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09-07-2017, 10:45 AM   #1
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Pushing Portra 400?

I'm going to Rose City Comic Con and realized it's this weekend. The only indoor film I have is Portra 400 and HP5. I've pushed HP5 before and liked it, but it would be a shame to shoot all the cosplayers in BW. How pushable is Portra?

09-07-2017, 11:32 AM   #2
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I have used the new Kodak Porta 400 quite a lot, but never pushed it, so I have no first hand experience with this. However, when reading reviews and tests on the net, it seems Porta 400 is very pushable:

Review by Tim Parkin: Kodak's new Portra 400 film - On Landscape

Examples of ISO 200-3200 push: Twin Lens Life ~ Fine Art Film Photography ~ Los Angeles Southern California ~ Bwright Photography: In The Bleak Midwinter - New Kodak Portra400 vs Vision3 500T 35mm
09-07-2017, 02:20 PM   #3
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I've pushed 800 to 1600 a few times with good results. If I can find an example I scanned in I'll load it up - or at least take a picture of the picture!
09-07-2017, 04:17 PM   #4
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Interesting that the Kodak datasheet for Portra 800 lists pushing 1 or 2 stops but no pushing on the Portra 400.
I've not pushed any of the Portra films myself so I would interested to hear and see anyone else's results from doing so.

09-07-2017, 10:27 PM   #5
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So are you using window light? A flash? Or do you plan to adjust the white balance after scanning?
09-08-2017, 07:44 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by murrelet Quote
I'm going to Rose City Comic Con and realized it's this weekend. The only indoor film I have is Portra 400 and HP5. I've pushed HP5 before and liked it, but it would be a shame to shoot all the cosplayers in BW. How pushable is Portra?
C-41 is a develop to completion process. No film really increases speed when push processed past it's manufacturer rated speed, but C-41 films react even more poorly. Years ago I did a series of sensitometric tests of various C-41 films as an online project, primarily to display granularity in side by side comparisons. One of the things I did at that time was attempt to push process a few C-41 films. The results were what I was expecting, that push processing C-41 makes the film more difficult to print, but gives no increase in speed.
09-08-2017, 08:00 AM - 1 Like   #7
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As a rule, negative films hate underexposure, C-41 films handle it with even less aplomb (if that was possible) than pure B&W negative films do. Chromogenic Kodak CN400, Ilford XP2 films don't push at all, well in a way they do...all the way into the murky hell of zone 1.

QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
push processing C-41 makes the film more difficult to print
One of my instructors told me that nothing teaches you to be a better printer than working with a bad negative.
09-08-2017, 08:23 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by leekil Quote
So are you using window light? A flash? Or do you plan to adjust the white balance after scanning?
Convention center lighting. Probably fluorescent? I'm going tonight without camera, so I'll take some phone app lightmeter readings. Then make a decision on which film to bring tomorrow.

---------- Post added 09-08-17 at 08:25 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
As a rule, negative films hate underexposure, C-41 films handle it with even less aplomb (if that was possible) than pure B&W negative films do. Chromogenic Kodak CN400, Ilford XP2 films don't push at all, well in a way they do...all the way into the murky hell of zone 1.



One of my instructors told me that nothing teaches you to be a better printer than working with a bad negative.
Before reading this I was going to got for it and meter at 1600. Now I'm leaning towards HP5. On the upside, I'm still not thinking about going digital!

09-08-2017, 10:17 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
As a rule, negative films hate underexposure, C-41 films handle it with even less aplomb (if that was possible) than pure B&W negative films do. Chromogenic Kodak CN400, Ilford XP2 films don't push at all, well in a way they do...all the way into the murky hell of zone 1.



One of my instructors told me that nothing teaches you to be a better printer than working with a bad negative.
Nothing teaches you to be a better photographer technically than having to print bad negatives. I worked in amateur photo finishing for 25 years, most of that time spent running various printers. One of the takeaways from that was that I didn't want to deal with technical issues relating to bad negatives with my own work.
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