My Fujifilm X-T30 Kodak Portra 400 Film Simulation Recipe

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Around The Bend – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Kodak Portra 400”

Portra 400, which is a color negative film, was introduced by Kodak in 1998. It was redesign in 2006 and again in 2010. As the name implies, it’s intended for portrait photography, but can be used for many other types of photography. It’s similar to Portra 160, but with more contrast, saturation and grain. Believe it or not, ISO 400 was considered “high ISO” by many photographers back in the film days, and Portra 400 was one of the absolute best “high ISO” color films ever made. Like all films, results can vary greatly depending on how it’s shot, developed and printed or scanned, and even which version of the film you’re talking about. Interestingly, Kodak briefly made a black-and-white version of Portra 400!

I’ve been meaning to revisit Kodak Portra 400 for some time now. As you may know, I already have a Kodak Portra 400 recipe, which I created two years ago, but it requires a difficult-to-achieve custom white balance measurement. I was never really satisfied with that recipe, even though it can produce interesting results. I have been eager to create a new Portra 400 recipe, and, In fact, I’ve tried a couple of times, but without success.

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Blue Sky Day – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Kodak Portra 400”

A Fuji X Weekly reader suggested to me that if I use my Kodak Portra 160 recipe, except increase Shadow, Highlight and Color by one, that should be pretty close to Portra 400. Indeed it is! I liked what I saw, but I played around with the settings more to see if I could improve on it. Turns out not much needed to be tweaked. I liked the results better with Color Chrome Effect set to Strong, but if you have an X-Trans III camera, which doesn’t have that feature, you can still use this recipe, but it will look slightly different. The only other change that I made was I set Grain to Strong.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR-Auto
Highlight: -1
Shadow: -1
Color: +2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -2
Grain Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
White Balance: Daylight, +4 Red & -5 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to +1 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Kodak Portra 400 film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Mountain in the Evening Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Reeds To The Sky – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Jensen Pond – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Water Beyond The Trees – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Paved Trail – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Spring Green & White – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Fries in the Sky – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Royal Lunch – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Evening Suburban Home – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Boy in the Striped Light – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Boy Sitting – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Sunlight Through The Pink Blooms – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Pink Tree Bloom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

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15 comments

  1. Pingback: Film Simulation Review: Kodak Portra 400 – New vs. Original | Fuji X Weekly
  2. Rob · May 17

    Loving this new Portra 400 recipe.. You put so much time and effort into your work.. I alone appreciate your time & effort and applaud you sir!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Robert · May 18

    Thank you, I’m very happy with this recipe. And bought you coffee via PayPal.
    I would love to see you mimic a recipe of Jon Siegel’s Tokio night shots. https://www.flickr.com/people/jonsiegel/

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Mar'yana · May 24

    Wow Thank you! I will definitely try this recipe!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Khürt Williams · June 5

    Even though I have never shot a roll of Portra, I just put this in my camera to try this weekend and I ordered a roll of Portra 400 to try in my Pentax ES II.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Fujifilm Film Simulation Challenge Roll 6: Kodak Portra 400 - Island in the Net
  7. Pingback: Kodak Portra 400 Fuji Film Simulation Recipe Compared to DxO Color Efx Pro 4 - Island in the Net
  8. Pingback: Fujifilm X100V Film Simulation: Kodak Portra 400 | Fuji X Weekly
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  10. brendonbosphotography · August 23

    Thank you for sharing all you’ve learned and making these recipes available. Much appreciated. I am interested to see that you leave the sharpening levels quite low for most combinations. Do you recommend, generally, keeping sharpening below 0 for fujix jpegs?

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 23

      The different sensors handle sharpening differently. X-Trans IV is a little better than X-Trans III in this regard. With X-Trans IV you can set Sharpness to +4 and it still looks fine (although that might be too sharp), but on X-Trans III you’d see artifacts at +4.

      Like

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