Film Simulation Review: Kodak Portra 400 – New vs. Original

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New Kodak Portra 400

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Original Kodak Portra 400

I have two different Kodak Portra 400 film simulation recipes. I created the original Portra 400 recipe two years ago on my old Fujifilm X100F. I created the new Portra 400 recipe just recently on my Fujifilm X-T30. Which one is better? Which should you use? How do they compare?

The original recipe requires a hard-to-achieve custom white balance measurement, and for that reason I never really liked it. Yes, it looks good, but to get the recipe right requires a vague setting. Some people, in lieu of the custom white balance measurement, use auto-white-balance, which is a fair way to deal with the issue. On my X-T30 I don’t think I have the custom white balance quite right, but it was as close as I could get at the time that I took the measurement. The original Portra 400 recipe is one of the most frustrating recipes I’ve created, but it also produces great results sometimes.

The new Portra 400 recipe is a little more accurate to the film, in my opinion. Of course, with film, depending on how it’s shot, developed, printed or scanned, results can vary greatly. While I think the new version is more accurate, that’s not to say that the original version isn’t accurate. It’s just a little different look. In this post are examples of pictures captured with both recipes side-by-side.

Which one is the better Kodak Portra 400 recipe? The new version is easier to program, overall a little more accurate to the film, and in many situations I like it better; however, sometimes I prefer the original Portra 400 recipe. I can’t tell you which one is better for you, but I can tell you for me, I like the new recipe better, yet I see that the original version has its place and shouldn’t be discarded. That’s just my tastes, and yours might be different. Hopefully seeing the two recipes next to each other provides you with some clarity on which to choose.

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New Kodak Portra 400

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Original Kodak Portra 400

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New Kodak Portra 400

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Original Kodak Portra 400

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New Kodak Portra 400

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Original Kodak Portra 400

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New Kodak Portra 400

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Original Kodak Portra 400

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New Kodak Portra 400

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Original Kodak Portra 400

See also: Film Simulation Reviews

10 comments

  1. yuri rasin · 14 Days Ago

    I love the Portra presets and use it often when working in colour with my Fuji x70. You’re right, it’s up to a photographer which one to choose. I do prefer the new one as it has more vivid and lively colours whilst it’s a bit too faded in the original one.

    Like

  2. Khürt · 13 Days Ago

    I like the new Porta film simulation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. walker · 12 Days Ago

    Portra 400 was my main film in the past and the new recipe looks like great!
    hats off!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Romchat · 12 Days Ago

    Hello, I’m a newbee for taking photo. So, could you explain to me about exposure compensation +1/3 please. I dont know how to scroll it.

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    • Ritchie Roesch · 12 Days Ago

      So exposure compensation has to do with the light meter. There are different settings for metering, and so there’s no hard and fast “rule” for exposure compensation. I usually use Multi, but not always. I most often use Aperture Priority (shutter and ISO set to A, aperture set to what I want it). I can then use the exposure compensation dial to increase or decrease the brightness of the picture. Despite what’s “typical” each picture should be judged individually as each situation is different. I hope this helps.

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      • Romchat · 12 Days Ago

        Thank you so much Sir, very helpful 😉

        Like

  5. Auromi · 11 Days Ago

    The new portra 400, is it works in xtrans III? Example for x100f or xh1. Currently, I use those camera for daily photography.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · 11 Days Ago

      You can, but because you don’t have Color Chrome Effect the results will be slightly different. Give it a try and see what you think.

      Like

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