Ektar being Ektar ;-)

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Zygomorph, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. Zygomorph

    Zygomorph Member

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    http://tumblr.com/Zag7DyERo1CK

    This is one of the more bizarre photos I've ever taken, but I thought I'd share this rendering of a frame of Ektar 120 shot in hazy/blazing midday light in London (as evidenced by the clock and the shadows).

    Who knows how this would print in a darkroom... my work is hybrid, but anyway. Just thought you'd all appreciate the slickness and effortlessness with which this film handles PRIMARY colors and NEON, and is quite capable of a rather "digital" look. :smile:

    I honestly love how blindingly ugly this picture is.

    (Mamiya 6, 75mm.)
     
  2. Rhodes

    Rhodes Member

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    Love the colors, have to try this film in both formats!
     
  3. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    It's still not as saturated as a typical chrome. I personally detest the way so many digital prints and
    web images have been ridiculously hyped per saturation. But at the same time, folks who have shot
    color neg films in the past have gotten accustomed to a relatively muddy palette where every warm
    neutral looks like a fleshtone, and crisp greens and yellows simply do not exist. But in your specific
    example, the hybrid workflow probably has something to do with it. With Ektar you do need to be
    careful with shadows going excessively blue, and when its best to use warming filters per color temp.
     
  4. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

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    Heh. Love the colors. The HDR guys would die of envy ;-). On a serious note, it's really your scanner and not the film. Ektar is a PIA to scan because it has tremendous contrast/saturation so it easily saturates digital sensors and software, especially if you scan in 8bit. Printing optically, it's much more realistic, but you still have to deal with high contrast of the film.
     
  5. rphenning

    rphenning Member

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    haha that picture sure is ugly. Do you play with the white, grey, black points before you make it a digital file? Helps get the most out of the frame I have found.
     
  6. Zygomorph

    Zygomorph Member

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    Just to be clear I wasn't complaining about ektar (or my scanner). It is trickier to scan insofar as it doesn't "neutralize" to a realistic palette as readily as portra, for example. Shadows in real life are indeed blue on a clear day, but I don't see them AS BLUE As readily as does ektar!

    I'm not sure how the scanning technique would affect saturation, mine is profiled and gives me 12 bits and from there I edit in prophoto color space at 16 bits. I think it has more to do with how steep I make the curves in PS! ;-) I'll stop before someone tells me to take it to dpug…

    Also, obviously, I've compressed the highlights a bit to make certain details render for digital viewing. Printing, I would let them go a bit more. This photo reads a bit muddy to me but it's just not worth spending more time on.

    I will in fact be experimenting with chromes more soon, so we'll see how that goes. I was in fact indoctrinated into the world of low contrast "muddy" palletes by my my prof, Joel Sternfeld. I still love portra, forever.
     
  7. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    +1
    When I scan, which is very rare, I use 16 bits/color to avoid this. I much prefer optically printing.
     
  8. Zygomorph

    Zygomorph Member

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  9. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    Yeah....thanks for the shot of the compost heap.

    Nice composition :whistling:
     
  10. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Well, I don't know what you consider typical, but I've never seen anything quite that oversaturated from astia.

    Someone should shoot a rainbow with this stuff!!!
     
  11. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    I like the saturation, but that image hurts my eyes.
     
  12. Zygomorph

    Zygomorph Member

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    Haha, finally! Peoples gotta have a sense of humor.

    I am like, so. Happy! Somebody likes the compost heap.

    It is, actually, besides the great tree behind St Paul's in London one of the best things I saw on my trip around the world.
     
  13. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

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    Looks OK to me! I shot some Ektachrome VS recently which makes your photo look drab. I bought five boxes of it (35mm). I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with it.
     
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  15. jbl

    jbl Member

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    I like Ektar and shoot a decent amount of it, but I've never understood how it's compared to chromes saturation-wise (I agree with Drew on this). My Ektar shots, when scanned always seem a bit flat to me. For a while, I just avoided color neg altogether, but I've gotten interested in processing my own, so it's gotten a second chance. I found that if I boost the black clipping point enormously, things start to look better, but even so, it's no Velvia or even E100G. I really want to like it for saturation and colors like what you've got, but I find myself always having to like it for having a somewhat muted palette :smile:.

    For example, these are my recent Ektar shots:

    http://jbl.smugmug.com/keyword/ektar

    And chromes:

    http://jbl.smugmug.com/keyword/ektachrome
    http://jbl.smugmug.com/keyword/slide

    -jbl
     
  16. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Probably the best balanced chrome film ever made was Astia, and the closest thing to that in color
    neg is Ektar. But both are now discontinued in sheets. A sad day indeed. I blame a lot of misinformation or just ignorance about both of these. The web disseminates misinformation faster
    than good info it seems. And nowadays everybody doesn't want to take the time to learn to do
    things right, so they just blast away and naively assume they can any conceivable mess afterwards
    in Photoshop. Not true. Those kinds of folks should stick to cell phone cameras. Ektar prints wonderfully in the darkroom if one understands how it works and is willing to learn a bit of elementary
    masking technique.
     
  17. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Do not mention the two in the same sentence. They are entirely different. I have seen blown highlights or loss of shadow detail in astia, as one might expect in a slide film dealing with a scene that has too much range to handle, but that's it. Astia has superb colour neutrality.

    If you wish to compare astia to a neg film, the correct film to compare to is reala. Not ektar.
     
  18. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Thanks Keith. But Reala was never offered in sheet format so there's no way for me to make a real
    world darkroom comparison relative to serious printmaking requirements. Ektar is suprisingly well balanced per objective testing. It just doesn't create idealized skintones, which is exactly why typical neg films fail to deliver accurate analogous hues in nature. Between Ektar and Astia there's still a significant gulf in terms of both contrast range and saturation. Both have now been discontinued in large format sheets and supplies are dwindling. Figures. Astia was a niche market all along. I used it mainly as a chrome duplicating film. But Kodak barely got Ektar going and pulled the plug already. Blame whatever.
     
  19. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Ektar discontinued in sheets?

    I know it was discontinued in 8x10 and I know you shoot 8x10, but I haven't heard anything about it being discontinued in 4x5.
     
  20. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    From Kodak's own site it looks like they pulled the plug on sheets completely and aren't going to coat
    any more. How much this is due to end-of-business-as-usual rigormortis and panic I can't tell. But not atypical of the kind of flip-flop marketing which has plagued Kodak for a long time. Maybe they
    think that a relatively saturated and fine-grained film is necessary only for smaller formats. The
    8x10 sheets were selling slowly compared to Portra, no doubt because the skintone/portrait market
    is indeed bigger, but also because not a lot of people even had time to get familiar with Ektar. Sure
    there is a lot of idiocy on the web, but not much that would make this film comfortable for pro users.
    No way to tell if it can get started up again, since EK obviously has bigger worries at the moment.
    I'm pretty well stocked up on 8x10, but still have to stockpile 4x5, which is selling out fast. Porta
    will have to wait, since it has the best chance of surviving. I need it for internegs from chromes.
     
  21. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Wow. Given my shooting of color is mostly smaller formats and the cost, even in 4x5, I don't know whether to buy a few boxes of Ektar or not. I recall PE saying that the old Ektar did not freeze well. Not sure if that applies to the new stuff, but I can't really afford to stock up in the sense of decades worth. I could get maybe 10 boxes. :sad:
     
  22. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Oh, I have shot reala in roll form up to 612, it's a great thing. That's what I'd base my comparison on, medium format compared to medium format. reala has that neutrality and credibility but yet it pushes the envelope just a bit. Yes, too bad it's not available in sheets. Many films I wish were available in sheets... xp2, reala, delta 3200, that maskless digi stuff from rollei... scala.... xp2, did I mention I would really like to have xp2 in sheets.... Simonnnn......

    Anyway I do have lots of astia in sheet form up to 8x10, and it's still readily available from megaperls webshop / japan exposures.
     
  23. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I figure true high-speed films will never appear in sheet format because they just don't store well long term and need to be used more quickly. But if they could be, Delta 3200 would sure be on my
    own list too. If it's raining like hell tomorrow I'll tuck a Nikon with 3200 under my Goretex parka and
    start walking. I covet rainy days just for the opportunity. If it's a light rain I'll more likely take the
    full pack with an 8x10 and TMY400, plus Goretex darkcloth. I haven't shot Reala except for a bit of
    120 portrait work which I printed directly, without any fancy tweaks. That's about the only kind of
    thing I use medium format for, plus real windy conditions where the view camera becomes a kite.
    Thanks for the tip, however. It will tempt me to try that film again.
     
  24. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    +100!

    XP2 used to be available in sheets but not XP2 Super.

    XP2 is simply wonderful stuff. LOVE it in 35mm. I need to sort out the free C41 chems someone gave me recently so I can get back to shooting it. Back in the 90s when I could get 35mm run negatives only for about two bucks at a one hour lab in any small town, I gravitated toward more and more XP2 and less conventional film. Vastly under rated and under appreciated film these days.
     
  25. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    XP2 sheet would appeal greatly to hybrid photographers too, but I can say no more than that I like my bourbon with ICE.
     
  26. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Yeah, I bet it does scan better.

    But I also love (in smaller formats) the lack of grain and in all formats the smooth tonality and seeming complete inability to block highlights no matter how absurdly over exposed.