Kodak Elitechrome 100: An Interesting Experience

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After ordering a roll of Kodak Elitechrome from Lomography Online, I was super stoked to test it out in my trusty Canon AE-1. But after getting my photos back, I was a bit disappointed. The photos were not baaaad...but safe to say, Elitechrome does not handle low light very well. Read more after the jump!

Credits: dearjme

Disclaimer: This is NOT a negative review, this is simply me sharing my experience with this particular roll of film. Who knows, maybe I just got a slightly expired roll, or something to that extent. Anyhow, I say every experience is an irreplaceable one.

Kodak Elitechrome, when cross processed, tends to look like the modest sister of Kodak Ektachrome. Its color shifts are almost non-existent, and the contrast is less punchy. However, I have noticed some green hues that pop out in some photos around Lomography. All in all, it’s a reliable film to shoot with, and does well in broad daylight and blue skies.

So let’s dive right into my experience!

I was extremely stoked and almost hasty to shoot my roll of Elitechrome ASAP. That night, my friends and I were planning to check out Tantalus lookout to watch the sunset, and then go to cosmic bowling later. I knew that the lights from the cosmic bowling would be dim, but a colorful challenge. And the views from Tantalus would be breathtaking and priceless.

My photos after development were…just okay. I know I am pretty critical and over-analytical when it comes to my photos, but I was truly underwhelmed with what should have been priceless results. After thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that Elitechrome, with its 100 ISO, was not a good choice for the lower lighted environments, even with correct exposure in my Canon AE-1 Program. Also, my developer probably did a less-than-great job scanning the slide film, and perhaps did some unnecessary color correction. Bleh. The results showed a strongly green color shift, with blown out highlights (the whites in the sky), and underexposed details. Even with a flash, the results were not pretty. I’ve never had this problem with my trusty Canon, but hey, it’s a learning process, right?

At Tantalus:

Credits: dearjme

At cosmic bowling:

Credits: dearjme

Overall, Kodak Elitechrome has proved to work amazingly in bright daylight. However, in my case, underexposure gave me strong green hues and oddly blurred details. I was not too fond of it, but I’m sure that type of result could be great for some cases.

Lomo on, fellow chance-takers!

written by dearjme on 2012-04-11 in #reviews #sunse #cross-processed #user-review #t-incorrect-exposure #lomography #kodak-elitechrome #film-review

14 Comments

  1. stratski
    stratski ·

    Ha, I recognize the feeling of slight disappointment after cross processing, I get that a lot. I think it's mainly a matter of failed expectations. You probably had a certain look in your head you wanted to achieve, and when something else coma out, you were slightly disappointed. But someone without those expectations just sees the pictures for what they are: pretty cool shots.
    At least, that's what I tell myself every time a roll turns out less awesome that I had hoped...

  2. unsoundmind
    unsoundmind ·

    The shots inside the bowling alley are great, good solid punchy colours with nice contrast, the low light ones are as you say not what you expected....allow me to explain if I may.

    Firstly to get the effect you are after you will need to shoot in bright light...Elitechrome needs good light to produce good punchy xpro.....best to save it for daytime or indoors with lots of light and colour(just like the bowling alley shots!)

    Secondly to get the best from scanned Xpro you have 2 (in my opinion) options No 1: find a lab with a Fuji scanner and ask them to scan with NO colour correction, No 2: scan yourself and adjust the colour sliders in the scanning software to your liking before saving the image files.

    I have had a few disappointing rolls of Elitechrome scanned in the lab and a contact suggested I scan them again and the results where amazing....I had no idea they could be so different.

    I hope this helps,all the best for your next roll...Mark

  3. buckshot
    buckshot ·

    Don't beat yourself up - your shots are good! The simple lesson, though, is when you've got good slide film (and Elitechrome is VERY good, in my opinion - check here: www.lomography.de/homes/buckshot/albums/1828995-vietnam-the… ), it has to be processed the way it was intended, i.e. E6. Cross-processing should be reserved for the cheapo stuff instead.

  4. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    @stratski Aha! Thank you for the encouraging mind-set. I will try to keep my expectations a bit wider for more variety...

  5. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    @unsoundmind GREAT TIPS Mark! Thank you for the constructive feedback. I have been meaning to invest in getting a scanner myself to gain more control of the colors. I'll take a look at your photos, too.

  6. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    @buckshot Thank you, thank you! Your Vietman photos are stunning, as E6. Such great colors..... Unfortunately, E6 development is extremely rare here in Hawaii, not to mention expensive. But I will definitely give it a try in the future.

  7. simonh82
    simonh82 ·

    Also @buckshot, those slides look amazing. I've got a freezer full of elitechrome which I like for xpro, but i'm going to have to send some out for E6 now.

  8. simonh82
    simonh82 ·

    I agree with the others, the photos are not bad and some of them are great. The bowling ones look excellent and I also like some of the outdoor shots too.

    When you are taking landscape shots in the evening you have a lot of contrast between the light sky and the darker land. On some of the shots you have exposed for the sky properly, but this leaves the foreground under exposed. On others you've exposed the foreground better, but the sky has blown highlights. It is tricky if not impossible to get this range of contrast in with slide film.

  9. buckshot
    buckshot ·

    @dearjme and @simonh82: Thanks for the compliments.. Very kind of you! ;-)

  10. jairyhunter
    jairyhunter ·

    +1 comments from unsoundmind. I believe it's 100 speed film which will produce less grain, more contrast, "punchier" colors, but you need bright daylight. That being said, the bowling alley shot is a nice surprise. You can usually have your negatives scanned at the time of developing and then most people I know photoshop pics for online posting from those high rez negatives. A bit of sacrilegious conflict to edit/photoshop film shots but a computer is as much a photographic tool these days as anything. Can only do so much with horribly underexposed shots anyway....

  11. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    @simonh82 Great comments, and thank you for your insight!

  12. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    @jairyhunter Yep, 100 speed. And I totally just wanted to try it out in lower light situations, just to see how the results would be -- and that's what I got. For the indoor bowling alley shots, I did longer exposures, and just tried out different exposure times ranging from 1 - 10 seconds.

    As a personal rule, I never photoshop my pics -- it's just a rule that forces me to be as honest as I can with myself and my photography. But then again, even the process of scanning does have a bit of color correction inherent in itself.

  13. nock
    nock ·

    also keep in mind that x-pro process does reduce light a little from the photos... this isn't very accurate in technical terms but basically it just means that you should overexpose by 1 stop most of the slides rolls you intend to develop on c41... that should help a little... and also check the film it self... Sometimes the roll was poorly stored and since its some years after the expiration date it usually messes with the photos too! keep shooting :) and nice photos ;)

  14. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    @nock I had no idea! But it seems to fit in what I've seen thus far. Thanks for the tip. :))

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