Film Review: Kodak Portra 400 (35mm and 120, Various Formats)

Years and years ago, Kodak announced something that would endure for quite a while: Kodak Portra 400. Available in the 120, 35mm, and large formats, the film was and still is incredibly popular with photographers who like shooting portraits. It’s highly valued for its muted tones–which tends to go against much of what digital photography seems to offer straight out of the camera. However, Portra is in use for much more than just this. Lots of photographers use it as their every day film because they just like it. But this tends to be more the thought process of those that shoot 35mm. At 120, you’re getting far less shots per roll and often work to get the best photos you can in one single shot due to higher stakes–even more so than with 35mm.

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Fujifilm’s New GFX Video Series Gives A Glimpse Into Their Vision For The Camera

Fujifilm turned a lot of heads in September with their GFX 50s announcement. We have all been patiently waiting for the cameras to hit the market even if the fact is that most of us will still find them out of our price bracket by a good margin.

Several lucky photographers have had the chance to go on trips to try the new Fujifilm GFX 50s. Their thoughts and opinions on the new system are shared across the following five videos. As expected in a company sponsored series, the praise is high and criticism is non-existent – but that is what third-party reviews are for, so stay tuned for those once the cameras start shipping. Continue reading…

Essentials: The Compact Medium Format Film Photographer

Essentials is a series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend.

When you think about most medium format cameras out there, it’s often possible for people to consider the fact that they’re all really large. Granted, the newer digital cameras are changing that, but most of the medium format film cameras have always been very large. The exceptions were the rangefinders. Indeed, some of these are very expensive, but others are pretty affordable overall. And if you’re looking to keep your kit compact overall, then know that it’s pretty simple to do.

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Understanding the Fujifilm GFX 50S and the Medium Format Mentality

It’s no secret: lots of photographers are drooling over the idea of shooting with the Fujifilm GFX 50S medium format camera. The idea of owning something bigger than full frame 35mm (though not even the size of true digital 645) is something that is bound to attract a whole lot of photographers. Then consider the fact that everyone and their mother is a photographer these days. Everyone will want a medium format camera because they’re becoming more and more affordable. Though for what it’s worth, I’m very positive that not everyone understands medium format.

In fact, you may honestly want to stick with 35mm, APS-C, or even Four Thirds.

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Those Cool Medium Format Viewfinder Photos: Not as Simple as You’d Think

Everyone loves looking at all those really cool photos and videos showing off exactly what a medium format viewfinder of some sort shows off. For the most part though, they’re a lot harder than you’d think to pull off effectively. Many photographers simply tend to use Photoshop or Lightroom to brighten up that specific area that you see within the viewfinder. Part of this has to do with the lighting in the area and another part has to do with just what type of camera you’re using.

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Do You Know How a Lens Bellows Works?

Many modern camera lenses focus by moving the elements inside of the lens. But not all lenses focused like that. Modern large format and some medium format cameras focus with the use of a lens bellows. Part of this is because otherwise the lens itself would be huge. In today’s tutorial video, we show you all about focusing a camera with a lens bellows, the problems around them, etc. We don’t get into everything, but for the person looking to go big with medium format or large format, all this is great information to know.

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First Impressions: Fujifilm GFX 50s Medium Format Mirrorless Camera

For a few minutes at Photokina 2016, I was able to personally fondle the hottest camera announced at the show: the Fujifilm GFX 50s. This is a medium format camera targeted at the full frame 35mm camera user and is the second medium format mirrorless camera in the digital market. Oddly enough though, it isn’t designed to resemble a Mamiya 7 II or anything else from the film days despite the retro aesthetics. A number of jounalists and I were taken through a presentation where we were introduced to the team who worked on the camera’s design and specifications. Fujifilm’s intention here is to find a way to appeal to professional photographers and high end enthusiasts without competing in the pool filled with sharks that produce full frame 35mm sensor cameras.

So far: they seem to have the world’s attention.

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