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Thread: I've been shooting ektapan in my 5X7

  1. #1

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    I've been shooting ektapan in my 5X7

    Hi there;

    I've been running some outdated ektapan through my 5X7 and I REALLY like this film...once I run out any suggestions for a "modern" film that will yield somewhat the same results. I am quite new to film photography...I've run TMax 100&400 and some chinese film through my 4X5...outside that I have no experience with other sheet films.

    Joel

  2. #2
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    Re: I've been shooting ektapan in my 5X7

    What is the look of (outdated) Ektapan ? What developer ?

    (It's never film alone: it's always film + developer)

  3. #3

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    Re: I've been shooting ektapan in my 5X7

    When I learned Ektapan would go out of production I began testing every film I could get my hands on. I have not found one that comes close in smoothness of the curve, especially in the middle tones. Skin tones were recorded in a very special manner. I miss it and have found no replacement which pleases me. I now use Acros or FP4+ in Pyrocat.

  4. #4
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    Re: I've been shooting ektapan in my 5X7

    Was it a re-badged version of Plus-X ?

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    Re: I've been shooting ektapan in my 5X7

    JIm,

    What do you mean by, "..smoothness of the curve, especially in the middle tones. Skin tones were recorded in a very special manner...."?

    I never used Ektapan, and I wonder how it was unique/ different from other films of the same type? Was it a dual layer film, like Verichrome Pan?

  6. #6
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    Re: I've been shooting ektapan in my 5X7

    The only special quality I can see mentioned in the Kodak data sheet is that Ektapan had a retouching surface on both the base and emulsion sides.

    If it rendered skin tones nicely, then perhaps it had an unusual spectral response - but that doesn't appear on the data sheet.

    I'm no expert, but Ektapan's characteristic curves (response to light) and contrast-index curves (response to development time) seem rather typical.

  7. #7

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    Re: I've been shooting ektapan in my 5X7

    Published curves don't show you everything. Ektapan was designed to be a b/w version of VPS color neg film, so studio portraitists wouldn't have to change lighting or exposure. The portrait studio where I once worked c.1980 used it in 70mm long rolls, but my assignments never called for b/w film. I tested EKP around 10-12 years ago, when it was still being made, as a general-purpose outdoor film. Developed in PMK, I found it to be slow (EI 40), fine-grained, and very contrasty. Jim Noel's comments about skin tones makes sense- in a short-scale lighting environment it would record skin tones well, as it was designed to. I didn't care for it in my own work, since I prefer a longer tonal scale, but I wish it was still available.

  8. #8

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    Re: I've been shooting ektapan in my 5X7

    Thanks, Mark.

  9. #9

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    Re: I've been shooting ektapan in my 5X7

    Hi there...I should have given more information...My ektapan expired in 2001...I develop it in D-76 in a unicolor drum on a motorized base....I run 3 ounces of mixed D-76 with 6 ounces of water for 10 minutes at 70 degrees (2 sheets of 5X7 or 4 sheets 4X5) then discard the D-76....as I wrote before I am very new to film and film developing...while I like the TMAX products there is just a very real visual smoothness to the ektapan that the TMAX does not have (I'm also running the TMAX through D-76)...it's like I shoot my 5X7 believing that I'm going to get a good image and with the TMAX in the 4X5 I believe that I am capable of getting a good image...if that makes sense. I'll attach a couple of scans of the Ektapan to try and express visually what I am trying to describe ... remember, I'm new at this, not expecting perfection, but I sure like what i see with Ektapan.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails web orange blossom.jpg   web roots Big Chico Creek.jpg  

  10. #10
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    Re: I've been shooting ektapan in my 5X7

    Quote Originally Posted by joelc_64 View Post
    I'll attach a couple of scans of the Ektapan to try and express visually what I am trying to describe ... remember, I'm new at this, not expecting perfection, but I sure like what i see with Ektapan.
    It's much easier to judge the merits of a film/developer combination when we can compare a series of photos of the same scene: same subject, same lighting, same lens, etc. Otherwise, we end up with what some might call "andecdotal" evidence.

    Most films are so good these days, that when a subject is beautiful enough, then almost any film - properly exposed, developed, scanned etc - will reward us with a beautiful image.

    This is even more probable when we shoot with Large Format film: the medium itself produces images of such tremendous clarity and smoothness, that with the right subject, all we need to do is get out of the way, so to speak.

    You might find this short article interesting: Testing Black and White Film.

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