Kodak's new Ektar 100

Sarah CP

Kodak, showing that there's still money to be made from film, is releasing yet another reformulated C-41 film... Ektar 100.

According to Kodak, the UltraColor line is going to be gone shortly. Porta 400VC film has displaced UC400 and Ektar 100 will displace UC100.

For me, oddly, I found that 400NC replaced UC400. But you all know that I march to the beat of a different drummer.

So, the history.... Before I started shooting seriously, there was a brilliant film called Ektar 25. It was there to represent the pinnacle of C-41 chemistry, so Kodak was willing to keep producing it even though some of the Kodak guys said that it was beastly to produce and that most of the legendary qualities it had have been greatly supplanted by modern films. Either way, it's like crack for a certain audience. See, no matter how fancy a 35mm camera you have, it's still going to get blown away by even a decent medium format camera in terms of image quality. But if you MUST shoot 35mm film but want to try and get huge enlargements, you end up looking at the film with the finest grain because you may not realize that there are other factors that effect resolution.

Now, if you look at where Kodak is right now, they do not hold the lead in slide film. Far from it. This largely boils down to Fuji making some brilliant decisions with Velvia and Provia and capturing a huge chunk of the slide shooting market, so even though Provia 100 is probably about the same ultimate image quality as E100G, Provia 100 is cheaper and more popular.

So, while they are guaranteed a certain amount of slide film sales from Kodak loyalists, Kodak's best seller is pretty much print film. They have a huge retail presence for all sorts of film and a lot of people have found they like Kodak's Porta film. This is why the FAQ on the film talks about how it's just as good as E100G.

Right now, they are only selling it as a 35mm film. So, as far as I'm concerned, this is another good sign out of Kodak that they've realized there is a film market. But until they offer it in other formats, it's kind of useless to me. And I suspect if they'd intended it as a serious replacement for E100G for the truly hardcore, they'd have made it in more sizes. So even though it's in the pro lineup, it's really an advanced amateur film.


The links

But seriously...

Do read my Introduction to films. I can assure you that Porta 400VC in my 6x7 camera will out-resolve the finest in 35mm camera gear with Ektar 100 loaded...

I can also assure you that I'll be purchasing it and trying it out as soon as I can. Because that's just the sort of person I am. :)

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