Dear WorldofDecay readers, I am a dreamer. I keep hoping I will be able to buy some Kodak Ektar 25
(or Royal Gold 25 – the same emulsion) which has been frozen all these years and will respond perfectly, as if it was fresh. In previous posts, you have seen examples of 120-size Ektar 25. but I concluded that it was too late and was time to move on. Ha, I can’t keep my own advice. A seller on eBay claimed that three rolls of 135 Ektar 25 had been stored frozen in an old photography studio. The price was reasonable, so I bought them.
|Expired Ektar 25 film - was it really stored frozen all these years?|
The Flood of 2019 - More Examples
As of spring and early summer of 2019, much of west central Mississippi was inundated by Mississippi River floodwaters and local runoff, making for plenty of interesting photographic subjects. I have posted photographs before, but here are some examples that I took with our 1971-vintage Pentax Spotmatic Camera. My wife bought it new in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
|Inundated houses off US 61 near Floweree Road,Redwood, Mississippi (135mm Super Multi Coated Takumar, tripod-mounted). Click any picture to enlarge to 1600 pixels wide.|
|Farm road, US 61 near Floweree Road|
|Tar paper shack, US 61 near Floweree Road, Redwood, Mississippi (55mm Super-Takumar). This is in the area that would be drained by the Steele Bayou pumps if they are ever installed.|
|Dead dogs, US 61 near Floweree Road. 55mm ƒ/1.8 Super-Takumar lens|
|Trump sign, US 61, Vicksburg, Mississippi (135mm, tripod-mounted). The pumps refer to massive units that Congress authorized in 1941 to be installed near the Steele Bayou flood gates to pump water out of the lower Delta and into the Yazoo River. These would be some of the largest pumps on earth and would now cost over $300 million. The US Army Corps of Engineers, farmers, and environmentalists have been arguing over the pumps for 75 years.|
|Big River Shipbuilders, 404 Port Terminal Cir,. Vicksburg (35mm Super-Takumar)|
This first roll of expired 135 Ektar 25 surprised me:
some of the frames are superb, like the poster of Trump Finish the Pumps.
On many frames, the colors are definitely off. Blue was not recording correctly, and many scenes were too green. However, that is not completely unexpected because here in summer, there is so much forest and wetland, the green light bounces back down from the humid summer sky. I noted this many years ago when I started a roll of Kodachrome in Greece and finished it in Mississippi. The Greek scenes were quintessential blue and glowing with light; the Mississippi scenes were green and muted – same roll of film, same Leica and lenses. Regardless, I was able to partly correct most frames with the auto color correction function in Photoshop CS3.
I scanned this Ektar 25 with a Plustek 7600i scanner controlled by Silverfast Ai software. The Ai does not have an Ektar 25 profile. The closest appears to be the Ektar 100 profile (the modern emulsion), so this may account for some of the color issues. But I am sure the Ektar 25 is just too old now. I corrected the color on some frames by using the neutral grey dropper on pavement, concrete, or metal roofing, but afterwards, I needed Photoshop CS3 for further correction.
I also experienced some camera movement, so I am not being quite stable enough when hand-holding. And I slightly mis-focussed the 35mm Super-Takumar several times. The old Spotmatic has a rather grainy finder screen. I have had excellent results from this 35mm lens before
, so my copy is not damaged.
This Ektar 25 seemed to be coarser grain than I remember. Possibly something happens to the emulsion when it is old, but I am not sure. Maybe I am romantically remembering how fine-grain it was in the old days.
All in all, it was a fun experiment, but realistically I should concentrate my efforts on contemporary films, such as Ektar 100. This old Ektar 25 seemed lower contrast than when it was new, so I may try another roll in an environment with bright hard sun (such as my upcoming trip to the US southwest - Route 66, here I come again).
This is Abandoned Films 02f (the 02 series pertains to Ektar 25).