The Whole Roll – 12 Exposures with 30 year Expired Kodak Ektar 100

By Simon

June 2022 I was documenting the ceremony and spectacle of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II. Earlier, while allocating my kit, I had found a roll of Ektar 100, expired in the 1990’s. It was only a 12 exposure roll, so I didn’t have much incentive to use it for anything “general” but I realised I had a specific colour-centric application for the flyover that was scheduled as part of the days programming. I don’t usually work with colour, but have seen and missed flyovers in the past, and the colourful trails against the sky were something I wanted to be sure I had at least a snapshot record of.

12 exposures were easy to justify, they wouldn’t be in my camera for long and then I would be able to resume my work in BW – no commitment to colour for any longer than absolutely necessary.

I set my meter to EI80 – my experience of expired film is mostly that low-speeds don’t need much/any compensation. On top of that it was a bright day, and I was mostly framing against the sky. I was sure I would have enough light to properly expose the film. I was using my Leica M6 with a 35mm lens.

The negatives were a bit dark, but not too far off from my expectations for what a C41 film should look like. Aside from RGB clipping I haven’t edited these scans from what the scanner (Epson V500) gave me. RGB clipping is good for removing the base mask, and I’m happy with the results that workflow offered here. The photographs themselves are snapshots, but it was a fun few minutes, and that’s more joy than I usually allow myself while working!

If you’ve enjoyed this article/these images please consider following our collective, New Exit Group, for a rolling feed of our documentary photography.

 

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About The Author

By Simon
Simon is a documentary photographer. This means narrative projects, told via long form photo-essays, and publications. Follow him on Instagram for a rolling feed of his work: www.instagram.com/simonking_v. His personal blog can be found at: streetdances.wordpress.com
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Joseph Irvin on The Whole Roll – 12 Exposures with 30 year Expired Kodak Ektar 100

Comment posted: 11/04/2023

Held up better than I would've expected! I love that 3rd shot.
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Simon replied:

Comment posted: 11/04/2023

Thank you Joseph!

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Henri Toivonen on The Whole Roll – 12 Exposures with 30 year Expired Kodak Ektar 100

Comment posted: 10/04/2023

It is worth noting that this is a completely different film than the current Ektar 100 (which was introduced in 2008).
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Kodachromeguy replied:

Comment posted: 10/04/2023

Yes it is different. The current Ektar 100 is, in my opinion, a bit garish in bright sunshine. But I like it on rainy or foggy days, when the light is soft. Then it really brings out subtle colors and textures. I wish Kodak would reissue the old Gold 100 film.

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Kodachromeguy on The Whole Roll – 12 Exposures with 30 year Expired Kodak Ektar 100

Comment posted: 10/04/2023

Nice! I have experimented with expired Ektar 25 (an amazing film when fresh), but recent rolls had too many flaws. I'll never find a batch of refrigerated stock. Here are some examples of the120 size: https://worldofdecay.blogspot.com/2021/03/expired-film-treasure-120-size-kodak.html
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Khürt Williams on The Whole Roll – 12 Exposures with 30 year Expired Kodak Ektar 100

Comment posted: 10/04/2023

Excellent results!
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Ibraar Hussain on The Whole Roll – 12 Exposures with 30 year Expired Kodak Ektar 100

Comment posted: 09/04/2023

good job!! The film's held up well and really like the colour and texture. I can't scan negative film at all!! mine are always terrible and look at your results with an old film!! Nice one!
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