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  1. #1
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Is the new Portra 400 much finer grained than Portra 400NC or VC?

    I have a Pen FT half-frame 35mm camera. Because the film area is so small, fine grain is important to me. I've been using Ektar 100 but it's just to slow to be versatile in a camera that goes 72 shots between film changes. I figured the new Portra 400 is probably the finest grain 400 speed color negative film, but it's not available at freestyle yet. Has anyone compared the new Portra 400 with the old 400VC/NC films? Did you find that it was significantly less grainy or about the same?
    f/22 and be there.

  2. #2

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    Perhaps this is a question which needs to be asked a few months from now. I've only seen a few examples of the new film, and those have been from people given early samples.
    Steve.

  3. #3
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    According to Kodak it is , you'll find full details including the technical leaflet with grain structure figures here http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe...1230/2985/2987
    Last edited by benjiboy; 11-15-2010 at 04:46 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Ben

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  5. #5

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    I just got my first rolls of Portra 400 back. It's slightly finer grained than 400NC and a bit more than 400VC. Nothing earth shattering though in my mind. The 400VC does appear to be sharper. Probably not a big deal for 35mm, but might have a bit more impact as formats get smaller.

    I think I'll be looking at it as a modestly improved 400NC, with a bit more saturation.

  6. #6

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    I've been shooting the new portra 400 film since they first started shipping it out for testing. I think the grain is noticeably tighter than the previous 400 variations. When I really notice it is when looking at how cleanly it scans. Unfortunately, I can't comment on optical prints w/ it, haven't done any.

    I think it's a fantastic emulsion, hits a real sweet spot.

    I'd be excited if they made the same improvements in the 160 speed portras. Even if we lost the VC NC choice, I'd still prefer a single improved film like this.

    W/ that, Ektar is insanely fine grained, but it's also a very different palette/tone than portra. I think different enough, that if you shot them side by side, it'd determine your decision more than the grain would...even in half frame.

  7. #7
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    I haven't bought any because I have a few years supply of Kodak Portra NC and VC in 35m/m and 120 to use first in my freezer, I haven't seen any for sale yet,I mentioned it to my local pro dealer who told me they had stopped stocking Kodak film because it was getting too expensive, and so few of their customers shot film that they didn't want to have it left on their hands past the expiry date, I suppose it's a sign of the times
    Ben

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by GraemeMitchell View Post
    I've been shooting the new portra 400 film since they first started shipping it out for testing. I think the grain is noticeably tighter than the previous 400 variations. When I really notice it is when looking at how cleanly it scans. Unfortunately, I can't comment on optical prints w/ it, haven't done any.

    I think it's a fantastic emulsion, hits a real sweet spot.

    I'd be excited if they made the same improvements in the 160 speed portras. Even if we lost the VC NC choice, I'd still prefer a single improved film like this.

    W/ that, Ektar is insanely fine grained, but it's also a very different palette/tone than portra. I think different enough, that if you shot them side by side, it'd determine your decision more than the grain would...even in half frame.
    I agree with you on most parts. On the grain bit, maybe I'll have to do some more scanning of it myself before I make a final decision on that. I will clarify and say that I as comparing fresh 400VC-3 and 400NC-3 to the new stuff, all in 35mm. I found a noticeable improvement in grain between version 2 and version 3 of 400VC and 400NC.

    It's good stuff. I'd be ok with a single new 160 (and a new 800).

  9. #9
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    I don't think most people enlarge their negatives enough even on Portra 400 NC or VC for grain to be an issue anyway, especially not in 120.
    Ben

  10. #10
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    But with a half-frame camera, an 8x10 print is already an 11X enlargement.
    f/22 and be there.

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