Kodak Ektachrome

A Re-Introduced Classic Film

3 min read by Kevan Wilkinson.
Published on . Updated on .
Los Alamos (top and bottom) and Solvang, California. Yashica T5 and Kodak Ektachrome E100.

Back in the day, when I shot the original Kodak Ektachrome, it felt special. It wasn’t an “everyday” stock; I took more time with my photography when it was loaded in the camera.

Other than the cost, its bold colors, sharpness, and fine grain placed it apart from other film. In my opinion, even amongst its peers, Ektachrome retains character, being less saturated and slightly more contrasty as compared to Fuji’s Velvia and Provia stocks.

Unfortunately, the film got discontinued in 2013.

Luckily, one day in October, 2018, I stopped by my local camera store and saw the blue and yellow Ektachrome E100 35mm film boxes in the film fridge.

I felt like a kid in a candy store, until I saw the handwritten sign that said “limit three rolls per customer.”

Quickly moving past it, I purchased the rolls. Soon after I took them on a weekend getaway to Santa Ynez, California — a small and picturesque town located about an hour north of Santa Barbara. I decided to use my Yashica T5 with the new film.

Los Alamos (top) and Santa Ynez, California. Yashica T5 and Kodak Ektachrome E100.

Instead of having unrealistic expectations or worrying about what to shoot (and what not to shoot) I had a fun taking random pictures of places and things that I thought were interesting and visually compelling.

I snapped photos with my Yashica in small towns in and around Santa Ynez, including Los Alamos, Solvang, and Santa Ynez.

When I picked up the film scans I was pleasantly surprised to see the familiar features of Ektachrome: vibrant colors, extremely fine grain, and neutral tones.

After shooting just three rolls it’s hard to say if the new Kodak Ektachrome film’s emulsion is completely faithful to the original, but it’s close enough to satisfy even the most discerning film photographer.