I have to say, since starting off on my film photography journey years ago, I’ve slowly come to develop (no pun intended) an appreciation for the color palates of films I’ve used. Since I like vivid saturated colors, I initially thought that slide film, like Fujifilm’s Velvia was the one for me. I’ve since discovered that this is not quite the case. I do like to shoot Velvia to be sure, but the processing for E-6 has become problematic, and the suppliers of slide positive film have dwindled significantly. Combine that with comparatively slow ISO 50 Velvia, and shooting with natural light, in all but bright sun becomes difficult. I can’t knock the colors of Velvia in any flavor, they are awesome, but for all around use I needed to use something else.
Enter Kodak’s response to the dwindling of its slide film (until the recent resurgence of E100 yay!) Kodak’s own Ektar 100. Technical sheets on the film can be found here: LINK but the main idea is, that this is a punchy saturated fairly usable ISO 100 film, but color negative with much more latitude than its slide counterparts. Combine this with the fact that Kodak touts its super fine grain, and “scanability” and you have a real hybrid workflow winner for sure.
Now I can slap a 120 roll in my medium format cameras, and have a blast, knowing that I get a lot of the benefits of slide film colors which I love, in a negative film, which is also very competitively priced, and pretty easy to develop. Awesome stuff, and I’ve been fortunate enough to run some rolls through my cameras in a wide variety of scenarios, from studio (artificial lighting) to street, and even some landscapes for fun.
Without a doubt I encourage you all to pick up a roll or two of Kodak’s Ektar 100, in either 135, 120, or even 4×5 formats (gulp) and really have fun with the contrast rich colors and sharpness produced by this stellar performing film. Awesome stuff from the folks at Kodak, and I hope we see more innovations from their film divisions as we see more and more interest in the film / hybrid approaches to creating photographs.
Until next time!