My prior experience with color film was largely with Fujifilm's now defunct NPS 160. It produced a low contrast image with a lot of exposure latitude, something that gave images a certain look that I was really into at the time. This look stuck with me as I began shooting ninety-three. Over time, my tastes changed (and my processing skills improved) and I've settled on a bit different look for my images.
Recently, I've been shooting with about as new of a color film that exists in this now digital world. Kodak Ektar 100 was introduced in the fall of 2008. Ektar is an unusual sort of film, a negative film that behaves a lot like a slide film. It's more forgiving than most slide films, but offers a lot more contrast than typical negative films.
I have recently found myself drawn to the Kodachrome images of photographers like William Christenberry and Saul Leiter rather than the sort of pristine perfection of someone like Stephen Shore's large format work. With this in mind, Ektar has been the perfect film for a somewhat sloppy photographer like myself to come back to. It's not as picky about exposure as slide film, but has a certain look that is pretty much exactly what I was looking for.
Ektar is very sharp film with a fine grain structure. It appears to scan well from what I've seen so far, although I'm without a scanner to really dig into just how much detail is there. Even the machine scanned files look pretty good printed at 18x12, if a little short on resolution upon close examination.
I've settled on Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kansas for film processing and basic scanning. The quality is top notch and they offer a fast turn around. I send a few rolls out in a Priority Mail flat-rate box and I get a package back in the mail a week later. The wait has taken some getting used to, but it's been worth it. The results are great and it's immensely satisfying to carry around this tiny camera and lens that are worth less than $100 altogether.
I'm looking to debut the South Omaha photographs sometime next year, perhaps in May at Hot Shops Art Center. Stay tuned for more details, as they say.