I came across film photography by chance, after my exchange year during university a few years ago. I feel very blessed cause I had the opportunity to travel a lot in my free time and to visit many beautiful places in Europe. The only thing was that back then, I knew almost nothing about photography and as a result, I came home with a lot of disappointing pictures and half of them ended up deleted from the memory card of my phone in the end. Too dark, too bright, too far away, weird colors and so on.
Back home, I had a chat with a friend about my disappointment and few days later he blessed me with his old 35mm camera. I felt so lucky because I was really considering buying a camera in those days, just didn’t consider analog cameras to be honest.
After having covered the process of learning the basic use, I started to experiment with different types of film in order to better understand which film better suits the conditions. The one I shoot the most is Kodak Ektar 100. (I shoot landscapes mostly)
After a long process of trial and error in order to put theory into practice, I started to appreciate the warm red tones that Ektar gives to images. When light is soft, such as on an overcast day for instance, a polarizer filter gives you a warm and vivid color palette.
Careful on sunny days though, and resist the temptation to over-polarize if you don’t want to end up with an unnatural super-saturated sky. In fact, many times I prefer to use this film without a polarizer due to its already punchy colors (consider bracketing with/without in case). The exposure latitude is impressive, so I rarely use an ND filter. To protect the highlight, you only need to remember not to underexpose it.
Also, the price isn’t that bad. It’s not really what I call a cheap film but if you are not a machine gun shooter that’s ok. Sometimes I get a slight magenta cast in the negatives, but I’m not sure if it’s a problem of my scanner or the development of the lab, in any case, it’s something you can easily correct in post-processing.
Hope you enjoyed the reading and the images,
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Some lovely images of a beautiful regione Andrea. Thank you for sharing.
Very great. Very great colors
Andrea, great article! I’ve had good experiences with Kodak Ektar 100 too. I typically meter for 20% over (ie., set the hand meter to assume an ISO of 80) and no filters (other than the UV filter to protect the lenses).
An article I wrote on 35mmc. https://www.35mmc.com/14/07/2019/5-frames-with-kodak-ektar-100-and-a-hasselblad-503cx-by-peter-samson/
Andrea, some lovely images. On a chilly cloud covered morning here in the UK, your image of the poppies and line of trees brings a nice warming feeling of summer!
Regarding the slight magenta cast you refer to is interesting. Ordinarily, with prints, this would be due to the printer not getting the colour balance correct. But you are not referring to prints, but your own scans, and this suggests to me that if you don’t have a specific scanning profile for Ektar film, the generic profile in your scanning software may not be fully compatible with this film. A similar thing happened to me recently when I scanned some Fuji film I shot in the 1980’s on my Canoscan 9950F and the scans had a greenish tinge to them, whereas the original prints made at the time from a pro lab were perfect. If you’re not getting the same issue with other film types you use, and exposed using the same techniques for shooting, this could be the issue.