Ektar in overcast light samples please

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by coigach, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. coigach

    coigach Subscriber

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    Hello,

    After years of shooting b+w transparencies I'm now experimenting with 120 colour neg film for landscapes. Have used Portra and I like the muted colours. Sometimes however I'm looking for a bit more 'pop', but not too much...

    Ektar gets a reputation for being very saturated, but I'm not sure how this translates in the overcast, flat light that is common in Scotland. Can somebody please post photos of Ektar used in flat overcast light to give me an idea? (Any other colour neg film suggestions welcome too).

    Cheers,
    Gavin
     
  2. Nuff

    Nuff Member

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    If you are interested in scans of negs, I can provide you with them. All I do is bump the contrast a bit.
    Not so much with scans from prints, since I don't scan them.
     
  3. alexfoto

    alexfoto Member

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    -I don't mess analog with digital and i stop to scan negative, so no sample here, if you want to scan your films, Ektar is the best out there. But if you print in a classic darkroom don't use it, its a little over contrast and lost tonality in the shadow for my taste. And also its hard to find the right filtration in the analog color-head.
    -Kodak optimize ektar for scanning, and the problem in scanning is the grain which is high because of the way that light in scanner work, even the best of them messed up with grain, thats why i stop to scan.
    -On reason that digital look better in computer screen is that scanning a negative keep away the beauty, deep color of film, flatten the image like lifeless and give grain. So if you want to scan the answer is Ektar, is the best way, but if you print in darkroom forget it, and yes is more contrast than Porta.
     
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  4. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Examples

    Ektar 100 examples in open shade. Will be able to show true overcast sky later in the week. :laugh:
     

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  5. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

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    In my experience Ektar looks better in warm sunlight than in the pale northern light (Scandinavia in my case). Here it takes on a dull blue tone. Portra looks better i cool light because it adds some warmth. But slide film might be a better bet for landscapes. I quite like Provia 100F because it's sharp and contrasty and can be saturated quite a lot in post-processing. It has good colours even in overcast light.

    I don't have any landscape photos with Ektar but the first one below was taken on an overcast day in May and the second on a very sunny day in July. It almost looks like a different film to me.

    9539493266_da527bdd31_b.jpg
    Minolta X-700 + MD 28-85 at macro setting

    9531575868_edfa05eda2_b.jpg
    Minolta X-700 + MC 50/1.4
     
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  6. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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    That’s true of any 5500K daylight color film used in open shade or overcast conditions.


    We can use one of the 81 series warming filters to absorb the excess blue of the light before it reaches the film so that the colors will be recorded with reasonably accuracy.
     
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  7. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Here is one that's borrowed from my gallery entries, there is at least one other there which is Ektar on a misty grey day.
     

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  8. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I've posted on this topic many times already. You can do a search. Here it's foggy much of the time. If the fog is soft and enveloping it acts much like a softbox and the light will tend to be quite white. No issues. But when the fog lifts or there is just general bluish overcast, you'll
    need an 81A filter to get all the dye layers correctly exposed. Makes a huge difference when you go to print.
     
  9. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    ... and contrary to a previous post, Ektar prints wonderfully in the darkroom - no more difficult than any other color neg film. But it is a little more fussy in terms of correct exposure and color balancing to begin with. That's completely to be expected with a higher-contrast, higher-saturation product. And that's why you especially need warming filters in overcast situations, or in shade under open blue skies. You can't retrieve color information that isn't obtained on the film to begin with, regardless of whether you're scanning or printing in the darkroom.
     
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    This is Ektar in mottled light. But you should understand that the scanning or optical printing process that intervenes makes any "example" print as much about the intervening process as it is about the film.
     

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  11. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    I have read this in many places, but I haven't yet found any source where Kodak themselves say this.

    (it is quite difficult to know what such optimisation would consist in)

    The Ektar datasheet refers to it being "ideal for scanning" but doesn't make any stronger claim than that, and gives some general advice about scanning that is not specific to Ektar.

    Have they stated anywhere else that it is somehow specially optimised for scanning?
     
  12. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater Subscriber

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    Here's one from a recently developed roll. Yashicamat EM with the 4-element Yashinon in excellent shape + hood. No color filtration in camera, in date film, used in camera selenium meter for exposure. Don't remember what it asked for but probably f/8 or smaller aperture.

    Developed + printed by Gaslamp Photo in San Diego, I scanned the print.
     

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  13. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    I'd say this is possibly the first attempt by Kodak's marketing department to read the market. More and more people (as a percentage of those who shoot film) scan it, so putting something noncommital like "ideal for scanning" is to try to capture that market, whether it has any scientific base is irrelevant to marketing blurb.

    I didn't like my first roll of 120 that I shot, very muddy and boring and nowhere near the saturation of Velvia that I was used to (I'll revisit to make sure it wasn't a scanning error on my part).
    Last night I just started scanning my first in 135 and seeing how good that is, a lot better than the first 120 roll. Still not as good as Velvia for saturation, but it's got a whole lot more Range and doesn't just white the skies and black the shadows 1 stop out from the center like Velvia does.
    Plus it's still better (for landscapes) than the other negs I've tried.
    In a week or two (when i get my ass into gear) I'll do some RA4 prints and compare the lot to see whether it's worth continuing to use it (for scanning, printing, or not)...
     
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  15. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Nope. Optimized for scanning largely refers to the surface quality of the film, and applies to current Portra films too. The distinction is especially
    apparent in sheet film, where the surface almost behave like an anti-newton texture. Portra is not intended to be as contrasty as any kind of
    chrome film, let alone Velvia. It is contrasty only in relation to traditional color neg films. If you want quality results, you can't just shoot from
    the hip and do a few random darkroom experiments. Anything quality takes some dedication. You know the saying: garbage-in/garbage-out.
    Don't judge a film by shortcuts in technique or compromises in equipment. If you understand it, Ektar is the one color neg products currently
    available in a full range of film formats that will frequently allow you to replicate the look of a chrome. ... something I decided to learn to master, 'cause there just ain't many chrome films left to choose from!
     
  16. Nuff

    Nuff Member

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    Ektar will not look like Velvia straight away when it's scanned. It has less contrast and being a negative much bigger DR range. If you want to get close to Velvia, you will need to apply lots of contrast. And like you said, white out the highlights and black out the shadows. Then you will be getting close.

    Here's a scan from a neg (I have couple scans of prints, but it's on a sunny day), all I did was fixed the white balance and applied medium contrast curve in lightroom. No further edits except removing couple dust spots.

    [​IMG]
    Kiyomizudera by Jarek Miszkinis, on Flickr

    Here's 2 photos that my friend took in similar conditions, but he applies strong contrast curve which I think is something you will be more interested in:

    [​IMG]
    jiyugaoka cafe by pavel.a.ivanov, on Flickr


    [​IMG]
    two towers by pavel.a.ivanov, on Flickr
     
  17. alexfoto

    alexfoto Member

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    -I like the last one, the first and second is contrast and lost shadows, that's the problem with scanning, start to play with photoshop and mess it up. I understand that before and i stop to scanning negatives, analog and digital is deferent world.
     
  18. coigach

    coigach Subscriber

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    Cheers for this. Think that I'll try warming filter for Portra instead of trying Ektar - I like the muted colours of Portra but on some of the overcast days I've used this in Scotland, I feel it could do with a little more ooomph. Probably the issue is, as you point out, that the film needs colour balanced to allow all the dye layers to be exposed correctly.
     
  19. coigach

    coigach Subscriber

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    And thanks to others for posting Ektar samples - very helpful.
     
  20. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

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    What I remember from Scotland is that the scenery has a lot of different subtle nuances of green. I think that would be quite difficult to reproduce with a scanned negative colour film. It's quite hard to bring out these nuances and very easy to kill them in scanning or post processing.

    A positive slide film will have these nuances in the right place straight off the bat and is much easier to scan and process.

    Colour negative film is great for portraits, street, documentary etc but for vibrant landscape photos, it's hard to beat slide film.
     
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  21. Lamar

    Lamar Member

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    Kodak Ektar - overcast day, mid morning. Tetenal C41 press kit.

    20131207-01 Ektar FFTn 32.jpg 20131207-01 Ektar FFTn 38.jpg

    For Comparison:
    Fuji Pro 400H - same overcast day, mid morning. Same Tetenal C41 press kit.

    20131224-01 Pro400H FFTn 27.jpg 20131224-01 Pro400H FFTn 37.jpg 20131224-01 Pro400H FFTn 36.jpg
     
  22. skysh4rk

    skysh4rk Member

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    I don't use much Ektar, mostly because I prefer Portra or 400H for skin tones, but here are a couple of photos using Ektar in Scotland:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

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    It's important to remember the geographic latitude. Scotland is about as far north as Scandinavia and Canada. This Northern light will be cooler and less saturated even on a sunny day compared to an overcast day further south, for instance in mainland Europe or USA.

    Warming filters might help a bit but in my experience it looks a bit unnatural compared to the actual scene and it still wont increase saturation or vibrance much. If you get an unnatural tint on the negative, then this will easily be amplified if you increase saturation and vibrance in post processessing.
     
  24. coigach

    coigach Subscriber

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    Great, thanks for sharing. Second one looks like it was taken with the squirrels in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh??? (I lived 13 years in Edinburgh before moving to the Highlands)
     
  25. skysh4rk

    skysh4rk Member

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    Yep, no worries!

    I have taken some photos relatively recently in the Princes Street Gardens, but the photo with the squirrel was actually in the Botanic Gardens in Glasgow. :smile:

    The other photo is from the top of Ben Lomond.
     
  26. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I don't get why people want Ektar to look like Velvia to begin with. Why not learn Ektar for what Ektar can do? Velvia is one of the most difficult
    films to expose and print there ever has been. Very narrow tolerances. And yeah, by now most people have figured out it is less forgiving of
    skintones than most other color neg films - but that's not due to color reproduction errors, just the opposite. Unlike portrait films, you can get very good reproduction of subtle differences of green with Ektar, but it takes some serious printing experience to fine-tune it to that degree,
    as well as correct filtration in the field when lighting is off enough to warrant it.