Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
The difficulty in making a choice comes about when actually comparing results through printing/scanning - I'm not sure how else you would compare colour neg - on a light box?
When someone asks me what C-41 film I recommend I assume they have a camera, lens, and some reasonable method to view the negatives. That is sort of understood.

Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
This is where the 'cost-results' issue of choosing traditional over digital becomes controversial - it's something you don't account for when impulse buying MF gear on eBay for pennies.
I didn't "impulse buy" my MF gear. And I use both digital and film. They are just different. Neither one is superior to the other. They both have their pros and cons. And in things like large format or panoramic medium format there is no digital equivalent, so whatever the costs of film there is no choice.

Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
Yeah, you might have those 60MP single use sensors stored away, but will they ever become high quality images. For me the answer is - not in the foreseeable future. I'm basically shooting colour film for posterity.
That is the first time in my life I have ever heard anyone say that. Whatever works for you, works for you. But you can't assume complete strangers on the internet are engaging in such a niche endeavor. An Epson V500 scanner can be purchased for less than the cost of a medium format back. I got mine for $130 shipped. I have ordered 20x24 prints for less than $8. The prints are nice. The scanner may not squeeze all the resolution out of my negatives but when I want that I can just get a drum scan.

I actually get prints from my analog stuff more than my digital stuff. Not sure why. Maybe I'm just a bit more into the analog stuff at the moment. At any rate how many large (ie >11x14) prints do most people make regardless of what they shoot? A lowly Epson V 500 is absolutely fine for an 8x10 made from medium format film.

Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
Getting good workable scans of Ektar for instance might be difficult with 'efficiency oriented' labs, unless you're opting for a more costly, higher res custom service. This is my conundrum with shooting colour. I don't have my own scanner and can't afford the decent (100MB+) scanning services from my lab at the moment - which is the only way to substantiate the quality advantage of shooting colour film over digital, unless, you make optical prints. So the question of making a choice between films comes down to the OP's preferred output and his level of scrutiny of the results. Testing and comparing could be more technically arduous than you make out. If it's just a case of using a 'process + scan to CD' service, to be honest, it all comes out the same. In which case, shoot whatever and have a play around. But we are talking about 'pro' films. Doesn't that suggest he wants 'pro' results?
This thread is not about comparing film to digital. This thread is about compare different C-41 films to each other. I am not really familiar with the Fuji C-41 offerings. But I have used the Kodak professional C-41 films and if you can't tell the broad differences between Portra and Ektar even on an Epson V500 medium format scan it is time to pick a different hobby. This is not a matter of pixel peeping. The big differences are not subtle.

batwister, I think you are misunderstanding what was originally asked and what was answered. The question was in regards to C-41 emulsions only. That is a very finite universe. And at least on the Kodak side of things the two emulsions are so obviously different one roll of each type shot under various conditions will tell you pretty quickly which one you will choose for most situations... even via an Epson V500 scan. Portra 160 and Ektar are both very fine grain modern films. Which one is the finest is irrelevant. As other people have noted you pick whichever film is appropriate for the situation. You aren't going to eschew shooting a wedding with Portra simply because you think Ektar has finer grain on a drum scan.

Trust me man I see a very real need for Air Force test charts and drum scans. I've been cursed on this very forum for advocating rigorous methodologies for evaluations. But for something like this it simply is not necessary. If you want to get into some big digital vs film bake off then sure. But I don't need a drum scan to figure out Ektar is more contrasty than Portra. So yes I agree with you not every property of these films can be meaningfully assessed in an Epson V500 scan but really that simply isn't necessary to answer the OP's question.