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  1. #31

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    Here in the UK beneath steel-grey clouds I'd love normal conditions to be f16 1/500. I think with 400 film f4 1/500 is normal. My film of choice is 800 speed, occasionally I get fooled on a sunny day and load 100 speed only for the clouds to return and then I'm stuck at 1/30.
    Steve.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    If you're shooting with, like I am, a Rolleiflex or other in-lens shutter camera with a top speed of 1/500th, it does make a difference because in normal daylight conditions (say from 9am to 6pm, depending on the season) you're pegged at f16 at 1/500th of a second with 400 speed film in the camera. There is a BIG difference in look from f8 to f16. And, if you're shooting something that doesn't take 52mm filters, carrying around a set of neutral density filters is both costly and a pain in the ass, and trying to use 4x4 inch gelatin ND filters is less costly but more of a pain in the ass. So I'll take the slower film.
    I shoot quite a bit of Portra 400 in my Yashicamat but rarely see those kinds if exposures. I know they are typical for those hours on a bright sunny day but that rarely seems to be when I shoot.

    I don't have ND filters but I did get a bay 1 to 52mm adapter abs use that for my regular B&W filters on the Yashica.


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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by mweintraub View Post
    Have you tired overexposing Portra 400? I'm still testing this film out over exposed.
    One stop or two stops over you probably won't be able to tell the difference except it will be finer grained, have loads if shadow detail and maybe a bit less contrast. Of course the same thing is true of the 160.


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  4. #34

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    I've shot both and the one I would choose is more based on the color reproduction than the speed. I found 160 to be more saturated, not as much as Ektar, but much more than 400. I find the 400 to be less saturated and produce a brightness range that looks more natural to me. The 400 looks more like the Ektachrome I used to shoot years ago.

  5. #35

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    Nice to have choice.

  6. #36

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    Portra 160 vs 400

    The reason I would bother to shoot Portra800 (or 400 for sheet film) would be to balance natural light with studio light to get a certain effect on location.

    But given a controlled environment, I would certainly use 160, I scan, and even shooting 4x5 I found 400 too grainy.

    I prefer transparency film for color, but if that's ever not available I would choose the 160 for studio work as you describe.

  7. #37
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    400 too grainy in 4x5??

    Something is wrong. Grain from 400 is absolutely invisible to me in 5x7 prints from 35mm. That's a 5x enlargement. How big are you printing your 4x5s? That would be 20x25 (20x24 in standard sizes) from 4x5.

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    400 too grainy in 4x5??

    Something is wrong. Grain from 400 is absolutely invisible to me in 5x7 prints from 35mm. That's a 5x enlargement. How big are you printing your 4x5s? That would be 20x25 (20x24 in standard sizes) from 4x5.
    From a SCAN done at 2400dpi I can see grain. It's a discoloration that bothers me, almost like the effect of "dead pixels" in a long exposure image taken on a digital camera (just using that as the description as I can't describe it better than that).

    It was mentioned Portra400 was designed for scanning, so I'm using the method the film was designed for.

    All I can say is that it looks ugly 1:1

    I took a 4x5 sheet using Portra400 against Provia100f in 4x5

    Yes Provia is a slower emulsion and probably finer grained, but there was no noticeable grain or odd pixel issues in the Provia and a lot with Portra400.

  9. #39
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    Well if you enlarge the scan on the screen enough, yeah. 2400 dpi 1:1 would be a huge image. But if you print it, you won't see it unless you go really, really big. And if you display on the web you won't see it unless you crop a tiny bit out and make a big image out of it. If you zoom in on the scan, well, of course you will see it. And what is your final display? Someone looking at a 2400 dpi from 4x5, a 9600x12000 pixel image (roughly, I know it's not quite actually 4x5) at 1:1? The only person who is ever going to do that will be you when you scan it.

    I think it's more correct to say it's designed to scan well, but "designed for scanning" sort of implies, or seems to, that it is not as good as prior films for wet printing and that doesn't seem true to me. The Portras are excellent films (as is Ektar. I know you'd love some of that old Ultra 50 but I can tell you it could be a PITA to color balance in wet printing. Once you nailed it though it was really super saturated. It seemed to fit the Fuji paper my lab used better than the Kodak paper I used; at least I was never able to print it quite as good as they could, while with Kodak and even Fuji films I could always do as well or better.)

  10. #40

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    Portra 160 vs 400

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    Well if you enlarge the scan on the screen enough, yeah. 2400 dpi 1:1 would be a huge image. But if you print it, you won't see it unless you go really, really big. And if you display on the web you won't see it unless you crop a tiny bit out and make a big image out of it. If you zoom in on the scan, well, of course you will see it. And what is your final display? Someone looking at a 2400 dpi from 4x5, a 9600x12000 pixel image (roughly, I know it's not quite actually 4x5) at 1:1? The only person who is ever going to do that will be you when you scan it.

    I think it's more correct to say it's designed to scan well, but "designed for scanning" sort of implies, or seems to, that it is not as good as prior films for wet printing and that doesn't seem true to me. The Portras are excellent films (as is Ektar. I know you'd love some of that old Ultra 50 but I can tell you it could be a PITA to color balance in wet printing. Once you nailed it though it was really super saturated. It seemed to fit the Fuji paper my lab used better than the Kodak paper I used; at least I was never able to print it quite as good as they could, while with Kodak and even Fuji films I could always do as well or better.)
    Fair enough, however Fuji transparency film doesn't have this issue, so I sill say it's too grainy for my liking, and have OP was asking about our personal feelings, and I say if 400 is too grainy for me, I would choose Portra160 if I had to use something in studio that was a CN film. So that is my answer to the OP based on my preferences.

    It's also not about what I'm printing now, it's about optimum options now and in the future.

    I may shoot 35mm and would want to have a large print, and I would certainly see these defects in a 20x24 that I would not see shooting at 400 with a d&@&tal camera printed at 20x24 (because I've done this) so to me Portra400 SCANNED is not good enough if given the option in a controlled situation.

    But I WOULD use it in a balanced daylight + studio light situation, because of the benefit of speed which is easier for me to balance the sun and my strobes (for me) and I've done this too.

    It's all a balance.

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