Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The new and improved Portra!

As I'm going through my film shots from my recent trip I'm realizing that I am in love with Kodak's new Portra. The new Portra is set to take the place of both the 400NC and the 400VC and here's how they all compare...from what Kodak tells me:
1) Color Saturation is somewhere between NC & VC (more saturated that the NC and less saturated than VC).
2) Granularity is better than NC & VC
3) Contrast is equal to the NC
4) Sharpness is halfway between NC & VC

A lot of people online have been mourning the loss of their precious (insert VC or NC here) but I can't say that I really care. It's not like they got rid of Kodachrome or something... oh wait....le sigh. In a world that (as much as I hate to admit it) is abandoning film like a sinking ship, at least Kodak turned two films into one instead of dropping them both without a replacement. Add to it that I was never super crazy about either of those anyways and you'll see why I'm really not all that sad. First thing I did when I got my VC (or NC) scans back was take them into lightroom and make adjustments anyways so does it really matter if it's VC or NC? To me, the answer is no. Actually, I loved the new Portra shots straight out of camera so not only does it not matter but I think it's actually better. Rather than blab on and on about how I love Portra...let me just show you why.


The red door, the green building, the blue sky- the color range of this film is exceptional. Not only do I feel like the exact colors were captured but they were almost improved. This photo is a better version of reality. Look at the distinct edges and the fine detail in the balcony, the shingles, the shadowed areas vs the light areas. It's so beautiful. *I hope the images are showing up on your screen as beautifully as they are on mine or you guys are gonna think I'm nuts.


Again, the color. I think my favorite part of this photo is the tan in the background. That was actually a mountain 200 yards away but Portra did such a beautiful job picking up on that earthy color and making it stand out so those flowers could really pop off the background. The blues and yellows are wonderful and the sharpness is spot on.


Color, color, color, color, color. Nailed it. No edits, just warmth. Obsessed!


"Beautiful, natural skin tones and superb color reproduction" is one of the selling factors that Kodak advertises and they aren't kidding. I thought Portra handled this harsh lighting situation beautifully. The shadows on the face aren't too dark and nothing is blown out. Portra creates consistency under tons of different lighting situations. Perfect mix of color and information. It's reassuring to know that film will back me up and work with me instead of yield images that require a ton of post work.

Well, obviously I'm over the moon about the new Portra and now that I know Dwayne's does a great job with their processing (not so much on the scans) I feel comfortable with shooting color and sending it out. I'm going to order a few more rolls and maybe try some different types of work- I've got a great idea for a magic hour shoot but I'm still looking for a model. Anywhoo, more Portra coming your way soon. Until then, order some HERE and shoot your own. Deal? Deal!


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