We had an amazing two weeks traveling around Asia, and captured it on eight rolls of 35mm film. This provided an opportunity to compare a few different film stocks side by side to see their unique colour and contrast traits.
The films used were Kodak Portra 400, Portra 160, Ektar 100, and Fuji Superia 400. All of the Kodak was processed by Caribou Lab in Toronto, and the Fuji at London Drugs in Calgary. Everything was shot using the Canon Elan 7e, mostly with the Canon 50mm f/1.8 and the 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens. The nifty fifty was very disappointing on this trip, missing focus about half the time. We've had better experiences with it in the past, but for a similar price the 40mm way out performs it.
After our first week in Seoul, we left the SLR in Korea and shot a few rolls on Fuji disposable cameras in Japan, and I love the results!
Impressions: Both the Kodak Portra 400 and 160 performed beautifully, as expected. They are designed for professionals, carry a slightly higher price and deliver excellent tones for every occasion. I find the 400 a little more versatile because that it can stay into the camera until evening. When there is a roll of 160 in there, I know it needs to be finished before the sun goes down.
The Ektar 100 was a fun novelty, but I won't be buying it again. It has so much contrast and saturation that it's better to avoid having any people in your photos, unless intense red skin tones are something you're after. Better left for landscapes.
The one roll of Fuji isn't really a fair comparison, since it was scanned at a different lab with less discerning taste in colours, and is a cheaper consumer film. It took a lot more editing in Lightroom than film should ever need, so I'll reserve judgment for now.
More photos to come from our second week in Korea in Part 2, stay tuned!