There are lots of Ektar 100 review out there that’s better and more detailed than mine. But I still want to share what I think about this film. I find it difficult to understand the other reviews as they are written by professional photographers. They delved too deep into the details which I don’t really need. So, here’s my beginner’s five-cent worth of 36-exposure Kodak Ektar 100 review:
When I received my developed Ektar 100 photos from the lab, I was so shocked. From the thumbnail, I see that overall, my photos are so colourful and highly saturated. The blue sky is enhanced, it’s like having my photo edited in Lightroom and increase the saturation or the tint bar. The only thing is, I have clear conscience I did not edit the photo, haha! It’s the behaviour of the film.
Not suitable for portrait
Due to the nature of the film, most human faces and skin tone will appear reddish. As beginners, we don’t know a lot of techniques and skills of manipulation to achieve desired outcome. We purely just adjust settings and snap.
From what I know, some professional photographers are able to do ‘something’ (either in darkroom or at the scene) while taking portrait using Ektar 100. They are able to let the surrounding be colourful and saturated without letting the models look red in the face. For now, what we can do is to avoid using Ektar 100 for portraits until we figure out how to not make faces look reddish.
Use Kodak Portra instead, if you want.
Suitable for landscape
Yes, each film has its own specialty for a certain field of subjects. Since Ektar 100 is so colourful, it’s suitable for landscape, environment, scenery, etc. It should be good for travel shots as well!
Also, Ektar 100 claimed to be the finest grain film, this is true. By comparing my Ektra photos and others, the print is silky smooth.
Do I like Ektar 100?
Personally, Ektar 100 won’t be my favourite. First, it’s quite expensive. I got it for SGD11.70 from TripleD Lab, it’s generally about the same price across Singapore. (Everything in SG is expensive lah). Second, I like shooting street photography with humans in it as well as people closed to my heart, so I don’t want my subjects to look orangy. If I want to shoot colourful landscape, I might consider Ektar 100. Or else I am fine with any other films (cheaper).
Is Ektar 100 your favourite film? If not, what other film do you like to shoot with? Watch my Youtube video of Contax TVS + Ektar 100 here.
Updated 15 April 2017
From my previous one and only roll of 35mm Ektar, my human faces were very orangy. It’s very unpleasing to the eyes so I didn’t post them.
However, I decided to give this film another try, as there’s limited choices for 120mm film. I find that as long as the model is not exposed under direct sunlight, the colour of the face will not be as orangy, to some extend it’s quite natural and pleasing to see:
If model is under direct sunlight:
Under direct sunlight, the model’s face is slightly orangy. Although still not as bad as my first roll.
Well, film photography is all about experimenting since most of the time, it’s not for commercial work. I would suggest Kodak Portra 400 or overexpose your Fuji Pro 400H to get a nice creamy portrait.
In conclusion, I am starting to have faith in Kodak Ektar 100 again.
You can go to Ektar 100 gallery to see more samples.
Or Start Here.