Ektar 100asa, the new king?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by rolleiman, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    I've been shooting Ektar 100asa since it was introduced, in both 120 & 35mm. Particularly impressive is its wide contrast range and practically invisible grain.

    As Fuji transparancy film is getting expensive here in the UK, I've been substituting Provia for Ektar when shooting for stock. It seems to scan well, and the stock library I use has made no detrimental comments over my submissions, using Ektar as my base film.

    Has anyone else taken to using Ektar (or other colour neg film) for shooting stock in place of trannie?

    It certainly reduces the overhead costs, both in purchasing the film, and processing. Colour neg is also simpler to home process.
     
  2. Markster

    Markster Member

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    I think Ektar is the new king, but only because Kodak simplified their lineup and removed a number of other interesting film options. If it were just a new addition I don't think it would be as popular. Since it's a replacement for all those discontinued ones I think I'm happy it's good enough to do what it does.
     
  3. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I like it!

    Jeff
     
  4. vpik01

    vpik01 Member

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    I'm not shooting it for stock but agree with the other commentors that it along with Portra 400 have become instant staples for me. E6 is expensive here in the DC area as well, I also find it more difficult to scan personally than the ektar and portra lines.
     
  5. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Funny, I had a dilemma yesterday when purchasing film for my trip this weekend: Velvia or Ektar.

    I like the idea of Ektar and what other people have posted, but I never mastered the film like I have slide, so I guess I needs some learning. I was told to expose it at ISO 125 and found it to have a garrish magenta caste that couldn't be removed easily. Then I heard from someone else to shoot it at 80 or 64 and it'll be great. So maybe I just need to experiment.

    I want to love it because it's cheaper, is more forgiving and can be printed wet, but even so, never had much luck with the 15 rolls I shot.
     
  6. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I like it! very fine grain color negative film. Color balance is difficult because if you have a picture with both shaded and non shaded areas the color balances are different.
     
  7. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    I use it and love it. It's my go-to film for everything I can use it for. I need to try Portra 400 and 160 soon too (the new versions.). I loved Ektar 25 when it was available, and still have a good sized stash, but I mostly use the Ektar 100 as the 2-stops of speed really matter when shooting slow 6x7 lenses handheld.
     
  8. Stephen Schoof

    Stephen Schoof Member

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    I like it, but as the (by now) old joke goes, it never seems to project very well for me.

    I've mostly stuck with slides because I don't really enjoy post-exposure work. If I had to scan and/or print everything I shot, I'd just start with a digital file.
     
  9. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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  10. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    .
    I Love It !!!

    Ron
    .
     
  11. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    For a negative projector you need a very bright room and a black screen.
     
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    It's one of the ugliest films I have ever used. Completely unsuitable for my own general purposes. It is kind of neat to have it there for the occasional subject, but I sure as hell hope that it is not the new king. If it were the only color neg film, I'd surely switch almost entirely to digital or color.
     
  13. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    On a serious note, I have a very high opinion of this film. I've spent some time learning how to properly expose and print it, and have tried in it every format from 35mm to 8x10. By next Spring I
    hope to be making 30x40 Fuji CA Supergloss prints from it, since all my 30x40 Cibachromes are now
    sold out. It's certainly not the most forgiving of color neg films, and perhaps not the best choice
    for general portraiture; but it can deliver. The first thing one needs to do is learn proper color balancing filtration outdoors. I always take along an 81A and 81C for overcast days or deep shade
    under blue skies, respectively. You CANNOT correct for a serious lighting imbalance afterwards, no
    matter what the Photoshop geeks tell you. You might be able to shoot at a lower ASA and get sufficient exp to all three dye layers; but it's better to filter correctly in the first place.
     
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  15. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    I found the same thing, after shooting a roll on a rather overcast day in the mountains. Fuji 200 shot under similar conditions can be reasonably corrected in the darkroom, Ektar 100, not so much. :sad:
     
  16. derwent

    derwent Member

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    It's certainly trickier to shoot, but when it works it really works!
    I still love slide but I cannot get it developed in Tasmania any more whereas I can get Ektar done in half an hour in town.
    It's also cheaper which makes a difference in these tight financial times when the amount of film I shoot is limited by what I can afford to spend on a hobby...
     
  17. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Yeah, I agree.
     
  18. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    And a black light bulb in the projector.
     
  19. Henning Serger

    Henning Serger Member

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    No, more the other way round, returning to slide film because of better detail rendition and better colors (of course color is also very subjective and an individual thing).

    We've tested intensively all ISO 100 slide films and CN films of the market.

    Our test results are very clear about the comparison of Ektar 100 to the ISO 100 competition:

    Resolution and sharpness of all slide films are superior to Ektar 100:
    Resolution with object contrast of 1:4 (system resolution Nikkor 1,8/50 and Zeiss ZF 50 at f5,6 with the following films):
    E100G and Elitechrome 100: 120 - 135 Lp/mm
    Sensia 100, Provia 100F, Astia 100F: 120 - 135 lp/mm
    Velvia 100 and 100F: 125 - 140 lp/mm
    Elitechrome 100 ExtraColor and E100VS: 115 - 125 lp/mm

    Ektar 100: 90 - 105 Lp/mm

    Gold 100/Farbwelt 100: 105 - 115 lp/mm
    Reala: 110 - 115 lp/mm
    Pro 160C: 105 - 115 lp/mm

    Grain is a little bit finer with E100G, Elitechrome 100, Astia, Sensia, Provia compared to Ektar (but the difference not so big).
    E100VS / ExtraColor is a bit coarser in grain than Ektar.

    Ektar has a bit finer grain than Reala and Pro 160, and is significantly finer grained than Gold 100.

    All these differences are clearly visible under the microscope, with optical enlarging (with APO enlarging lenses) and less visible, but still significant with 8000 ppi drum scanners.

    With low(er) resolution 4000 ppi scanners the differences are quite small. The 4000 ppi scan with its low resolution is the bottleneck here and the limiting factor in image quality.

    Kodak introduced Ektar 100 first only as 35mm film, and in its amateur line. And said it is optmised for scanning. It was adressed for a certain market segment.
    I talked at Photokina 2008, when Ektar 100 was introduced, to the Kodak people and they told me that. Also they said there will be no Ektar 100 120 or sheet film (well, they later changed their mind).
    And that is indeed what they really did: A film optimised for the most widespread amateur scanners with max. resolution of 4000 ppi.
    Most of these scanners get real 3600 ppi (Nikon Coolscan 5000 e.g.), that is about 70 Lp/mm resolution.
    Kodak sacrificed a bit resolution (Gold 100 has indeed higher resolution, but significantly coarser grain compared to Ektar) to get finer grain, because with these 4000 ppi scanners grain is the most visible problem (often enhanced by scanner noise).
    Ektar 100 is a product specifically designed for this certain market segment, and it fits very well in this application.
    But from a technological point of view and the test results, E100G, Elitechrome 100 and all ISO 100 Fuji slide films deliver better detail rendition. Visible directly on the film (see my postings above) and with drum scanners.
    And when you compare a projected slide to a Ektar print of the same size.

    E6 developing is not at all a problem here in Germany: Dozens of labs, excellent quality and very fast service available, low prices.

    Best regards,
    Henning
     
  20. warrennn

    warrennn Member

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    Thank you, Henning, for such an impressive study of color film resolution. While I don't have any quantitative data for comparison of Ektar to slide films, I have been shooting both Ektar and Velvia 100 and find them to be fairly similar in color rendition and color intensity (not a very precise term, I am afraid).

    I have been enjoying the autumn colors here in Seattle and have taken a number of photos of the local trees using a Hasselblad with two backs: one containing Velvia and the other containing Ektar. I take identical photos using both backs and develop them myself (the E6 using the Kodak 5L kit and the C41 using the Tetenal blix-based kit). I print the C41 using a dichroic enlarger and make 12"x12" enlargements on Fuji CA type II paper (developed at room temperature using Kodak chemicals).

    I am very pleased with the results. Both films give fairly saturated colors, which are not everybody's cup of tea. The Ektar contrast seems to be increased when printed on the Fuji paper and the combination has similar contrast to Velvia (viewed on a light table).

    Warren Nagourney
     
  21. Markster

    Markster Member

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    Resolution notwithstanding, Ektar is ISO 100, so shoot it at 100. Don't shoot it 125, or 66. I did some testing, some others have as well. The thing is you can over expose it fairly well, but it will rapidly start losing saturation in a number of colors. They start turning greyish. This can lead to the impression of more detail, as you can "see" details on grey better than you can on a navy blue peacoat (in one online example, this was used). Just 1 stop and you can notice a bit. 2 stops and you start losing color. That may be why some people are unhappy with the colors.

    You shoot it at the proper lighting and it performs well. The photo won't be ruined if you're over or under. It actually has a wide range. It's just that the "sweet spot" is rather narrow.

    I'm an amateur and I can even spot this in my own test rolls.
     
  22. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    The smaller the film size the better the scan you need, not just due to the resolution problem, but much more with respect to statistically recording minor changes in dye curve shape, or else you will have signficant reproduction problems, at least for those of you who are still doing things the medieval way and are not using a real enlarger! And as I've hinted repeatedly, correct exposure includes not only the proper ASA but proper filtration for color temp. I agree
    with shooting it at box speed if you want the most out of it. 99% of the complaints about this film would vanish if
    folks simply learned proper technique. If you want to wing it, I'd try a different neg film. But it's no trickier to expose than a chrome film - you just can't evaluate easily on a lightbox; and judging on a screen from a less than optimal scan
    tells you less about the film itself than the flaws in the workflow.
     
  23. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    You left out the obvious advantage of Kodak Ektar - and generally most C41 over E6, is it's latitude.

    I tend to agree with your comparison as generally speaking E6 surpasses C41 in terms of resolution and grain.

    Are your test procedures and results published? And if so where?

    TIA
     
  24. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    "Statistically recording minor changes in dye curve shape" seems to be a bit of technobabble. Never heard this phrase before in my life!

    PE
     
  25. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Now I don't feel so bad about not understanding it either!

    I think it just means that the better scan's higher resolution would pick up finer variations in color. But I'm not sure that's what it means.
     
  26. Henning Serger

    Henning Serger Member

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    Hello Les,

    test procedures and results were published several times so far in threads here on apug (just about two months ago for example in long thread concerning resolution of BW films, as we have not only tested color but also BW films), and several times in Germany at aphog.de.
    Of course the presentation on forums is and have to be a bit compressed. In a separate publication we will go further into detail.

    Furthermore some complete reports were given to some optic, film and photo chemistry manufactureres who were interested in the results.

    We intend to publish the whole project online in the future, but there are some significant problems:

    1. It is very expensive, and we have already invested a huge amount of money. We are financing it by ourselves, no support from others.
    2. Time, it's a lot of work.
    3. It is very very difficult to present high resolution via internet and computermonitors; so we have to test some methods for the best, most objective presentation.

    Therefore it is still a long way to go, maybe next year.

    Best regards,
    Henning