I already have a Kodak Ektar film simulation recipe that I published a little over two years ago, but I’ve been wanting to revisit it for awhile. In the article that I published for that recipe, I wrote, “I’m actually a little hesitant to call this film simulation recipe Kodak Ektar 100 because it’s not quite right. It’s close, but a little off. The color palette is slightly askew.” That’s a true statement. My original Ektar recipe is close but no cigar. Since that time Fujifilm has added more JPEG options to their cameras, so would it be possible to get closer to real Ektar on my X100V?
Kodak introduced Ektar in 1989. It has been made in ISO 25, 100, 125, 400 and 1000 versions at one time or another. Kodak discontinued Ektar in 1997, but they brought it back in 2008 with an updated emulsion. I’ve shot the old Ektar but never the new Ektar. It’s my understanding that they’re similar but not exactly the same.
This new film simulation recipe will be controversial. To achieve a more correct color palette, this recipe is based off of Classic Chrome instead of Astia. The reason that I used Astia in the original recipe is because “Classic Chrome isn’t vibrant enough, even with Color set to +4.” That’s still true, although Color Chrome Effect does help a little. Honestly, if +6 was an option, that’s what I’d set Color to. Unfortunately that’s not an option, so we have a slightly undersaturated recipe. Another issue is that Ektar can have several different looks, depending on how it’s shot, developed, and printed or scanned, just like any film; however, with Ektar, even a 1/3 stop over or under exposure can noticeably effect the aesthetics of the picture.
Fuji X Weekly reader Thomas Schwab helped me immensely with this recipe. He’s had a hand in several recipes, and even created one from scratch that’s quite popular: Urban Vintage Chrome. Thomas captured a bunch of pictures with actual Ektar film, and made several similar exposures with his X-Trans IV cameras. He showed me examples of both, applying my original Ektar recipe to the pictures captured with his Fujifilm cameras. Then we began to create a new Kodak Ektar 100 film simulation recipe based on his Ektar pictures, hoping to achieve something closer to the film than the original recipe.
We discovered very quickly that Ektar is impossible to faithfully recreate on Fujifilm cameras, because only Classic Chrome has the correct color palette, and it’s not vibrant enough. We tried Astia, Provia, Velvia, and PRO Neg. Hi, and of those Astia was the closest, but none of them were right. We settled on Classic Chrome despite it not being vibrant enough. We went back-and-forth on different settings, but especially the white balance. There were several times that we said, “This is it,” only to modify something the next day.
A problem we encountered is that Ektar can have several different looks, even from the same roll of film. There was a discussion about creating as many as three different recipes, depending on the exact aesthetic we wanted to recreate, but decided to go with just one recipe, modeled after our favorite pictures from Thomas’ Ektar film. After even more back-and-forth we finished with this recipe here. We feel confident that it is as close as we could get to actual Ektar film, acknowledging that it’s very close but not exactly right.
The original Ektar recipe isn’t an exact match to the film, and I believe that this new recipe is closer. The two recipes each produce a different look, and perhaps they both have a place, depending on what exact aesthetic you are after. This new recipe was a collaborative effort, and I want to give a special “thank you” to Thomas Schwab for all of the time and effort he put into making this a reality. It’s much appreciated!
This Kodak Ektar 100 film simulation recipe is intended for and only compatible with (as of this writing) the Fujifilm X100V, X-Pro3 and X-T4. It uses Clarity, which slows down the camera considerably. I just allow the pause to slow myself down. Another option, which is what Fujifilm recommends, is to add Clarity later by reprocessing the RAW file in-camera or with X RAW Studio.
Dynamic Range: DR-Auto
Noise Reduction: -4
Grain Effect: Off
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect Blue: Weak
White Balance: 6050K, +3 Red & 0 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: 0 to +2/3 (typically)
Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this new Kodak Ektar 100 film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X100V:
See also: Film Simulation Recipes
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