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06-28-2010, 08:33 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Perhaps I don't understand what that gain control does, but I thought it increased the intensity of the light or sensitivity to the light, so turning up the analog gain would help with the highlights on a negative. I wonder if there is enough detail in the highlights to make that work...
I haven't had my Nikon for a few years now, so I may be mistaken... actually pretty likely I am. I thought I remembered it working like an exposure slider. I almost bet the highlights are there unless the film is way overexposed(like +2-3 stops). It may not be worth recovering though.

For what it's worth, I actually feel Ektar has more room in the highlights than Reala, but I haven't done a real test to confirm my suspicions.

06-28-2010, 08:41 PM   #17
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I don't have a real lot to add to this thread, except that I really enjoy using Ektar and mainly use it on my Super Program. The Super Program is a wonderfully versatile and usable camera IMO too, glad you to see you using one too.

I find it very useful if I want to take a smallish mixed digital and film kit, like for travelling. Of course the digital can use all the film stuff, but the Super Program can use the digital stuff too - if the image circle is appropriate anyway.

It's interesting that you also liken this film to digital in a sense. So do I; in my rather film-inexperienced opinion it has really impressive resolution and extremely fine grain. I'd be interested to see the output of a really good high resolution scan one day.
06-29-2010, 01:50 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
What I don't prefer about Ektar for people is not the color but the higher contrast. I needed quite a bit of pp on to see the faces of people in other shots I did not post. It is a bit like shooting a portrait with Kodachrome.
That's the strength of the 160 films, with their much flatter Gamma. But they are much grainier than the Ektar and the skin tones in your scans are certainly quite natural, wheras the 160 will give you often a more flattering, smoother tone, which is beautiful and prefered for a lot of applications, but not really that natural.

Ben
06-29-2010, 06:26 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
That's the strength of the 160 films, with their much flatter Gamma. But they are much grainier than the Ektar and the skin tones in your scans are certainly quite natural, wheras the 160 will give you often a more flattering, smoother tone, which is beautiful and prefered for a lot of applications, but not really that natural.

Ben
Good observations, as usual. As I said in my original post, Ektar is the first ISO 100 print film where the difference in scanned grain is significant enough to make it interesting to me to put out the extra effort to use it in many situations.

Printing Ektar's skin tones is more difficult than displaying the scans on a screen and far more difficult than printing the 160 films. It is almost like printing a portrait on Cibachrome--I've done it, but I would not want to have to do it often.

The shot below is, of course, taken in difficult lighting with the sun at about 45 degrees from back light, but some diffusion from clouds. I've printed shots like this with 160 films, and it looks pretty good on screen (though it needed some shadow/highlight adjustment), but I went through a half dozen tries and all kinds of gamma and color adjustment before giving up on getting a print with skin tones that I really liked.



06-29-2010, 07:36 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
The shot below is, of course, taken in difficult lighting with the sun at about 45 degrees from back light, but some diffusion from clouds. I've printed shots like this with 160 films, and it looks pretty good on screen (though it needed some shadow/highlight adjustment), but I went through a half dozen tries and all kinds of gamma and color adjustment before giving up on getting a print with skin tones that I really liked.
Yes, the skin tones look so delicate, that I expect, they easily turn blueish or yellowish at the print stage. But anyway: very good scanning job!

Ben
06-29-2010, 07:45 AM   #21
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Part of the problem is that I'm picky. One of the subjects of that photo saw a bluish-skinned reject and wanted it.
06-29-2010, 12:28 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Part of the problem is that I'm picky. One of the subjects of that photo saw a bluish-skinned reject and wanted it.
Most people, including many typical holiday snappers do simply not realize, what they see. They look at an image and create there own version of it in their heads and then are very happy. You can sell most people nearly anything, misfocused, too dark or too bright and competely oversaturated images - doesn't matter.

The only images people start to complain about are those, which you as a seasoned photographer worked really hard to make, with a strong composition etc. The only thing that counts in an image for most people is a smiling or at least a familiar face…

Ben

Last edited by Ben_Edict; 06-30-2010 at 01:48 AM.
06-29-2010, 04:15 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
...

The shot below is, of course, taken in difficult lighting with the sun at about 45 degrees from back light, but some diffusion from clouds. I've printed shots like this with 160 films, and it looks pretty good on screen (though it needed some shadow/highlight adjustment), but I went through a half dozen tries and all kinds of gamma and color adjustment before giving up on getting a print with skin tones that I really liked.
Looks like a great scan! Are you printing at home digitally, in the darkroom, or sending to the lab? I've always wondered how Ektar would look printed optically vs scanned and printed.

06-29-2010, 06:03 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vertex Ninja Quote
Looks like a great scan! Are you printing at home digitally, in the darkroom, or sending to the lab? I've always wondered how Ektar would look printed optically vs scanned and printed.
Printed at home from a scan. I wish I had the space in this house to do wet prints.
07-02-2010, 06:27 AM   #25
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While this is far from a scientific test or review-quality comparison, here is a quick impression of the differences in three excellent films. This is the same market, at the same time of day (different days), in similar, but not identical, light. The asphalt is the easiest place to see the color difference. I visit this market frequently, and, on my home monitor, to my eye, the Ektar rendition is the closest to "accurate" in color. There is very little warmth in the color of that pavement viewed on the spot.

However, I prefer the shots (the best of which are not posted in this thread) on the 160s. The 160s shots (equalized for exposure) are not far off in color, they are easy to print and adjust and they still have a nice snap. Unlike the Ektar, the highlights in the 160s have lost little detail.

Kodak Ektar:


Fuji Reala:


Fuji 160s:

Last edited by GeneV; 07-02-2010 at 10:22 AM.
07-02-2010, 11:46 PM   #26
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Thanks for this comparison Gene!

From what I can see, the Pro 160 looks slightly cool with a hint of purple* in the blues. The Reala looks like an overcast day and the Ektar looks like a warm/hot summer day. Without being there, it's hard to say if this impression is because of the weather or the film.

I like both the Ektar and Reala colors*, but the Reala has lost contrast and color in the sky. I've noticed this on my own Reala shots, but haven't shot it enough to know if it's a characteristic of the film or just coincidence. I've noticed that Ektar almost always does great with blue skies, sometimes looking like a polarizer was used, and sometimes even a bit excessive.

The Pro 160 reminds me why I can't get into it. Somewhat pastel* and flat, but it's held color in the sky and the greens of the trees seem natural. I know it's a great film and I've liked other people's shots with it on occasion, I just can't ever make it work for me. I really like the Portra films, so it's not just the muted palette or lower contrast. Hard to explain, but just my opinion.

Anyway, I wanted to comment on the films and let you know I appreciate you putting in the time to do this.

* I'm viewing these on my wife's laptop with an uncalibrated screen, so my color impressions may be off.
07-04-2010, 05:29 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vertex Ninja Quote
Thanks for this comparison Gene!

From what I can see, the Pro 160 looks slightly cool with a hint of purple* in the blues. The Reala looks like an overcast day and the Ektar looks like a warm/hot summer day. Without being there, it's hard to say if this impression is because of the weather or the film.

I like both the Ektar and Reala colors*, but the Reala has lost contrast and color in the sky. I've noticed this on my own Reala shots, but haven't shot it enough to know if it's a characteristic of the film or just coincidence. I've noticed that Ektar almost always does great with blue skies, sometimes looking like a polarizer was used, and sometimes even a bit excessive.

The Pro 160 reminds me why I can't get into it. Somewhat pastel* and flat, but it's held color in the sky and the greens of the trees seem natural. I know it's a great film and I've liked other people's shots with it on occasion, I just can't ever make it work for me. I really like the Portra films, so it's not just the muted palette or lower contrast. Hard to explain, but just my opinion.

Anyway, I wanted to comment on the films and let you know I appreciate you putting in the time to do this.

* I'm viewing these on my wife's laptop with an uncalibrated screen, so my color impressions may be off.
Thanks for the comments. It was not a scientific comparison, but the light was not far off on the subjects. There were clouds in the sky each day, but the subjects were in direct sunlight.

Funny, but my impression of 160s was quite snappy.

All my shots on Reala looked like that one in terms of contrast. They were actually a bit yellow-green as well. That roll of film that lacked contrast and snap to my eyes.
07-05-2010, 08:21 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Thanks for the comments. It was not a scientific comparison, but the light was not far off on the subjects. There were clouds in the sky each day, but the subjects were in direct sunlight.

Funny, but my impression of 160s was quite snappy.

All my shots on Reala looked like that one in terms of contrast. They were actually a bit yellow-green as well. That roll of film that lacked contrast and snap to my eyes.
Yeah take my opinions with a grain of salt since I can't see the rest of the roll. The flatness I see in the 160s is probably a lack of shadow contrast. If you look at the far right, the table and the guys jeans are washed out. This could be fixed in scanning, but it's something I've noticed whenever I shoot it too. You can also see it in dark colors compared to the same or similar dark colors in the Reala shots and especially the Ektar.

I always have trouble removing casts from Reala too and also have occasional issues with it looking a bit washed out. It's nice, but I much prefer Ektar and the Portras.
07-19-2010, 01:29 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The Super P is certainly very versatile, and it's my favorite film body as it's provides the ultimate blend of classic metal body design and automation.
I could not agree more! Its the ultimate blend!
07-26-2010, 09:44 AM   #30
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I haven't shot any myself, but from what I've seen Ektar seems just too finicky with regard to exposure.
For my slow color negative film I will continue to rely on Kodak Gold 100 as long as it remains available.

Chris
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