EI for Portra 400
Newbie here, so please don't bite. What is the most used EI for Portra 400? I have so far shot at box speed and results have been good. However I was wondering if I could draw a bit more latitude from the film.
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It's personal choice. I like the results I get @200, I do 99% incident metering. It will depend how you meter scenes.
400. Incident meter towards the light of your main subject @ 400.
I've accidentally heavily overexposed it before and it was useable. I've pushed it and shot at higher speeds and it was useable.
I am trying to find out what EI-s are popularly used with this film while keeping the grain low. Also, if this film is exposed at 160, does it produce similar results to Portra 160?
Originally Posted by snapguy
I am primarily looking to under-expose without loss of detail.
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I've shot it at 250-320 without any problems. But I mostly shoot it at 400 unless it's really bright out and I want to keep it within a plus/minus range of exposure.
Why not take a roll out and start it at 400 and shoot the same scene, going back in 1/3-1/2-whole stops until you've got 160 or so and then see what you get? That is what I'd do.
Also, I shoot quite a lot of P160 in various forms and I don't know if the 400 could look like the 160 if exposed as such. My underexposed 400 typically just gets muddy and loses detail in the shadows. I usually actually go a tiny bit over exposed with it depending on the situation. it really pops when the light is strong.
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It seems to have pretty good lattitude. I have pushed Portra 400 all the way to ISO 3200 and pulled it down to ISO 200. But I normally shoot at ISO 400 and I like it.
You should expect to lose shadow details by the time you get to ISO 1600 so if you need detail to show up in the shadows I would not go over ISO 800.
I don't see a huge difference when I over-expose at ISO 200 but contrast seems lower.
Usually I don't bother changing my developing time until I get to ISO 1600 so this may have something to do with my results.
Great film btw. This post has reminded me to start picking up some more so I can build up my reserves.
The simplest tools can be the hardest to master.
200-400. I typically just set the meter at 400 and meter the shadows then use that, which means I'm "really" using 200 if I meter a zone IV type shadow, in B&W Zone system terms. But anything from 100-800 will actually work pretty well. C41 has that much latitude. It does tend to show less grain with more exposure. If I had to set one and forget it and use matrix metering or the like I'd set 250 or 320.
I'm confused by this post, if you are primarily planning to slightly under expose the film, then why would use use an EI of 160 on a 400 speed film, that would OVER expose it. So I'm confused.
Also, 160 film by it's nature will have less grain than 400 speed film no matter what, the 400 will have more grain, even if you shoot it at 160 and pull it...
Stone pretty much said it all.
In general, color films are pretty tolerant, you could easily shoot it at 800 and not loose much shadow detail, and you could go higher with some push processing.
But shooting your Portra 400 at 160, 200, 800 or whatever is not the same as working with a film which has those box speeds.
If you want the best overall results, shoot it at 400, if you want more detail at the low or high ends, over expose or under expose accordingly. But keep in mind that when you do that you're sacrificing some at the other end.
Colour film usually responds less well to over- or under-exposure.
If you under-expose, you could lose satuation which results in a drab look. You may also get colour shifts if you need to develop it for longer.
A small amount of over-exposure may increase saturation but if you go too far it won't look good either.
Generally, I shoot most films at box speed, especially colour. It is best for predictability and consistency of the results.
Do experiment, by all means, but bear in mind that C41 development is prone to slight variations, even if you use a pro lab. If you develop it yourself, you may get very varying results between the batches.
If you are going to shoot under varying light, it's best to bring slow, normal and fast film, and to use a good lens with a large aperture span.