Architecture – Zuiko and Ektar

The combination of Zuiko lenses from Olympus with the sharpest color film available, Kodak Ektar 100, allows for some spectacular detail. Add to that a dedicated 35mm film scanner, the Plustek OpticFilm 7500i, and it’s a winner. This is some of the easiest film to scan, as I pretty much set everything to default and use Plustek’s profile for Ektar. Ektar is a little tricky to shoot, though. I’ve found the blues skew towards cyan if exposure is off. The dynamic range is less than other negative films, similar to slide film. This puts your exposure calculations in a quandary: overexpose a third stop like negative film? Underexpose a third like slide film? I’ve tried both, and I like to nail the exposure “right down Broadway,” as Reds’ broadcaster Jeff Brantley likes to say. Notice the blue paint in the graffiti shot, then notice the blue sky in the Masonic Temple shot. Those are right on, with the only color adjustment I made was to warm up the whites a little. The only other color issue I’ve seen is reds. I haven’t put my finger on what it is exactly. In the “Dining Under a Brick Window” shot, I had to shift the reds a little to show the distinction between the new and old bricks. I also had to play a little with the yellow brick wall in the “Slave Quarters” shot. I think that was mostly because it was in the shade, though. The long and short of it is, if you’re after superb sharpness with slide-film-like pop, Ektar is a good choice. But try shooting it carefully exposed at first until you learn it’s color quirks.

1) “Cat Man Do” Manchester Street, Lexington, KY
2) “Frankfort Masons” Frankfort, KY
3) “Dining Under a Brick Window” Frankfort, KY
4) “Slave Quarters” Henry Clay Estate, Lexington, KY

Olympus OM-4, Zuiko lenses, Kodak Ektar 100

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