Because it couldn’t just be 160T, that’d be too easy.
Kodak EKTACHROME 160T, was one of the three speeds of tungsten-balanced slide film that Kodak produced until 2013 or so, and you can still find plenty of it around in the usual places – some very expired, some not quite so expired. Mine was 35mm film and dated about 2005 as far as I can recall, so it was pretty fresh. I shot it between EI 100 and 150 and cross processed it in C-41 chemistry.
I shot my EPT outdoors in the garden on a sunny autumn day. I had my very basic Zenit, about which I won’t hear a bad word, and my beloved Helios 44m (total outfit can probably still be purchased for under £30 including postage), and an array of ND/magnifying filters (including an old cokin-type star filter that my boyfriend gave me as he knows I like to mess with the mess) but no daylight filter, and I burned through a roll in no time. The meter on the TTL is uncoupled, so you can ignore it if you like and just use the Force.
The look is amazing. It’s really grainy where I’ve had lots of magnification/filter action, but only quite grainy where it was just the Helios stopped down; both are fine by me. I did very little with it in post other than just give it a slight boost to contrast, which is my House Style and totally optional. I couldn’t have been happier.
The main thing with the film is the colour. As you’d expect with a tungsten film, the blues are really important in the palette. They are sensational. There’s a denim-y quality to them that I just don’t think I’ve seen with anything else. It makes me think of how the world looks when you’ve been snoozing in the garden and then you open your eyes and you’re SO relaxed, and everything is SO BLUE for a while. It’s a photo of a feeling.
It seems to love flowers and foliage and sunshine, which don’t we all. I’ve got some 64t of a different vintage to test & that will be interesting to try out – fingers crossed for a similar look – and I’m shopping as much tungsten slide as I can TBH. I’ll fight you for it!
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This series is being produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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