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  1. #1

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    Lattitude of Portra 400 film

    Hello,

    I need to ask a beginner question. I understand from the internet that the new Portra 400 has a great lattitude but i am wondering how this advantage is put into practice.

    Does that mean for one roll of film i can take shots at different iso and once finish i just drop it in the lab and ask them to develop normally without any push processing.

    Will there be any risk of under or over exposure depending on the skill of the lab, or can all lab handle this well.

    I personally will try to take them all at box speed but just occasionally might need to increase the iso.

    Please advise

  2. #2
    Athiril's Avatar
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    You can vary your exposure without (edit: typo) process adjustment when you simply have no choice otherwise except to not take a photo. Underexposing on Portra 400 is -much- better with a push rather than just relying on latitude alone.

    You probably wan't be able to overexpose the film severely enough to ruin your pictures, unless you actually try quite hard.


    The below shot is exposed for the shade (incident metered in the shade) there is 5 stops of different in the direct sun and shade in this particular scene (via incident metering in both), I did this to get good mid tones in the shade, yet I have simultaneously good mid tones in both, though the image is of lower contrast as a consequence of this exposure. But when your subject is mixed over hard sun light and shade with a huge contrast difference, that is a benefit.


    OCAU Melb Photowalk Week 2 #11 by athiril, on Flickr
    Last edited by Athiril; 05-12-2011 at 05:51 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3

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    Check out the results in these tests, it seems like the new Portra can handle severe over and underexposure with decent results at normal porcessing.

    http://www.twinlenslife.com/2010/12/...light-new.html
    http://www.twinlenslife.com/2010/12/...portra400.html

    I still have not tried the new emulsion (still have half a brick of 400NC left), but I really want to give the new Portra 800 a go!

  4. #4
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Ok here's a real life example, not Portra but C-41 negative film. (They all have great latitude BTW)

    This summer my family is heading to Hawaii to vacation with the inlaws and I don't have an underwater/waterproof 35mm camera.

    My solution is simply to get ten or so disposables. http://www.ecamerafilms.com/category_s/36.htm

    There aren't any exposure adjustments on disposables, except for flash, you just point and shoot and let the lab deal with what ever lands on the film.

    The C-41 films, even without a flash, in these disposables have enough latitude to do a reasonable job in most any situation from sunrise to sunset. Add the flash and there is almost no limit on the lighting you can shoot in and get reasonable results.

    These cameras use the film's latitude instead of exposure controls.

    You can do the same thing with your camera, dial in 1/100 @ f/11 on a wide angle lens put in some Portra 400 and go shoot. Send the roll off to the lab and you will probably be pleasantly surprised.

    Understanding that you can miss perfect exposure by a few stops is very freeing.

    For example, lets say you want to shoot a portrait in full sun at f/2 on Portra 400. Your camera might not have the 1/25,000th shutter speed you might to get a "normal" exposure, so what, shoot at the fastest you got and let the latitude do the rest. 1/4000th will probably get you a very workable result.

    What you need to do to really see what your Portra will do is shoot some with intentionally bad settings and see where your limits are.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  5. #5

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    Wow thats all great news.

    I still cant quite figure this out. These mini labs will process based on the time for ASA 400, so if i shot at ASA 1600, without any special processing why is it that the picture will not be badly underexpose? What is compensating for all these? Apologise if this sounds really dumb.

  6. #6
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mingaun View Post
    Wow thats all great news.

    I still cant quite figure this out. These mini labs will process based on the time for ASA 400, so if i shot at ASA 1600, without any special processing why is it that the picture will not be badly underexpose? What is compensating for all these? Apologise if this sounds really dumb.
    This is not a free lunch.

    It will be underexposed. You give away 2-stops of shadow detail when you expose an ISO 400 film at an EI of 1600.

    Is what's left workable? Your call.

    The only way you'll know is trying it.

    Most C-41 film's are much more tolerant of overexposure rather than under.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  7. #7
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mingaun View Post
    What is compensating for all these?
    The film can catch a wider range of brightness than the paper can print.

    So on film you might catch 12-stops of detail but the paper can only use/print 6 or 7 of them, which 6 or 7 is up to you and the lab.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  8. #8

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    Ok that sounds more logical. This was the site that confused me http://www.rebophotography.com/blog/links/1116
    At the end of his review he had a few shots taken at ASA 800 and develop normally, the picture looks pretty good to me especially the portraits ... dont seem like underexposing at all.

  9. #9

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    -4 +6

    Here's a shot taken on an olympus OM1 with each exposure separated by a whole stop..



    The far right exposure is -4 stops and the far left exposure is +6 stops.. Drum scanned on a Howtek 4500 with Aztek DPL..

    The scene is from 16LV (ev@100) next to the sun to 7LV in the shadowed trees. Clouds are around 11LV which the exposure was taken for. foreground is about 9LV

    Given that the next to the sun bit doesn't blow out and it's at +5EV already, then we get +11 EV at least ... the shadows go down to about -5 EV but you are losing a lot of detail by then. I would say -3 EV is where you should be placing useful shadows and useful highlights probably go up to +8 or 9 EV but you'll still be getting texture up to +11 EV and colour all the way up to +15 EV ..

    I didn't believe it until I took the pictures for myself.

    Here's a sunrise for you taken by a colleague.. The trees were a silhouette from where we were and the sun isn't blown out in the final picture..

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/davtee/5615975224/

    Tim

  10. #10
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by mingaun View Post
    Ok that sounds more logical. This was the site that confused me http://www.rebophotography.com/blog/links/1116
    At the end of his review he had a few shots taken at ASA 800 and develop normally, the picture looks pretty good to me especially the portraits ... dont seem like underexposing at all.
    "Nothing has been done to them other than some (not all) have a very slight curves adjustment, and then they are all resized for the web."

    Though I'm looking forward to trying the new Portra 400, this statement tempers my expectations a bit since the shots he published have been processed to an undisclosed degree. How does he quantify "very slight"? No science there.

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