UPDATE: Added a quote from a post by Tobias Mann.
A few weeks ago, Bhavna and I took a day off from work in the middle of the week and spent a day down the shore at Avalon Beach. We had a wonderful time. I had just purchased a gently used Minolta camera kit from an elderly couple in Lambertville who were downsizing. The kit included Minolta X-700 35mm film camera, an MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 lens, and two speedlights. Along with my Fuji X-T2, I brought the Minolta and a few rolls of colour film.
Bhavana wanted to go for a walk along the beach so I grabbed my Fuji X-T2. I was using Ritchie Roesch’s Kodak Portra 160 film Simulation recipe on the X-T2. I had a roll each of Kodak Professional Portra 160 Colour Negative Film (35mm Roll Film, 36 Exposures) and Kodak Ektachrome E100 35mm Colour Reversal Film in my bag. I thought it might be fun to shoot a roll and compare the images. I grabbed the X-700 and loaded the Kodak Ektachrome 100.
After two weeks of waiting, the film has finally been developed and scanned by The Darkroom.
I have no experience with Kodak Ektachrome E100. If I remember correctly, I had my aperture at f/8 for all of the captures, same as on the Fuji X-T2, and shot in aperture-priority mode, letting the Minolta choose the shutter speed. I may have been so excited that I ignored my camera settings. Looking at the EXIF data from the Fuji X-T2 images, I see that I had set the X-T2 to f/8 at ISO 200 and the majority of the digital photos were captured at 1/1000 sec or faster. The Minolta X-700 has a maximum shutter speed of 1/1000 sec. I had exceeded the limits of the Minolta X-700, and the frames should be overexposed. However, they appear underexposed. I’m not sure why the frames appear this dark. I admit my ignorance in this regard. Shooting film is humbling. I think I know what I’m doing, but there is still much to relearn.
I also didn’t expect this much grain. I am not a fan of grain in colour photography. Grain can give a B&W film image an edgy “end of the world look” or add intensity to photograph captured on a miserable wet wintry scene. But grain in colour images feels offensive. I’m not too fond of it.
I admit I am disappointed. The scenes looked sharp and vibrant in the viewfinder on the Minolta, but the scanned negatives appear dull. I could blame my tool, but that’s not how my mind works. This fail is all on me. But now I know that I need to be aware of ISO and aperture limits and perhaps use the Sunny 16 rule to gut-check what the camera is telling me.
One of the biggest challenges associated with shooting Ektachrome is its limited dynamic range. Like most slide films, Ektachrome is prone to under and overexposure. There is not a terrific degree of dynamic range to play with, so nailing your exposure the first time is critical.
I enthusiastically enjoyed shooting the Minolta X-700, and I am anxious for another opportunity to return to the beach and try again. But maybe with a cheaper roll of film.
If you shoot film and Fuji X-T2, you may want to check out Ritchie’s film simulation recipes. He has an excellent Kodak Ektachrome 100SW Film Simulation Recipe.
Anyway, here are the best of the images. If you can to compare film versus digital simulation, some of the subjects are nearly identical to the SOOC photographs from the Fuji X-T2. The only adjustment made to these scans is for horizontal correction. I have a tilt.