As Good As It Gets with Portra 400

  After her first senior portrait session, her response was somewhere along the lines of “I love it, I love it, I love it..but let’s do more…I want more close ups!” Alright, I love doing head-shots. However, instead of shooting in 645 format like last time, I decided to change it up to shooting 35mm. Mainly to get a few more shots out of the roll.  I also lugged my large format camera with me, with a 6x6cm back. The results can be seen in the previous post.

   35mm C41 film has always been my nemesis. I never seem to get it exposed the way it’s ‘supposed’ to look (at least in my head). There are a lot of variables to this, and in order to battle them, I deployed some of the best film money can buy, my most adequate equipment and techniques, and more importantly,  a trusted lab 100’s of miles away.

There are still places locally available to develop C41, but I can never trust them. I always blame my poor results on them because of their ‘dead-ish’ chemicals. A place where you can develop a roll of film and buy a pack of tampons at the same time is not really the best place to get film developed.  So, I sent them out to the same place that does my E6 and 120 C41 film. I had my doubts while I was waiting for the negatives to come back, but the final result exceeded all expectations.

  The set up was simple. A Nikon F4 with AIS Nikkor 180mm f2.8 and/or AF Nikkor 50mm f1.4, Kodak Portra 400 135/36 courtesy of Joe, a Vivitar 285 flash and sync cord  for the pool shots. Negatives developed (dev only) by Dwayne’s Photo.

9 thoughts on “As Good As It Gets with Portra 400

  1. Colours work great here! The problem with all the C41 films is that they are not stable. You have to scan them so that you preserve through the scans the original colours.

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