I haven't bought film in SF for a long time, but across the Bay here in Berk. you can still get a good selection of up to 4x5 color films. Astia and E100G are disappearing fast, so really, all remaning slide
films are relatively high contrast. I switched over to Ektar. Most of the complaints about Ektar are due
to either half-assed scanning or improper exposure in the first place. But anyone accustomed to the accuracy needed for traditional chrome films should have no trouble. If you're a shoot-from-the-hip
or machine-gun type photographer, better stick to Portra or one of the wide-latitude amateur films.
I'll sometimes order up a med resolution scan of Ektar at the time of processing if a potential client
wants to preview certain images, but I'm really interested in outright optically enlarging it. Whatever
you decide, it's not an ideal drugstore or big box kind of film. But it sure delivers if you handle it
intelligently. And not the kind of film a high school year book photographer would choose either. I've
used even chromes for high quality portriature, and Ektar would need the same care in lighting or
applicable subjects.