I’ve been using Kodak Portra for about 5 years but wanted something more. I love all Kodak films but for colour, Kodak Ektar has no competition.

It has 3 specific qualities: intense colour, low grain (I’ve printed it with an enlarger and struggled to focus) and you can overexposed it considerably. Its capacity to deal with bright conditions was surprising to say the least.

Underexposure will give you a clout caste so you need to watch that. Personally, I think it is beautiful for skin tones, especially darker skin. I would not hesitate to use it for portrait photography as it ‘pulls’ features other films can’t. It is has an almost surreal Lynchian quality to the images or a scene from Nicolas Winding Refin film. It’s that surreal quality that gives it such appeal.

If you want to print large, Ektar is your film. Be careful not to use consumer scanners like the the Epson Perfection V750, they cannot pick up that level of detail as they do not focus. You will need a commercial scanner such as an Hasselblad x5 or the like. People might be surprised to hear this but printing C41 in a darkroom is not difficult (aside from the total blackout).

~ Jascha Oakes

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3 Comments

 

  1. Interesting article and a nice choice of pictures.
    One remark though: the mentioned Epson v750 as well as most other scanners do not focus on the film as mentioned, but have a fixed focus which is usually done by adjusting the negative carriers in case of flatbed scanners.
    Nonetheless, they cannot resolve all of the detail imprinted on the film material due their limited resolution.