This is the film simulation recipe that you’ve been waiting for! 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, which he gave me permission to share. I modified his settings very slightly, and published that Portra 160 recipe for X-Trans II cameras last week. Using those settings as a starting point, and understanding how X-Trans II is different than the newer sensors, I was able to make a Portra 160 film simulation recipe that is compatible with X-Trans III & IV cameras.
Portra is a line of films that Kodak introduced in 1998. As the name implies, it was designed for portrait photography, although it has been used for many different genres, as it’s good for more than just portraits. Kodak made Portra in three different ISOs: 160, 400 and 800. The ISO 160 and 400 versions originally had two options: Neutral Color (NC) and Vivid Color (VC). In 2011 Kodak redesigned Portra, and they did away with the Neutral and Vivid versions, making instead only one option in each ISO. Portra has been a popular film since its introduction.
This recipe looks great when you turn the exposure compensation dial up. You don’t want to clip highlights, but if you keep the highlights just below clipping you can get excellent results. This recipe is especially good for high-contrast scenes. Really, this is a good all-around recipe that you’ll want to keep programmed in your camera’s Q Menu. I imagine that for some of you, this will be the top film simulation recipe that you use most of the time. Don’t be afraid to use Auto-White-Balance instead of Daylight, or to adjust Color up to +2 or down to 0, depending on your tastes.
Dynamic Range: DR-Auto
Noise Reduction: -4
Grain Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Off
White Balance: Daylight, +4 Red & -5 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to +1 1/3 (typically)
Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Kodak Portra 160 film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:
See also: Film Simulation Recipes
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Hi Ritchie, thank you so much for your site, it’s just wonderful. Will this recipe work with the X-E3?
Yes! It sure will.
Hello. This is my favorite for my Xpro 2. I just purchased a xh2. Will this work on that camera, or is there a more compatible with Portra 160 feels for that sensor?
Awesome! To use it on the X-H2, you will have to set Clarity to 0 (or try -2 if you want), Color Chrome FX Blue to Off, and choose a Grain size (I recommend Small). It will render slightly different, and the main difference you might notice is that blues are just a little deeper/darker.
Nice. Yes, it is more blue. Should I just subtract a bit more blue, then? like to -6 or something?
You can try that. Unfortunately it will effect every color and not just blue, but maybe you’ll like the results anyway.