Calling Portra 160NC experts....

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by sperera, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. sperera

    sperera Member

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    ...so I'm liking Portra 160NC big time (for shooting fashion/portraiture) and was wondering how many people concurred on how to shoot the film...any tips and tendencies and nuances you can comment on would be welcome.....so far only shot it at box speed with good results in my opinion....
     
  2. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    Timely. I'm going to shoot either 160NC or 400NC this weekend. It will be my first time using whichever I go with. I've been shooting primarily consumer films until now.
     
  3. sperera

    sperera Member

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    well, I've shot about 10 rolls of 160NC so far and there's something special about it with skin tones etc....I'm shooting it at box speed and was wondering whether there's more to it than I see so far.....
     
  4. imokruok

    imokruok Member

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    I would stick to box speed initially. Some people shoot it at 100 and develop normally, but I think it actually is a 160 film...experiment to your preference.

    Nice film for tripod shots of cityscapes.
     
  5. Bruce Watson

    Bruce Watson Member

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    It's going to depend a bit on how it's processed. C-41 is a standardized process, but one lab will be a bit different from another. The lab where I get my film processed is a Q-lab, and box speed is spot on with them.

    If Photographer's Formulary starts selling a C-41 kit so I can do my own processing with a Jobo and 3010 tank (for 5x4 film), I'm sure I'll have to retest to be sure of my EI.
     
  6. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    if I shoot with strobes(in studio), I generally rate it at 160, sometimes 125(darker clothing, just to ensure detail).

    otherwise, I personally like lower contrast than the 160nc gives me, so I generally shoot outside with it at iso 125, and give development 3:00 instead of the 3:15(N) timing.

    most of my color work is now hybrid only for printing, except for contact sheets.

    160/400nc are great films, right now I bought up a glut of 400vc in 220 so I have to shoot through that first before buying more film...

    -Dan
     
  7. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    It is a great film (as are most films that are left).

    I shoot it at EI 160 and use an incident meter. I will overexpose it manually in a high-contrast composition, but I never re rate it.

    What constitutes a "high-contrast composition", in which I will overexpose, is determined by first getting to know how much contrast the film is capable of grabbing.

    So, the key to good exposures at box speed, as with all films, is having an eye for contrast (and/or a spot meter to check where tones fall in relation to the middle grey placement recommended by your incident meter), and making adjustments in exposure as necessary.

    Make sure you try the 400s as well. There is an NC and VC, unlike Fuji. If they go away, our palette available from 400 films is seriously reduced.
     
  8. naugastyle

    naugastyle Member

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    I shoot pretty much everything at box speed, and like 2F/2F, manually change my exposure for certain scenes, like when I'm sure I want more shadow detail or it's backlit or whatever. I think this film is meant to be 160. I like VC for some applications but am more a fan of NC.

    For some reason, I find the Kodak 400 versions are a bit more similar to 160 versions in comparison to Fuji's 160S/400H.
     
  9. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    I have always shot Kodak films at box speed and I have gotten very good results.
     
  10. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    What he said.

    ditto

    There is a reason that there is a box speed.
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Whether it is Kodak or Fuji has nothing to do with it. You will get the same results rating Fuji film at box speed.
     
  12. sperera

    sperera Member

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    thanks for all your comments everyone.....very helpful!!!!!!!!!
     
  13. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Well I can only say that I know that Kodak's work best at box speed because I shoot them frequently.
     
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  15. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    If you like 160NC, you ought to try 400NC—particularly if you are shooting medium format. It is so good that I saw little reason to use 160NC in 6x7.
     
  16. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    How many of you think that those shooting Fuji 160c and 160s will convert to Portra 160NC and 160VC, rather than going digital?
     
  17. sperera

    sperera Member

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    I think its more of a rate at 125 asa film based on everything ive got back so far.....i'll be doing some tests
     
  18. sperera

    sperera Member

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    im take you up on that and gonna order some 400NC
     
  19. lilserenity

    lilserenity Member

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    Portra for me. Although as someone has said elsewhere, most of the magic of colour negative for me is in an optically enlarged RA4 done in my darkroom, otherwise I will need a decent scanner, a printer and associated inks -- which would be incurred going digital (apart from the scanner) too, which is why I am bummed out about 160S and 800Z disappearing. 400H is superb so at least that's still here.

    I tended to use Fuji because it just seemed more neutral to me, and a bit grittier, where as even Kodak NC has its warmth which whilst lovely, sometimes I want toned down.

    In 2-3 years time, this may have to change but it'll be very reluctant as I just don't want to do the whole processing on the computer and printing at home. It's very good quality but it's not cheap and it's yet more time in front of a computer!

    Vicky
     
  20. Wilcoxson David L.

    Wilcoxson David L. Member

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    I usually shoot all my color print film including 160NC with one stop extra exposure. I understand and appriciate the rated speed is what the manufacturer recommends, but I like the comfort of a little extra density in my negatives. It was what I was taught in school. My instructors believed it was better to have good density (not bulletproof) as to risk having negatives that were too thin. I suppose that may be nitpicky, but I think they were right. I love 160NC BTW. Great film!
     
  21. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Most.
     
  22. sperera

    sperera Member

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    ....a good buddy just told me to do exactly the same.....shot it one stop overexposed to cram more detail into it so its exactly what you're saying too.....

     
  23. mark

    mark Member

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    I rate it at 125 unless it is a sunny day and I am out of the shade, Then box speed. I like the little extra snap of a little over exposure.
     
  24. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    160NC is one of the most used films for your application. It is quite forgiving, gives gorgeous color, and scans extremely well.
     
  25. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    I sure hope you're right. If it results in a more-viable Kodak C-41 line as the backbone of a right-sized color-film industry, then maybe it could be a blessing in disguise.

    Someone mentioned how good the 400 speed Portras are; I'd have to agree completely. I have shot a lot of FC 160S; it seems like a nice intermediate choice between the best of the two 160 Portras. So even before FC 160S's demise, I was thinking of transitioning to 400-speed Portras for all my color work, with maybe the occasional roll of 160S.

    But now, it's more likely that I'll stick with the 400 Portras, and give up very little in doing so, with Ektar for low-speed applications.
     
  26. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    My logic was that anyone who is still "bothering" :smile:rolleyes:smile: to shoot film at this point is not going to give it up just because one company stops making it, when there is a comparable product made by another company.