I Shot a Roll of Ektachrome E100 on Nikon F100 by Jeff Hammond

Dec 16, 2019
2 min read

I shot a roll of Ektachrome E100 that Vincent (On Film Only) was generous enough to send. It was my first time shooting slide film, and the research I did indicated that the consensus on shooting slide is due to limited latitude, one should avoid high contrast lighting. I mostly ignored that suggestion, hoping to find out, first hand, what the film is capable of.

A friend, artist/musician Whim Grace (instagram.com/whimgrace), agreed to let me photograph her in her home, a Victorian-style manor built in 1894. The house is beautiful, and I only wish I’d had more than the one roll of E100 as 36 exposures did not afford me much opportunity to explore the house.

I shot with a Nikon F100 and a 35mm F1.4 lens often using the internal light meter, though occasionally metering with a Sekonic 358L. Post-production edits were made in Photoshop, but were quite minimal.

The first thing I noticed when I got the scans back was that everything I’d read about Ektachrome’s limited latitude is true. There’s very little room for error, and if you over- or under-expose, don’t expect to be able to recover much of the information in the highlights or shadows.

That said, people don’t turn to Ektachrome for its latitude, but rather its colors. They’re deeply saturated, and are much cooler than colors you can expect out of Kodak’s signature Portra. In fact, I didn’t have to work hard at all to balance the color casts in my scans, whereas I’ve found that my Portra scans typically need a little more work in that arena.

The last color-related observation is that the halation is virtually color free, introducing little to no color in areas surrounding blown out highlights (something I really enjoyed, and in contrast to Portra, which is a little pink and orange).

Finally, as you might expect from a 100 ISO film, grain is very small.

All in all I really enjoyed the experience of shooting Ektachrome, but will likely stick to lower contrast lighting when shooting it in the future.

You can find more of my work on Instagram. My handle is @sleeptalkerphoto

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