Down the Road

Roads and life and how roads are like life

Lavender

Lavender
Nikon F2AS (review), 50mm f/2 AI Nikkor, Kodak Ektar 100
2014

Shooting Kodak Ektar 100

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I don’t remember buying that roll of Ektar 100. Regardless, there it was in my refrigerator. I’ve been in the mood to experiment with different films lately (see photos I shot recently on Kodak Plus-X Pan), so I loaded it into my Nikon F2AS.

If you’re an experienced film shooter, you might find it strange that I’m experimenting with Ektar, a widely used and liked color film. But my go-to film for years has been Fujicolor 200 because I can get it at the big-box store for less than two bucks a roll. Ektar costs at least $5, and since I’ve been happy enough with the Fujicolor, why should I spend the extra dough? But lately I’ve wondered what else was out there.

I am excited by the results. The colors are just outstanding. I’ve had some good results with the Fujicolor, but not as consistently delightful across the board as this roll of Ektar delivered. Here’s a just-opened peony from right outside my front door.

Peony

And here’s a yellow lily from the bed along my driveway.

Lily

And here’s some sort of daisy bathed in evening sunlight on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Daisy?

I was also impressed with the Ektar when shooting muted colors, like this scene inside the IMA’s entrance.

Inside the IMA Entrance

As I shot this statue, I thought about how I’d normally want to use a fine-grained black-and-white film like T-Max to get good contrast and shadow detail. But the Ektar handily delivered both, and sensitively rendered the statue’s color tone.

The girls

I made a few everyday la-de-da shots to finish the roll. I’ve never been unhappy with Fujicolor for such photographs, but thought the Ektar rendered colors much more naturally. This is how my mind remembers the colors from an evening I finished spreading mulch in my flower beds.

Ready to Work

I stayed away from Ektar for a long time not just because of cost, but because it’s ISO 100 film. I find anything less than ISO 200 to be too limiting, and feel most confident that I’ll get every shot when I’m shooting ISO 400 film. But I gather that Ektar has pretty wide exposure latitude. I’ve read many reports of people shooting it at ISO 400. They either push-process it or just tweak exposure in Photoshop; either way, they get images with enhanced contrast and little discernible loss of detail.

I’ll be shooting more Ektar. You can count on it.


I shot some Portra 160 in an old Brownie a couple years ago. See the photos here.

Recommended reading

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Here are the blog posts I enjoyed most this week, collected for your reading pleasure:

Film photographer Joseph Irvin isn’t buoyed by the news that Hollywood is committing to buying Kodak movie film it probably won’t use just so production of it won’t stop for good. Read: Seeing this doesn’t fill me with joy the way it does others

David Lacy offers a perspective on the gods in our lives, and why they must be servants or tools, and not masters. Read: First Key to Right Living

I’m a hiring manager where I work and I think a lot about how to hire well. Johanna Rothman shares her thoughts about how hiring managers tend to hire people just like them – and how to avoid it. Read: How to Hire for Cultural Fit Without Becoming Insular and Mediocre

Susan Stayer shares some photos she took with a half-frame camera, which takes 72 half-sized photos on a 36-exposure roll of film. She got some great color. Read: A Whole Roll of Half Frame

 

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