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Kodak Ektar 100

March 15, 2010


Birds doing what they do, Corona del Mar, California.

I don’t think I’m a great film tester. In fact, I know I’m not a great film tester. Thank God for serious photographers and the work they do because I could never do it. Running a film through its paces is difficult work, and frankly, I’m not sure I’m man enough for it. So, when I test a film, I grab a few rolls, take a quick look at the speed then head into the void. Today’s void was the beach in CDM, or Corona del Mar for those of you from any backwater that isn’t The OC. It might have been Newport. I don’t really know anymore. If I was guessing, and trying to get a permit for this place, I’d probably….go….with…..CDM? Who knows?
Kodak Ektar 100 speed film, in 35mm. In short, it looks good. Thanks for reading.

Pretty yellow things growing from the Earth near a beach where lots of people go and where there are security cameras, Corona del Mar/Newport Beach, California.

I like the color. I like the contrast. I like the grain, or lack there of, and I like the texture in the non-critical focus areas, or for the average citizen, the blurry areas. Might be a little warm for skintone, but you know, with Photoshop 1.0 we kinda solved that. I use Portra for skin, and most things, but I have a plan for this film, one type of image that it will be perfect for.
So, when I head to Peru, there will be Ektar, 120 in my bag. In fact, it’s already there.

So dust off the old jalopy and head out to your nearest film peddler, if you still have any around, and get ready to endure the painfully tired question from the counter guy as you ask for your twelve exposure roll of Ektar, “Film, they still make that?” Hahahahahaha, never get tired of that one.

On a side note. Most of the time, when someone slaps one of those lame film statements on me like “Film, oh ya, I remember that stuff, heh, heh,” it is a sure sign that their work really sucks. Like really sucks. Like it has unicorns in it and the painter tool and shots of their kids with purple fog around the edges.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. David Wissinger permalink
    March 15, 2010 7:36 pm

    I have used some of this film and I like it too. I was excited to see that they’re still making new types of film that are good, because so many of the old names have disappeared.
    I had a strip of 6×7 B+W negatives sitting out last night when someone came to visit bearing his brand new Nikon D-3000, fresh from a class that instructed him to use the camera controls in semi-manual way. I took some grief for having film in the house, which turned to outright shock, the speechless kind, when I mentioned that I developed it myself (looks pretty damn good, too). We are in a new era.

    • March 15, 2010 7:58 pm


      I get those same looks, comments, etc, all the time, and most of the time from people, including pros, who came to digital ten years or more AFTER I did. It’s a truly odd mentality, but one that, to me, is based on ego and insecurity. I use what I want to use, and I have valid reasons for doing so. What I’ve never understood about the digital revolution hard liners is that it doesn’t seem enough to further digital, they also try to condemn anything analog at the same time.
      What I find ironic is when I’m shooting in the field, 99% of the people I encounter say, “I miss film,” or “I still like film better.” Then they follow it up with, “But I guess I have to use digital.”
      There was a great article this morning about a master printer in New York. He says photographers still talk about the advancements in digital in comparison to analog and still talk about what they are giving up to use digital. But, photography today is less about imagery and more about technology than ever before. It will only continue in this direction.
      Look at the workshops being offered where classes about actual image making, being a photographer are difficult to fill, but yet an “off camera flash” class will pack in 30 people, who probably might not have ever learned basic photography, but feel the need to know something like off camera flash. Crazy.

  2. eric labastida permalink
    March 15, 2010 8:01 pm

    Holy crap. Your last paragraph just explained a group of “photographs” I saw on my way out dropping of my kids. I’m not kidding, one actually had a kid riding a unicorn adorned with purple haze. Puke.

  3. March 15, 2010 9:26 pm

    The painter tool should come with a warning label. Blurring the edges so it looks like the kid is going about 80 mph, is NOT a good use of this tool. Nor is purple fog on the edges of the frame. But, the direct, on camera flash at +3 is fine.

  4. March 15, 2010 9:36 pm

    Wait, so your saying unicorn photography is out?!? In my world everybody eats rainbows and poops butterflies. This changes everything…

    • March 15, 2010 9:52 pm

      Spelman, you can keep the unicorns. I find them slightly too gamey for my taste.

  5. John Doe permalink
    March 15, 2010 9:46 pm

    lots of people like the purple haze…

    • March 15, 2010 9:53 pm

      Hey Doe,

      Music Purple Haze = Good
      Photography Purple Haze = Bad

  6. David Wissinger permalink
    March 15, 2010 9:56 pm

    Why are we dissing unicorns and the use of them in photographs? Unicorns are common animals that kids keep as pets and ride for fun all the time. We should absolutely feature them in our photography. Get real, people.

  7. March 15, 2010 9:58 pm

    If you can hunt it, then why not photograph it?

    • David Wissinger permalink
      March 15, 2010 10:00 pm

      Exactly, my friend. Now you’re thinking correctly.

  8. Eric Labastida permalink
    March 16, 2010 9:32 pm

    I think in Tijuana can get your very own portrait of Hendrix riding a unicorn with purple haze, in velvet. I guessing a 16X20 will set you back $25.

    • March 16, 2010 11:21 pm

      You can get ANYTHING in Tijuana. Last year, some guy came up and said, “Hey Gringo, you want Zanex, coke, heroin, viagra or a buck naked massage with two girls.”
      It was like a buffet with too many items, I told him I couldn’t decide.

      • David Wissinger permalink
        March 16, 2010 11:44 pm

        When you say “anything”, you probably also mean a few things you’d rather not have. Just guessin’.

  9. April 24, 2010 6:08 pm

    Your “Flowers on the Beach” shot looks like Kodachrome to me (on my monitor, anyway). When I shot Ektar a few months ago, the scans came back looking like they were from a compact digital camera…super-bright colors, red tinge.

    Did you scan your own Ektar? Or did a lab do it for you?

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