I am not one plagued by Gear Aquisition Syndrome (aka G.A.S.) per se since I have some solid cameras in my arsenal that I am happy with. What I have been in search of is the ideal film stock that I would feel nothing but joy while shooting it. While in search for this film stock, I have gone from the commercial grade to the professional grade, jumped from brand to brand, and tested different film speeds as well. Being an amateur photographer and relatively new to the game helped since I had no prejudice or “loyalty” so to speak to any film in particular. It was just a matter of trial and error.
After several months of going through so many rolls of film, I think I have found my ideal dream film stock in…..drumroll, please…KODAK EKTAR 100! To seriously test most of the film stocks I use my most reliable camera, the Nikon F3. This camera is the “extension of my eye” stereotype. I know what will come out of this camera in terms of the framing and the scene. The film stock is all that is changing my photos with different color renditions and grain. With all this in my bag, I took off to shoot!
For the location, I wanted to pick a place with a wide variety of lighting and color. I had heard that Ektar had a good amount of saturation and retained colors really well. I also wanted to photograph a place that was familiar to me as well as unfamiliar. By this, I mean a location that I had never fully explored.
With all this in mind, I decided to venture around California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), the university I spent 4 *cough 5 cough* years of my life. CSUF has several buildings on campus with most being built at different times in the college’s history. No two buildings really look alike. On the contrary, each building truly has its own unique features and character.
Like most college students, I liked to stay in mostly one area on campus and hadn’t gone around campus too much. It has been about 4 years since I was on campus for an extended amount of time. Going around campus with my camera felt almost like being there for the first time all over again.
Softer Side of Ektar
I can’t say enough about this film stock. It had the right amount of saturation to bring out the sky and plants. But it also rendered neutral colors of statues and walls well in all my photos. I love the grain in my black and white photos but not so much in color. This film stock has such a fine grain that it looks almost 3D to me. It honestly reminds me of slide film with how the color renders.
Being in California where the sun shines more often than not, a 100-speed film is ideal for most situations. Flowers, art and so many colors are all around me. Ektar 100 is my ideal film stock for my future special moments. Maybe not my everyday film due to the price but I will definitely be keeping at least one roll in my bag from now on.
Thanks for reading this article. Please leave any comments, questions or random bursts of excitement in the comment section and I will talk to you all again soon!
The Drive-By Film Shooter