It’s the news that medium format film shooters have all been waiting for. Kodak has finally broken its silence regarding the release of Ektachrome 100 in 120 medium format.
Introduced in late 2018, Kodak Ektachrome 100 in 35mm is based on the Kodak Ektachrome E100G E6 slide film that was produced until 2012.
The famous Rochester-based film manufacturer has released an Instagram post to confirm that there will be a “coating trial” of the medium format version in “late July”.
The post states: “We know you’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of larger format Ektachrome E100 Films. We are diligently working on bringing them to market, with a wide coating trial of the 120 format film planned for late July!”
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We know you’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of larger format Ektachrome E100 Films. We are diligently working on bringing them to market, with a wide coating trial of the 120 format film planned for late July! Photo of Pei Ketron @pketron Photo by @jonblack___ #ektachrome #e100 #kodakprofessional #believeinfilm
It remains to be seen whether this will resemble the beta test program of last year which saw selected photographers in the community receive the 35mm version of the film early.
Beloved for their superior sharpness and tonality compared to 35mm film, professional film shooters often reach for medium format cameras like the tank-like Mamiya RB67 and Hasselblad 500 CM.
Ektachrome 100 has already shown itself to have vibrant colors and extremely low grain in the 35mm format. The 120 film will take this to the next level, enabling photographers to produce grainless reproductions in extremely large sizes, should they be required.
More importantly, the words of the update do nothing to dispell rumors that Kodak plans to release Ektachrome 100 in even larger formats at a later date.
This falls in line with the strategy they have adopted with reintroducing the film so far. Kodak mentioned that they would assess the interest in the 35mm film before considering other formats.
Presumably, the interest (and sales) of this stock was enough to invest further in the medium format release. If Kodak witnesses the same enthusiasm for the 120 film when it goes on sale at the end of 2019, a larger format rollout is a matter of when, not if.
About the author: Aaron Stennett is a photography enthusiast and freelance writer based in London, UK. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can connect with Stennett on Twitter and LinkedIn.