Wordy Wednesday #432: Shooting Kodak Ektar Medium Format Film

“Grandmas sit in chairs and reminisce. Boys keep chasing girls to get a kiss.”—Sonny Bono

As Sonny and Cher used to sing, “The beat goes on” giving me insight into what film photographers must deal with in this digital millennium. Kodak’s Ektar 100 is processed in standard C-41 chemistry and while fewer outlets process 120 roll film some still do.

Ektar 100 is a color film but I thought, what the heck, let’s make some black and white and I used Alien Skin Software’s Exposure X2 Photoshop-compatible plug-in to remove all that saturated color to put the emphasis on Mary and the photo in the background

Reciprocity may be unknown in the digital world but is a fact of life for film, yet Kodak recommends no adjustments for long and short exposures or even any filter or exposure corrections for exposures from 1⁄10,000 sec to one second. For critical applications with longer exposure times, Kodak hedges their bets and suggests you “make tests under your conditions.” I made my own tests under low light conditions and found that with exposures up to five seconds I didn’t experience problems with color shifts or variance in exposure and even when over or underexposed the grain structure remained fine, tight, and controlled.

Recently I ran into a several photographers who were also film shooters and although I talked with one major retailer who told me that some weddings pros were “going back” to shooting film, but none of the film shooters I spoke with was loading their 120 film into Hasselblads. Nope. Instead I heard about users shooting a litany of vintage or funky cameras, including Holga, Seagull TLRs—that I used to make Mary’s portrait—and Yashica.

Author: Joe Farace

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