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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Before a disagreement over this starts, can you give us some references to these bad reviews?
    PE
    http://www.photographyreview.com/cat...1_3120crx.aspx

    I did not mean, that kodak's portra is overall bad, but in landscapes...
    I've browsed through some web galleries, and it's not that bad as one might imagine over those reviews.

  2. #12
    Struan Gray's Avatar
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    I use Portra NC for all my landscape work. It does a wonderful job with the sorts of pastels and saturated secondary colours you get on northern coastlines. Greens can go a bit yellow, but when I've looked again, the film is usually seeing a yellow that my eyes overlook. Saturated reds can block up, but that's relative to the subtle way Portra handles other colours. It is great for snow-dusted autumn scenery, where you want clean snow and good colour and shadow detail in the autumn foliage.

    The new formulation supposedly has worse reciprocity failure, but I am still working through a stash of the old film so I can't comment from personal experience. The old film wasn't accurate at, say, two-minute exposures, but it was pleasing.

    Unless you are shooting to tight commercial deadlines I wouldn't worry about not buying in Finland. I, and many other LF photographers in Norden, buy my film from abroad anyway. With the current low dollar it is very hard to beat B+H in New York, but if you want to stay in Europe film is much, much cheaper from Germany and the UK.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Struan Gray View Post
    I use Portra NC for all my landscape work.
    I will definately give it a try.

    Quote Originally Posted by Struan Gray View Post
    Unless you are shooting to tight commercial deadlines I wouldn't worry about not buying in Finland. I, and many other LF photographers in Norden, buy my film from abroad anyway. With the current low dollar it is very hard to beat B+H in New York, but if you want to stay in Europe film is much, much cheaper from Germany and the UK.
    I think calumet in germany has reasonable prices.
    Thanks!

  4. #14
    Murray@uptowngallery's Avatar
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    I have seen some (mindless) web reviews on high saturation film like VC and UC where photographers tried to shoot portraits with it and complained of red faces, etc. I can't tell you where it was, just one of those retail sites with reviews.

    In the same thread of reviews were earlier posts by others who had done the same thing and were admonished to READ THE LABEL.

    I really can't decide whether to feel sorry or not for the sad reviewer in such cases. Instead of a 'post your review' button it should have said 'make fool of ones self' :O)
    Murray

  5. #15
    Struan Gray's Avatar
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    I tried to find a 'normal' landscape scan lying ready to hand, but I tend to do my LF in twilight and deliberately go looking for colour palettes that are different from the usual blue-sky, green-grass, red-roses look. So here's a 6x6 shot of a clearing storm in Scotland.

    Portra does make lovely portraits, and it does have a distinct look, especially compared to traditional landscape slide films, but in no way is it a film for people only.

    PS: I have no idea where those red speckles in the sky have come from. Rest assured, they are not there on the film, or on the scan on my hard disk. I blame sRGB.
    Last edited by Struan Gray; 05-27-2008 at 05:01 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Struan Gray View Post
    I tried to find a 'normal' landscape scan lying ready to hand, but I tend to do my LF in twilight and deliberately go looking for colour palettes that are different from the usual blue-sky, green-grass, red-roses look. So here's a 6x6 shot of a clearing storm in Scotland.

    Portra does make lovely portraits, and it does have a distinct look, especially compared to traditional landscape slide films, but in no way is it a film for people only.

    PS: I have no idea where those red speckles in the sky have come from. Rest assured, they are not there on the film, or on the scan on my hard disk. I blame sRGB.
    Great shot and I'm not seeing the red thingies here - without "corrected monitors" etc. it's not surprising that "anomolies" occur.

    Your pic encourages me to do some more landscape shooting with Porta.

    Can I ask folk here what are the key differences b/w VC and NC for landscape / street shooting?

    Oh, BTW, PE thanks for 'fessing out the negative reviews. I'd never use a website "user review" of a film to decide this stuff! Gosh I wish we still had just one decent photo mag which would objectively review film and film gear!

  7. #17
    Struan Gray's Avatar
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    I'm afraid I only use NC, so I can't comment on the differences. In fact I haven't used a lot of other emulsions, so please don't mistake me for an expert. I started using Portra because I didn't like the pink cast the old Fuji NPS gave to everything, and I liked the way 400NC shots in 6x6 could be seamlessly matched to 160NC shots in 35mm. I've stuck with it because I have come to love the palette and the subtleties of its rendition.

    One caveat: machine prints of scenery can turn out too muted. For me, a hand-corrected print, or one of those d*g*t*l sc*n thingies, has always been able to recover the scene I wanted to photogaph, but if you rely on a distant automated processor you won't get the best out of this film. Or any film for that matter, but Portra shots of wildflowers often seem to need tweaking a bit from the default picked by the algorithms in the package printers.

    Another tip: Portra often appears more saturated when scanned than when printed in a conventional enlarger onto RA4 papers, even supposedly vivid ones. This is consistent between my Epson flatbed and Imacons. Since most commercial printers use a scan-and-print engine, you have to interpret such machine proofs in the light of experience if you are going to print yourself later. Not a biggie, but it's a bit like labs that would print B+W at the lowest contrast grade: you have to do some mental interpretation.

    That said, both the above caveats apply to the sorts of high-contrast, subtle colours scenes that are typical of a Scottish moorland on a sunny day. High key seems to need more care in printing than low key. More conventional views, or the diffuse-light dripping wetness of a Scandinavian early spring, reproduce beautifully on auto.
    Last edited by Struan Gray; 05-27-2008 at 05:01 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #18

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    Thanks everybody!

    I'm glad to see so many replies, and those nice pictures Struan attached.
    I can try to post some pics when I have the film and got some results.

    thanks again!

  9. #19
    jd callow's Avatar
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    I have found the old VC to be a half hearted attempt at a juicier colour film. It was very bad for portraits of grey haired people in dark clothes as the hair and clothes would go blue once there was colour in the the skin. For things it was ok, but it didn't have the contrast or the punch the name seemed to imply. PRN and fuji's NPC I felt were better films and offered better contrast and punch. PRN was far better than NPC in the shadows and had better latitude, but NPC had slightly better punch. The palette of PRN was a little earthier than NPC. For me VC was not truth in advertising and I never liked it. Whereas NC is an excellent film, with a lovely palette, great latitude and excellent reciprocity characteristics. PRN is long gone and NPC has been replaced with 160c. I have used a fair amount of 160s and I like it much better than NPS. I've yet to try the new VC, but I have been told that it is a worthy replacement to UC -- which I thought was excellent.

    *

  10. #20
    bruce terry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jd callow View Post
    ... NC is an excellent film, with a lovely palette, great latitude and excellent reciprocity characteristics ...
    jd - There isn't any R detail on the Portra webpage past one-second of exposure and I'm about to experiment a little. Since Portra is T-grain I'm assuming it might have a pretty flat R in the 2-5 second range, requiring an additional half-ish stop but no more than that – and at between 6 to 10 seconds per metered b/v, maybe an additional one up to a max of, maybe, two seconds?

    I'd love to hear what you might have discovered concerning 160NC's reciprocity, might save me some time determining a useful 'baseline'.

    Thanks, Bruce

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