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  1. #21
    Chris Lange's Avatar
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    I've printed a ton of negatives from the various Portra films in the past 4 months. I've found that the old NC is slightly more tame in the saturation department than the new plain-jane 400, but it's a difference that is pretty much negligible. I mean, inconsequential to the point where the advantages of shooting the new film are orders of magnitude more important than scrounging around for more of the old 400NC. I do have a fairly large stock of NC lying around, and I shoot it when I'm out of the new 400 and am not quite ready to order more film just yet.

    PS. the new 160 is probably exactly what you're looking for. It's my favorite Kodak color negative film.
    See my work at my website CHRISTOPHER LANGE PHOTOGRAPHY

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  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    It is quite possible that the OP's lab is either:
    1) not using custom colour profiles suited to the new film; or
    If it were me, I would ask the lab if they have and use the new colour profiles supplied by Kodak, and if they are able to provide prints with lower contrast and saturation upon request.
    According to the OP, they were scanned and printed. This of course means no profiles were used as there are none for scanners according to Kodak. Oddly enough Kodak does state on their new film releases that they are optimal for scanning which begs the question of what they themselves use.

  3. #23
    Stuggi's Avatar
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    I've noticed that prints from mini-labs are usually a lot more saturated and have more contrast than the scans I get from the same negatives when I use my own scanner (hybrid workflow, so I have no use for proof prints). Their scanners seem to be setup any which way they happen to be and only adjusted when they start to get weird prints, I usually get sepia toned scans when they try to scan BW400C that's been B&W-developed.
    Canon F1n / FTb / AE-1P | Yashica Mat-124G | Hasselblad 500C/M | Leica IIIf

  4. #24

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    I've had a few rolls lab scanned and my lab tends to really overdo the contrast and saturation, which I then remedy. I actually thought many of the 'raw' scans were surprisingly muted - shot on typical British overcast days however. Ektar is my colour film of choice and the palette couldn't be more different than Portra 400.

  5. #25

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    New 400 is designed for neg scans, doesn't print as well.

    Thus said, I still prefer 160nc.
    5x7 Eastman-Kodak kit, under the knife for a bit
    4x5 Graphic View / Schneider 180 / Ektar 127
    RB67 Pro S / 50 4.5 / 90 3.8 / 180 4.5 / WLF / prism finder / polaback
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  6. #26

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    I thank everyone for the replies--they are very helpful.

    I just got back my second batch, this one with Portra 400NC, Portra 400, and Fuji Pro 400H. What an interesting comparison these three rolls have made. I note that there must have been something amiss in my first batch of Portra 400 (the new version), as this roll looks much, much better. I gather it was either in processing, or with the photographer (me).

    I think some of what I saw may have been a result of the lighting conditions. In ther first batch, I noticed that my notes indicated that I shot many of the photos around noontime. While I avoid this during summer month, I suppose this may present something of an issue even in fall or winter. In any case, I like what I see in both the new Portra 400 and in Pro 400H. Both are nice films, and I will continue to shoot both until I can declare a "winner."

    Thus, I take back my remark about Kodak "ruining" Portra 400.

    I welcome any further comments or suggestions.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Les Sarile View Post
    Uncorrected latitude of Kodak Portra 400 shown below.

    Link to larger version -> Kodak Portra 400 A

    You can recover shadows and highlights easily.

    Link to larger version -> Kodak Portra 400 B

    Uncorrected mix light - CF bulb and window lighting

    Link to larger version -> Kodak Portra 400 C

    A couple of other samples of uncorrected longer exposure modes greater then a few seconds.

    Links to larger versions -> Kodak Portra 400 D & Kodak Portra 400 E

    I also happen to like Fuji Pro400H as well as Provia 400X so definitely give those a try.
    Due to reprocity failure, i dont belive all those EV+ steps are correct

  8. #28

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    Just to clarify the procedure more precisely, I used a reference white balance bullb, determined optimal aperture @ 1/125 and adjusted the shutter over and under this reference as shown. The EV steps are fixed and no compensation/adjustments were made to account for reciprocity error in this test. If by the RE you mean the color shifting at +8 and above then I believe that is just from extreme over exposure and the scanner doing it's best "auto exposure". I have not done a "proper" long exposure test with this film but I have certainly taken numerous longer then 8 second exposures with it that clearly show it is unaffected at least to about 30 seconds except the reference artificial light isn't exactly white balanced. Picture below is uncorrected.


  9. #29

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    I had new 400 done from a wedding I shot and the colors came out pretty neutral. I actually bumped up the saturation a little in a couple of the shots. It's no Kodachrome or VC, but it's not 160NC either.
    5x7 Eastman-Kodak kit, under the knife for a bit
    4x5 Graphic View / Schneider 180 / Ektar 127
    RB67 Pro S / 50 4.5 / 90 3.8 / 180 4.5 / WLF / prism finder / polaback
    Random 35mm stuff

  10. #30

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    The only thing I don't like about Portra 400 is how orange it is. I've pretty much switched to Pro 400H or Ektar for skintones. 400H is better if you want that light and pastel tone, Ektar is easily the best film if you want natural looking punch to the color.

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