Ektar film seems to be all the rage these days. Every time I hear someone mention the name (or see it typed) I automatically think it’s a misspelling or mispronunciation of inspirational teacher Eckhart Tolle. Then I realize they are talking about Kodak’s new 35mm color negative film, the film claiming to be so fine grain and producing such vivid colors that you’ve gotta see it yourself. Once and for all, I decided I wanted to stop confusing this film with my favorite self-help guru and gain some personal experience with it. I ordered 3 rolls online.
At Jacksonville’s Chinese New Year celebration, I decided this would be the perfect time to try it out. It was the perfect day: lots of action and people, colorful decorations, bright & sunny weather, and I had my then empty Canon AE-1 on me; everything was exact for trying out this new stuff, except for the fact that I loaded the film so quickly out of excitement that I forgot to lower the ASA setting from 400 down to 100. I realized this AFTER I’d gone through the roll and was rewinding it. I was sooo nervous that I’d just wasted my first roll of Ektar, causing all my shots to be underexposed and possibly too dark all together. Even combined with my forgetfulness, however, this film did not disappoint. My festival shots expressed a pleasing color, nice grain, and overall pop that I don’t always notice in other color negative films. They weren’t what I expected, but all things considered I think the film handled my mistake quite well!
My next 2 rolls were definitely ran with the correct ASA setting, and what a perfect way to build up the anticipation for what this film can really do. Another roll through my Canon (these photos are the bulk of my cat shots in this review gallery, excluding only 3) as well as a roll through my LCA+ thinking ahead to my next diary album. My cat’s orange fur glowed with bright beauty even with only indoor lighting in our kitchen, which doesn’t get much outdoor light as it is! The complete lack of grain in some of the close up shots of Boots was really impressive. Then there’s Maika, our new black cat who is actually more of a “smoke” cat with this beautiful black-on-top-of-white fur. He tends to look just plain ol’ black but with this film more of his smoky good looks are visible (as well as his funny expressions). My LCA+ diary roll was my most exciting one yet! The Springtime weather here in Oregon has been winning the battle over Winter, but unfortunately during the days I was using this film, it was on vacation elsewhere. Even still, we had some gorgeous, smooth and vibrant shots taken outside during our various activities. This film captured the rainbow of colors in the sushi dinner my boyfriend made us one night, and it gave us some great doubles despite the obvious gloomy weather that was present the day we took them.
At this point in my Lomographic career, I’ve tried quite a big selection of films. There are certain ones I find myself going back to, and others I can more easily part with. I am already prepping my wallet for my next purchase of Ektar film. Not only is it a great everyday film to have on hand, but it makes those everyday situations extraordinary. Don’t be surprised if a good portion of the rest of my diary is shot with this film. In ending this review, I am reminded of the wise words of Eckhart Tolle: “Whenever you are present, you become ‘transparent’ to some extent to the light, the pure consciousness that emanates from [the] Source.” With Ektar film, it has never been so easy to let the light come through you and be here, now.