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Ektachrome is Back. A comparison of Ektachrome vs. FujiFilm slide film

There are 3 types of film: black & white, color negative, and slide film. While slide film (also known as transparency film, color reversal film, or E-6 film) is not nearly as popular as B&W and color negative, it doesn’t mean it’s not a great film. At one point it was the go-to film for professional color photographers.  It has an incredibly fine grain, amazing color, and—since it’s not a negative—it can be projected. In fact, slide projectors are the reason for the name “slide” film.

These days it can be difficult to find labs that process slide film, let alone labs that process it in-house. Here at The Darkroom, it’s one of our specialties! We have been dip & dunk processing E-6 slide film in-house for over 25 years.

The recent re-release of Kodak Ektachrome 100 has sparked a growing buzz around slide film. But Ektachrome isn’t the only professional grade E-6 slide stock around—there are many others! FujiFilm, for one, never stopped producing slide film and currently sells three different types: Velvia 50, Velvia 100, and Provia 100f. With that in mind, we thought it would be a great time to compare some of the great E-6 options available today.

Of the 4 professional grade slide film stocks, we have 3 favorites for different reasons and for different applications.  Kodak Ektachrome 100 and FujiFilm Provia 100f produce similar results and both very versatile slide film stocks.  They have great color, fine grain, and the only significant difference we say is that Provia 100f has slightly better exposure latitude.  They are good for portraiture, landscapes, and all-around daytime shooting.

The other two options are Velvia 50 & 100.  Which are both great but of the two, Velvia 50 is our favorite – it has an amazing color, super fine grain, and much better tonal transitions and exposure latitude than Velvia 100 which means to does better in contrasty light.  If you’re looking for the vibrant saturated color we recommend Velvia 100 which is known for its poppy color and higher contrast.


Below are examples of each film and some comparisons. 

Ektachrome 100

FujiFilm Provia 100f

FujiFilm Velvia 50

FujiFilm Velvia 100

Overall, each of these slide film stock has their place – it all depends on what you prefer, your subject, and the light you’re shooting in.  Keep on mind that all the FujiFilm stock are not only made in 35mm but 120 and 4×5 as well while Ektachrome is only made in 35mm. 

9 replies on “Ektachrome is Back. A comparison of Ektachrome vs. FujiFilm slide film”

My favorite slide films when I was younger and pretty much only shot slide film, was Agfa and then Ektachrome. I was a late comer to Fujifilm slide film, but really like the Velvia films, especially the V50. I’m hoping Kodak brings the Ektachrome back into the medium and large formats, so when I’m using my Kodak Duoflex III I can enjoy excellent color rendition.

I miss Kodachrome!
I recently shot some decades-old Kodak Elite Chrome, overexposed two stops, and cross-processed; the results were FABULOUS!
Give this a try if you ever get the opportunity.

I recently shot Fuji Provia 100 and Ektachrome 100 at the same event. Both are great films but I found the color on the Ektachrome to be subjectively slightly more pleasing. This was especially true with flesh tones. Ektachrome color is vibrant without appearing artificial or overcooked. Considering that that Ektachrome costs significantly less, I am switching to this film. I will now use Ektachrome along with Fuji Velvia (mostly the 50) if I need the extra saturation.

I just retired and am finally arching my Ektachrome 120 and Kodachrome images from when I was in the Air Force from ‘75-79. I shot the 120 with a Pentax 6X7 and a Yashica TLR. The Kodachrome with a Nikon. I was stationed in California for a little over a year and then Germany for 2-1/2 years. I was all over Europe and the Middle East. It just took me 3 weeks to sort through and semi-catalog each image. Even after discarding 40-50% of the images, I ended up with 800 of the 6×7, 100 of the 6X6, and 300 of the Kodachrome. Of those, I would say about half of each are ones that I am really happy with and worthy of display.
I say all of this to talk about how they look now. Not just the Kodachrome, but the Ektachrome lookS like they have lost nothing. I was wise, I sent most of them back to Rochester, I really trusted no one else. I could send them off to Kodak from Germany, and get them back in 2 weeks. Maybe they put us GI’s at the front of the line.
I can’t print 500+ transparencies and display them. I’ll pick a dozen or so and do that, but I want to be able to look at them on a regular basis. I decided to buy a Canon 9000F Mark II scanner to get them archived and also to display them. I am glad I waited 45 years, now the software is well beyond what it was in the 80’s. I would say lucky that they have not deteriorated for 45 years, but I rarely looked at them and kept Then in a dark place and indoors at room temp. But the Kodak quality in both the film and processing is the main reason they look so good.
I am sure Fuji film is terrific, but I encourage photographers to use American film. If you are scanning to use as digital, then you are going to use Photoshop to perfect it anyway. I decided the only way I could get full use of 500 images was to display them on a large (55”) TV. The Images of Ektachrome 120 looks terrific. I just bought SilverFast Ai Studio/HDR and have a big project ahead of me the rest of the year during Covid.
No, I am not an ex-Kodak employee or a stock holder. I am not just an American rooting for the USA, but have also seen the quality of 45+ year-old transparencies. For some reason, I shot a few Agfa rolls, they look awful now. My Dad left me a Hasselblad 1000F and a Graphlex 4X5. As soon as it gets safer, I will travel and visit many of the National Parks that i have never seen. Hard to believe I have never seen Yosemite, but I look forward to it with the resurgence of film. It will help develop my patience and be rewarding when I learn how to operate the 4X5 camera.

Buy American

Let’s help Kodak have another 20+% growth in 2021. Who knows, a few more years like this, and they will bring back Kodachrome!

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