Ektar eye candy

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by silverscape, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. Ok, I know we talk about Ektar 100 a lot here (and sometimes in the Classic Cameras forum). But I just have to say...holy cow! I've been looking on Flickr and on other sites, and there are really stunning pictures starting to show up, that other photographers have taken with Ektar in 35mm and 120. I think it's really starting to catch on. It has such a dinctive look to it, with really poppy, saturated colors and a certain something "else" that's hard to describe. I'm convinced that there is a certain "Ektar look." Personally, I love it.
    Here's some of my favorites on Flickr. These were all taken by other people, but I really liked these, and I think it does show off the look of Ektar:
    LOL...ok, I didn't mean for this to look like a Kodak commercial! But I just mean that I think it is really starting to get popular, and I'm seeing a lot of people use it. I'm coming across some absolutely beautiful pictures taken with Ektar, and I've been getting really nice results from it too. People are going nuts about it on Flickr, and there are several groups just for pictures taken with Ektar.
    What do you guys think...do you think that eventually some day Ektar might become as famous as Kodachrome is/was? I'm not suggesting that Ektar could ever replace Kodachrome, of course. I'm just saying that I think one day there will be a famous "Ektar look" just like how Kodachrome became distinctive for its characteristics. What do you guys think?
  2. Could I say the look is Kodak classic?
  3. There are some nice shots there, and I do like Ektar, but I'm wondering how much of the 'look' is down to post-scan tweaking, or even tweaking on the minilab's scanner. That shot of St John's College looks...well, not quite right to my eyes (or my monitor).
    I find the best proof of an emulsion's unique 'look' is when it can stamp the 'look' all over your shots even in situations where you wish it didn't. Kodachrome was, and is, exactly like that...much as I enjoy the results I get with it. As for Ektar, as I said I like it very much; it just concerns me that it brings Kodak closer to dropping their E-6 films, which can't be that far off now.
  4. Leon, the "look" in those pictures is a lot like what I get in my photos with Ektar. And I don't "Photoshop" or tweak my pictures at all. In fact, I take my color film to a lab to get it developed and have prints made. (I don't even have a film scanner). Sure, you could say that the lab might be "tweaking" the scans...except that I have had Ektar developed at several different labs, and it always has the exact same characteristics. I've been using the same local photo lab for a while now. If I take a roll of Kodak Gold 200, and a roll of Ektar, and have them both developed at the same lab, there is an obvious and unmistakeable difference between them. It doesn't have anything at all to do with tweaking. Ektar just has a very distinct look to it. Yeah, you're right that the picture at St John's College might look a little weird...but I can tell you that the other pictures look pretty much like what I get with Ektar. Especially the picture of the steam locomotive, and the picture taken at the mountains. My Ektar shots really do look like that too.
    And if you don't believe me, here is another test. There are hundreds of film groups on Flickr now, and of course people post pictures from all kinds of different film. But I've gotten to the point now that I can usually spot a picture taken with Ektar right away, even before I read the description. I guess right usually about 80 percent of the time. Here is a group on Flickr, just for pictures from Ektar. Take a look at the photos in the group pool for a while, and you'll see what I mean. There is a definite and very distinct look to it...and obviously all those pictures can't be from "Photoshopping" or "tweaking." (By the way, there are over 3,000 photos there!)

  5. DITTO: "Kodak Classic'. Its high colour saturation may be not for EVERY situation (what film IS), it does though has an interesting 'look'. I use only the 120 type and for every roll i'm liking it more and more...A couple of neg. scans....
  6. and 2nd.
  7. One last one, testing for the 'yellows' and 'greens' -
  8. Second shot taken with Mamiya C330 80mm
  9. I like it! The resolution is the best. Here are a couple taken with my old Kowa Kalloflex TLR from my first roll.
  10. The poppy color is not for everything but I plan on making some custom curves with my next roll and will try to control the saturation a bit during scanning.
  11. It nicely coverts to B&W too. I don't know if it will replace Kodachrome/Ektachrome and I don't really care since I only shoot color neg films. Kodachrome is a footnote in history. Ektar is here, let's use it!
  12. Louis M. - Love the 'Poppy' shot! Was it taken in early a.m. ? And, BTW the 'bokie' from the Kowa lens is also awesome...
  13. Thanks Richard. Yes that shot was shot in the early AM. The 75mm f/3.5 Prominar on the Kalloflex is a wonderful Tessar type optic. Very sharp with a buttery bokeh. You can read my user report and see other pics here:
    I have only shot B&W with it till this roll of Ektar. Seems like a great match.
  14. I find that without film profiles for Ektar in SilverFast and Vuescan, I get inconsistent results when scanning. Usually, SilverFast using the Portra 160NC film profile with the Color Cast Removal CCR button on will work well, but sometimes I will get a bad scan, in which case NikonScan or Vuescan will give a good scan. In this regard, SilverFast and Vuescan sort of complement each other. The skin tones look fairly good, although sometimes they appear a bit too red. I'm not sure I like Ektar more than Portra. I think I'll take a break from Ektar and shoot more Portra 160NC. Maybe Kodak will upgrade their Portra line using the two-electron sensitization technology used in Ektar and their cine film products? Below is a scan using SilverFast on a Nikon 9000, taken with a Hasselblad with 80mm. The subject was in the shade. I don't remember whether I used a warming filter or not.
  15. It's a matter of personal preference. I happen to like more realistic color, so the Portra NC films are more to my taste. But I'm glad that so many people are enjoying the new Ektar.
  16. I for one like the Ektar look, but like any spice should be used in moderation for full effect.
    you can see more ektar I've shot at Photography RI in the blog
  17. I like Ektar 100 for its fine grain and excellent resolution. I think that decisions about contrast and color saturation are best made in post - be that the darkroom or the computer - where one can experiment.
  18. I like it, the 120 to me seems a little less vibrant than the 35mm but I'm still at the evaluation stage.
    One thing I like is the saturated reds and good skin tones.
    The fruit in the table is bang on colour wise

  19. In response to the question about post-scan tweaking: My workflow is very stright forward. I do a raw scan, then invert the result using ColorNeg, then I color balance using and iterative cycle of printing and old-fashioned lee color viewing filters. In other words I emulate what I would be doing if making a chromogenic print.
    The colors ARE there. Ektar doesn't need tweaking. In fact if you tweak it too much it loses that "Ektar Look". And there sure as heck is an Ektar Look.
    You can see some examples of my process in action here:
    PS: if you aren't making prints then you aren't REALLY using Ektar. Prints from Ektar negatives are amazing (if done right). And always work in ProPhoto color space. Ektar's color gamut way outstrips Adobe.
    Kodachrome leaves. Ektar arrives. Life is renewed.
  20. Great shots. Thanks, guys.
    And Edward, I'm really glad you replied. Ektar does have a very unique, distinctive look. You don't have to tweak it, and if you take it to a lab to be developed, it doesn't matter which lab you take it to. (Well, as long as it's a decent lab). I noticed the difference right away...to me, it was like night and day. It's right in your face, that there is a totally different look to it. There's just something about the colors...very poppy and saturated, but without looking too fake or "cartoony." You don't have to imagine it, it's there. And YUP, Ektar looks best in a print, I think. Actually, I get prints from all my film. I only get scans if I know ahead of time that I'll want to post my pictures online or email them to friends, etc.
    I do have to agree with Mark though, that in 120 format it seems to be a little different. I can't quite pinpoint exactly what it is, but it does seem to look a little different than in 35mm. The colors sill look really nice and still have the "Ektar look" but maybe a tiny bit subdued. Like Mark said, maybe not quite as vibrant. That seemed really weird to me, since it's the same film. But that's how I would describe it.
    Anyway, if anyone hasn't tried Ektar, you really should. There definitely IS an "Ektar look" and it doesn't come from tweaking or Photoshopping. It's just there, something about the film itself.
  21. HA HA! For once, the ads are actually useful! I'm seeing an ad right now on this page for Ektar! :)
  22. The demise of the E-6 labs dooms E-6 flim, not Ektar 100. Ektar 100 is preparing for the reality of the future, E-6 is the next casualty. My local lab still processes E-6 and C-41 very well, but they're on life support.
  23. I am not wondering if it is not the lens on a 35mm camera that makes the difference over the 120 film. that and enlargement.
  24. Guys, let's not wander into speculation about E-6. That's a completely different topic, and has absolutely nothing to do with Ektar as far as I'm concerned. I don't even see how they're related. Can't we just talk about a film without all the "doom and gloom" stuff? I shoot color print film mostly, but I shoot E-6 films sometimes and I even shot a few rolls of Kodachrome recently. I don't see how they have anything at all to do with one another. Right now, we're talking about Ektar. Not Kodachrome or E-6.
    Larry, you might be right about the lens. Actually it could be anything really. Maybe it's the lens or maybe somehow the emulsion is coated a little differently on 120 rolls. I don't know. And really there's no way to tell for sure. You could try to load a 35mm roll into a 120 camera to see if there is any difference...but then of course you would get some really weird effects that would negate the whole experiment! (Actually, that might look interesting...a panoramic Ektar shot). That's another thing that people seem to like doing lately, putting 35mm film in a medium format camera. You end up with a weird looking panoramic picture with the frame numbers and sprocket holes in the image.
  25. Very nice indeed.
  26. Louis-
    Nice tonality in the B&W shot of the poison ivy patch. I will try try some B&W conversions of my Ektar shots.
  27. Larry D
    I am not wondering if it is not the lens on a 35mm camera that makes the difference over the 120 film. that and enlargement.

    Well yes I'm not 100% convinced they are different (hence the evaluation statement) The differences are slight, I've printed optically, scanned myself and had Frontier prints made of negatives exposed of the two under the same light.
    I've done the same with Portra and seen less difference between the formats, so equipment is not making the difference.
    What I'm seeing is the 120 still has the same vibrant reds, powdery blue cyan sky and warmish skin tones but somehow the luminance range seems longer slightly less blocked up in the shadows while still holding the highlights (less overall contrast).
    It could be that often toted 120 'tonality' but as I've stated I've tested other colour films in different formats and not found such a difference.
    I've only shot 8 rolls of 120 Ektar so far so it's early days.
  28. The posted examples are beautiful, but I don't see anything here that couldn't be achieved with Portra.
  29. Tim
    Portra is very different, even the VC version. If you are printing optically try taking a picture of a red pepper on a Neutral B/G on both films and look at the results.
    Ektars strength IMHO is the ability to show deep saturated reds and blues and yet get quite neutral skin tones. I find the reds are larger than life, skies more cyan, although if you scan and manipulate individual colours all bets are off...
    Possibly the 120 has a little more of the Portra DNA I'll have to do more tests but so far we have a slightly more saturated film that gives good skin tones and very fine grain.
    Can only be good....
  30. Tim,
    Portra is great, but Ektar is also not bad for portrature.
    This is my shot taken with Hexar AF. No post processing, only crop in PS:
  31. Yeah, there's defiantly something unique about the film stock. It just has this almost eerie spirit at times. What I've scene too is that there seems to be a few different key looks to it from the photos come across. Almost as if it is adaptive to the contrast within the frame. You can defiantly tell when it's a bit under; has a ghostly look, but also very nice sometimes. It seems to hold the extreme highlights very well. And there seems to be an upper mid range boost in the tonality under a normal contrast range. Almost reminds me of how ilford hp plus 400 responds, only in color.
  32. On a recent trip to Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's far East I shot five 120 rolls of Ektar 100 (it was not my primary emulsion) and I agree that the film has a very unique look. The funny thing about it, though, is that the colours very often do seem somewhat odd, and (most of the time) it is not scanning or post-processing – when they look strange and you try to correct them in, say, Photoshop they only start looking even more wacky. The question, then, is weather one likes colour reproduction characteristic of this emulsion, which, naturally, is a matter of personal taste. At first I was very attracted to the film; now, however, I am not so certain that this immediate attraction (infatuation?) will grow into a long-term relationship. For one thing, I am not even sure that I will be taking Ektar 100 on my next photo expedition in early October. Below is yet another example photograph shot with the film.
  33. Mark - I need to to some optical prints then. I've been scanning Ektar mostly. Thanks for the heads up!
    Slava - Beautiful shots! It appears Ektar handles overexposure very well. What about underexposure?
    Looks like I need to get out and shoot more Ektar, in both 35 and 120.
  34. It's interesting that folks have used it for people pics. Kodak warned us when the film was released that it is not suitable for portrait use, and the two rolls I shot when it came out confirmed this. You can of course scan it and tweak the flesh tones, but why? Wouldn't you be better off using a portrait-friendly film like Portra or even Reala?
  35. When Ektar 100 first came out, I rushed to use it, and was caught up in the euphoria that surrounded it.
    However, I've shot several more rolls in both 135 and 120, and I realize that it is definately not my favorite emulsion.
    I love the grain free prints and scans. I just wish it had the look (colors and contrast) of Portra 160VC.
  36. Craig, that's understandable. I love the look of Ektar, but it's not for everyone. It took me a little while to get used to it. The colors are really poppy, but it does have a little bit of a "cold" tone to it, and I didn't like that at first. It just looked so different from any other film I've used that I wasn't sure if I could use it. It's kind of an "acquired taste." The other thing is that it's so unforgiving with exposure. I tried the "Sunny 16 Rule" with my first roll and I was so disappointed with the results that I almost gave up on it. I had underexposed it, and my first pictures came out with really weird colors and a bluish tint to everything. But when I used a light meter and I was more careful about the exposure, I got much better results. Then I figured out which subjects worked best with it...and since then I've been hooked.
    Ektar is temperamental. It's picky about exposure, and it has a totally unique look to it that might not be for everyone. And there are some subjects that I wouldn't shoot with Ektar. But for people who do like the "Ektar look", you end up loving it.
  37. For those scanning Ektar: you MUST use a dedicated conversion tool. Without it you will never get the colors right. Your shadow regions will go red on you.
    Last time I checked Silverfast did not yet support Ektar. That's when I switched to ColorNeg which handles it well. Hopefully Kodak will hurry up and have ICC targets soon.
  38. Cris, While I have to admit your examples are eye stoppers and I know Ektar 100 is the latest craze among some of us, I can't help but feel EKTAR IS TO NEGATIVE FILM LIKE UPPER CASE IS TO TEXTING. Kind of like shouting! I prefer something more muted & natural looking but to each his own. I'll read the above comments when time permits but not tonight. Best, LM.
  39. Edward, how does ColorNeg handle Ektar better? Is there a dedicated profile or similar for it?
    I'm using Silverfast Ai Studio 6.6.1r1 and have not experienced the red shadow issue you describe. I usually set my Negafix profile to Portra 160NC or 160VC, depending on the image, and tweak as needed.
  40. Well....I've been doing alot of scanning these past couple of weeks. Using SilverFast, I find that the scans of Ektar are sometimes not so good. Interestingly, I've been scanning alot of Portra 400UC. Remember that film? In general, I'm getting much better scans from 400UC than from Ektar, and the colors really pop with 400UC, but still look natural. I think I'll just go back to 160NC!
  41. I'm not finding it difficult to use and to me the skin tones are warm but nice (similar to Fuji RDP)
    Also I find it easy to print optically and scan, often guess my exposures like below which was taken on a 1930's Bessa (with leaky bellows)
  42. I've just returned from a holiday in Italy and tried a roll of Ektar in 135 and several more in 120.
    Although I think Portra 400NC (3) will continue to be my main film of choice, the Ektar colours are dreamy and very classic Kodak-esque.
    I'll post them slowly but steadily on Flickr if you fancy a peek:
  43. Tim, maybe Silverfast has fixed the problem. Last time I talked to them they did not yet have the custom curves for Ektar. They said they were waiting on Kodak for a usable target. ColorNeg has full support for Ektar, which is why I use it. If Silverfast now supports it I may switch back, although I like being able to work in terms of CC points they way I used to in the darkroom, something I get from ColorNeg.
  44. This weekend I shot my first roll of Ektar 100. I have to say I am impressed. Such a great look. I just was not disappointed at all. There were quite a number of high contrast early afternoon ocean/boat shots that the film handled beautifully, handling highlights well and still giving good sky color. But the shots on the roll that really impressed me were a few of a Fresnel Lens on display at Monterey CA. Ektar handled the low light situation impressively.
  45. Sam that is beautiful that light house reflector looks like it belongs in outer space.
  46. I may have joined this a bit late, but here are a few photos shot with Ektar 100 this last week. My wife and I went on a 5 day backpacking trip into the cascade mts of Washington State. I may have make a mistake in shooting it at ASA 80, thinking back to my days when I shot film everyday, I remember being told by a Kodak rep to shoot Portra 100 at 80. I think some of the photos came out a little overexposed, but they still look great. All taken with a Nikon FM2, 35-70 f/3.5 lens.

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