Movie Overview: A Roll of the Kodak Portra 800 (Nikon F3 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AI-S) by Dorothy Key


As a novice movie photographer, I had by no means heard of the Portra 400 This and Portra 800 He, A shade inventory from Kodak that stood above all different shade inventory – with its exact pores and skin tone and delicate pastel nuances. However, till my first go to to Seattle, Washington, I had solely shot a number of rolls of the Portra 400 and 800 in each 35mm and 120.

My journey as a really novice movie photographer started with a pleasant plastic Lomography Diana toy digital camera that fascinated my sisters and I. Well-known for her extremely ‘experimental’ pictures full of sunshine leaks and defective exposures, my mother bought one in all these sentimental cameras in the summertime of 2017, when you should buy a 120 pro-pack of Kodak Portra 400 for just a little over $30. may. That July we visited the coast of Oregon. With my little child blue Diana, Portra 400 and Ektar 100, I shot a number of rolls on the attractive North West Coast. Evidently, my rolls have been removed from profitable, equally because of the remarkably low high quality of the digital camera in addition to my zero expertise. Thus, in my lounge cupboard went 4 pro-packs of 120 movie (a real tragedy they weren’t refrigerated). It wasn’t till about 4 years later that I ditched these bins after getting my YashikMate 124, a real medium format digital camera.

Now, 5 years later, I had determined to come back again and take a look at the dreaded Kodak Portra movies as soon as once more. Given Seattle’s signature wet, cloudy climate in Could, I introduced in some quick movie inventory: a 3 pack of Fuji Superia 400, two rolls of Kodak Portra 400, two rolls of Portra 800, a pair rolls of Cinestill 800T , and numerous black and white shares. On a three-day journey to Seattle Washington I shot eight rolls of 35mm movie on my newest SLR, a Nikon F3 with MD-4 motor drive, and a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AI-S lens. In addition to the above talked about Yashika-MAT-124, which I additionally shot a number of rolls of Portra 400 (pro-pack discarded from July of 2017).

To my dismay, the climate upon my arrival was as vibrant and filled with EV16 sunshine as ever. However regardless of this, I acted just like the antifragile movie photographer I used to be making an attempt to be. I wasn’t about to complete all the assortment of movie and as an alternative Walgreens paid a Kodak Gold 200 for over half a cease of publicity compensation. Due to this, my shade 35mm roll got here out a bit extra uncovered, which as each movie photographer would say is the candy spot for the Portra 800. As you’ll be able to see in these subsequent two photographs, the highlights are on the sting of overexposure.

I used to be fairly happy with how my roll of the Kodak Portra 800 turned out, particularly given how homogeneous the publicity was and the nice element of each shadows and highlights provided in submit. I appreciated excessive ISO movies as a result of they allowed for a most shutter pace that might pair properly with fast-paced road taking pictures. As a younger man with a monstrous black Nikon SLR, a decidedly classic TLR, a giant digital camera bag, and a Fuji Instax Sq. digital camera to high all of it, I had a number of perplexing glances at Seattle’s downtown streets .

One among my greatest disappointments with the roll was the tone distinction between the pictures. I scanned all of them with a Pakon 235F 35mm movie scanner, and I did little or no enhancing on the pictures, nothing that might have turned up the warmth of the photographs to such an extent. As you’ll be able to see, the 2 pictures right here have been taken near the very same time and but the tonality is way hotter and golden (nearly turquoise) within the first shot than within the second. I’ve concluded that the metering on my F3 should have undone a small quantity for the primary shot.

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On a three-day journey, we visited the Seattle Aquarium, Puget Sound, The Area Needle, the Chihuly Glass Exhibit, Pike Place Market, took a ferry to Bainbridge Island, and strolled by means of Gasworks Park. It was a whole journey loaded with loads of taking pictures on the street and I used to be complaining about how I had in some way managed to mess with the performance of my MD-4 motor drive, which is, in actual fact, very helpful.

A number of the photographs from the Chihuly Glass exhibit close to the Area Needle (seen above) as I started scanning the negatives completely shocked me. Once I was taking pictures, I feared that the massive grain of 800 ISO movie would distract from the fragile and coloured glass, however the best way the Portra 800 dealt with vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges was fairly spectacular. It superbly captured the ethereal and dramatic items of blown glass with a tremendous degree of element and sharpness that I did not anticipate from the inventory.

If I had solely checked the climate forecast for the deliberate journey, I might have realized that it might not be as vibrant and heat as I anticipated, and I might in all probability have chosen slow-motion movie inventory. As an alternative of taking cues from nearly each road photographer, I may have introduced my yet one more silent and vague rangefinder, completely match for road images; Slightly I used to be drawn to taking pictures a number of rolls of the Kodak Portra 800 and Cinestill 800T, a real beast of an SLR, Nikon F3 and MD-4 that I had by no means shot till this journey.

Regardless of this imperfect pairing, my summer season journey to Seattle positively cemented my love of the Portra 800. The best way it dealt with overexposure brilliantly and rendered the blue and orange hues of town shocked nearly each different movie shooter in compliance: the Kodak Portra 800 is actually an distinctive movie inventory.

~ Dorothy

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