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  1. #1

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    Portra 160 vs 400

    If you are in a controlled environment like a studio and have the lighting power to use Porta 160 would you see any difference using that instead Portra 400? I hear people love Portra 400, but I never hear much about 160.

    I have very little experience with Portra since I shoot chromes.

  2. #2

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    I'd imagine that it is possible with a 135 film and a print at a big enlargement. With MF then I'd love to see how big the enlargement has to be to spot the difference

    pentaxuser

  3. #3
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    I do not have a studio to use. I take photographs in "the real world". I use Portra 400 so that I can cover a large light range.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  4. #4
    Two23's Avatar
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    Generally speaking you have better luck enlarging finer grained film.


    Kent in SD

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shootar401 View Post
    If you are in a controlled environment like a studio and have the lighting power to use Porta 160 would you see any difference using that instead Portra 400? I hear people love Portra 400, but I never hear much about 160.

    I have very little experience with Portra since I shoot chromes.
    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.

  6. #6

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    I should have expanded on my question.

    The camera in question is medium format, Rolleiflex to be exact. I bought two pro-packs each of Portra 400 and 160 today at B&H. Just trying to figure out which will work best for scans and enlargements to 11x14, possibly bigger.

  7. #7

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    If you have the light, go with the 160. I know people say that the 400 is nice, but at decent size enlargements the grain looks pretty ugly to me. I can't explain it - it just looks "off." I use a Hassy 500 and have never had a problem with 160, even in low light situations.

  8. #8
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Both have been optimized for scanning.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  9. #9
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    I have shot a LOT of Portra 160 in a wide range of lighting conditions - mostly night photography. It's a terrific film and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it in medium format. I don't use the 400 much just because the 160 is so versatile, and when I need more light, I need a lot more light and I either throw that bad boy up on a tripod or I go to Portra 800, which is surprisingly low in grain for as fast a film as it is. Personally, I don't think you'll find the grain objectionable on any of the three emulsions (160, 400 or 800). And I have made 16x20 prints from negs shot with all three films, so I can say it does enlarge nicely.

  10. #10
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    I have shot a LOT of Portra 160 in a wide range of lighting conditions - mostly night photography. It's a terrific film and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it in medium format. I don't use the 400 much just because the 160 is so versatile, and when I need more light, I need a lot more light and I either throw that bad boy up on a tripod or I go to Portra 800, which is surprisingly low in grain for as fast a film as it is. Personally, I don't think you'll find the grain objectionable on any of the three emulsions (160, 400 or 800). And I have made 16x20 prints from negs shot with all three films, so I can say it does enlarge nicely.
    I have been finding the same thing. The 160 is only 1-1/3 stop slower than 400 so not really that far away. The 400 can seem pretty slow once the sun goes down though.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

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