No. 29 KODAK
I'm starting to get really excited about the return of Ektachrome. I'm back in New York and as my schedule grows more and more busy I've been sneaking away every chance I have to shoot. I almost forgot what it was like to operate a "real" camera. Don't get me wrong, the Fujifilm Klasse W is one hell of a Point-N-Shoot but its in a different weight class from the MP.
Shooting an electronic camera again after so long reminded me of how much I love range-finders. First of all comes the fact that its all brass. When you first pick up the camera its like someone dropped a small cannon-ball at your hands, its deceptively heavy for its size. Every time I've picked up an M6 i've been surprised at how light it feels ( there really is a substantial difference between the two in this regard). If you can get over the fact that you're carrying around a small black-hole on your shoulder all day, (especially paired with a lens like the 50 Summilux), it really does surprise me every time i get scans back.
I was shocked by how good the camera sounds too. Every camera has its distinct sound characteristics, even within the same brand. For example, my 50 sounds completely different from my 35, even though they are both 1.4 lenses. By virtue of having a double-helix focusing system the 50 is slower to focus than the 35, but more precise. The aperature ring on the 50, however, feels much smoother than the one on the 35, it clicks into place with a much more satisfying sound too.
For this post I pulled images that were shot both on Portra 400 and on Ektar 100. I've been trying to figure out the similarities and differences between the two for the last few weeks now. Ektar is much more saturated, that much is obvious, but what I found more interesting is that Ektar tends to under-expose towards the blue shades, while Portra will go to a more traditional green tinted under-exposure. When it comes to pound-for-pound resolution Ektar is going to be the clear winner, but Portra 160 will hold its own too.
Both films are so different its hard to compare them in the first place, I can't think of another film that is similar to Ektar. All C-41 films I've ever shot tend to under-expose to green tones. Portra is special because it doesn't go into The Matrix territory like some other cheap films, but gives off a pleasant "golden hue". Ektar goes to a very different but also pleasant blue tonality, it reminds me somewhat of what Cinestill 800T looks like but toned down many notches.
I can't wait to see what Ektachrome looks like. I love shooting Fuji Slides, but overall much prefer buying Kodak, not only because of the quality of their products but because they're trying to save their industry as opposed to killing it off
I'm going to try out some Kodak Gold and other films I'm not as familiar next week, if you have any other suggestions make sure to send them my way!
Have a great weekend everyone,