Week 36: Rollei CN 200 looks for bright colours in sunny Madrid

Wanting to take advantage of the bright Madrid summer days, I found some film that would hopefully really bring out the colours. Here are my impressions of Rollei CN 200.

Summer time in Madrid can only mean one thing: lots and lots of sun. And with sun comes very bright skies and loads of colours. On the back end of my trip to Madrid to see my Dad's band play (see previous Week 35), I had some time to go for a very long walk. I had this theme in mind about summer brightness and really strong colours. Having grown up in Madrid I also knew how hot it was going to be and I wasn't just going to walk around like a lost tourist under the blasting midday sun looking for photos! That's how I landed on my first stop: the Botanical Gardens, where it was sure to be cool (at least for the morning time).

About the film

So believe it or not, I am actually running out of options for Medium Format film! But you need not worry, I have all my films picked to get me to the magin Week 52.

Remember, Medium Format film is known as 120mm film and is for my Hasselblad, as opposed to the smaller 35mm film used for regular cameras. This Rollei CN 200 is one of the last available colour films that I have not shot. There are some other colour films available, in the form of slide film, most notably Fuji Velvia variations. When talking about slide film, think about your grandparents old slide photographs they put into a projector, it's where you get a positive image ,as opposed to colour negative that produces an actual negative. However, slide film is also prohibitively expensive to develop and scan at the frequency I am currently shooting at, so it can wait until I finally get my own scanner!  

The colour film I was shooting today was colour negative film, to find out more about colour negative vs slide film click here.

So, according to a vendor of this Rollei film:

The Rollei CN 200 is a medium-speed unmasked color negative film with a nominal sensitivity of ISO 200/24°. It is characterized by great resolving power, very fine grain and high sharpness. The color reproduction is reminiscent of Agfacolor CN. CN 200 is ideal for creative photography and is great for E6 cross processing

As always, all photographs are clickable for full screen view. Oh, and by the way, if you have access to anything bigger than a mobile phone screen, e.g. tablet, laptop, desktop, you absolutely must check out this post on a bigger screen - then you will see why Medium Format produces such astonishing photographs, and the sheer brightness of these shots makes them literally jump off your computer (and no, I am not getting too carried away...)!

Thanks to some blog analytics, I know at least half of you look at my posts on a mobile phone - so next time try something bigger, it will be worth it I promise!

I really like how bright and summery this shot it. Actually, the colours are somewhat muted from reality, but it works - excuse the pun, but it really does have that 'film look' to it. Great start!
I was experimenting with my lens extender, that allows for much closer focusing (also very useful for portraits). Look at the detail and the greens - wonderful!
Really good 'pop' to this shot!
Scarecrow with a cute toy hanging out of its pocket, it made me laugh. Again, bit muted based on how bright it was, but that's OK actually. I also don't tend to overexpose my shots, which many people do when using film, so it's probably something I should start experimenting with.
Not quite a sea of red, which is what I intended, but still a nice shot. I really like the blurry part of the shot too (also known as 'bokeh').
Definitely one of my favourite shots, even though it is muted and actually has some scratches on it. It is in the imperfections that film really comes into its own - even a shot of flowers has character to it! This photo on a big screen is wonderful.
Absolutely no idea what happened here, but decided to post it anyways. It did happen to a few frames though, guess it is still very much pot luck with film - which is why it can be so much fun!
Again, another wonderful photo for viewing on a big screen. I never get tired of this angle, shot from Callao in downtown Madrid - it is a timeless shot.
Shot from above El Corte Ingles, view down towards Plaza Mayor, the Royal Theatre and the Royal Palace in the background.
The facades of downtown Madrid - a real Spanish classic. The city has done a great job of keeping them all painted and in good shape - they really add to the feeling of the city.
Regardless of how people feel about bullfighting, there is no denying that the 'Las Ventas' Bullring is an architectural masterpiece. You can really see the Moorish influence, ever so prominent in the south of Spain. Definitely a shot I will get printed for my wall.
Not quite symmetrical - but look at the detail!
I had planned on taking my cousin to tour the bullring, but luck had it that there was a streetmarket going on inside, time for a beer and some more shots!
Candid shot of some tourists, with the stalls in the background - thankfully they had the whole bit covered, otherwise we would have literally melted.
Bright Madrid sky.

Overall impressions

I was really pleased with this film, some of the shots that came back were spectacular in terms of colour and character / personality to them. I actually liked that there was a slightly muted colour to these, and on the whole they were all very sharp. I think the shots that had some colour issues with them were all shot with the extender, so likely something to do with adjusting the exposure for this extra distance between the lens and the film (the extender goes onto the camera body and pushes the lens out a bit further, hence light needing to travel a bit further to get to the film).

This film is also at a very decent price point, which is important too. Whilst I wouldn't put it in the professional film category like Kodak's Portra 400, it holds its own as a good film for bright sunny days and onethat clearly brings out that 'film look'. Definitely one to use again and maybe next time try out for some portrait shots.

So there you have it, Madrid colours in full summer swing! A further 2 weeks are ready to go and will be posted in the next few days! I'm going to make a switch back to my Leica soon as I have a few 35mm films I need to shoot, and I am running out of Medium Format (120mm) film options! Trust me, it is much easier to shoot 12 frames of 120mm film per week than 36 frames of a 35mm film!

See you next time, and as I always say, get back out there and take some more photographs!

Cheers,
Neil