[Not] My Fujifilm X-T1 (X-Trans II) Kodak Portra 160 Film Simulation Recipe

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Mitchell Mesa – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T1 “Kodak Portra 160”

Kodak introduced Portra film in 1998. As the name implies, this film was designed for portrait photography, as it produces pleasing skin tones. It came in three ISO options: 160, 400 and 800. The ISO 160 and 400 versions came in two varieties: Neutral Color (NC), which was less saturated, and Vivid Color (VC), which was more saturated. In 2011 Kodak did away with the Neutral Color and Vivid Color options, making a new version that was more-or-less in-between the two.

One of the top films that I’ve been asked to create a film simulation recipe for is Portra 160. I’ve tried many times, and I felt that I got close a couple of times, but I was never able to get it quite right. Fuji X Weekly reader Piotr Skrzypek recently created a Portra 160 film simulation recipe for his Fujifilm X-E2, and he gave me permission to share his settings with you! When I first looked at his pictures, I immediately thought that they resembled Portra, and I continued to think so as I used his recipe on my X-T1. Piotr has a lot of experience shooting film, and the main film that he uses is Portra 160. I’ve shot Portra before, but it’s been many years. How the film is shot, developed, and printed or scanned effects the way that it looks, so results can vary, but this recipe is overall an excellent facsimile of actual Portra 160 film. Great job, Piotr Skrzypek!

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Portra – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 “Kodak Portra 160”

I did alter Piotr’s recipe a little. I have Color set to +1, but he has Color set to +2, which I think more mimics Portra 160VC. Whether you set Color to +1 or +2, you are still getting a Portra look, and you can try it both ways and decide which you like better for your photographs. You can even try setting color to 0 to get a Portra 160NC look. The other change I made is to white balance, which I set to Daylight, while Piotr uses auto-white-balance. In many outdoor circumstances Daylight and AWB will produce identical results, so for the most part it doesn’t matter which you choose. I like Daylight a little more than AWB, but you can decide which you prefer for yourself. This recipe is intended for X-Trans II cameras, but there will be a Portra 160 recipe for X-Trans III and IV cameras coming soon!

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR-Auto
Highlight: -2 (Low)
Shadow: -2 (Low)
Color: +1 (Medium-High)
Sharpness: -2 (Low)
Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
White Balance: Daylight, +3 Red & -4 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 3200

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Kodak Portra 160 recipe on my Fujifilm X-T1:

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Snow on the Roofs – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Roof Snow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm  X-T1

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Faux Green – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Beside the Window – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Silver & Green – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Green Stems – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Bright Blossoms – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Future Fujifilm Photographer – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T1

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Girl, Horse & Books – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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The Peg Game – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Girl & Game – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Wood Ladder – Edge of the Cedars SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Monumental Crosswalk – Monument Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Four Desert Horses – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T1

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Mittens Evening – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T1

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Rural Grass – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Reeds & Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

See also:
Fujifilm X-T1 Kodacolor Recipe
Fujifilm X-T1 Kodachrome II Recipe
Fujifilm X-T1 Kodachrome 64 Recipe
Fujifilm X-T1 Ektachrome 100SW Recipe
Fujifilm X-T1 Agfa Optima Recipe

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

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15 comments

  1. alexander · March 29

    Great one! I always wondered if some pastel looking simulation would ever come… Finally! 🙂 This one is not to my taste really because of the Kodak look but I like it anyway. And I hope you get more pastel looking films 😉

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · March 29

      I plan to make many more recipes for the older models. Maybe one will be similar to my Fujicolor Pro 400H overexposed, which has a pastel look.

      Like

  2. walker · March 29

    Nice, thanks for sharing!
    I used Portra a lot , especially 400 and 400NC. I used to expose it at half box speed (i.e. 200 ISO) and I loved the results. Damn, I miss it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · March 29

      You can “overexpose” this recipe a little, plus +1 exposure compensation or even higher, and get interesting results.

      Like

  3. Ricardo Richon Guzman · March 29

    Awesome!!! been waiting for the PORTRA400 look for FUJI as I know you’ve never been happy before with testing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ScottSymesPhotography · March 29

    Interesting post for sure. It’s a similar recipe to one I’ve been using:

    X-Trans III (X100F)
    Classic Chrome
    Dymanic Range :100
    White Balance: Auto
    Noise Reduction: 0
    Highlight Tone: 0
    Shadow Tone: -2
    Color: +2
    Sharpening: +1

    Sometimes the look is really fantastic but greens tend to be a bit more subdued than I’d like so I’ll have to go in and tweak the white balance a bit. I also have been using mostly center weighted metering and that tends to underexpose things a bit more than multi segment metering meaning I can leave the highlight tone at 0 without concern of blowing highlights.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · March 29

      I will have an X-Trans III and IV recipe for Portra 160 very soon, so stay tuned!

      Like

  5. Pingback: My Fujifilm X-T30 Kodak Portra 160 Film Simulation Recipe | Fuji X Weekly
  6. Nikola · April 14

    Thank you (and Piotr) for this Portra 160 simulation, great stuff. Just one thing, on my X-T1 there is no Daylight so I shoot Auto WB +3 Red & -4 Blue. So far, so good 🙂

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · April 14

      The X-T1 has Daylight, but for some reason is mistakenly marked as “Fine”. Look for the sunshine symbol.

      Like

  7. Pingback: My Fujifilm X-T30 Kodak Gold 200 Film Simulation Recipe | Fuji X Weekly
  8. Michael · April 25

    Thank you very much for putting this together. Tremendous effort that is much appreciated. I have sent you a gift as well! Many thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sándor · 6 Days Ago

    First, thank you for your all simulations and now thank you and Piotr this Kodak Portra 160 recipe. I tried to make a similar adjustment for my Fujifilm X-T1, but now i got it. 🙂 God bless you!

    Like

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