More rain on the parade: I am still waiting for Kodak to reformulate this Ektar 100 before I buy any more. I'm not a Lomo or Holga era guy.. Make no mistake, this film would have been roundly panned for its weird colors and ruddy portraits in the peak era of pro film usage in the late 1990's. But since the vast majority of color-discerning pros have retired or are now shooting digital, Kodak Ektar 100 doesn't get the scrutiny it deserves.
Only the file size is 9000 dpi, I wouldn't expect anywhere near that from Ektar, but it looks soft at much lower sizes. The grain looks like it's been softened some what, and the actual image scene detail seems low for the combination of equipment used. This is the effect from optimising the scan to minimise grain on a drum scanner, I think they've tried to minimise the grain appearance way too much.
Originally Posted by GeorgK
The original shot is quite soft; taken by hand etc...
The scan extracted every detail in the neg.
I tried Ektar, and I didn't particularly like it. The high contrast and limited (for a negative film) latitude make it a fussy film, somewhat like Velvia 50. The grain and resolution are certainly impressive, though. I have seen some excellent work done with this film. With the right subjects and in the right hands it is outstanding. It excels for subjects with bright colors and distinct contrasts in both color and tone. But I just don't see it as the answer for my wider ranging and more mundane pictures.
It also excels at subtle hue distinctions which tend to get blocked up in traditional color neg films,
and is certainly an improvement in several respects if you want relatively realistic results rather than
idealized skintones. I shoot Ektar in every format up to 8x10 and actually enlarge it on additive sytems which do it justice. Some of the complaints I read about it would probably accompany any
kind of film which receives a half-ass scan or other shoot from the hip approach. Treat it with the
same care you would a chrome shot and it will be plenty cooperative.
It's nothing like Velvia 50, which has around 4 and a half stops - normal contrast - and more naturalistic & rich colour. I have a few shots in my APUG gallery which weren't scanned, but photographed on a light box with a DSLR. Even with this idiosyncratic workflow, I haven't had any problems processing Ektar negs for reference purposes and uploading to the web. Every problem with this film, without exception, seems to come down to people's laziness with processing. You HAVE to do some colour correction, but this is the creative side of colour work. If you want instant, lifeless results for Flickr, shoot digital. You don't need a drum scanner to see that this film, like all others, is indeed made up of grain and relatively neutral colour. Nothing has been revealed to me with the 3,000,000 DPI scan in the OP, other than this person's disposition relating to photography. If you're promoting a cheap drum scanning service however, sign me up!
Originally Posted by nworth
That it isn't as 'malleable' as other colour films (at least where scanning is concerned) does appear to represent certain emulsion compromises, but all this 'Ektar is shite' hysteria online seems just an excuse to whine about the demise of film. Live with it or shoot digital. It's a unique film best suited to creative photographers, not number crunching.
Folks with high end pro lab scanners love Ektar because it scans so well. But if you have the regrettable combination of small format and an amateurish scan, you'll end up with some distinct color issues which I don't have time to describe to folks who haven't taken time to learn the ABC's to
begin with. I personally scan it only for previewing purposes for potential clients of particular images.
Otherwise, I print it in the darkroom, so don't have to jump thru a bunch of hoops to see what the
film is actually capable of. If some of you Benedict Arnold types want to come back to the dark side,
you might be pleasantly surprised too.
^ There's a bit of a 'regrettable' subjective whitewash in your post - when you're shooting 8x10, everything is small format. :)
Can you hear me up there!
It's true that too many people think that because they're shooting with pro film SLRs (whatever the format), the scanner doesn't matter. Blind to the bottleneck.
It would be helpful to hear more from people who print Ektar in the darkroom, but since we never do, maybe we can assume the film is fine.
I do print this film in my darkroom and love it! It prints quite nicely on Fuji CA Type P paper. Excellent balance of nice skin tones and just a touch of extra color saturation.
Originally Posted by batwister
A medium quality scan might give good results even with 120 film, but might fail to render accurate
color with 35mm because the sampling error affects not only detail, but much more significantly, how
the system resolves transitions in dye curve geometry, which can be effectively altered one curve
relative to another. A lot of things get blamed on the film which have nothing to do with the film itself. When one optically enlarges, however, it's mainly just an issue of saturation related to degree of magnification. This can be altered one way or the other using basic unsharp marking techniques,
which don't alter hue relationships per se if correctly applied.