Kodak Portra 400


I have been very impressed with Kodak Ektar and its fine grain and how well it scans but have shied away from 400 ISO films until necessity has forced my hand.  I’ve found it increasingly hard to find inexpensive 200 ISO film so have migrated to using cheap 400 film for my everyday shooting.  The results from this change have been encouraging enough for me to consider trying some better more expensive 400 films like Kodak Portra.  Many people may not realize just how much of the movies are still shot on film, for example at the time I write this no Movie has won a best picture Oscar that was not shot on film.  The point is that despite the steep drop off of still photography on film, development and use continued on the movie side unabated.  In 2010 they  released this formulation of Kodak Portra 400 which used the technological advancements that had been made there.  The result as they claim is the worlds finest grained 400 ISO film and that it scans very well.  I will take their word for it as it certainly scans well and is fine-grained I’m just not really on a quest to prove that.


I scanned this Negative at 4800 DPI on my Epson V700 scanner producing an image 6800×4500 (32Mpixels)  but that is stretching things into the area of diminishing returns both for the film and the scanner. At 3200 DPI the image has as much detail so there is little need to create such large files.  Almost all the scanned frames produced from this roll of film have details in both the highlights and shadows.  This produces somewhat flat files without a lot of contrast but for my digital work flow this is fine in fact it is preferable, these files allow great latitude for manipulating them digitally.

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