Kodak launches world's finest grained 400 speed film

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by zoltan_arva_toth, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. Kodak has just announced a new product, Kodak Professional Portra 400, which it says is the world's finest grained 400 speed film:
    http://www.photographyblog.com/news/kodak_professional_portra_400/
    Like Ektar, the new film incorporates Kodak Vision Film technology (stuff created for the motion picture industry).
    Some people will be sad though, as the new announcement also says the current Professional Portra 400NC and 400VC have been axed (the new film replaces both).
     
  2. I suppose I will just give it a try and see how it goes. 400NC and VC are great films so this new stuff has some big shoes to fill.
     
  3. I hope that the 160 line is not in threat. Had used one roll of 400NC and it was very nice.
     
  4. Interesting -- they are discontinuing Portra 400NC and 400VC in favor of this new 400.
    The Q&A says that the saturation is mid-way between 400NC and 400VC. Slightly worrisome, I like the laid-back look of 400NC. But the contrast remains as low as Portra 400NC, which is a very good thing indeed.
    I suppose with most customers scanning, they assume you'll just adjust the saturation in post-processing.
     
  5. This may cause Fuji to throw in the towel on Pro 400H, the last of their professional C-41 films. Kodak has technically out-maneuvered Fuji in C-41 films.
     
  6. John Shriver [​IMG][​IMG], Sep 14, 2010; 11:27 a.m.
    This may cause Fuji to throw in the towel on Pro 400H, the last of their professional C-41 films. Kodak has technically out-maneuvered Fuji in C-41 films.​
    As the Fuji has a completely different look, I highly doubt it. Also, as 400H is the most popular portrait film out there (just see WPPI attendance for that), I doubt the largest seller is throwing in the towel.
    I do like the fact that it's available in 4x5. This seems to me that Kodak will consolidate its film line to Ektar 100 and Portra 400. These may be the last two color films Kodak makes.
     
  7. I think Fuji has already thrown in the towel. They've eliminated 70% of the film products I used from them. I've given up on Acros and gone to TMax. I've switched from Provia and entirely use Ektachrome. I know both lines caved on my beloved Quick/Rapidloads, but I'll forgive them for now—did they forget how much they were charging for their holders?
     
  8. Hmm....the same low contrast as 160NC, but with moderately higher color saturation. Sounds like a winner to me. This could be a great, all-around film. Look forward to using it. I suppose when scanning with SilverFast, one would use the Ektar negafix profile? Any thoughts?
     
  9. I've switched from Provia and entirely use Ektachrome.​
    I haven't used Ektachrome in decades. Can anyone tell me which current Ektachrome film is the closest to Provia 100?
     
  10. Provia is decent. I prefer Astia as it is finer in grain than any chrome from Kodak.
     
  11. I'm glad to see the two layer sensitizing dye technology in the cyan as well as the magenta. That was in the works when I left. It is great to see some technology improvements in film.
     
  12. Ron...what advantages does the two layer sensitizing dye technology provide?
     
  13. Vincent, Having never used Provia I couldn't say which Ektachrome is closest to it. I've used E100g for a few years now, and like it very much. I often use a mild warming filter outdoors, but often it doesn't seem necessary. Great stuff, imho; I used it after first starting w/ K-64 and never really looked back (except for K-25).
     
  14. I'm not completely sure how to take this news from Kodak about the new Portra 400. On the one hand it sounds exciting, especially about the finer grain. On the other, I really like the 400NC and thought the color was plenty strong in many situations, and adequate in all.
    I really lean towards optimism, as I think the finer grain seems like a definite improvement on Kodak's part, and that this is not a disguised effort at cost cutting. I wondered what others think...
     
  15. Benny,
    When you have two layers of sensitizing dye on the grains, you absorb more light. This gives you more light sensitivity with the same size crystals. In other words, faster film with the same grain. (Of course it is also possible to downsize the grains and get the same speed with less grain.) Since the light you absorb in one layer is not available to the layers below, you have to be careful how this technology is applied. If you poured in a lot of silver into the fast layer to get fine grain and then added a second layer of sensitizing dye to get even better grain, the mid layer wont have much light to work with. You would need a mid emulsion nearly as fast as the fast emulsion. By choosing the right dyes and carefully controlling the amount of each dye on the grains, the thickness of these grains, and the amount of silver in each layer, you can get a superior result. There are some other details that, AFAIK, have not been published.
     
  16. Just to clarify, when I mentioned "cost-cutting", I meant the combining of the two versions of Portra 400 likely reduces costs. I tend to think that the new version is a genuine improvement, though, especially the finer grain, and that the increased color won't be overbearing, but wondered what others thought...
     
  17. Yes, having one emulsion reduces Kodak's risk of getting expired film returned from retailers. Kodak only gives the dealers a partial refund, but when it happens it hurts Kodak's bottom line. I'm not totally happy with more saturation, but I'd rather Kodak keep their film division profitable. There appears to be more market savvy there than there was a few years ago, and that's good. They're also more gutsy, and that's good. (TMY2 was a gamble, for instance.)
    They don't seem to be reformulating the consumer films over and over anymore, that saturation and contrast race with Fuji appears to be over. (Heck, Gold 100 bit the dust.) Glad to see the R&D money going to the markets where the consumers (folks like us) are fussy.
     
  18. I'm not sure how I feel about this either. While I don't need a wide choice of films to do my work, 400NC is one of two films that I use (the other is 160NC). I love the subtle, soft color of the Portra NC films.
    On one hand it's reassuring that advances are being made in film technology. On the other hand I wonder if Kodak will keep chipping away at our options. Unless I'm reading the info wrong, the new film is only available in pro-packs. This isn't a problem for my since I order film by the boatload. But again, it signifies fewer options.
    Also, there seems to be no more 400 speed films for 8x10 color neg shooters.
    I wonder if they will also consolidate the Portra 160 speed films. One of the things I liked about the NC line is that I could switch between 160nc and 400nc and the films matched very well.
     
  19. I agree John, if this helps Kodak's film division to stay profitable. It's interesting to me, and perhaps this betrays my naivette, but in certain situations (perhaps slight underexposure?) 400NC seems quite saturated. But the colors are great, imho. Then sometimes, in the personal examples I'm thinking of particularly where there is good, even light, the colors have that "subtle, soft color.." that Noah speaks of... All in all, the current version is one of my favorites. I'm excited about the new one, as I think that a slight improvement in grain is all that is needed, but a little concerned about the reported boost in saturation.
     
  20. Of course the cost will be important? The film will come in the 5 roll pro pack which is fine with me. However if the new film comes with a new higher price I probably will not shoot it.
     
  21. New film from Kodak continue to be released. This is to be celebrated.
    Can't wait for TMAX 25 to come out.
     
  22. "I've given up on Acros and gone to TMax."
    Why? Out of spite? Acros is superior to Tmax. And cheaper.
     
  23. Scott, what makes Acros superior to TMAX for you?
     
  24. Two things about this make me happy:
    1. Kodak continues to migrate Vision films to still camera lines. Vision films are where all the real R&D is at now, and they're impressive as hell. (Does anybody know the Vision line well enough to speculate, from what the press release says, on which one they're borrowing from?)
    From what we've seen with Ektar, the direction they're going seems to be accepting that optical printing is no longer available to most people and making film for scanners. I wouldn't be too surprised if the same people who think Ektar has a color cast aren't happy with this new film, but hopefully it will be as good for the tradigital crowd as Ektar is.
    2. They're not leaving out 220. I've got a couple of cameras that take 220, and the film options are a bit thin these days.
    Also, Vincent: I think what you want is Kodak E100G. It's got a similar high-color-yet-not-unrealistic thing going on.
    And, Mauro: What is this Tmax 25 of which you speak? Is that a real thing?
     
  25. All, Kodak just posted the page for the new Portra.
    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/products/films/portra/400main.jhtml?pq-path=2987
     
  26. Andrew, just a hope since the last generation of T-Grain (developed in 2007/8 for TMAX 400) following the EOL of Tech Pan could naturally open the door for a new TMAX 25 speed. Just waiting for it...
     
  27. Mauro: that would definitely be nice.
    BTW, from the Kodak page - $20 mail in rebate on $125 of pro-grade Kodak film, and the new stuff should be out before the promotion ends... now to talk myself into believing I really need 25 more rolls of Kodak film... am I reading this right, Plus-X doesn't count as "pro" film??
     
  28. The grain index of the new Portra 400 falls right in-between 160NC/VC and 400NC/VC; and it is slightly smaller than Ektar 100 printed at twice the size.
    Not bad.
     
  29. Looks good to me. I love 400NC. This stuff looks like it might be even better, though with a bit more color.
    Portra has only been available in 5-packs for a bit. Though some places like B&H and Freestyle will split out individual rolls.
     
  30. Sounds like I've just found my colour film... Yippee!
     
  31. I am hopeful it will be a good film. I did like having the 400NC and 400VC so I could make the choice between the two films. Hopefully, the 160 film will remain the way it is. I think Kodak is putting some thought into how they can keep their films alive. I'm not thrilled with the move but I think it is great that they did decide to put some money into R&D of film. If it keeps Kodak's factory making some quality film, it's a good thing.
     
  32. I have a freezer full of 400 NC and VC in 120 and more in 35mm. What would be nice is a new High speed color negative. Say an Ektar 1000 or so.
     
  33. While I'm happy that Kodak continues to develop new films and to make it 220 rolls, I still wonder why they can't (won't) make Tri-X in 220 rolls......
     
  34. BTW, from the Kodak page - $20 mail in rebate on $125 of pro-grade Kodak film, and the new stuff should be out before the promotion ends... now to talk myself into believing I really need 25 more rolls of Kodak film... am I reading this right, Plus-X doesn't count as "pro" film??​
    I looked through the form and the site, and there's nothing that indicated that Plus-X isn't included in the rebate. It is considered a professional film, and PX worked for the last rebate offer they had, so stock up! I know that if I had the money, I would.
     
  35. I'll reserve judgment until I actually shoot some. But I've got to say Thanks Kodak! At least they are showing some commitment to film. What I'd really like to see is a commitment to Analog color and monochrome printing. Only Fuji is making cut sheet sizes of RA-4 paper now. I'm teaching a color photo class this Fall, and YES, we have an RA-4 processor. Students were reluctant to give this time consuming and seemingly expensive process a try. But now they are impressed at the accuracy,stability, and overall better look of RA-4 prints over Inkjet. Surprisingly,Ektar 100 prints very well on Analog material. A bit contrasty for my taste, but overall quite good.
     
  36. I just don't like the "Get rid of two, replace with one better" trend.
    But I am very interested to see and try this new film.
    Thanks Kodak.
     

Share This Page