Tag Archives: Kodak Ektar 100
Despite having all but forsaken using a 35mm SLR in favor of medium format and format, I recently took my Olympus OM-1 on a trip to Bushwick. I had my newish Nikon D700 with me and didn’t want to commit to all-digital for the trip, so I popped a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 into the OM-1. During my outing, I took a few shots of the same thing with the Olympus and the D700. I was astounded at the difference in the two cameras. The Olympus paired with Kodak Ektar rendered everything with a richness and texture that the Nikon D700 just smoothed over. The D700 shots were too cool-toned and the aging building facades looked smooth and slick rather than worn and beaten by time. I posted an example on Flickr of the same shot side by side with Ektar and digital and it’s beyond obvious which is better for this particular shot. Overall, film simply renders things like buildings, storefronts, and street art in a much more true-to-life manner. The D700 files are just too polished, too perfect. Lesson learned. The D700 is unmatched in shooting events and low light, while film is better for everything else.
Last week I had uploaded a few of my normal type shots to Flickr using the D700 despite thinking they looked a little flat. I thought it was just me being too used to the way a film shot looks. Then as I was showing Kate the comparison shot (linked to above) she was like, “Yeah, those D700 shots don’t look very good.” She didn’t think they were up to my usual standards and hoped that I wouldn’t be using the D700 for shooting my everyday stuff. What looked obvious to me was just obvious. Film simply looks better for the type of things I like to shoot.
Here are a handful of OM-1, Kodak Ektar shots from the trip.
As the summer fades and my use of color film dwindles, I’ve been fickle regarding 100 speed film. The new Kodak Portra 400 has proven to be a solid lock for higher speed color film, but I’ve bounced around a bit when it comes to color negative film at 100 speed. I’ve shot dozens of rolls of Fuji Reala 100, which I love, but it sometimes lacks that punch I like from color film. Kodak Portra 160 hasn’t wowed me as much as its big brother, so I’ve been shooting Reala 100, but always thinking I could use something I like better. Enter Kodak Ektar 100. Ektar is a fairly recent addition (2008) to the Kodak family, boasting “ISO 100 speed, high saturation and ultra-vivid color, EKTAR 100 offers the finest, smoothest grain of any color negative film available today.”
It’s certainly punchier than Reala. It’s decently priced, readily available no matter where I shop for film, and scans like a dream. I’m definitely warming to it. Here’s a quick look at how it handles different colors in my experience.
Blus Sky and Plane, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Kodak Ektar 100
All images shot with Hasselblad 501cm and Zeiss Planar 80mm f2.8 lens and scanned with Epson V500 flatbed scanner.
Living in NYC gives you, as someone very wise often says, an embarrassment of riches when it comes to activities. And yet, our favorite thing to do is something you can do anywhere. We love taking long walks on the weekends. Kate wakes us up early (sometimes before dawn) and I bitch and moan for five or ten minutes, lounging in bed for as long as I can. Then we get dressed and go for a 5 or 6 mile run. I’m not a happy camper for the first mile or so, but then something happens to my outlook. I start to feel energized, the sky looks amazing and the light starts to have that amazing glow that you only get early in the morning.
We come home, shower, and grab a quick bite. And then we head out for a long walk. It doesn’t matter where we go. When we lived in Manhattan, it would be the West Village, the Hudson Promenade, through the Meatpacking District on the High Line and into Chelsea, or the Lower East Side up into the East Village and then into Union Square. But we always stayed south of 23rd Street and there isn’t much room to go between the East River and the Hudson.
Now that we live in Brooklyn, we have SO much room to walk. It’s nothing to leave Park Slope and end up walking to Dumbo or Carrol Gardens. Lately we have taken to long walks along the Gowanus Canal or even down into Red Hook.
The weather lately has been perfect for these long walks. Last weekend we did a walk through Brooklyn Heights on Henry Street and came home parallel to the Gowanus Canal. I took the Hasselblad with us to capture the sights on some Kodak Ektar 100 film.
Intersection of Warren and Henry Street, Brooklyn Heights, Kodak Ektar 100
Red House on Union, Park Slope, Kodak Ektar 100
House on Union Street, Kodak Ektar 100
S & P News Stand, Corner of 9th and 5th, Kodak Ektar 100
On Sunday, Brooklyn photography pal Joel Zimmer and I met up in Dumbo to spend a couple of hours walking around taking pictures. Joel has a much better feel for Brooklyn than this Manhattanite, so when he mentioned a side trip just outside of Dumbo to see some abandoned Navy Officer housing I was all over it. Little did I know that it would be *this* abandoned and over grown.
Abandoned Navy Officer Housing in Brooklyn
Color shot are from Nikon FM2n and Nikkor 28mm f2.8 Ai-S lens on Kodak Ektar 100 film developed at Duane Reade and then rescanned by me on an Epson V500 flatbed scanner.
Black and White shots are with Nikon F3 and Nikkor 50mm f1.4 Ai lens on Kodak Tri-X 400 film exposed and developed at box speed in Kodak Xtol developer for 6.75 minutes
I haven’t been able to grab any of the new Kodak Portra 160 lately (even Adorama and B&H are out of it), so I just grabbed a few rolls of Kodak Ektar 100 color film in the meantime. I’ve used Ektar in 120 format in the Hasselblad 501cm, so I knew what to expect from it – very fine grain and true color for most subjects. These pictures were scanned at Duane Reade, so they are little more saturated than they would be if I scanned them, but I’m too lazy to forgo the cheap scanning when I drop a color roll off at Duane Reade. Still, these are more true to life than Portra VC and comparable to Portra NC film.
I snapped this roll (roll number 49 of 2011!) in Williamsburg last weekend, while Kate was getting her nails done.
All images are from the Nikon F3 and Nikkor 28mm f2.8 Ai-s lens on Kodak Ektar 100 film developed and scanned at Duane Reade
Classic Blue Volkswagon Under Bridge in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Abandoned Staples Cart on Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Kam Sing Restaurant on Corner of Bedford Ave in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
New York Deli and Grocery on Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Thank You Shark on Roebling Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Crumbling Building Detail on Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Red Building on Meeker Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Street Art and Early Moon off of Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Liquor Store on Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Street Art off of Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
It was a pretty sunny day when I shot these, but I like the color of the Ektar film with the Hasselblad. Not as saturated as I had heard it would be.
Kate in Chairs, St. Michaels, Maryland
Sky and the Miles River, St. Michaels, Maryland
You know, I’ve just realized that the pics posted here on this blog are desaturated a noticeable amount. When I compare the color with the same file on Flickr, it’s clear which is which. Weird. The photos above are not that dull colorwise on Flickr.
I’ve increased the saturation using Aperture on these two photos and they come out a little better here on the blog, but too saturated in the original file. Weird.