The Greatest Color Negative Film Available In The World Today – Kodak Ektar 100

The World's Finest Color Negative Film Available Today - Kodak Ektar 100

The World's Finest Color Negative Film Available Today - Kodak Ektar 100

Kodachrome film, yes, is gone, forever. Unless you want to shoot it in black and white, and go through all kinds of voodoo to have that processed, this film is gone, forever. And is not coming back. I had the pleasure of shooting 2 rolls of it, as I am a true latecomer to film photography. Yes, it is sad. However…..

Kodak makes Ektar 100, which is likely the finest color negative film on the planet made today. Rather than to lament Kodachrome’s demise, I scooped up boxes and boxes of Ektar a few weeks ago, in 35mm and 120mm roll film. This past weekend, I blasted several rolls through the Argus C3, the newly arrived Argus Matchmatic, and my go-to 35mm camera, a mint condition Nikon FE-2.

From my 1st roll of Ektar 120 format, shot summer, 2010, at Coggshall Park, Fitchburg

From my 1st roll of Ektar 120 format, shot summer, 2010, at Coggshall Park, Fitchburg

Last summer, I shot my 1st roll of Ektar, on the Hasselblad, in 120 medium format. A sample is above. The film is nothing less than spectacular. Colors are crisp and vivid. For those digital shooters still obsessed with sharpness, and still mistaking “tack sharp” with a good photograph, they might be happy as well.  The film scans beautifully. I think the shot above is a great example.

Try Ektar. Rather than to stop shooting color film because Kodachrome is gone, try a roll of Extar. No, it does not push or pull well. Shoot at box speed, which is ASA/ISO 100. You don’t have much latitude. And, don’t be afraid to try it for skin tones. I took some amazingly beautiful color portraits of my son last summer. Don’t believe the zealots. It is beautiful film for people as well.

My only complaint is, I wish they offered it in a slower ASA/ISO. When you are blasting it in a vintage camera, such as the Argus C3, or Matchmatic, you are limited by a shutter with a top speed of 1/300th of a second, once you free the shutter with Ronsonol. It will be initially stuck., by default. But, the obsession film shooters had with “faster” films have almost retired the slower ASA/ISO’s. It is what it is- 100 speed.

Buy Ektar. Shoot Ektar. Love Ektar.

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6 thoughts on “The Greatest Color Negative Film Available In The World Today – Kodak Ektar 100

  1. Ironically, if you want a slower film (like ISO 25) you should try shooting the latest Portra 400 at ISO 25. That’s 4 stops overexposed, but the film is so versatile and resilient that you’ll still get a beautiful image.

    Some people do have difficulty scanning Ektar 100, though I haven’t had any problems. It’s a great film, but you have to shoot a few rolls to determine what it looks like. Then you can choose Ektar 100 for select applications, or you could choose Portra 400 or 160 depending on what you want.

  2. Dan, that is a great suggestion, thank you! Portra is like the Swiss Army Knife of films, and Ektar is like the Swiss Watch.

    Also want to try shooting Portra at 1600 indoors.

    A

  3. I’ve been shooting Ektar 100 since it first became available and love, love, love this film!

    Recently had the opportunity to test it out in the studio and what I got back can only be described as breathtaking. Razor sharp, incredible detail, and beautiful skin tones:

    http://www.timothygrayphoto.com/2011/05/kodak-ektar-100/

    For a film I had thought was only appropriate for outdoor/daylight use, it’s response under controlled lighting gives me another powerful and effective tool to use in the studio.

  4. Apparently Ektar makes people’s faces look like tomatoes. I’ll pass. Velvia for landscapes, Portra, Agfa, or 400H (or astia) for portraits.

    • Never claimed it to be a “Swiss Army Knife” of emulsions. It does not do all things well, much like camera bodies or glass. It can make for some pretty spectacular landscape photography. This is a color negarive film, not slide transparancies. It has its limitations, but also has its utility. See my post from yesterday. -A

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