If you read the exposure recommendations in the Ektar spec sheet that used to live on the Kodak site they are for an ISO 50 film. They read the same as Velvia 50.
No reference there to EI/ISO 50.
This whole thread has kind of turned out how I thought it would: Ektar is great; no, it sucks; Ektar is easy to print; no, RA4 can't handle it and it is best scanned; Ektar is wonderful but only if you are really clever (the implication being that I am not). The most I can glean from this is that Ektar is only to be handled by really, really smart people; which is indeed an odd invention for the last gasp of a dying company. You'd think that Kodak might have wanted to turn out something capable of use by mere mortals like me, if profit motive were at all relevant.
Many of the scans posted prove that the film can be used effectively; but then again some of the scans posted are not brilliant, and some are but only with the admission that the scans are manipulated.
Well I brought only two rolls of Ektar with me. The comment that most resonated with me is that it is best used with high gamut, low dynamic range subjects, and I will reserve it for that. When people talk about scientific testing and densitometers and color accuracy (even where accuracy produces sucky results because Ektar does not have the interpretative failings of the mere human brain), I am left cold. For me, that is not what practical photography is about, although in saying that, I am not being condescending; I am merely admitting that there is an aspect to the art to which I do not aspire. There are plenty of good films that even mortals can use effectively.
If I am rambling, blame it on jet lag.
How about we put a new spin on this, hmm?
How about we all just go out and shoot more film, rather than rumble in the jungle. Ektar if you like — or anything, who cares? Have fun and enjoy it.
Just remember this: it's days are numbered.
You're making it sound worse than it is, maybe by taking Drew's obvious (to me) humorous exaggeration literally. One doesn't have to be all that clever to be successful with Ektar but probably can't treat it like Portra (depending on how you've been exposing Portra.) I tend to agree with Athril that a bit more exposure is the easiest way to excellent results (and perhaps the processing - mine has all been done by Dwayne's with no apparent issues.)
I will concede Drew's point that it will blow out highlights "at some point" of overexposure but that point must be pretty high because so far I've not hit it.
I tend to expose all C41 generously but not ridiculously so (meter at box speed but expose for shadow detail, in B&W terms I put shadows where I want detail on zone V not the B&W III or IV) and send it to Dwayne's. I'm quite pleased with the results but maybe I'm just not discriminating enough.
Drew backs up his assertions with facts. How dare he expose the empty and hollow opinions thrown about by others! This is THE INTERNET! Any unsupported whack-jog theory or opinion *MUST* be respected!