Kodak Portra 800 at ISO 400

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by steve_parrott, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. I have read on here in a passing mention from someone that they shoot the Kodak Portra 800 film at ISO 400, (and have it processed at the
    normal values... not pull processed). The reason for this was to reduce the grain. I suppose I can see how this would help with the grain, but
    that sure seems a drastic reduction in the film's ISO. It seems to me this could really cause problems with highlights blowing out. I have
    searched the forum archives and I think the fellow's name was Russ who shot the film in this way, and had a scan posted of the result. Grain
    looked non existant in the photo, but then any low res computer monitor view will always look good. I would sure like some more discussion
    on this technique and if this film and method could be used on an "all around" basis for everything from portraits to landscapes. By the way, I
    use medium format 120 film. Thanks all.
  2. The difference is only one stop. You don't blow highlights that easily; color negative film has HUGE overexposure latitude.
  3. What Fredrik wrote and you'll get more shadow details. That is the primary reason for overexposing negative film. Grain is not much affected.
  4. If you consider that 800 speed film is used in one-time-use cameras that have no exposure compensation. If you shoot one of these cameras in bright sunlight, you are shooting about 5 stops over. The prints from these 5 over negs are acceptable (not great, but acceptable). You can shoot up to two stops over and still get about the same tone scale and color reproduction as with normal exposure. Grain does improve as you over expose.

    If you want to shoot at 400, you will get the best pictures with a good 400 speed film (ie Portra 400 VC). If you want one film that is flexible, use 800 speed film and expose it somewhere between 200 and 1600 depending on the conditions.
  5. I believer grain is affect by under developing not by over exposing i.e. the classic pull processing. Slightly over exposing color film may give more saturated colors

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