In Development: Adventures in Film, Volume 20

This roll of film was…interesting… I shot this roll shortly after purchasing/devouring FIND in a Box, a pretty solid guide to film photography. Jonathan Canlas, the author, really loves shooting Kodak Ektar…and he really loves pushing it a couple stops. I had shot some Ektar in the past with mixed results, but I had never tried pushing it. It was late summer at the time, and Omaha was sunny and vibrant, so I figured it’d be a good time to give Ektar +2 a shot.

I metered using my Mamiya’s internal meter set to ISO 400. In other words, I exposed as though the film was two stops faster than it actually is (it’s an ISO 100 film -> 100 * 2 * 2 = 400). I didn’t purposefully overexpose or underexpose the film and I treated it like I would a slide film. I had heard that Ektar was pretty finicky about exposure and that this was the best way to shoot it. I’ve since decided that it’s better to give Ektar another half-stop to a stop of exposure, since underexposure causes weird color shifts in the shadows.

I should have learned this lesson from getting this roll of film back from the lab, but I wasn’t sure if the weird results I got with this roll were due to underexposure, the lab’s scanning technicians (we all know how skeptical I am that they’re doing a good job…), the fact that I pushed a film that usually isn’t pushed (or that I sent it to a lab that doesn’t handle pushing this film well), or something else. I still think it’s a combination of underexposure and some other factors, because some of these shots were probably overexposed a stop or two and still came out with weird color shifts in the shadows.

This roll and another couple rolls I shot around the same time with Ektar pushed two stops really scared me off of Ektar. I really enjoyed some of the images, but the majority were duds. The inconsistency really bothered me. I haven’t shot any Ektar since, but I’m thinking of picking it up again and giving it a little more exposure. I’ll also probably go back to shooting it at box speed until I’m able to get consistent results before I try pushing it again. We’ll see what happens! 🙂

All photos were taken with my Mamiya 7II and Mamiya 80mm f4 on Kodak Ektar shot at ISO 400 and pushed two stops in development. They were developed and scanned by Richard Photo Labs, and I made color adjustments (mostly setting the red, green, and blue black points) to most of the images in Lightroom.

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