There are times you meet “The One”. The one that just “gets” you; that knows what you’re thinking without needing translation; the one that moves into place because they are able to sense that you need ____ (insert whatever that thing may be); the one that just answers every question you've ever had and get this – the answers make all sense!! Sheesh, we’re all in awe over that “one”. Giddy even.
But then, there are the “other” ones…
The “other” ones that you can barely tolerate for five minutes; that make you say horrible things under your breath so they don’t hear you; that annoy you because they’re either too bright or too slow – just too something. Those are the ones that you struggle with – that you try to learn and appreciate but nevertheless, you still end up frustrated because you just can’t quite get them. You don’t understand them and you give up trying to understand them.
Initially, you may have like them because they were trendy and colorful and you saw how other people raved about them but mostly you liked them because they were a challenge and who doesn’t love a challenge, right? That’s kinda how I’m feeling about Kodak’s Ektar 100.
Oh, you didn’t know I was talking about film? I’m sorry! Yea, film…not boys or high-waisted jeans…just film ;)
Kodak’s Ektar 100 speed film is slated to be a fine-grain, highly saturated film that is finicky about exposure, much like slide or transparency film. A slower film, it really only lends itself to outdoors (or daylight) photography unless you rate it at a higher speed and push it during processing. (To my digifans, that statement made absolutely no sense, I know and I’m sorry. This post is going to resonate stronger with my film peeps and the language is going to sound a little different than speed lights, noise and Photoshop.)
There are tons of things to like about Ektar on paper:
+ World’s finest color negative film
+ Ultra-vivid color
+ Exceptional sharpness
+ Extraordinary enlargement capability
(Wait – what?! ALL of those?! C’mon – you’re pulling my leg here! Lol)
The description alone makes you want to go out and scour your local camera store for the infamous stock. And at around $6 a roll, you can’t beat it! Most color roll film, Portra and Fuji included, are anywhere from $8-11 per roll, sometimes higher. So $6?! BRING IT!
Well, ladies and gents – I bought it! Loaded a roll of it in my Olympus OM4 (my favorite little camera) and snapped a roll during my son’s field trip to the Baltimore Zoo. It’s difficult enough to get close enough to the animals to get a good shot – even with a 200mm lens I was struggling – but it’s worse to have your film come back and have the most blech feeling about what you’re seeing on the screen.
But you don’t have to take my word for it – see for yourselves. Critiques and comments are welcome.
NOTE: All images were shot at box speed and were edited only to compensate for the increased red saturation that is synonymous with using this film. Some images of the chimps were shot through glass, which may give an odd glare since I don't have a polarizing filter - oops!