What current film similar to Kodak Ektapress PJM-640 Multispeed?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by a._valerio, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. I shot some older frozen EKtapress PJM recently, rated at EI 320. The results are very to my liking. I'm not sure how to describe the look. The color is great, but natural, contrast seems low, and there is a sharpness and warmth. What current film will give a similar character image?
     
  2. Multispeed was a 400 speed film with plenty of lattitude. Most color neg films have plenty of lattitude so the "Multispeed" feature was more of a marketing ploy than a true feature. I don't know how old your film was. Freezing would have stopped the chemical reactions. Radiation effects would continue. Since you over-exposed a bit, you avoided the worst of that problem. The Kodak Max 400 film today (which is about 500 speed) might be a reasonable match, but it will probably have finer grain.
     
  3. Ron,
    Thanks. So far, the one that I thought looked the closest was Portra 800. Does that make sense? Is Portra 800 at all related to PJM? Seems to have similar very wide latitude and warm colors. Maybe if I rate Porta 800 at 640 or 500 it will look more like the PJM? I've only tried it at EI 800 so far...and it's quite expensive.
    Ultra Color 400 doesn't do it for me; I don't think Gold does, either. What about 400VC? is that similar to Ektapress at all?
    The other thing is, the fog on the PJM is nowhere near as bad as I would have thought. The shadows still have plenty of detail, and an unexposed frame is perfectly clear. Is that to be expected? It is from 1998 or something.
     
  4. I'm surprised that radiation hasn't pushed the fog of the PJM higher by now.
    It is hard to pick a film today that will look like 10 year old (but frozen) PJM. I think Max 400 will have a roughly similar grain/sharpness/contrast look. It will have roughly similar, but not identical color reproduction. I'm not exactly sure what a warm look means since all negative films can be printed to any color balance you desire. VC 400 will have much finer grain.
    Portra 800 might be another good choice, but it may look too good. The only relationship between the two is that the same film builder once worked on both. Portra 800 is several generations newer. To illustrate this, let me provide a little history. I followed the PJ films closely during the 90's. PJM was a retrofit product made by taking another similar product, tweaking it a bit, and proving a marketing story (multispeed). Kodak had about 100,000 rolls to give away to acredited journalists at the 96 Olympics in Atlanta. Even with free film available, many photojournalists chose to shoot Fuji 800 which was a superior product, especially for sporting events. Fuji has made significant progress in their 800 speed fillms in the last dozen years. Kodak has surpassed them. The current Portra 800 film is faster than the Fuji 800 offerings. It is sharper and has (IMHO) superior color reproduction. While sensitrivity to background radiation used to be a concern for some Kodak products, this one is the champ at 800 speed.
     
  5. Interesting!
    I shot 2 rolls of HD 400 and developed at the same time as this roll of PJM, and the old PJM totally beat up the brand-new HD 400! The HD was too contrasty, had low shadow detail, and fake-looking color. Surprising...would have thought HD-400 would be similar to Royal God and Supra, which I thought were descended from Ektapress.

    There's a bit of shadow fog on the PJM even though the film base is clear in unexposed regions. But it still looks great. As for warmth, I am going by how the rolls scanned at the lab. And believe it or not, the 6MP minilab scans (which are usually so-so and often worse than those out of my Minolta Dual Scan IIII) of the PJM roll (shot outside) are good enough to print at 12x18 inches! But you have to understand that the lighting that day was the best you could ever ask for for people pics...cloudy, but still some sun coming through. I commented to another photographer how you don't need flash on a day like that, and he agreed.

    Perhaps the warmth, if not a scanning variation, is partially due to the age of the film...? Also, the film has a certain "bite" to it...it looks natural, but there is something about it that reminds me of cross-processed E-6 film in C-41 chemistry...but in a very, very, subtle sort of way. Any ideas what ths is due to? In any case, I love the look and it worked perfectly.

    I had purchased a bunch of expired but frozen film from a guy on ebay. Some if it was garbage, but not this stuff! I have a couple more rolls left, and might re-freeze them because I don't think I'll get to use them soon. I also have some PJB 400 Ektapress from the same guy, but wanted to use the highest speed film up first. Is PJB almost the same as PJM?
     
  6. Perhaps Portra 400NC would look like what you want. A very natural color reproduction, definitely not goosed in contrast or saturation.
    Lots of minilabs never really figured out how to scan an print HD400. I never got good minilab prints for HD400, where I did from Gold 400 or Portra 400NC. But when I scanned it on a Nikon CoolScan IV, HD400 was pretty decent. Still too much contrast in HD400.
    The contrast levels in most of today's C-41 films are MUCH higher then 10 years ago. That and color saturation are part of the consumer film "arms race".
     
  7. The first generation of PJM was very similar to PJB. When the second generation of PJM was introduced, I believe PJB was discontinued, at least in some market areas.
    By objective sensitometry, the contrast of today's films is lower than in those of 10 years ago. Again by objective measures, color saturation of some films (Gold 100 and 200) is a notch lower than it was 10 years ago. One thing that has changed is digital printing. The typical algorithm puts a pure black and a pure white into each image, even when the subject is a cloudy day in Rochester in November.
     
  8. Pardon me digging out this old thread. What EI would you recommend for a roll of PJM expired on 2000?
     

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