Kodak Ektar Review In Phuket

While planning a holiday one of the main decisions is always what camera equipment to take. Take absolutely everything and wreck your neck, blow your carry on allowance and annoy your wife or take the sensible but often overlooked route and only take what will still let you have a fun holiday and get some great shots at the same time. I’d just purchased a Sony RX100 (1st version) for my digital compact and was keen to give this a good test while in Phuket and would also be taking my trusty Canon AE1 with my current favourite lens, the FD 35mm f2.8 which for me is perfect for travel. I’d had some film in my camera cupboard for a while (including some Kodak Ektar) and hadn’t used them due to it being winter and the films being iso 100 which meant they didn’t really suit the dark wintery weather, however the bright tropical weather in Phuket would be perfect!
The two films I took were Fujifilm Superia 100 (review coming soon) and Kodak Ektar, known for its vivid colours and ultra fine grain. The FD 35mm is a very sharp lens so I was really excited to see how they’d go together and wasn’t disappointed. I exposed all these shots at the box speed of 100 and have found that the AE1 is usually pretty spot on with exposure, sometimes giving it a little bit of overexposure which has always given a really pleasant result anyway. Bright lighting and vivid colours are exactly what Ektar is made for and the way these were captured was for me pretty spot on as it really brought out the beauty and vivid nature of the colours present in a tropical environment. I also was able to take a couple of wave shots at the AE1’s maximum shutter speed of 1/1000 sec and was really happy with the crisp way the water droplets were captured and how the varying tones within the water were handled. Although being a 35mm lens meant that it was only a matter of time before I ended up getting pretty soaked while making sure I got the shots I wanted – but ah the pleasures of warm tropical water that dries in no time at all!
I also loved the way that Ektar captured the images in a somewhat timeless looking palette that in a way reminded me of my Dad’s old Kodak holiday slides, meaning that it’s good to see the ‘Kodak look’ is still around after all these years. All in all, this is the roll of film that has really made me love Ektar as a holiday film for warm sunny weather and it’s by far and away my first choice for the next time we go anywhere with similar conditions.

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