Ideal conditions portra 400

Started 2 months ago | Discussions
brandon77 Regular Member • Posts: 253
Ideal conditions portra 400

I have been testing out portra film recently, to find conditions where it looks best. I’ve found that shooting in sun versus shade gives quite different results to the overall pop to the photo

The 2 photos up top vs 2 below.

It will be great to get any opinions on when you like to use this film most, or even examples of. Obviously scanning plays a part

Gregm61 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,804
Re: Ideal conditions portra 400

“Ideal” for any film would be sunshine with little to no shadows...

absent that, any lighting so long as you expose for the deepest shadow detail you want revealed is the thing to do, and some films have a higher highlights shoulder than others.

Fortunately Portra 400 is one of the better ones. Waiting for “ideal” is just asking to be disappointed most of the time.

-- hide signature --

"There's shadows in life, baby.." Jack Horner- Boogie Nights

 Gregm61's gear list:Gregm61's gear list
Leica M (Typ 262) Leica CL Leica Super-Elmar-M 18mm f/3.8 ASPH Leica Elmar-M 24mm f/3.8 ASPH Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH +12 more
OP brandon77 Regular Member • Posts: 253
Re: Ideal conditions portra 400

Gregm61 wrote:

“Ideal” for any film would be sunshine with little to no shadows...

absent that, any lighting so long as you expose for the deepest shadow detail you want revealed is the thing to do, and some films have a higher highlights shoulder than others.

Fortunately Portra 400 is one of the better ones. Waiting for “ideal” is just asking to be disappointed most of the time.

True. I guess more so, conditions where it shines more than not. I feel like in my example shots of shade, I didn’t like the results as much

-- hide signature --

"There's shadows in life, baby.." Jack Horner- Boogie Nights

Gregm61 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,804
Re: Ideal conditions portra 400

brandon77 wrote:

Gregm61 wrote:

“Ideal” for any film would be sunshine with little to no shadows...

absent that, any lighting so long as you expose for the deepest shadow detail you want revealed is the thing to do, and some films have a higher highlights shoulder than others.

Fortunately Portra 400 is one of the better ones. Waiting for “ideal” is just asking to be disappointed most of the time.

True. I guess more so, conditions where it shines more than not. I feel like in my example shots of shade, I didn’t like the results as much

The way one gets the most out of 35mm color negative film is, having it scanned to DNG where the folks scanning know how to scan and get as much bunched to the right on the histogram where you can then process it the way you want.

Automated machine-printing in the "golden days" of film-only shooting was, more often than not, low-level quality. If you ever found a lab with competent employees you used that lab religiously until the staff inevitably turned over. I saw way too many landscape/travel prints with blown skies/clouds and highlights with no details because, to get the best quality prints that made the most of all the detail in the negative, one had to pay for custom printing, which was never cheap.

Virtually the same situation exists today with scanning. JPEG scans at the lab today are the machine prints of the 70's, 80's and 90's.

-- hide signature --

"There's shadows in life, baby.." Jack Horner- Boogie Nights

 Gregm61's gear list:Gregm61's gear list
Leica M (Typ 262) Leica CL Leica Super-Elmar-M 18mm f/3.8 ASPH Leica Elmar-M 24mm f/3.8 ASPH Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH +12 more
The Davinator
The Davinator Forum Pro • Posts: 24,651
Re: Ideal conditions portra 400

Nice photos.  The grain seems off in scanning for Portra 400.  The grain feels very monochrome here...like it was added in Lightroom.  Not sure why the Fuji scanner is making it seem so.

 The Davinator's gear list:The Davinator's gear list
Canon EOS D30 Canon EOS 10D Nikon D2X Fujifilm X-Pro1 Nikon Z7 +16 more
mapachebasura Forum Member • Posts: 98
Re: Ideal conditions portra 400

Gregm61 wrote:

brandon77 wrote:

Gregm61 wrote:

“Ideal” for any film would be sunshine with little to no shadows...

absent that, any lighting so long as you expose for the deepest shadow detail you want revealed is the thing to do, and some films have a higher highlights shoulder than others.

Fortunately Portra 400 is one of the better ones. Waiting for “ideal” is just asking to be disappointed most of the time.

True. I guess more so, conditions where it shines more than not. I feel like in my example shots of shade, I didn’t like the results as much

The way one gets the most out of 35mm color negative film is, having it scanned to DNG where the folks scanning know how to scan and get as much bunched to the right on the histogram where you can then process it the way you want.

Is there a way to explain this more? Doing home scans and I often think "I have no idea what I'm doing"

(that can be as simple as sending a video or web page if you have one off hand, I don't need you to do a lot of work replying!)

Gregm61 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,804
Re: Ideal conditions portra 400

mapachebasura wrote:

Gregm61 wrote:

brandon77 wrote:

Gregm61 wrote:

“Ideal” for any film would be sunshine with little to no shadows...

absent that, any lighting so long as you expose for the deepest shadow detail you want revealed is the thing to do, and some films have a higher highlights shoulder than others.

Fortunately Portra 400 is one of the better ones. Waiting for “ideal” is just asking to be disappointed most of the time.

True. I guess more so, conditions where it shines more than not. I feel like in my example shots of shade, I didn’t like the results as much

The way one gets the most out of 35mm color negative film is, having it scanned to DNG where the folks scanning know how to scan and get as much bunched to the right on the histogram where you can then process it the way you want.

Is there a way to explain this more? Doing home scans and I often think "I have no idea what I'm doing"

I can't scan worth a darn myself. I send my rolls to the lab linked below to have them processed and scanned to DNG. They send me an email with links to zip files when ready to load the scans to my computer and I get the negatives back in print file holders a week or two later.

https://www.simplephotographyservices.com/product/film-processing/32

Here's a couple from some recent rolls I shot with my Leica M4 using Portra 160.

-- hide signature --

"There's shadows in life, baby.." Jack Horner- Boogie Nights

 Gregm61's gear list:Gregm61's gear list
Leica M (Typ 262) Leica CL Leica Super-Elmar-M 18mm f/3.8 ASPH Leica Elmar-M 24mm f/3.8 ASPH Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH +12 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads