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  1. #1

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    Fuji Pro 400H is not NPH 400?

    I've been a long user of Fuji's NPH film and stopped using film about 9 years ago and mistakingly jumped on the digital bandwagon only to recently comeback in full force with analog. Anyway, as I came back, I could no longer find NPH and was saddened that it had been discontinued. Fortunately, I've been hearing around the internet that Fuji Pro 400H is an essence the same emulsion, only renamed to re-align Fuji's naming conventions. So as any good photographer who is best with the tools he knows well, I purchased the new 400H and have been using it for about a couple of months now. However, I've noticed that the results weren't quite the same, even with the same camera. NPH had the characteristic of low contrast, slightly softer colors then Fuji's other emulsions, and was most likely the reason for making it one of the films of choice of wedding photographers.

    Fuji Pro 400H on the other hand seems to be more like Superia, maybe only slightly less contrast. Strong reds like LEDs, stoplights, tailiights that are on, all take the same blown-out, out of gamma look that Superia is known for, or well at least the Superia I used 10 years ago.

    At first I thought it was my original pro lab(in Hollywood), so I switched to another Pro lab, and I got the same thing. Then to really narrow it out, thinking that perhaps they use the same techniques in the US for developing Fuji, I went to Japan just recently and purchased some 400H there, and had it developed there. Well to my surprise, it was the same!

    So I looked for some of my old NPH negatives and laid them side by side and noticed that the orange color mask on the 400H was a darker shade then the NPH. Also, on the NPH, you could see much more detail in the negative as opposed to the 400H. That might explain why the NPH seemed better at scanning then the 400H. I also looked at my older Superia 400, same speed as the 400H and NPH, and noticed that the color mask was the same darker shade of the 400H, and not of the lighter NPH.

    I'm not saying 400H is a bad film. If anything, I realized it's very consistent with predictable results, regardless of lab or continent. I jut wanted to tell my story, that I don't think it's the same film at all as my once loved NPH.

    Is there any other low-contrast film, Fuji or Kodak out now?

  2. #2

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    Perhaps give the new kodak portra 400(not nc or vc) a try and see if you like it.

  3. #3
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    I tend to agree but most of the NPH I've shot somewhat recently was out of date.

    Im afraid the new Kodak 400 Portra may be too punchy also but I haven't had a chance to shoot the rolls I have yet.

    The newer 400H is supposed to be better to s*an but I haven't formed an opinion.

  4. #4
    CGW
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    I've been a long user of Fuji's NPH film and stopped using film about 9 years ago...

    I recall it being washed out when I first shot it around 2000. The last 2 20 roll boxes of frozen NPH 120 I'm still working on look punchier than the old stuff. Have some of the 400H I've yet to shoot but will soon. All I can offer is that Fuji never shied away from tweaking their materials during their production lives. Any chance of processing variations?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    Any chance of processing variations?
    As I posted, no.

    All of the rolls I purchased were individual rolls, and not packs, and from either B & H, locally in Los Angeles, or in Japan. I used at least three different Pro Labs. Hence my comment about what I saw as consistent. I agree, Fuji most likely changed it in the last decade, but I don't recall people commenting about it on forums.

    brucemuir
    What do you mean when you said:
    The newer 400H is supposed to be better to s*an but I haven't formed an opinion
    There's an asterisk covering one of your words.

  6. #6

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    To achieve a softer color pallet that is more pastel like a lot of recommendations I have gotten were to rate the film a stop over. Ex: Jose Villa, a proponent of 400H, mostly shoots it at 200 across the board.
    The film holds up extremely well to the over exposure from what I have seen in other photographers work, but I have always rated it at box speed.
    M. David Farrell, Jr.

    ----------------------------------------------
    ~Buying a Nikon doesn not make you a photographer. It makes you a Nikon owner!

    ~Everybody has a photographic memory, but not everybody has film!

  7. #7
    Athiril's Avatar
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    Check my gallery, Pro 400H doesn't blow out, even in non-standard processing, this is most likely your printing/scanning technique.

    In fact, here:
    http://www.apug.org/gallery1/showima...mageuser=31329

    The flast hot spot, is super dense.

  8. #8

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    When the old pro films (NPS, NPC, NPH, NPZ) were renamed (160S, 160C, 400H, 800Z) the two 160 films were tweaked to bring them very close to the other two in terms of printing. Now all four print on very, very, similar filter packs. I remember that the two 160 films were also tweaked in other ways to 'improve' them but the 400 and 800 were just renamed at that time. But as we're talking almost a decade ago, I'm sure NPH then and 400H now are quite distinct.

    I've also managed to get 400H to be quite a punchy and saturated film. Although I've never tested this, it seems to me that the film increases in saturation if it is over exposed by 1/2 stop. But if you over expose much more, say, 1-2 stops it goes sort of 'pastel'. So I'm wondering how did you rate your 400H when you shot it?
    Steve.

  9. #9

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    Just to be clear, just in case people aren't reading all the posts.

    The film was processed/developed at two different Pro labs in Hollywood, and in Japan, and the results are identical on all my negative films.

    The prints are machine prints from three different labs.

    The scans are of those from the lab that I pay extra and they put on CD. My old stuff is uncut, so I pay to have them scan it also through their machines like the Noritsu or Frontier.

    All of the 400H from, get this, three different labs that have strong reds, tend to slighly blow that color out. It appears as green on the negatives, even on casual viewing. This is inline with my experience from using Superia 400 in the past. Not all reds do this, just the really strong brilliant ones. I rate my 400h at ISO 400. All films do this to some degree, many consumer films tend to do it more apparently then pro films.

    Athiril I cannot view your albums. Apparently, I need to be a subscriber or something.

    My initial post was not an attack on 400H. In fact I like it a lot and judging by my own error that I made on my 1st exposure on a roll of 400H that I had mistakingly set at 100iso, I saw greater shadow detail, without having the sky or highlights blow out like they do in cough *ahem* digital. It will most likely be my film of choice and I'll follow TSSPro's advice and rate it at 200 next time. It was customary to shoot NPH at 320 before, even though I always shot it at it's rated speed. My early comments still stand, based on my own evidence, I don't believe 400H to be the same as NPH. However, as I will admit I haven't used film all that much since 2002, I cannot be for certain that the new 400H is in fact the same as a later revision of NPH, one that I probably didn't use, if there was even a revision. But just by staring at the NPH negatives I have in front of me, and the 400H stuff, the 400H stuff looks closer to Superia then it does NPH.
    Last edited by freddie.rios; 02-18-2011 at 03:22 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10
    Mark Antony's Avatar
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    I think they are the same emulsion, looking back at my shots on NPH and the ones on 400H I can't see a big difference. I'm sure they have tweeked it in the last 10 years, but overall I find the saturation of 400H to be between Portra NC and VC, probably closer to NC.
    Here is a shot of mine:


    i think Superia is a little more contrasty.

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