Images shot on Kodak Ektar 100 in Yashica Electro 35 GSN
As much as I enjoy shooting film, seeing the results, and writing about it on here, there’s a side to this blogging thing that I don’t think I’ve mentioned before.
And that is learning all about the different films I shoot. Some stuff I learn from researching for the reviews, and some I learn firsthand from seeing what the films give me.
What I learned about Ektar 100 was that it has – according to Kodak themselves – the world’s finest grain. It’s also potentially Kodak’s most vivid film. This sounds like the antithesis of how a lot of people shoot street photography, with lots of grain and in high contrast monochrome.
That’s a look I like too, but it’s not the law. Shoot whatever you like, however you like is my thinking. So come take a look and see if you think you might want to shoot some Ektar out in the street too.
Colours more ultra than Ultramax
Before I got around to shooting this roll of Ektar, perhaps the most vibrant film I’d shot was the Ultramax 400. It makes sense that it’d be another Kodak film that was the previous colourful champion, as they tend to produce warmer stocks than Fujifilm do.
I’ve spoken to some people who don’t like Ultramax precisely for its warmness, though. They thought it was overbearing. Personally, I thought it was okay, and the shots I got from Wuxi with it just wouldn’t be the same if I’d used something else.
It is a different kind of vividness than I found with this Ektar though, which seems to be more selective in the colours it exaggerates.
The Ultramax shots seemed overall brighter and yellower, while I feel this Ektar kept parts of the images more muted but turned the primary colours up more than the Ultramax did.
I might be wrong and of course your mileage may vary. As ever, I’m just telling you about the results I got from what I shot.
Street photography with Ektar or not?
So as mentioned earlier, vivid colours are something a lot of people get as far away from as possible when shooting street photography. As is Ektar’s very fine grain, for that matter.
High contrast, grainy monochrome is the go-to for many. I’ve shot some films that offer this too, although I’m yet to find one that really nails that particular look.
JCH Street Pan 400 and especially Rollei Retro 400S have the contrast but are pretty clean in my experience, while Ilford Pan 400 and its cousin Kentmere 400 both have the grain but aren’t that contrasty.
That’s all getting a little off-topic, though. The question here is, as potentially Kodak’s most vivid film, is Ektar 100 too bright for your street photography?
It’s a question only you can answer for yourself. I can only answer it for myself too. And my answer is no, it isn’t.
I’ve always found lens length and film type choice to be immaterial once I get out there shooting and looking at the results afterwards. At that point, they are what they are and I never find myself wishing they could have been different.
It’s like the old advice of only regretting what you didn’t do rather than what you did. So long as I went out and shot, I can only be happy with what I managed to get with my lens or film.
Final thoughts on perhaps Kodak’s most vivid film
I’m not even sure if Ektar is the most vivid film in Kodak’s entire range. Perhaps Ektachrome would take that title. But it’s certainly a very strong contender if we’re sticking only to colour negative stocks.
It’s a great film regardless though, and if someone like me is using it for something less than optimal for its qualities, that’s not the film’s fault. I’ve just shot out in the streets with every film I’ve tried so far.
Perhaps one day I’ll get bored of taking photographs of people I don’t know in the city and move on to something else. If that something else is landscape, I might find myself buying a lot more of this film. It’s easily found on Amazon or over at Analogue Wonderland.
With those primary colours and fine grain, I think it’d lend itself very well to nature. The low ISO wouldn’t matter either if a tripod was involved.
I’m happy with what it gave me before and, barring any catastrophic human error that renders the roll useless, I’m sure I’ll be happy with whatever it gives me in the future too. I usually am with any and all films.
If you enjoyed that post, why not take a look at these others to stay inspired or learn more about the Kodak Ektar 100 film I used here:
- Full review of this Kodak Ektar 100 film
- Another photo essay shot on a vibrant Kodak film
- Shooting street with Kodak’s most popular film
And if you think others will enjoy this post on a very vivid Kodak film too, help them find it by sharing or pinning. 😀