If i have to choose only 2 films of any format for B&W and colors then this list will be what i choose [not necessary others have the same]:
Originally Posted by thegman
B&W: Acros 100, TMAX 400
Color neg: Reala 100, Ektar 100
Color slide: Velvia 50, Vlevia 100F
Just remember that there is one big distinction: with a slide film, you can simply slap the slide down on a decent light box and judge whether
or not you've correctly exposed it. With color neg film, you've got to have some kind of intermediate, be it a contact sheet or preview scan.
Misleading errors can occurs in the intermediate step itself. And small-format Ektar in particular does not respond well to casual scans. There are distinct technical reasons for this, which I will not go into because this is the wrong forum for it. So you really need to assess your workflow and endpoint (print or otherwise) when you get involved with a film like this. Sometimes working with it is a bit like power-steering: a little bit too much this way or that and things can get out of control quickly. But there are also rewards having a film with this kind of performance. And if you want something C41 that will give you clean saturated colors like a chrome, this is it. But the actual contrast level is less than any chrome film. So comparisons to Velvia are nonsense, though it is rather rich compared to other color neg films.
Thegman, I recently printed some 4x5 and 6x7 Hawaii shots with Ektar, and have compared them to past chromes of similar subject matter.
It certainly picks up the turquoise in tropical waters much better than any chrome film. But the real test is in the neutrals. I shot some of it
in the crater of Haleakala, for example, and differentiating the subtle variations in all those warm earthtones and complex grays actually came out quite a bit more accurately than any E6 film I have used. I'm choosing this as my color film when we back to the islands next month. One
thing I constantly stress is to use color temp correction filters under overcast bluish skies, esp a pinkish skylight and 81A when needed. I also
always carry an 81C for deep blue shade. I won't go into the technical reason why here, but I certainly have paid my dues in learning this
the hard way.
Originally Posted by alex millman
I like it. The colours are not nasty. Like any other negative film you can control the outcome to suit yourself. I use box speed and expose as if I was using B&W negative film, i.e. make sure the shadows get enough exposure...
There are probably as many perspectives on results from Kodak Ektar 100 as there are users, scenes, lighting and how they achieve results. I have used Kodak Ektar since it was first made available in the US and have nothing but excellent results from it as shown in a couple of examples below.
Kodak Ektar 100, about a 40 minute aperture priority autoexposure of the Hoover Dam at night using the Pentax LX . . .
Four frames of Kodak Ektar 100 of the Watson Mill Bridge covered bridge . . .
Kodak Ektar 100 is a fantastic negative film!
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Ektar 100 is a really good film.
shoot it, have fun!
Make sure you expose and process it correctly. It behaves like a slide film(but has more DR), but you get a negative. It's more contrasty, but if you expose it @50ASA(like I do), the 1 stop in over-exposure helps to lessen the contrast a bit by providing another stop of exposure to the shadows(well, everything, but you're not clipping your shadow values any more than you would by exposing @ ASA100).
I really like the film too, and the film seems to like brightly lit scenes and sunlight.
My experience seems to point to color cast in shadows, if the rest of the scene is color-balanced. (scanning).
Color-wise, I find it to portray them very true, if a bit saturated (but I like saturated, so).
Shot some Velvia and Ektar back-to back a few weeks ago and it's not very easy to tell the difference between the two with the fall colors I got.
I echo most of the others. It's a great film. Drew's advice is on the money for critical work, but less critical work is pretty easy. I've had no problems exposing it. I've not tried drastic overexposure but my usual color neg tactic of metering the shadows and giving a tad more works just fine.
Ever notice how shadows go blue in chromes too, when you're under a blue sky? People called Matisse and Monet figured this out a long time ago, because
shadows under an open sky ARE blue. But folks got used to the look of certain chrome films and learned to use their characteristics creatively. In fact, I
can remember when a number of outdoor photographers were infuriated when "excessively blue" Ektachrome 64 for discontinued. The difference is, that
you can see the effect with a chrome on the lightbox, but cannot easily judge it with a neg. But most color neg films are engineered to warm up neutrals, even in the shadows, to favor "pleasing skintones". This doesn't mean the color is realistic, but that the film is wisely marketed to a certain popular kind of application. Ektar doesn't doesn't muddy or lump together the neutral in this manner. If you have one kind of lighting in the sunlit areas, and a drastically different color temp in the shadows, this is likely to become quite apparent. However, if the overall lighting is bluish, that's easy to correct with a warming filter. No difference with chromes. I prefer to shoot at box speed and then compensate for the filter factor. That way the exact dye insufficiency is targeted, rather than just overall exposure. But if you prefer just to shoot at a moderately lower ASA, it will probably help printability, but not quite as accurately. The dye curves on Ektar are pretty steep, and it can become fussy with high-contrast scenes, where you really need the full dynamic range of the film. It will buy you about a stop of latitude either side of what a typical chrome film can, but that's about all. When the shadows drop, they drop hard.
So just let Ektar be Ektar. It's a wonderful landscape film.