The Whole Roll – 12 Exposures with 30 year Expired Kodak Ektar 100
June 2022 I was documenting the ceremony and spectacle of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II. Earlier, while allocating my kit, I had found a roll of Ektar 100, expired in the 1990’s. It was only a 12 exposure roll, so I didn’t have much incentive to use it for anything “general” but I realised I had a specific colour-centric application for the flyover that was scheduled as part of the days programming. I don’t usually work with colour, but have seen and missed flyovers in the past, and the colourful trails against the sky were something I wanted to be sure I had at least a snapshot record of.
12 exposures were easy to justify, they wouldn’t be in my camera for long and then I would be able to resume my work in BW – no commitment to colour for any longer than absolutely necessary.
I set my meter to EI80 – my experience of expired film is mostly that low-speeds don’t need much/any compensation. On top of that it was a bright day, and I was mostly framing against the sky. I was sure I would have enough light to properly expose the film. I was using my Leica M6 with a 35mm lens.
The negatives were a bit dark, but not too far off from my expectations for what a C41 film should look like. Aside from RGB clipping I haven’t edited these scans from what the scanner (Epson V500) gave me. RGB clipping is good for removing the base mask, and I’m happy with the results that workflow offered here. The photographs themselves are snapshots, but it was a fun few minutes, and that’s more joy than I usually allow myself while working!
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