I have repeatedly stated to my love for film. Even today when digital cameras have reached a high level of image quality, multiple megapixels and super high ISO, I prefer to shoot film. It has nothing to do with the never ending film vs digital confrontation, which is better etc etc….
I believe that each medium deserves it’s share, and while you can shoot everything digital, there are images that I prefer to use film. Especially when you enter the world of medium format, film can produce some really unique and beautiful images.
Black and white film and the whole procedure of shooting, developing and scanning is fascinating. On the other hand color slide films like Velvia have their own distinctive look with super image quality. But there is still room (at least in my cameras!!) for C41 color negative film. My favorite landscape C41 film (since I mostly do landscapes with color film) is the Kodak Portra 160VC (recently discontinued). Great latitude and look.
Still, sometimes I want to use a highly saturated and contrasty C41 film (something like the Velvia), since I can develop C41 in my local lab immediately and have it scanned during the same day (for E6 films i have to wait a few days, and they don’t have the dynamic range of C41).
The answer for that is Kodak Ektar 100.
High saturation and contrast in a C41 package, with great colors, a great film for landscapes. Ektar is not an easy film to shoot, it’s dynamic range is better than Velvia but not as wide as other C41 films, so nailing exposure can be a little bit tricky. Also, it’s not a film I would shoot during overcast days, I think it’s qualities show on sunny days. Kodak says this film is optimized for scanning, personally I don’t find it an easy film to scan, but that’s probably me,I haven’t shot many rolls so that I can get more familiar with it’s characteristics.
Films like Portra 160NC may be better for scanning and post process, since they produce a more neutral image, but a good exposed Ektar image is great straight of the camera and produces great color and contrast.
I am ordering a few more rolls of Ektar soon, so I will have the chance to further evaluate it (and learn better how to deal with it!).
All images below were shot with the Kodak Ektar 100
(c)2011 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved.