First Impressions: Kodak Ektar 100 Review

There are so many film stocks available to us today it can be hard to know where to start. Each one has its own unique look and plays a massive role in helping a photographer achieve the look they’re going for. How do you know which one to choose? Which one suits your style best? Which film is the right one for you? When I first started shooting film, I had no idea where to start. I grabbed the first film stock I saw on the shelf (Fuji Superia 400). One could certainly carry on and be perfectly content with their photography shooting these off-the-shelf consumer films. However, when the film bug bites, it makes us curious of what else might be out there.

This is the state that I found myself in when I began to look beyond the drugstore shelves, scrolling through the B&H film selection. There are so many to choose from it can be overwhelming. I’d like to share my thoughts on films that I have recently shot myself in hopes of helping someone make the decision as to which one to try next. Having 5 rolls of this film now under my belt, it seemed like a good place to start. So first up: Ektar..

What Is Ektar 100?

Ektar 100 is a saturated, fine grain, color negative film and is part of Kodak’s Professional line. It’s available in 35mm, 120, 4×5 and 8×10! While it’s certainly more expensive than your consumer grades such as Gold or Ultramax, it’s worth every penny. Kodak Ektar film goes back to 1989, and was re-introduced in 2008. It stands as a testiment to the quality Kodak has brought to the imaging world.

The Colors Of Ektar

Ektar is known for it’s beautiful, saturated colors, especially in the reds. It has some of the most beautiful colors I have ever got out of color film. They’re so rich and vibrant without looking fake. Being so saturated, it’s not exactly ideal for portraits unless you like your subject looking sunburnt or blushing.

If you’re scanning your negatives, don’t be afraid to adjust the saturation in post. Scanning softwares can tend to be a bit flat, gathering as much of the information out of the film as possible. Hearing all the hype, first time shooters maybe disappointed at first. Adjusting the saturation slider in post can just unleash those colors that are packed into this amazing emulsion.

Fine Grain

Theres no doubt that Ektar is some of the finest grain film in the world. It’s 100 ISO and rich colors help make the grain so smooth. Almost every shot I have taken on Ektar has turned out incredibly clear with only a little bit of grain showing up in the darker scenes. While I do love grit and grain in my photography, Ektar has such a beautiful character to it I can’t help but fall in love.


Ektar, in my experience, has been quite versatile. Due to it’s low ISO, people generally wait to shoot it on the brightest days when the sun is shining in it’s strength. While Ektar certainly performs beautifully in these conditions, it holds up very well as the light begins to go down. You can still achieve those deep rich scenes for the more moody side of photography. Don’t feel that you have to be out on the beach or in the middle of a supernova for this film to really work for you.

I have heard that Ektar can tend to get muddy if underexposed and can be difficult to shoot for this reason. Personally, in the 5 rolls I have shot, I have not had this issue. The colors have been spot on with a bit more umph that I like, giving incredibly vivid images. This could be due to realiable light meters in my cameras, or the scanning. Either way, Ektar has been performing beautifully for me in various lighting conditions.

Final Thoughts

So my final thoughts on this film is that it’s certainly one of the best quality films available to us today. It’s a film stock that I will always have on hand. It absolutely lives up to the name of Ektar, which goes back to 1936, for the quality and professional performance we would expect from Kodak.

My one negative to this film would be it’s low ISO. It really would be amazing to see this film in something like 400. Often I’ve had Ektar loaded in my camera and by evening, the light can just get too low for 100 ISO without a tripod. That said, every time I see the results I quickly forget any complaint I had. When I have a roll of Ektar to be developed, I’m so excited. I look forward to shooting more of this film in the future and getting to know it better.

2 thoughts on “First Impressions: Kodak Ektar 100 Review”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *