I need a steady diet of new gear to fuel my photographic creativity, and so it was with the eagerness of a soon-to-be parent that I looked forward to Ektachrome's rebirth. Kodak (or whatever shards of that corporation have survived) mercilessly teased photographers for years with the idea of Ektachrome's return. When the film because reality, and I was able to place a pre-order on B&H, it was with tears of joy in my eyes.

Ektachrome's back, baby

For my totally informal test, I ran five rolls of film through a Canon EOS 3 and Minolta XD5 (both with automatic meters), just taking photos as I regularly do. I want to see how this film behaves au naturel.

Shooting into direct sunlight

How this film behaves

The colors coming through the E100 are bright, intense, true, and beautiful. The colors do not have the otherworldly vividness of Velvia, or the zany intensity of Ektar, but instead feel naturally bright.

In subdued sunlight

In bright sunlight, strong colors do present themselves. But in subdued light, the interplay of colors is wonderful. Even in a heavy overcast, the muted colors of a gray day still pull themselves together in these images.

Long exposure light streaks out an airplane window at night

True to the box, the colors do not lean towards any particular warm or cool (or purple) tones, but are neutrally neutral. This means that if the colors in your shot suck, the Ektachrome E100 won't save them for you. You, the photographer, must watch your colors with this film, because they will shine true.

These bushes are very red

Grain and Range

The dynamic range (how much difference in brightness there can be between highlights and shadows before the image goes pure white or pure black) is as expected for a slide film, but seems slightly more forgiving than Provia 100F. The film's grain is very fine, and very nice in texture. The grain will not be a concern here for anyone (unless you're looking for a lot of it).

Close-up of a frame so you can see the grain

Final Thoughts

Kodak didn't screw this film up – it's a real Ektachrome film in 2019. Yes, it's the everyman version of the film, but as first step towards film's return as a hobbyist niche item, this is exactly what we needed. Go forth and shoot this film free of worries, for Ektachrome truly is back.

And now, more photos