Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation Recipe: Kodak Ektar 100

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Dock Light – Flathead Lake, MT – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Ektar 100”

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.

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Peach Sun – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Ektar 100”

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.

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Boat in the Bay – Flathead Lake, MT – Fujifilm X100V – “Kodak Ektar 100”

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.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR-Auto
Highlight: +1
Shadow: -2
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: 0
Clarity: +3
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:

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Daisies by the Dock – Flathead Lake, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Henry’s Fork – Island Park, ID – Fujifilm X100V

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Johnny Sack Cabin – Island Park, ID – Fujifilm X100V

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North Shore of Island – Wild Horse Island State Park, MT – Fujifilm X100V

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Butters – Roy, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Mustang Evening – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Roofline Sky – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Finding Clues – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Golden Boy – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Rocket Launching – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Yellow Lady – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Light Too Bright – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Lawnmower Handle & Shadow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Air Pump – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Blossom Red – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Flower Garden Blossom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Bug Hiding on a Flower – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Rose Fence – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

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Marsh Reeds – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

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Film Simulation Review: Walk in the Park, Part 1: Kodak Ektar 100

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April Forest – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

Last week I went for a walk in a local park here in Utah. This park has trails that pass through forests. There’s a stream and a small lake. The snow-capped peaks are visible to the east. It’s a beautiful place, especially in the spring when the green is fresh and the flowers are blossomed. On this hike I brought along my Fujifilm X-T30 with a Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens attached to it, which is one of my absolute favorite lenses. It’s sharp, small, and plenty fast, plus it’s a versatile focal length. On the way up the trail I used my Kodak Ektar 100 film simulation recipe, which are the pictures that you see here in Part 1, and on the way back down I used my Portra 160 recipe, which you’ll find in Part 2.

Ektar is a color negative film made by Kodak. It’s known for vibrant colors, high contrast and fine grain. It’s the closest negative film to reversal film. In fact, when Kodak discontinued Ektachrome 100VS, they recommended Ektar 100 as the best alternative. It’s a great film for landscape photography, which is why I chose it for this walk in the park.

Ektar film, and especially this Ektar film simulation, can be difficult to use because of the contrast. With the film, there are things that can be done in development and/or printing to reduce the contrast if it’s too much. With these settings, one could use +2 Shadow instead of +3, which is what the recipe calls for, if they wanted less contrast. These pictures are straight-out-of-camera (with the exception of some minor cropping) with the  settings exactly as the recipe states.

My opinion is that my Ektar recipe is best suited for low-contrast landscapes, where a boost in contrast and vibrancy is needed. But it can do well in other situations, as well. I thought it served this photographic outing well, although it was borderline too contrasty for the scene. Ektar was a good choice for a walk in the park, but was it the best choice? How does it compare to Portra 160? We’ll take a look at that in Part 2.

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Sunlight Through The Leaves – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Old Log – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Forest Stream – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Stream & Yellow Flower – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Single Tree Blossom – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Green Tree, White Tree – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

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Blossoming Branches – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

Walk in the Park, Part 2: Portra 160
See also: Film Simulation Reviews