Fun With Film

Making photographs on film is great fun. So going walkabout along the river with roll of Kodak Ektar 100 makes for a grand experience and some interesting results.

When used with modern aspherical lenses, Ektar provides vivid colours, high saturation and very high sharpness. It has the finest, smoothest grain of any current colour negative film, 

You have to treat this film a bit like a colour slide film and expose somewhat for the highlights as it only has one stop of under and two stops of over exposure latitude unlike say good old Portra 400 for example which has around three under and six over. 

For my tastes it handles greens and reds really well, but can be a bit temperamental with blues which it can render a bit less saturated.

It's a film for bright sunshine, when the clouds drift over it tends to render images with a colour palette that is noticeably duller and lacking in pop, so this film does't do dull.

Film has its own distinctive look due to its aesthetic nature involved in the organic way that grain populates the film emulsion.

So back to the fun bit, well it was as easy as loading up one of my Zeiss Ikon rangefinder cameras with a roll of the afore mentioned Ektar 100, sticking my 35mm Summilux on front and preseting the hyperfocal distance scale to f8 on the lens barrel and the aperture ring to f8 accordingly, then setting the camera to "A" for aperture priority metering and dialling in 1/3rd of a stop of under exposure compensation to help saturate the colours.


All I had to do was lift the camera to my eye to frame my pictures and click my shutter release without any further worries as to focus or exposure. It was very much the classic rangefinder way of watch and wait for all of the elements of my pictures to move together into the frame of my viewfinder then, at just the right moment, "click" make my photograph.


I could even see those things moving within and without the bright frames of the viewfinder that delineates the view of the focal length of the lens attached so I could decide whether to wait to allow an object into the frame or not, or to allow one to leave the frame or not as I visualised their effect upon my composition.


I must say this is a joyful, considered and measured way of working that keeps me in tune with the world around me as I walkabout in it. I am part of it and connected to it rather than an outside observer looking in.


Underpinning all of this is, is good old film, the photographic medium with tonality, texture, dynamic range, detail, contrast, colour gradation, clarity, sharpness, vibrancy, exposure latitude and grain - all built directly into the medium itself. Such fun!

✧ Jokul Frosti ✧

A space containing the thoughts, experiences, photos and collected curiosities of a walkabout photographer with a snapshot style.