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Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by vivaitalia, Mar 31, 2004.
Anyone know of a comprable replacement to Ektar 25?
Yeah, I have wondered about that myself. I used one 35mm roll and never saw it for sale again. That must have been twelve years ago. It had really fine grain and rich color saturation. I suspect that it was dropped due to the slow speed. I had used Kodachrome II for so long it seemed fine to me - f/8 at 1/100 sec in full sun. I think most consumers thinkthey need a film speed of 200 or 400.
LOL, there was a guy at the LF conference that asked the same thing of the kodak rep. He even ahd an unopened box of the film to show the rep. It was dropped due to lack of sales. No one seemed to be buying it.
Regarding an Ektar 25 replacement: IMO Konica Impressa 50 is currently the sharpest negative color film and has the finest grain. I rate it at EI 25. As far as I know, it is available only in 35mm and 120 roll. It is a low contrast film and some processing labs don't have its printing profile.
The market for 35mm film was and is still dominated by consumers, i.e. millions of snapshot photographers. Ektar 25 was one of the first victims of the super-hyper-zoom boom. Consumers bought camera models and lenses with huge focal range and poor speed. To compensate this, they started buying 200 and 400 ASA Films. So they don't think they need it - they actually require higher speeds.
The second point is, that one usually does not see any film differences on a 4x6" print.
You are certainly correct about the 4x6 prints. I have been using Walgreen's house brand 35mm ISO 100 color print film ( made in Germany by Agfa). It has rich, saturated color and fine grain. In a 4x6 print I really cannot see any difference compared to Ektar 25 and it is two stops faster.
Since the thread topic is Ektar 25, I assumed fine grain, high resolution and ultimately, high enlargement capability was the goal. Apparently that is not the case.
I can't imagine marketing engineers or product managers at Kodak didn't know that a slow speed film with extremely fine grain appeals to the professional and semi-professional photographers who were looking to enlarge photographs larger than 8 x 10. To market the product towards snapshot shooters does not make sense for Ektar. Idiots in high power.....
I dont think that Kodak ever aimed Ektar 25 at the mass market, but they did target the amateur and professionals. I used it a lot, it was good for big enlargements, I think it was marketed in England as Royal 25 or some such name, however the market was small and it was soon dropped. On the increasingly rare occasions that I shoot colour, I now use Fuji Reala, a 100 ISO film with reasonable grain and good colour rendition
In our context, of course. But obviously, we do not count - as Maket Force
I think it was the same case as with Kodachrome 25. Of course have both films been amateur and professional products, but a considerable amount was shot by consumers with higher quality claims. These films have been standard films in the past. But they became special purpose films in the end - for amateurs and pros as well. However, this does not necessarily imply a discontinuation. I believe the problem is that Kodak always wanted to be a mass producer.
I used to feel that Kodachrome 25 was the only color film I really liked, but then I realized as I moved up in format, other films that I didn't particularly like in 35mm became more attractive. ISO 25 films often require a tripod and aren't usually fast enough for subjects like wildlife requiring very long lenses that are only practical with 35mm, so in situations where I might be able to use such a film, there's no downside to using a bigger camera.
If you want fine grain, rich tonality, and high resolution in a color negative film, consider moving up to 6x7, and a film like Portra 160NC in medium format will end your nostalgia for Ektar 25.
Portra 160NC is my current favorite in 120 roll and LF. My head to head comparisons between 120 Fuji Reala and Portra give a definite edge to the Portra 160NC . However, in 120 roll, Konica Impressa 50 is still sharper and finer grained (but very unforgiving).
Farewell, Sweet 25
I, too, miss Ektar 25. Yes, it was primarily only good for outdoor shots in good sun, but man! what results you could get. I shot my first roll of it in the Grand Canyon and enlarged a shot for my father (who was a teacher at the time) to 20x30" and I am willing to swear that I saw no difference in the grain between that and a 3x5. It was just as clear and crisp, and full of color!
Kodak has a reputation (I would say) of coming out with outstanding products and then dumping them just when you get used to them, because Kodak was after the almighty $ and let the customer fend for themselves. As Thilo said...
I've seen this happen time and again. I've been a loyal Kodak customer ever since I was a tiny tot with my first camera (a Kodak -126, I believe) and I finally went digital this past year. And not with a Kodak camera.
Oh, I still keep a couple of 35s around, for weddings and such, but mostly I shoot digital now.
Great in 35 mm, too.
Since Ektar 25 and now Impressa 50 are now long gone, the next best thing are the new Pro 160 films from Fuji. Apparently the grain is RMS 3 for those which should come close to, if not beat, Ektar 25 in that area. Sharpness is still not quite as good though.
Sure, Fuji Velvia. 50 or 100
FYI. Ektar 25 was the most difficult film Kodak ever manufactured.
That led to its early demise.
In what way? Just curious.....
Ektar 25 had one outstanding thing, it's ability for low light photography. It's reciprocity for long times without compensation was fantastic.
I did many a night shot with that film.
The chemistry necessary for the extremely fine grain image was difficult to control and coat and get uniform results from batch to batch. It also varied in keeping characteristics even when refrigerated or frozen.
Even now, you can get some that has kept well, and some that appears to have very high grain due to a unique keeping problem related to this manufacturing problem. So, buyer beware. Some old Ektar 25 may be good and some may be bad.
The stuff that goes bad, is VERY bad.
Thanks PE. I am not familiar with the Ektar 25 other than a general awareness of its existence. I used to be an Ektachrome shooter, but now shoot exclusively Velvia.
Besides grain and reciprocity, Ektar was subtly different than most films. It (and PRN) had a different palette than the Portra line (VC and especially NC are more like VPS) it was more 'plastic' and had great (to my eye) contrast. It was a great film. For me the closest thing I have found (with regard to colour and sharpness) might be Reala rated at iso 50.
I used a few rolls 20+ years ago. It was simply wonderfull. Then I started doing my own neg processing with Unicolor K2. The results were high color saturation and contrast. Little did I know Unicolor changed K2 from when it was previously used. I thought it was the film changed to accomodate the trendy high saturation look of the time.
Too bad I made a wrong call otherwise I would have a freezer full of Ektar 25. Sorry Kodak.
Grain was really fine. I had a hard time using a grain magnifier. The colors were normal saturation and contrast.