As most of you will remember from my previous post Film: a growing addiction… to try lower iso films? I have been in the process recently of acquiring some more different lower iso films for me to try. My aim is to see if I can improve my previous results while out shooting film. My results were fine, infact I was quite happy with them, till Lisa pointed out that some looked washed out and some of the highlights were blown. So my new quest to find improved films for shooting began.
In the subsequent weeks I have gone a little over board with my ordering of films and now have over 200 rolls of various brands either on the way to me currently or have recently arrived and are now being stored safely in my fridge.
The first 3 types to arrive that I have really had any time to get out and shoot have been good old Ilford Xp2 black and white c41 process film, I really enjoyed shooting this rolls, despite having some problems with the local lab scanning my negs incorrectly and generally not really taking too much care with the film, so there are some artifacts in some of the images. I have also managed to get out and shoot a roll of Kodak Ektar… Wow, this stuff is something special! I had to spend a fair bit for this gorgeous film, but it truly renders more like a superb slide film as opposed to color negative film, it really is something else. And just last weekend I managed to get out and shoot to rolls of Fuji Pro 160S, I bought 30 rolls of this ’cause I got it cheap. It was however expired in 2010 however the seller assured it had been cold stored and was fine. I asked around and found that expired film if cold stored can last years past the expiration date, so I took a chance knowing this was decent film and ordered 30 rolls. I was pleasantly surprised by the results I got back last weekend. While not quite as saturated as the Kodak ektar nor quite as fine grained, it is still in another league to typical 35mm colour negative film.
I still have many more film types to get out and test, like Kodak Pro Image 100, Kodak Pro Photo XL 100, Perutz Primera 200 expired 2008 cold stored, Kodak portra 160, Fuji Pro 160C and a bunch more. So stay tuned for more test rolls. haha
I thought what I would do here is just present a bit of a comparison so far between the Kodak Ektar 100 and the Fuji Pro 160S. I will do a separate post about my amazing experience with the lovely Ilford XP2, maybe after I shoot a roll of Kodak BW400cn. haha
First up the Kodak Ektar 100, I love how vibrant this stuff is. How grain free it is, is pretty amazing too. Now to be fair to the Ektar, after processing this roll, I was informed that labs often make their scan overly bright for their printing process and that you should compensate for this. I did not really do this for the Ektar, but did for the 160S, so bare that in mind when comparing the resulting images. This roll was shot on my Minolta 700si using my Minolta 35-80mm zoom lens.
I shot 2 rolls of the Fuji Pro 160S on the weekend one down at the abandoned power station, as I needed some urban decay shots for a project I am helping a friend with, then I shot the second roll in Fremantles town center and the end of the roll in the evening up at Reabold hill. This was a great day out shooting that the fuji captured well, espescially considering it expired in 2010. You will notice I probably helped this by processing it better to compensate for the brightness from the scanning at my local supermarket film developer. These 2 rolls were shot on my Minolta X700 using my Minolta 50mm F1.4 manual lens.
As you can see, not quite as grain free as the Ektar and not quite as vibrant, still quite exceptional.
It does have that typical colder Fuji palette to it. I think this second roll performed maybe even a little better. It probably enjoyed the lighter surroundings.
From these results I am very happy to snap away with the 160S for most things, but for those special occasions, like in spring when all the flowers come out in the botanic gardens, then I will be cracking out that sublime Kodak Ektar.
I hope you got something out of this quick comparison, even if just a desire to go shoot some more film. Till next time, keep well and happy shooting!