obvious. Whack it into the camera and see if it has the start arrow or not, and thankfully it did!

How did I shoot the mystery AGFA RSX II 100

I shot it at EI 100 , as that was out best guess as to the film’s speed. At that point we didn’t actually know what film this was, but we suspected it was one of the AGFA stocks. With hindsight, I could have opened one of the other films I had to check if any of those provided a clue, but I really didn’t want to go unwrapping this stuff until I knew I was going to shoot it. As it was slide film there’s less margin for error and it’s not usually recommended to overexpose for age. So, it was shot as a mystery film, expired and with any results a bonus and hoping we’d guessed the ISO correctly!

The AGFA RSX II 100 was shot in my Zenza Bronica ETRSi with 75mm f/2.8 lens and the AEII metered prism.

Once I retrieved the exposed roll I could see that the film was actually AGFA RSX II 100 as suspected! So I was hopeful that at the very least, and with my own skills, the film was going to be exposed as accurately as I could and eagerly anticipated the scans from the lab.

The best shots are below.

How did the mystery AGFA RSX II 100 turn out?

I’d heard a lot of good things about this film stock and seen some nice examples on Flickr and Lomography. Of course, as an expired film stock that had been stored who knows how, and without the wrapper, the results are a lottery. The fresh stock, which was around in the early 00s before being discontinued was described as having fine grain, pushable, saturated and suitable for a wide variety of applications and especially good for landscapes.

Whatever I expected, this specific roll gives a certain look that’s slightly muted and blueish. There are some defects as well, including some light leaks on the initial few shots and a fair few blemishes as the roll was stored ‘naked’, but I quite like the results on a few of the shots considering how this was shot as a throwaway roll with little expectations.

As a bonus, I’ll be running a proper review of the film some time this year to see how the properly stored rolls fare. I hope that film is closer to fresh as the film was frozen and a roll of 2007 Velvia 100 from the same seller gave me some excellent shots. 

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