Kodak Portra 160

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by burtharrris, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. burtharrris

    burtharrris TPF Noob!

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    Hi, I had a few questions about print film. I saw a bunch of ads for Kodak Portra 160 (I guess advertisements actually work!) and it made me curious. What is the benefit of using C-41 film for portraits?

    The website said low contrast, does that translate into smoothing facial features?

    I've also heard the word "latitude" thrown around but I don't know what it is either.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    "Latitude" C-41 films are more forgiving because adjustments can be easily made at printing saving a bad exposure
     
  3. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    unless your hand printing your own it pretty much doesn't matter which neg film you use, you can get excellent results from cheapo's as you can with pro film, (ie:portra)
     
  4. burtharrris

    burtharrris TPF Noob!

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    I don't exactly, take my film to Walmart to be processed.

    If I'm going to my pro lab (L&I in NYC), what sort of differences will I see?
     
  5. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    The quick labs are set to try and make everything look the same. I could see where things like color, contrast, and other differences would get a bit lost in prints from those machines. In a pro lab, hopefully you will get someone who is paying a bit more attention. The high saturation films will pop and films like Portra will be much more subtle. It still depends on who's working the machine, though. It pays to get to know your lab tech.
     
  6. selmerdave

    selmerdave TPF Noob!

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    Hey Matt,

    I feel a little uneasy about getting pictures that I care about developed by folks at Walmart, but I'm not sure I could say prints from L&I are worth it. They are a great lab and I use them for everything else, but for the $15 that you'll pay you get the same computer prints you get from cheap labs. Ditto with Duggal. So for C41 I go to B&H, good results and less than $6/roll. If you want a good hand print, *then* I would go to L&I and you'll get your money's worth.

    I have to disagree with Harry, I have compared Porta with Gold and while Gold is really quite decent there is not the range of subtlety or detail of tones that you get with a pro film. Ditto with other manufacturers.

    Dave
     
  7. burtharrris

    burtharrris TPF Noob!

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    I feel a LOT uneasy going to Walmart and the like.

    I brought a quick roll from my sister's birthday party to CVS, and there was a line across every frame. When I brought them back, the junior high kid there said it must be my camera, "was it digital or disposable?" I told him it was a brand new Canon (Elan 7) and that it was his fault.

    I'm not a perfectionist, but I like things done right the first time. I don't shoot a lot of c41 because I don't like the overly done contrast and saturation they put into the pictures, plus the big chance of a screw up.

    Thanks dave, I'll try B&H for my next roll of c41.
     
  8. montresor

    montresor TPF Noob!

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    Definitely a fan of Portra -- have even had lovely results from "expired" Portra (bought 12 propacks of 120 for $1.35 each from a MotoPhoto that was emptying their shelves prior to moving down the mall).
     
  9. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I have mixed opinions on all this lab business. I can remember a customer who insisted "just give me the film." Then he is back three hours later with a 'tude. The prints looked like crap, colors way off. Now he wants his money back and is really upset. I didn't care about giving him $50 back but I was mad as hell that he was going to bad mouth me.

    I told him to come back the next day and if he still wanted his money back after he saw the prints done right, he was welcome to it. He left in a huff. Now you might think I took them to the the prolab in the next town. I did not. I carried them to the Winn Dixie grocery store.

    At that time the Winn Dixie store had the former manager of a school pictures lab running it. School pictures local verson was downsizing. First place of any size to go digital. I gave her the negs and stood there while she reprinted them. She removed some green and then some blue not a very hard fix. The difference was she looked at the prints for me. Probably because I was in there all the time. She and I were friends sorta.

    When the average customer went to the lab they ran the negs of full automatic. Normal everything which is normal nothing.

    I have had excellent result from one hour labs, when I know who the people are that will print my film. I also want to know what daily tests they run for set up.

    Brands of film can make a big difference. However most any film is acceptable, some just look different. So in that respect everyone is right. If you want subtle colors, go with a portrait film. These days of digital printing everywhere I'm not sure what difference it makes unless you find a lab that will print by hand on a 'real' enlarger.

    Even my beloved noritsu wet processer is now digitalizing film first. So everyone will have different experiences just find your own way in the world
     

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