A Handy Guide to Kodak Portra and Choosing the Best One

Kodak Portra comes in three variants, and they’re each for different styles and looks.

The look of Kodak Portra has helped define so many aesthetics for years. Lots of the most popular portraits in magazines in the 90s were shot using it. It continued even through the early 2000s. Kodak Portra is a beautiful film that was specifically designed to shoot portraits. It’s arguably also the best when it comes to being scanned. Digital, even now, still can’t quite reproduce its look. Lucky for you, we’ve reviewed the most recent Kodak Portra film emulsions. And we dove into our Reviews Index to figure out which one you need.

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The Phoblographer’s Guide to Kodak Film for Professional Photographers

Kodak film is some of the best that you’re going to find on the market; and for good reason too!

The world of analog film photography is one currently experiencing a Renaissance; and at the forefront of it is Kodak film. Kodak is the last big company producing film that hasn’t cut emulsions but instead is bringing out new ones. Professional photographers used to use Kodak film for years and today the new breed of analog photographers does just that. There are a number of options for photographers to get into–with some of the tried and true emulsions being both Kodak Tri-X and Kodak Portra. Look around the web, and you’ll see tutorials and presets for digital photographers to get the look of these films. But no matter how hard they try, they just don’t recapture the magic of film.

We’ve reviewed every professional film emulsion that Kodak offers, and so we’re rounding up our reviews for you in one spot.

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This Detailed Comparison Shows the Difference Between Slide Film vs. Color Negative Film

If you want to get serious with film photography, especially when shooting with slide films, this comparison video will give you an idea when it’s the better choice over color negative films.

With film discontinuations here and there over the years, shooting with slide films has become either rare opportunities that you save for special shoots, or quirky experiments using expired film stocks. Still, for those who really want to get serious with film photography, knowing how to make the most out of the fresh slide films still available out there is paramount. In this very informative and detailed comparison video by Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens, we get to see two of today’s popular slide films, Fuji Provia 100 and Fuji Velvia 100, go head-to-head with a color negative favorite, the Kodak Portra 160.

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Wong Wei-Him Shares His Connection with Hong Kong’s Iconic Harbor

All images and words by Wong Wei-Him. Used with permission.

My name is Wong Wei-Him, and I’m a street photographer and architect based Hong Kong, and founder of In-between design office.

I used to take photos as inspiration for my design projects, and I always carry my camera wherever I go, looking for beautiful architecture, spaces and details. It wasn’t until I came across the magnificent works of Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt and Japanese street photographer Shin Noguchi — so peculiar the way they look at culture and humanity — that I decided to make street photography a second passion of my life.

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Nostalgic NYC Street Portraits on Film by Maxence Dedry

All images by Maxence Dedry. Used with Creative Commons permission.

New York City remains a favorite of street photographers, not only for its vibrant city life and iconic architecture, but also for the interesting faces, characters, and personalities of its residents. The Big Apple may be an intimidating place to take street portraits, but the film snaps of Belgium-based Maxence Dedry show why it’s always worth including them in your photography itinerary around town.

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Film Emulsion Review: Kodak Portra 160 (35mm and 120 Formats)

When you work with a film like Kodak Portra 160, you get a pretty fine detailed film designed to be used more or less with controlled lighting. Though interestingly enough, I’ve personally had much better results working with many other films using controlled lighting and instead found that this film is one of the best to be used with natural light. Designed for skin tones in portraiture, Kodak Portra 160 has a very muted color palette but not as pastel as Fujifilm’s Pro 160 NS–its closest competitor which is now discontinued. Like many other films, it is available in both 120 and 35mm. But if you’re reading this website, then you’re probably only using it in 120.

I’ve been using Kodak Portra 160 for years; and even though I prefer to work with 400, 160 is surely a nice film in the right settings.

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A Film Photographer’s Introduction to the Kodak Portra Family

We love a good party and when we found out that the Portra line is about to celebrate its twentieth birthday next year (introduced in 1998!), we thought we would take the time to cover some ground (and after, perhaps raise a glass) when it comes to Kodak’s Portra line. Kodak Portra has put out a variety of film stocks from this line, some of which are discontinued, but three of which are now a staple to film photographers like those of us at Carmencita and yourself. We’re gonna cover some ground on those three that take the cake when it comes to Kodak’s Portra line: Portra 160, Portra 400, and Portra 800 ISO.

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These Are What 8×20 Kodak Portra Film Scans Looks Like

Foxs Gap join Layers

We recently did a feature on Eliot Dudik’s 8×20 large format film project and he just let us know that he’s been able to do some preliminary scans of his images so far as he prepares for the documentary project. You may also recall that Eliot is on PDN’s “30 New & Emerging Photographers to Watch” feature for 2012 which is quite an achievement. But not too long ago, Eliot sent us an update on the project; and the images that revisit the American Civil War sites are really quite stunning.

 

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