For those people caliming that the "sky is falling" when it comes to the film industry, I'd like to point out that Kodak has introduced a new color (C-41) film. Yes, Kodak -- the same company that seems to be bipolar at times - are they a digital or a film company? They are a photographic company (which is what they need to stress), and it's nice to see them come out with a new film. Kodak claims that it's the finest-grained color print film, very saturated, easily scanned, and sharp . It's taken a while to get some -- it was introduced at Photokina in Europe, and has only very recently been available in the US. I have been looking forward to trying some out, and I ordered 4 rolls from B&H (see link at bottom of the blog page). I shot one roll last weekend when I was on a trip to Grand Rapids with four other Crappy Camera Club members to see the Richard Avedon exhibit at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. I used my Nikon N80 and a 24-120 Nikkor AF-D lens.
Impressions -- First of all, Ektar 100 is a very fine-grained film that is purported to replace the UC-100 film (Ultra Color). The ISO is 100, but I have seen online posts that indicate one might want to overexpose slightly (set meter to ISO 80). Second, the film looks a lot more like results from Ektachrome . Very sharp, contrasty, and saturated. I took my roll to Ritz Camera yesterday for develop only and scan to CD. After I opened up the images in Paint Shop Pro (the latest version is Ultimate X2), they seemed to be too contrasty, so I adjusted the curves, and after that, they all looked quite nice. So, that may be just a matter of the Ritz scanner not yet being calibrated for this film. However, the color saturation reminds me somewhat of results I have gotten from a LOMO camera. Not necessarily a bad thing, IMHO. The photos looked fine. In fact, they really did remind me of slides that I have shot in the past. Kodak acknowledges (on their web site) that Ektar 100 may replace E-6 films for users that like the look, but can only get C-41 processing where they live.
The film is also designed to be easier to scan, but I haven't tried scanning it myself as yet. When I get some time this weekend, I may do that. Overall, I like the film so far -- it's really so superior to the C-41 films that I typically shoot (Kodak Gold and Fuji Superia), that I may decide it's worth the extra cost for a "pro" C-41 film. Right now I have another roll in my Olympus RC camera, with the ISO set at 80. I look forward to seeing more results!
Links to Ektar Information: