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Portra 400 - Is It Worth The Hype?

Updated: Jan 7, 2021

I shoot primarily black and white. When I shoot color, I usually try to find the cheapest films I can. The other day, I got an itch to try out some Portra 400 to see what all the hype was about.


I shot everything at 200 ISO, trying to mimic the overexposed style that many look for with Portra. I have to say, I'm extremely impressed with how these turned out. I didn't expect to not need to adjust color and contrast when I scanned them. Here are some examples, unedited aside from removing some small dust/hair from the scans. All photos shot on a Nikon F2 with a 50mm.



Portra 400 Pushed to 200 - Blue house bush red green grass tree
Portra 400 Pushed to 200 -  Cherry Blossom

Portra 400 Pushed to 200 - Victorian bulding red and trees sky clouds

Portra 400 Pushed to 200 - Stop sign reflection water rain
Portra 400 Pushed to 200 -

Portra 400 Pushed to 200 - Red shutters green bush house
Portra 400 Pushed to 200 - Window victorian apartment Kentucky Newport

Portra 400 Pushed to 200 -  Picnic Table grass

Portra 400 Pushed to 200 -  Volkswagen Bug Red house barn

Portra 400 Pushed to 200 - Victorian building
Portra 400 Pushed to 200 - Willow tree reflection in water

Portra 400 Pushed to 200 - willow tree reflections in water

Portra 400 Pushed to 200 - church cross window
Portra 400 Pushed to 200 - Willow tree branches

Portra 400 Pushed to 200 - tree red flower blossoms

Well, I'm impressed. This is the first roll of color film I haven't had to worry about adjusting colors when I scanned them. The muted tone look is something I never looked for in film since I shoot black and white, but I can definitely see the appeal of it. The price of this film is pretty high (around $10 on BNH), so I don't think I would use it as liberally as I do black and white, but I think this might be a film I'll keep stocked in my fridge from now on.



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