I Shot a Roll of Ektachrome E100 by Brian Agnes

Jun 12, 2020
3 min read

I Shot a Roll of Ektachrome E100
On Mamiya RB67 ProS

As a film photographer, I mostly tend to use black&white (HP5+) from dawn to dusk and color film (Portra 400) at night. All my attempts to shoot negative color film during the day seems promised to failure. So, when I saw that On Film Only was asking for volunteers to shoot a roll of Ektachrome 100 I applied directly; I was thinking that maybe reversal color film will match my “from dawn to dusk” routine like B&W can do.

I’ve got no particular plan for this roll. No preferred place or time of the day, so I drive my car and stop on a parking lot in order to shoot anything I found interesting. As it was my first time with reversal color film I made some research on how to expose perfectly the film, and there was as many answers as people giving advice, the only thing where everybody seems to agree was the small dynamic range of this film, so I decided to try to get high contrast scene in order to see how much of latitude this film can handle.

The first shoot I took is the one with the two chairs, my lightmeter was set to 400 ISO due to a previous use with a Portra 400… So it’s overexposed by two stops, and I like it. The orange is vibrant, the grain is almost unnoticeable and every colors are on point.

After that, I shot an abandoned car dealer parking and the inside of the building, the pictures took inside was to test the limits of the dynamic range and the one with the window and the cans on the ground prove that shadows and highlights can be preserve with a good metering.

The two pictures of an empty building thru the windows with the reflections of the landscape seems to me as successful double exposure in only one shot. The reflections fills the black space as I wanted when I cock the shutter!

I tried, for the four last pictures, to get an urban dumping ground surrounded by nature. I wanted to see how the color rendition will be with beautiful green grass and perfect blue sky mixed with the grey tones of some abandoned tires. The one with a lonely tire on the ground just fit perfectly to the idea of reality. Everything is like I saw it, but magnified by the Ektachrome 100.

And this is the point, where negative color films tends to denaturate colors at some points, Ektachrome 100 is loyal to reality, it’s a “what you see is what you get” film. No surprise if the metering is right. On 10 pictures I can say that I like 6 of them. I’ve made some mistakes but I tried things, now I know what is possible or not. So, if you need to be compliant with the reality, don’t hesitate and try Ektachrome 100. You won’t be disappointed unless you forget to meter correctly.

The roll was shot on my Mamiya RB67 ProS with a Sekor 90mm and I used a Sekonic l308 for the incident metering. 

Thanks to On Film Only and Kodak for the roll of Ektachrome 100 and to Nation Photo for the dev and scan.

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