Best Portrait film

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by thomasyun, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. I'm currently using Kodak 100 EPP slide film with my Mamiya 67 pro II D. It's getting harder for me to buy
    on BH photo. I do studio portraits with my ProFoto strobe. Thinking of switching to the Fuji Astia 120
    slide. Does anyone know of an ideal slide film that gives good skin tone.
  2. With Profoto lighting you can also use for Portraits Fuji Astia,Provia 100 or Kodak 100G...Very good film...will be great with good lighting..
  3. You might try reviewing PNs Film Article at: . While not totally up to date it is still informative. Second, what is your final or primary end use? Are you scanning/printing in-house to prepare wall art or submitting slides for commercial printing, etc? If the former, then perhaps you might consider switching to color negative film such as Kodaks Portra. See:
  4. Portra is great for portraits...neg film of coarse.
  5. Portra is fine-grained, not coarse :)
  6. I scan my slide with my flatbed. I was told that slide is better for scanning vs. negatives so I've always avoided negatives. Am I wrong on this?
  7. Depends on your point of view, I think. I scan on the computer too.

    With studio portraits, I tend to be happy with slide film or neg film and switch freely between them. The software on my Epson gets the colors right enough with neg film with the "auto adjustment" that I spend about the same amount of time in Photoshop.

    For landscape, I can't stand color neg film.

    Neg film has more lattitude, although I've usually found that it tends to make less difference than I thought to my rate of quality pictures. Slide film has more contrast. If your target is a fairly contrasty image, you'll get a better image out of slide film with less risk of posterization. If your target is a lower contrast image (Weddings are a big example of this) then print film is better. I wrote a blog entry some time ago on the subject and feel that I struggled with the words too much. I'll try again with visual aids some day.

    I suspect that a good number of the 100 speed slide films should be worth trying. I'm fond of Fuji Astia myself, although I often end up using Provia because it's not so good with people but better with scenery. Or you can try some of the Porta films, with 160VC and 400VC being the "closest" to slide film now that UC400 is gone.
  8. Assuming you're happy dealing with white balance issues, negatives are easier to scan for the simple reason that they never get as dense as chromes. Of course, what's easier for you will be what you're used to, all I'm saying is that the technology works better with negatives.
  9. Astia.

    Easier to scan on a flat bed (eg Epson V700 etc)
    True colour
    Fine grain

    etc etc
  10. I have tried and was impressed with Epsons V750; see Ken Rockwells comments at: . However, if you value your time (and ulitmate quality) then consider spending the extra bucks on a MF film scanner, i.e. Nikon CS 9000ED. It is a judgement call as to the break even point, but I would say a film scanner is a no-brainer if you need to scan more than 200ish slides/negs per year. For attractive skin tonality and broad latitude, Portra film scanned on a Nikon 9000 is a great combination. Good Luck!
  11. it


    Portra NC.
  12. Tony Y, I have found that Kodak Porta film so far have been the best film to use especially Kodak Porta NC for natural skin tone whether it is 160 or 400 especially for portraits.

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