When Kodak discontinued its famed Ektachrome film back in 2013, it was similar to finding out that one of your favorite stores or restaurants closed. You start to miss it, and are then forced to look a viable alternative. I will admit that Ektachrome wasn’t my go-to film stock, but it was easily one of my all-time favorites. So, when I read that Kodak was going to bring it back, I was cautiously optimistic. Was the manufacturing process going to be the same? Would it produce the same results as those in years past?
One day while visiting my local camera store, I saw the vibrant blue and yellow Ektachrome E100 35mm film boxes in the large film stock refrigerator. I was like a kid in a candy store, until I saw the handwritten sign that said “limit three rolls per customer.” That said, I purchased three rolls and took them on a weekend getaway to Santa Ynez, California, which is a small and picturesque town located about an hour north of Santa Barbara. I decided to use my Yashica T5 with my three rolls of new Kodachrome E100.
Instead of having unrealistic expectations regarding the results, or worrying about what to shoot (and what not to shoot), I just had a fun time and took random pictures of places and things that I thought were interesting and visually compelling. I snapped pictures with my Yashica T5 in small towns in and around Santa Ynez, including Los Alamos and Solvang.
When I picked up the film scans from the photography lab I use, I was pleasantly surprised to see all of the key attributes of Kodak Ektachrome film: vibrant colors, extremely fine grain, and neutral tones. After shooting just three rolls with my Yashica T5, 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 the most discerning film photographer.
Two of my go-to film stocks of choice are CineStill 800T and CineStill 50D. I used both of these often, and am really pleased with the results. Here is a comprehensive review of both films, along with sample images of each.