After over a year of teasing us, Kodak Alaris finally dialed in it’s revival of Ektachrome. I couldn’t wait to shoot some!
It has been years since I’ve shot any sort of transparency film. I’m glad to see with this first roll I still remember how to meter properly. No bracketing, yay! Looks like tones are more accurate, compared to Velvia which was my biggest hope. I love Velvia, but it can go over the top in saturation quickly. I don’t think Ektachrome is going to replace Portra 160 as my go to every day film but it will be a great addition to my bag.
My normal 35mm camera is a Leica M4 which has no meter. With Kodak Portra that’s ok. I can guess my exposures close enough and haven’t run into any problems thanks to wide exposure latitude. I wasn’t sure I could do the same with Ektachrome since transparency films are notoriously finicky on exposure, so I used my handheld Sekonic 408 light meter to make sure I was accurate.
I knew in the past that traditionally in addition to narrow exposure windows, they also have less range for shadow and highlights. As you can see in some of the shots, while normally I could see a lot of information from sunny highlights to dark shadows, Ektachrome could not. Still, it preformed as I thought it would, and I was really happy with the results. If anything, it performed better than I expected. While the shadows did go nearly black, they did manage to hold some detail which was a pleasant surprise.
The color seems good to me as well, but full disclosure, I’m colorblind so take that as you will. I relied on The Darkroom to color correct these images for me and I’m happy with them.
So far there is no word on when or if 120 will be available. From what I understand Kodak Alaris is waiting to see how the 35mm sells before making the commitment. While I would love to shoot some 120 as well, what I’m really hoping for will be large format sheet film. Both 4×5 and 8×10 would be amazing but I’ll settle for 4×5 for the time being! Fujifilm seems to have no interest in updating or even maintaining their film lines. Every year a few more options from them are discontinued. I’d love to shed them entirely and I think Ektachrome would be a great replacement for Velvia. Are you listening, Kodak?