Kodak Ultra Color?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by gma, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. gma

    gma Member

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    Has anyone tried the 35mm Kodak Professional Ultra Color UC 400 C 41 film? Is there a perceptible difference in color saturation and/or contrast? I bought some 12 exp trial cartridges yesterday. There is a web address on the box www.kodak.com/go/ultracolor.
     
  2. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I have shoot 8 or so long rolls, I tend to like it. I am planing on printing 11X14s in a few weeks so I will have a better understanding of how Ultra Color compares to Agfa or Fuji.
     
  3. noblebeast

    noblebeast Member

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    I've used it, liked it, but did not see a huge difference in color saturation or contrast, only a slight difference compared to other color print films I've used (Fuji Superia, Kodak Royal Gold). But I have to add the caveat that the only prints I ever got from the negatives were machine prints with no custom tweaking. The default settings on those machines tend to make all films look the same, so there may actually be more information on the negs than I am seeing in the prints. That said, for a 400 speed film the grain is very fine, and the machine 8X12 enlargements I got made displayed lovely sharpness and details, and if I had need for a color print film I would reach first for UC or Portra VC, which a portrait/wedding photographer I know uses with great results - UC does tend to make skin tones a bit on the ugly side, though nothing as exaggerated as Velvia 50.

    Joe
     
  4. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear qma,

    It has become my "standard" 35mm color film. Well worth trying a roll or two.

    Neal Wydra
     
  5. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I don't see it as a good film for midday shooting in contrasty conditions. Of course the mantra is early and late, but if on vacation like I was recently, you shoot when your there no matter what time it is. It's also a little too saturated overall from what I can tell for certain subject matter. It can produce nice pictures, but I think it's a little overrated, overall. Once you shoot a roll you'll see for yourself. Get it printed on Kodak paper.
     
  6. snaggs

    snaggs Member

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    Boy oh Boy is there a difference! Shoot it at 320 and watch your photo's EXPLODE. Its very nice film if you want the Velvia look (IMHO, its even more saturated in colours).

    The only one issue I had, is with asian skin tones.. my wifes face went a little yellow/green in a couple of photos. The Kodak film lacks the fourth colour layer of the Fuji films, so there is more trade off to the colour correction.

    Another film to try is Fuji 800 NPZ, its awesome too. Whilst not in the super saturated camp, its not just a boring normal look, it has what I term a "degrassi street" flavor.... a little romantic with a touch of Kodachrome...

    Daniel.
     
  7. snaggs

    snaggs Member

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    ** Theres something wrong with PBASE, the images arnt showing.

    Just uploaded some samples for you... the scans on screen dont look as punchy as the print for some reason.. add another stop of colour for the prints (based on my iBook screen).

    http://www.pbase.com/snaggs/image/44551196/medium
    [​IMG]

    On this photo you can see the skin tones are a touch too yellow

    http://www.pbase.com/snaggs/image/44551199/medium
    [​IMG]

    Larger images etc can be found here

    http://www.pbase.com/snaggs/ultracolour

    Hope this helps..

    Daniel.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2005
  8. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Your note has inspired a thought.As Fuji comes from a land where oriental complexions appear in most people photos, could there be a connexion between Fuji's use of a fourth layer and the problem allegedly exhibited by Kodak which does not come from a land in which most people have oriental complexions? I say allegedly on the grounds that the very slight caste may be peculiar to that print and not Kodak as a whole.

    Or is this just a case of me "adding 2+2 and getting 5". I took a photo of my son in the garden on a sunny day with Fuji and he looked more tanned than he actually was. So does Fuji add a punch to complexions which balances a yellow green caste found in oriental complexions.

    I wonder what Kodak would say about your theory on oriental complexions and their film.

    Does any technical guru out there have any scientific explanation which supports the above theory or equally makes it nonsense?

    My only other experience was with Fuji in Cyprus - western complexions very punchy and Kodak Portra in the UK - western complexions much more muted BUT the Fuji was 35mm and the Kodak was Portra 120 and weather conditions were much different. So not a good comparison.I suppose the test would be for you to take as near as possible the exact same pictures with a Fuji film and compare. If you do I'd be very interested in the results.

    Pentaxuser
     
  9. snaggs

    snaggs Member

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    I think the reason that Fuji has a fourth colour layer is mainly because they've always done exagerated colour in their consumer films. Consequently Im guessing they needed another layer to tame in any skin tone side effects. The other reasons are that they dont have a film phobia and have kept pumping money into film research.

    Remember, I was shooting the film with a EI of 320, which saturates the colours even more. I just dont think Kodak has enough degrees of freedom in their film with 3 layers to provide "ultra colour" and natural skin tones..

    Daniel.
     
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Complexions & Colour

    Thinking back to conversations with my father, I believe I recall him saying that the Kodak labs would process their Kodachrome and Ektachrome to slightly different targets, depending on where they were located. As a result, it may have been the case that film processed by Kodak Japan would be more flattering to Japanese complexions then film processed in, e.g, Palo Alto, California.

    I believe they would also vary somewhat at different times of the year - summer photography and Christmas photography have different tendencies.

    You have to remember, of course, that this was at a time (the late 1960s to the early 1980s) when slide film and movie film volumes were huge, because many amateurs with very basic photographic needs were using those materials.

    The other thing I remember when I see comparisons of this type between Kodak and Fuji is an observation of my father's - one of Kodak's largest markets for film and processing was in Japan, and they were very interested in maintaining that.
     
  11. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Not really germane to the topic I know but having started colour neg printing recently, I have started to see( real or imagined) colour casts in pictures be they still or motion pictures.

    I am sure I have read somewhere that Kodak used to tend to have a cold bluish look, Fuji was warm and Agfa was fairly neutral and a little more muted than the other two. It was said this reflected how the respective nations producing them "saw" colour.

    Certainly I remember thinking in the 1950s how motion pictures which were "Eastman or Deluxe" were much cooler than Technicolor which was always the film of choice for epic westerns. Colours were always saturated. Skies were deep blue and everybody was tanned. Shadows never had that blue look about them.I think Eastman was Kodak but I don't know about Deluxe or Technicolor.

    I watched a film recently on U.K. tv called "Mulholland Falls" with Nick Nolte and it was a police crime drama with a political overtone set in California in the early 1950s. I am sure it wasn't my imagination that made me think it had an overall cool blue cast despite it being sunny. It seemed to capture the period very well and I had assumed that the producer was trying to replicate films of that period.

    Any technical historians of film out there care to educate me?

    Pentaxuser




    Pentaxuser
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Eastman Colour Negative

    Back to conversations with my father.

    The Kodak lab in North Vancouver could also process Eastman Colour Negative motion picture stock. I recall my father telling me about a movie shoot in the 70s (I think) where the producer had bought up the stock shot a few years earlier of a movie that had never been completed. They were trying to complete the story by shooting new footage, and then editing it toghether into a single movie (I think flashbacks may have been involved). The problem they were encountering was that while they were able to find an emulsion with somewhat similar characteristics as the original film stock, the original had been priocessed by Kodak Pathe in France, and the colour balance and tonality and contrast had a particular, warm, Kodak Pathe character, that North Vancouver was having difficulty emulating.

    I mention this to highlight the fact that photographic film and development of all types has a character of its own, and even the most technical parts of the process have components of artistry inherent in them.
     
  13. Dr David Hall

    Dr David Hall Member

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    Kodak 400 UC

    have tried it and like it...Like the 100 UC better but both I thought gave great color for print film.