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12-31-2008, 06:04 PM   #1
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Kodak Ektar 100...First Roll

I bought several rolls of Ektar 100 about a month and a half ago and just got the first roll developed. I would have posted something sooner, but there has been NO LIGHT for photography in the dreary winter at my latitude.

All of the below were taken with my Ricoh XR7, the taking lenses are listed with the photo. All photos were handheld with no particular care taken in regards to critical focus. Sadly, I neglected to take any with skin tones. The film was processed at Costco using their standard service ($1.59 USD). I also had them scan the negatives to JPEG using the Noritsu Koki QSS with an image resolution of 3087x2048 pixels (an additional $2.99...Whooo Hooo...). The scans were done using the default "auto" settings.

Post-processing was limited to minor adjustments to exposure/brightness/contrast with no sharpening, noise reduction, or changes to saturation applied.


#1

LZOS Jupiter-9 85/2


#2

LZOS Jupiter-9 85/2


#3

Pentax-M 50/1.7


#4

Pentax-M 50/1.7


#5

LZOS Jupiter-9 85/2


100% Crop of image #2 to show grain size/pattern

This is about as grainy as it gets with this film.


My Impressions:
I am pretty pleased with the results. Colors are vibrant and true with great saturation and smooth gradation. Ektar 100 appears to have grain size and structure comparable to TMax 100. Typical of color negative film, Ektar 100 has wide exposure latitude with plenty of headroom in the highlights and retention of shadow detail. A more careful custom scan at a professional lab may provide better results, but I will save that sort of thing for a later date. I am kicking myself for not forcing family members or co-workers to model for a skin tone test. Next time, I guess.

Steve

(Begging forgiveness for posting shots from a non-Pentax body mounted with a non-Pentax lens...)


Last edited by stevebrot; 12-31-2008 at 10:28 PM.
12-31-2008, 07:30 PM   #2
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From what I can tell, this film shines in landscape work. The sunsets look mesmerizing. #3 especially.. has that timeless film look (I wonder why)
12-31-2008, 07:43 PM   #3
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looking good, none of that faded look i've seen in other samples
did you expose at ISO 100?
12-31-2008, 07:44 PM   #4
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Nice pictures. Can hardly wait to try the film, hope it comes to Canada soon. It will be my film choice for next spring/summer.

12-31-2008, 07:48 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ftpaddict Quote
From what I can tell, this film shines in landscape work. The sunsets look mesmerizing. #3 especially.. has that timeless film look (I wonder why)
Skin tones are supposed to be pretty good as well, though I will have to wait for a willing subject before I can test that one.

Glad you liked #3. It was a fun image to make. I panned the flock of birds (Sandhill Cranes) and snapped the shot as they passed over the river. There is some satisfaction in knowing that it would have been very difficult to get similar results at ISO 100 with my K10D.

Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 12-31-2008 at 08:09 PM.
12-31-2008, 08:05 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
looking good, none of that faded look i've seen in other samples
did you expose at ISO 100?
According to the technician that did my CLA, my Ricoh's meter is somewhat out of adjustment and was set to ISO 50 per his suggestion to compensate. A few of the scans looked a little light, so I did a little PP in light room to even out the curve on pictures 1, 2, and 5:
  • -2 stop exposure shift on #1, -1.0 on #2, and -0.5 on #5
  • +25 brightness
  • +10 contrast
As a result, I think I may expose the next roll at ISO 100 and see what it looks like. I will also do a test exposure series using a "7-zone" target, white wash cloth, and black velvet swatch. The results should give some indication of where to set the meter.

Some of the overexposure may also have been the fault of the scanner. I may have to make friends with the technician to see what options are available to optimize the process.

Steve
12-31-2008, 09:30 PM   #7
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I bet the original photos look great. It's too bad that all we can look at is the downgraded digital. These look good but I bet the actual photos look better. (Hey your scanner isn't any better than a digital camera after all and has the same limitations) Well done.
12-31-2008, 09:53 PM   #8
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In fact, number 5 looks sooo good with that film bokeh appearing so gentle and soothing. The tone is simply way different from digital.

Thanks for all the effort of scanning and presenting the work here

12-31-2008, 10:21 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
In fact, number 5 looks sooo good with that film bokeh appearing so gentle and soothing. The tone is simply way different from digital.

Thanks for all the effort of scanning and presenting the work here
No particular effort. Costco is a discount warehouse store here in the US. The have really inexpensive film processing and will process and scan a roll of film to CD for just under $5 USD. I took the film in this afternoon, picked it up about 1.5 hours later, imported the images into Lightroom, did a little PP, and uploaded the files to my hosting service.

I am just happy to contribute some examples shot with a promising new product. I have appreciated the members of this forum and their willingness to share their experience, knowledge, preferences, and bias. It really helps to know that something works as advertised before plunking down even the minor price of a roll of film.

Steve

(Needing to write a tripod review next...)
01-01-2009, 07:54 AM   #10
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Oh Lord! That 100% crop is noisy! That'll never do!

Seriously, some great work there. I agree with ftpaddict that #3 has that film feel, like if you placed that set of 5 pictures in front of me and told me that only one of those originated from film, I would've picked #3 to be that photo.

Every photo, though, turned out great. The captures are simply wonderful, and the colors are oh-so-rich. Kudos.
01-01-2009, 11:51 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by vinzer Quote
Oh Lord! That 100% crop is noisy! That'll never do!


It is a bit disturbing, especially since this is a fine grain film. I guess the ability to pixel peep has made us picky. However, examination of the negative with a loupe tells the full story. Ektar 100 truly has tiny grain. I hate to rag on the scan quality again, but the grain in the 100% crop may be more artifact than fact. I may have to find someone in my circle of friends that has a high-res film scanner and see how things look with a 20MB scan as opposed to the ~4.5 MB scans I got from Costco.

QuoteQuote:
Seriously, some great work there. I agree with ftpaddict that #3 has that film feel, like if you placed that set of 5 pictures in front of me and told me that only one of those originated from film, I would've picked #3 to be that photo.

Every photo, though, turned out great. The captures are simply wonderful, and the colors are oh-so-rich. Kudos.
Thanks for the compliments. I too, am really pleased with the results.

Steve
01-01-2009, 12:53 PM   #12
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Never used film before, but posts like these makes me really want to. Someday... someday.
01-01-2009, 08:48 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
Never used film before, but posts like these makes me really want to. Someday... someday.
Why not now? It's really cheap to add a film body to one's arsenal nowadays. An ME or a Super Program would be my recommendations.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote


It is a bit disturbing, especially since this is a fine grain film. I guess the ability to pixel peep has made us picky. However, examination of the negative with a loupe tells the full story. Ektar 100 truly has tiny grain. I hate to rag on the scan quality again, but the grain in the 100% crop may be more artifact than fact. I may have to find someone in my circle of friends that has a high-res film scanner and see how things look with a 20MB scan as opposed to the ~4.5 MB scans I got from Costco.

Thanks for the compliments. I too, am really pleased with the results.

Steve
Oh no, I'm fine with the grain structure you've posted here. It's just a rib on a lot of armchair analysts who define good photos partly by looking at 100% crops. I'm not that much of a pixel-peeper now as I used to be. I only got that habit when I went digital, as I've never even bothered to look through a loupe back in college when I last shot film and solely looked at the 8x10s I print.

I wholeheartedly believe you when you say it's fine grain film. That's because - one, it's ASA 100, and two, you churn out better photos than I do.
01-01-2009, 11:39 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by vinzer Quote
...That's because - one, it's ASA 100, and two, you churn out better photos than I do.


We all make good photos! Thank you for the kind compliment though. I am pleased that you enjoy some of the things I have done.

Steve
01-03-2009, 09:13 AM   #15
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Stop posting these .... I was going to shoot a few rolls these last few days ... although the MZ-50 died.

Now i have to wait till later in the week before I can pick up a replacement (older, sturdier, much better made) film body.

Now to see what film i can source out here in Australia ... how readily available is Ektar 100???
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