Developing Overexposed Film


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Dec 20, 2020
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There may be an answer to this question somewhere else but I am a little confused. If I shoot Portra 400 35mm at 200 ISO instead of box speed, do I need to let the lab know to develop it differently? If so, what is the difference and why can’t the over exposure be achieved by developing the film as if it was shot at box speed?
If the lab offered custom developing, they'll need to know how many stops it's underexposed. In this case, one stop.
Shooting a 400 ISO film with the camera meter set to 200 ISO would over expose the film by 1 stop.
This Test Reveals the Exposure Limits of Kodak Portra 400 Film
Negative film should be Ok with a 1 stop over-exposure
... if you want the lab to process it at your 200 ISO you should tell them to pull the processing.
Tell lab to pull process for iso 200 not what the canister says.
I've had wonderful results shooting Portra 400 @ 200 and developing normal c-41 times in unicolor, tetnol, and kodak flexicolor. It is really nice. Wide latitude. I even have shot 1 under and 1 over on the same roll with fantastic results using normal dev time. If you were to pull it per direction time, you get a little more detail in the shadows, if pushed, more detail in highlights. There is some color saturation differences as well, less or more pastel at 200, more color saturation at 800, especially blues and reds when following the chemicals stated times to pull or push. I have never noticed any sharpness difference. However, portra 160 seems to have a slightly sharper image than Portra 400 and 800 but not a deal breaker by any means and you really have to pixel peep to see it.
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