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  1. #21

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    To date, I have stayed with E-6, but with visions of my cold, dead hands I am considering C-41.
    What experience have others had with Portra 160 or 400 using tungsten light (3200 K)?

  2. #22

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    Scott,

    I've only used a bit of Portra 800 but the quality is remarkable as are the modern '160' and '400' films. Noticeably better grain-wise than the VC/NC line of films.

    Tom

  3. #23
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kershaw View Post
    Scott,

    I've only used a bit of Portra 800 but the quality is remarkable as are the modern '160' and '400' films. Noticeably better grain-wise than the VC/NC line of films.

    Tom
    I agree Tom, and batter still than Kodak Vericolor that I used to shoot portraits with.
    Ben

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimFox View Post
    To date, I have stayed with E-6, but with visions of my cold, dead hands I am considering C-41.
    What experience have others had with Portra 160 or 400 using tungsten light (3200 K)?
    Shooting in tungsten light underexposes your blue by two stops. Contrary to slide film, you can correct this by overexposing by two stops and color correcting during enlargement.

    Your biggest issue will be the overall weakness of tungsten light and the resulting exposure times.
    Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.

  5. #25
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    I've not shot any in pure tungsten, but the portras are champs at mixed light -




    Scratch that- I think the Opera Garnier auditorium is pure tungsten. No filtration and no exposure compensation for the lighting. Whatever the light source, it is 100% artificial.

  6. #26
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chan Tran View Post
    I don't know about larger format but since I shoot only 35mm I never use Portra 400. It's way too grainy for me. I use Portra 160 even when the light is low.
    "Way too grainy?" Is this based on experience or just some thought that 400 film must be?

    I shoot Portra 400 in 35mm. It's plenty fine grained enough for me, really superb film. If you're printing, say, 16x20 from 35mm then it might be worth going to 160, but up to 11x14 I think Portra 400 is a great film.

  7. #27
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    Shooting with the slowest film possible was a better idea back when film was a lot grainier. With modern films you give up very, very little (if anything, in practice) by standardizing on a 400 speed film. But that said, the OP was asking about studio lighting and if you have controlled lighting and plenty of it, the recommendation still makes sense.

  8. #28

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    Different animals. It isn't just the speed and grain that's different, but the latitude and saturation. Porta 400 is more a replacement for the
    previous Portra 160VC, but at faster speed. Portra 160 replace Portra 160NC - a softer film sometimes more appropriate for portraiture. You
    need to experiment with both. And then there's Ektar too, which pushes the contrast and saturation even higher, but nowhere near a chrome
    film.

  9. #29
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    Roger- the reason not to use a 400 film, especially with smaller formats, in the studio is that you lose the ability to choose the aperture you want to use for depth-of-field control. The same is true for field use, sometimes to a greater degree than in the studio. If I have 400 speed film loaded, there's a good chance if I'm using strobes in the studio that I can't dial the power down enough to use f5.6 (for example) and keep the lighting quality that I want. When dealing with 35mm, it's even more likely to be a problem if the aperture you want to use is say f2.8 for depth-of-field purposes. Yes, there are ways to compensate by adjusting focus to have the main subject at the very rear edge of the depth-of-field, but that too has its own issues.

  10. #30
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    Roger- the reason not to use a 400 film, especially with smaller formats, in the studio is that you lose the ability to choose the aperture you want to use for depth-of-field control. The same is true for field use, sometimes to a greater degree than in the studio. If I have 400 speed film loaded, there's a good chance if I'm using strobes in the studio that I can't dial the power down enough to use f5.6 (for example) and keep the lighting quality that I want. When dealing with 35mm, it's even more likely to be a problem if the aperture you want to use is say f2.8 for depth-of-field purposes. Yes, there are ways to compensate by adjusting focus to have the main subject at the very rear edge of the depth-of-field, but that too has its own issues.
    That makes sense in the studio. It rarely makes sense for me in the field which just doesn't seem to be that bright. Shooting in bright sun is rare - overhead lighting is not usually good anyway, when the sun is high. And there are always ND filters. Considering the difference in speed is, as folks pointed out, 1-1/3 stops that's just not a huge difference. It's not like Portra 400 versus the old Ektar 25, say.

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