Shooting Kodak Ektachrome 100G
Editor's Notes: Kodak announced recently that they are discontinuing three EKTACHROME (color reversal) films: EKTACHROME E100G, EKTACHROME E100VS, and ELITE Chrome Extra Color 100. This blog was already in the works at the time of that announcement.
Blog by Alex Luyckx
above: The Niagara Apothecary, an iconic building in Downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada
When it comes to films, Kodak knows how to make them. The E100 series of films offer amazing colours, fine grain, sharpness, and are dead easy to scan into the computer, with very little post work to get the film looking like it does in real life as on the screen. There are three types of films within the E100 series. The first and possibly my favourite is the E100g, offering clean colours, great tones and contrasts. There’s also a warm balanced version that gives a little more saturation - E100gx, although the gx line isn’t avalible new anymore. The third is E100vs, offering more sharpness and more saturation in the colours. Both the E100g and E100vs are still available.
Above: A public walking trail near Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, Canada
When I was given a couple rolls of E100g film (courtesy of FPP and Eastman Kodak) to go and try out I jumped at the chance. I loaded up the film into a Bronica SQ-Am to try out with a new lens and AE prisim. I took the film out to Niagara-On-The-Lake and out to a public trail out behind Sheridan College.
This film does exactly what Kodak says it does - produces wonderfully clean tones and has a greater exposure latitude then most other slide films, especially when compared to Fuji’s stocks. In past experiences it’s been really difficult to work with slide films, so I would tend to shy away from them because they’re often hard to get a good metering for and even when scanned in they produce poor scans with huge losses to details in shadows and highlights. E100 blows all these fears away - the negatives are bright with lots of details with crisp shadows and clean highlights, and very little grain.
above: High Voltage transmission towers along the 407, Oakville, Ontario, Canada
But where the E100 series of films really stands out for me is when you scan it into the computer, like most Kodak films it tends to lean a little more to the magenta side of things, but even with that this film scans very much like the Portra series of films, very little work needs to be done in post to bring the on screen version close to what you see in the physical negative. This is a great film for portrait, landscape, and even architectural photographers, a fine addition to the Kodak line of films, and one that I will definitely keep in my fridge as soon as I clear out my remaining Fuji stock (less the Velvia - I do still love my Velvia).
Long-time FPP listener Alex Luyckx works both in Information Technology support and as a freelance photographer. He describes himself as an analog photographer stuck in a digital world. He loves using cameras older than he is and long walks through abandoned buildings. You can follow his photo blog at: www.alexluyckx.com/blog/