#13 – Kodak Ektar 100

I bought three rolls of this new film a few months back, and I started using my first roll at Parys Copper Mine, and then didn’t pick up my film camera again for 3 months to finish the roll! So, as I was keen to see how good it was, I cast good sense aside and packed my F100 and my D700 for my trek up the inclines of Dinorwic.

First things first – this is not a review of the film as I have no idea about how to review film and it’s characteristics. Also, bear in mind that the film was processed by a proper lab (Metro Colour Labs in Birmingham, UK) and was shot on a pro-spec camera (Nikon F100) with a good quality prime lens (Sigma 24mm F1.8). Right, that’s the caveats out of the way.

The colours are rendered very nicely and not too saturated, and a good level of detail can be seen on the 3089 x 2048 scans. It’s a long time since I’ve used an ISO100 film (and I’ve only used transparencies once), so I’ve nothing to compare it to, but the grain is very fine indeed – sure it’s not as fine as the noise on the D700 at ISO100, but there again few things are. I normally use ISO400 colour or black and white films, so I had to be careful handholding the camera as it wasn’t the brightest of days in Snowdonia. The ‘look’ of the images is completely different to that of the digital images I took, and I can’t say I have a favourite if I’m honest.

Perhaps inevitably some of the skies have become slightly bleached out, but this can be rescued with some levels or curves adjustments, although not to the extent that a RAW file can be. Nonetheless, I found it necessary to do this to make a more balanced image. I also added a thin black border to provide a little bit of contrast to the sky.

Overall, I’m very impressed, and under the right conditions, look forward to using the film again.

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