Kodak Ektachrome E100 is BACK in 120 and 4×5 – Full Review

 

 

 

Today is a very exciting day! Kodak has just released Ektachrome E100 in both 120 and 4×5… how’s that for a holiday present?!

Sample images below: please note they are somewhat bigger files so they make take a moment to load.

Reimagining Transparency Film

By Stephen Schaub

When I was asked to shoot a few test rolls of the new Ektachrome 100 in 120 it just happened to be October, and I just happen to live in Vermont. Of course, New England is famous for these few short weeks each year when the light, crispness and color­ engages and captivates, turning all who experience it into artists who want to capture it. The timing could not have been better.

Although my current artworks are large, complex, in-camera collages on film, often employing cross-processing and alternative developers, I realized that work would not have been a suitable test for the few precious rolls of film Kodak sent to me. Rather, I revisited my earlier, more traditional methods of working and enjoyed returning to an earlier version of myself.

I chose to shoot familiar places. I really wanted to see how the color, dynamic range and sharpness of this reborn film in 120 would behave compared to my normal negative materials. I am pleased to report that everything I loved about the old Ektachome 100 is back in a big way: the color, the pop, and the sharpness are all there. The exposure latitude is extremely good, and scanning the film was easy.

SchaubIGFinalKodakE100Group_A

Working with the combination of my Linhof Technorama 612 PCII and lenses by Schneider Kreuznach provided a profound depth and clarity, and really brought out the technical best in this film. Coupled with scans from my Imacon Scanner the resulting files really know no limits of scale of reproduction.

As a vocal advocate of traditional film, I think and talk a lot about how our relationship to film has changed; this test got me thinking in particular how much our relationship has changed with regards to transparency film. Years ago I would have been juggling a color meter and every Wratten Gelatin filter imaginable in order to color-balance the film to the light source(s) for perfect accuracy. My concern for shadow depth and detail would have resulted in most cases in a pre-exposure to balance contrast. But in 2019, with 99% of film users working in a Hybrid Workflow of film capture and digital scan, all of that is changed. Transparencies that once would have been considered too light or too dark can in most cases be saved through well thought-out scanning techniques. Choices of appropriate color spaces during the scanning process are as important to the final image as masking and color corrections were to making a great print in days gone by.

SchaubIGFinalKodakE100Group_B

Transparency materials are unique: they have a pop, a micro-clarity and a feeling that is lost to color negative materials. The ability to edit work directly on the light table is significant. Moving forward, our relationship with transparency film is built on previous strengths but now with more advantages than ever. Kodak’s Ektachrome 100 is showing us that way.

Follow all fifteen photographers who are part of the launch on Instagram:

Stephen Schaub

Wendy Laurel 

Sandra Coan

Jesse Pafundi

Michael Strickland

Mariana Montrazi

Gabriela Olmeda

Victor Laborde

Timo Kerber

Ian Howorth

Eddie Otchere

F & R

Yao Keng

Haosen Jin

Mr. Koichi Akagi

Official Press Release from Kodak Alaris:

Kodak Alaris Announces EKTACHROME E100 Availability in 120 and Sheet formats

ROCHESTER, N.Y. Dec 10, 2019 – Kodak Alaris today announced the launch of EKTACHROME E100 in larger formats. A new 120 format 5-roll propack and a new 10 sheet 4×5 box will be available to order within the next 10 days, worldwide.

These new format offerings follow on the highly successful launch of EKTACHROME E100 in 135-36x size last year. “Our new E100 film is a big hit with photographers of all ages” said Dennis Olbrich, President – Kodak Alaris Imaging Paper, Photo Chemicals and Film. “The market response has been tremendous. Adding 120 and sheet films takes us to the next level.”

Sales of professional photographic films have been steadily rising over the last few years, with professionals and enthusiasts alike rediscovering the artistic control offered by manual processes and the creative satisfaction of a physical product.

KODAK PROFESSIONAL EKTACHROME Film E100 is a daylight balanced color positive film, featuring clean, vibrant colors, a neutral tone scale, and extremely fine grain.   Its distinctive look is well suited to a wide range of applications, such as product, landscape, nature and fashion photography.

We’ve posted images from some of the photographers who participated in our pre-launch activities. Check out their work on our social media channels.

 To learn more, please visit http://www.kodakalaris.com/go/profilms

Follow us on Twitter @kodakprofilmbiz and Instagram @KodakProfessional

Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/kodakprofessional

 

Viva la Revolution- Steve!

 

 

 

 

Final Thoughts on Diafine Developer

Audio Blog Conclusion:

Viva la Revolution- Steve

UPDATE April 11, 2019

Just to be clear…. I still stand by my original processing technique outlined here in FR years ago which does not use the pre wet and has slightly more agitation than the technique outlined above (metal reels and tanks only for the older process). If the film and agitation technique is perfect without a pre wet then go for it but I have found most modern films do benefit from the pre wet… the only downside is developer longevity and about 1/3 stop loss in speed.

Cold Weather and Instant Films

 

FullSizeRender (4)
Impossible Color 600, Fuji Instax Wide and Fuji 100c Cold Weather Test 2015

Yep, it’s that time of year when shooting instant films poses an extra challenge– how to keep the film warm for processing! Over the years I’ve invented different heater boxes to keep materials warm with varying degrees of success. However this year I’ve decided to run a quick test to see just how adaptable these materials are at lower temperatures.

Testing Procedure:

All three cameras: SX-70 with 600 Color Impossible Film, Polaroid 110B with Fuji FP100C and the Fuji 500AF with Instax Wide were left outside in 32F for 45 minutes. Then I shot one image with each camera and left the film to process outside again in 32F for an hour. Then I brought the images inside and made a note of its development stage and then allowed it to continue to process at 70F for an additional hour- I did not peel the 100C film apart till the end of the testing time. The results are pretty interesting….

Let’s go through them one by one:

Impossible Color 600 (newest version, left square image)

Not much happening here… these films as I have mentioned before are VERY sensitive to temperature changes and working in the cold with this particular material requires a plan for keeping not only the camera warm when loaded but also the film for the full development time which is around 35-45 minutes. Add to that the requirement to shield the image from light till development is finished and it is a tricky juggling act.

Fuji Instax Wide (top right)

Fuji Instax Wide is quite the durable material. This film also continued to process during the warm phase of the testing- not a lot but the black did add additional density and the colors became more saturated. While the color and contrast are off they are not off much and it would be very easy to correct for the cold effects in Photoshop.

Fuji FP 100C (lower right)

Fuji FP 100C really did a great job with regards to contrast and tonal range BUT the color shift is quite obvious— Green! Of course a lot of that shift is from an extended period of development which tends to shift green anyways regardless of the temperature. I almost always leave my FP-100C to self terminate in development (5-10 minutes is normal for me) as I don’t really want to have to stop shooting and watch the peel time depending on temperature. Overall this would be a very easy color correction to do in Photoshop and again the tonality and contrast are the best of the group.

Conclusion

Sample images from above with quick photoshop color correction.

If you are going to shoot in cold weather try to keep your loaded camera warm at all times and keep the developing film warm as well for best quality. The Fuji Instax wide and the FP100C were the most robust in the cold, I suspect if I had pulled the film apart earlier the test the color would be closer.  I also found in the color corrected images above that the FP-100C was much closer to the color and tone of the actual scene whereas the Instax Wide gained a fair amount of contrast and was harder to keep the saturation and contrast balanced. Impossible Color 600 would not be a recommendation unless you have, as I have stated above, some degree of controlling the development temperature, clearly essential for this material.

Viva la Revolution- Steve

 

AERO-Liberator Camera

Stay tuned for a blast of posts on all things LF. I am very excited to get this camera tomorrow.

Viva la Revolution- Stephen