Recommendations: Portra NC or VC?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by copake_ham, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    My wife, Theresa and I are taking a quick trip down to FL over the upcoming MLK long weekend.

    Of course, we're expecting sunny skies and warm temps!

    For B&W I'm planning to bring the CV R2S with 35, 50 and 85mm lenses using HP5+. I'm also going to bring the F100 with both a 28mm and a 35-70mm zoom for color shooting.

    For color shooting, since I've already arranged for the sunny skies, I've settled on bringing some Portra 160 for the color film.

    The question is: NC or VC?

    I'm mainly planning on outdoor shooting rather than taking family snaps - but may take some of those too. My first inkling is to use NC - any thoughts?
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    NC has nice smooth tonality for portraiture. It doesn't have the "zing" for other apps. Take VC, even your family happy snaps will be nice.
     
  3. sbelyaev

    sbelyaev Member

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    I would not use either of them for general photography. The films are very demanding.
    Kodak 100UC is so much easier to handle.
     
  4. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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  5. Zathras

    Zathras Subscriber

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    I think you should take his advice!!! I looked at your example and it's obvious that you don't know what yer doing:surprised::D:D:D:D:D:D:D

    But seriously folks, George's example has convinced me to give the 160NC a go. I wanted to try Portra 160, but I was having trouble in deciding which one. Since I am looking for accurate color rendition and am not into garish color saturation, I have finally made up me poor feeble mind. Thanks George!.

    Mike Sullivan
     
  6. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Zathras,

    Thanks. I'm leaning toward the NC. My guess is that the VC is mainly intended for "flattering" portrait shots of the bride and "happy couple" that brings out the makeup and rouge etc.

    BTW: I think this film is amazing - particularly the way... (APUG gods please forgive what I'm about to write)...it scans.

    The Great Yellow Father isn't kidding when he says this film has "enhanced" scannability.

    I'd still be interested whether anyone would recommend VC instead.
     
  7. nyoung

    nyoung Member

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    I'm probably the ignorant minority here but I shot the four free Portra rolls Kodak sent us last year and I'm buying the VC. I find the NC too flat - color wise - for my taste. I like the extra punch in the color rendition even for landscapes and cityscapes. Keep in mind I'm living and working in South Texas in an area heavily influenced by Hispanic culture and the love for bright colors on everything. Something that you might keep in mind if you're heading into the greater Miami area. Color is always subjective.
     
  8. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Are you kidding? Portras are the easiest films to deal with. You can underexpose them almost two stops, and over-expose them maybe five stops without significant image degradation!

    At any rate, George, I would say go with the NC if you are going to shoot high-contrast subjects, as may be the case in Florida. VC has more saturation, but also a tad more contrast. But the extra kick in the colors of VC is nice as well, just watch for shadow detail.

    I use NC all the time for flash photography (on-camera with diffuser, for events), which is a very contrasty light setup.
     
  9. Sanjay Sen

    Sanjay Sen Member

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    Here's another vote for the NC. Does that help?:D
     
  10. sbelyaev

    sbelyaev Member

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    It is much easier to scan UC100 than any of those portras.
    In terms of grain they are very similar.
    I don't like the look of portras in high contrast situatins (the shadows are too dark). NC gives muted colors.
    I doubt that there are better studio films than Portra, but for snapshots, particulary in sunny and colorful Florida, UC line of kodak film could be a better choice.
     
  11. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Er... I don't know where you've been scanning, but the jump from V.1 to V.2 of Portra was a major improvement in the quality of the scanned image. And I mean even on an all-auto Frontier machine.

    I can't imagine what the V.3 version would look like (it touts finer grain and enhanced scanability), especially on a dedicated film scanner.
     
  12. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    I don't understand the scanning point.When the "new" Portra was introduced in the Fall of 2006 it was primarily because of its "enhanced" scannability.

    My own experience scanning with with a Nikon 5000D into TIF format is that afterwards, in PS, no changes are made even after do an auto-adjust. The Portra films seem to be very scanner-friendly.

    BTW: I may be fooling myself, but I like to think that most times I take more than just "snapshots". If that was all I was aiming to do - I'd just carry my cellphone.