Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kodak's Ektar 100 Film

New Film!

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.  

Grand River

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:
I'm encouraged that Kodak is producing new films and improving the technology.  Someone there knows that film still has a future.

Marc and Mike

1 comment:

Kat said...

OMG!! GRAND RAPIDS!! That's where I am from :)