I feel bad for the digi guys (portra content)

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Tim Gray, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

    Messages:
    1,787
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    OH
    Shooter:
    35mm
    If they gave up film and have never tried the new Portra line of films, I feel bad for them. I don't even really shoot color, but just got a roll of 160 back from Target of all places. Even with the crappy 1 hour lab scans, I'm blown away by this film and have been every time, no matter the flavor of Portra. I know when it comes time to rescan the keepers, I'll be able to milk so much more out of these shots. And I've not even tried the new stuff (is that available yet?)

    All I have to say is, "Blown highlights? What are those?"

    I'm ordering a pro pack of 160, 400, and 800 first thing in the morning.
     
  2. Palantiri7

    Palantiri7 Member

    Messages:
    128
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Yes, Portra 400NC is very nice. I'm trying out Fuji 400H, however, to see which one of these films I'll settle down with: Fuji NPH having been my past staple.
     
  3. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,158
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Location:
    Los Alamos,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've been using both 400VC and 160NC, and they are outstanding. A couple of weeks ago I had to shoot some Fuji NPH. It was terrible by comparison. In fact, it was terrible even by comparison to modern digital shots. Aside from the great image, one of the real advantages of the Portras is the way they handle. Most of us need to scan color negatives from time to time, and the Portra films are much better behaved for that, both mechanically and optically, than the competition. A particularly nice feature of the new Portras is the base, which lies quite flat and which seems to shed dust rather than attracting it.
     
  4. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Location:
    Bucuresti, R
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I've only just started playing with colour neg, but Portra VC is definitely on my keeper list.

    That said, having only ever shot slides for colour before, I was surprised at just how much grainier negative film is; it definitely has a very different look. I certainly don't see myself stopping shooting slides - I've yet to see anything which compares to the jaw-dropping gorgeousness of E100VS in the projector or on the lightbox - but Portra is definitely my favourite for colour neg so far (I wasn't as impressed with the Fuji neg films I've tried to date.)
     
  5. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,058
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Isn't there some digital trick or Photoshop plug-in that lets you replicate the look of certain films? My favorite film, especially when shooting people, is Portra NC160. One of the nicest films that I've encountered.
     
  6. haris

    haris Guest


    O tempora, o mores!
     
  7. ben-s

    ben-s Member

    Messages:
    443
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Location:
    Nottingham,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Even the original stuff scans well, so the new stuff should be really good.
    I've been very happy with all the variants I've tried (I think I've used them all but the 800 ISO)

    I've come to the conclusion that as long as Kodak make Portra, Fuji make Velvia and Neopan 400, and Ilford make everything else, I'll be happy...

    elekm; I reviewed a film simulator plugin a while ago, and found that it's not really capable of simulating film accurately. Unsurprising really.
    I think the best standpoint is to use digital for things it's good at, and likewise with film.
    I like digital for sports and other stuff where there's a fast turnaround, but I prefer film for more considered stuff. I want to make the best of the strengths of both mediums.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2008
  8. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

    Messages:
    914
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Ont
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What version of Portal 160 did you use, NC or VC?
     
  9. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

    Messages:
    1,787
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    OH
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I prefer NC, but have used a couple rolls of VC, which is also quite nice. The roll I just got back was VC actually.

    I scan color (gasp!) and NC has more range. It's always easy to boost saturation a tiny bit in photoshop, so...
     
  10. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council

    Messages:
    4,351
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Location:
    Montréal (QC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Wicked traitor! We shall stone thee!

    But that speaks for the real advantage of color film: the contrast, saturation, and palette is chosen by some of the top experts in the field. With digital, you have to do that legwork yourself.
     
  11. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Restricted Access

    Messages:
    1,020
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern, Aus
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    huh?
     
  12. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Restricted Access

    Messages:
    1,020
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern, Aus
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    i assume you mean if it's exposed properly

    just like with a digital camera, the results are only as good as the initial exposure
     
  13. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council

    Messages:
    4,351
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Location:
    Montréal (QC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Uh-huh.
     
  14. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Restricted Access

    Messages:
    1,020
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern, Aus
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    hmm
     
  15. magic823

    magic823 Member

    Messages:
    460
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2003
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Actually, color neg film has much greater dynamic range than digital. While you can do some tricks with combining multiple exposures (HDR), you can only do it with limited photos (fairly static images). Digital is more like slide film in DR.
     
  16. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

    Messages:
    1,787
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    OH
    Shooter:
    35mm
    This is why I prefer the NC over the VC. It's easy to add back in some saturation/contrast, but its hard to recover the little extra dynamic range that the NC has.
     
  17. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

    Messages:
    4,090
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Location:
    NYC or Copak
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I'm becoming a big fan of Portra films too. I haven't decided whether I prefer the NC or VC versions of 160 and 400 yet.