Transitioning to Portra

Transitioning to a new film stock might sound intimidating. But don’t worry, we’ve got some pro tips to help make your transition a smooth one! ⁠

✔️ Shoot a few test rolls: Your test rolls should include skin tones and environments you work in most often (in greenery, at the beach or indoors). ⁠

✔️ On each test roll, shoot the same scene at 4 different exposures so you can clearly understand the film stock’s latitude and see which exposure fits your vision best. ⁠

  • -1 stop underexposed⁠
  • At box speed⁠
  • +1 stop overexposed ⁠
  • +2 stops overexposed⁠

✔️ Test both the Noritsu + Frontier scanners: Each scanner produces beautiful scans with slightly different characteristics. When sending in your test order, request that one roll be scanned on the scanner you are not as familiar with (Bonus! We do one test roll for FREE!)⁠

✔️ Communicate with your lab: Regardless of the film stock you are using, we are going to do everything we can to match your preference images the best we can. If you haven't updated your preference images within the last year, check in with us to make sure they still represent you and your aesthetic. ⁠

✔️ Examine your results: Take your time to review how the new film stock handled your favorite shooting environments and most photographed skintones in order to see which exposure you like best! Take notes for future shoots in order to achieve consistent results. ⁠

Some characteristics we have noticed about Portra film: ⁠

🎞️ It is not as “light hungry” as Fuji400H. We like it best shot anywhere from box speed to +2 stops overexposed. ⁠

🎞️ Portra is more forgiving when underexposed. While you don’t want to underexpose this stock by multiple stops, if you accidentally do underexpose by a stop, it isn’t the end of the world. ⁠

🎞️ Portra naturally carries warmer tones, leaning toward yellow/red. If you prefer a cooler skin tone, make sure your current preference images on file reflect this, and we will do our best to match.⁠

Inspiration on Portra:

📷 by Matoli Keely on Portra400 with a Contax645. Scanned on the Frontier SP3000.

📷 by Jenna McElroy on Portra400 with a Contax645. Scanned on the Frontier SP3000.

📷 by Abigail Lewis on Portra400 with a Contax645. Scanned on the Frontier SP3000.

📷 by Tanja Kibogo on Portra400 with a Contax645. Scanned on the Frontier SP3000.

📷 by Jenna McElroy on Portra400 with a Contax645. Scanned on the Frontier SP3000.

📷 by Carl Fehres on Portra400 with a Pentax67. Scanned on the Noritsu S1800.

📷 by Amanda Olivia on Portra400 with a Contax645. Scanned on the Frontier SP3000.

📷 by The Poffs on Portra400 with a Contax645. Scanned on the Frontier SP3000.

📷 by Dennis Roy Coronel on Portra800 with a Contax645. Scanned on the Frontier SP3000.

📷by Perry Vaile on Portra800 with a Contax645. Scanned on the Frontier SP3000.

Purchase your Kodak film now!