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.
See also: Film Simulation Reviews
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.
I like the new Porta film simulation.
Thanks! I appreciate it!
Portra 400 was my main film in the past and the new recipe looks like great!
Awesome! Glad that you like it!
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.
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.
Thank you so much Sir, very helpful 😉
The new portra 400, is it works in xtrans III? Example for x100f or xh1. Currently, I use those camera for daily photography.
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.
Hello Ritchie ! I’ve set your two portra 400 recipes on my XT2 to make my choice beetween them, but there is something I don’t understand. The new portra recipe is drasticly different from the original one with my camera. It appears much more “red” and much less contrast as well with clear shadows. I would have think that it would be the original recipe who would get “wrong”, cause I set it with the Custom WB setting that you mention in your settings. But actually this is the second one, based on the daylight WB wich is not giving me that portra taste… I hope what I said it’s not too confused ! Do you have any explanation ? Is it because the second one is not really compatible for XT2 camera ? Or maybe because I’ve shot in cloudy/rainy day ??
The first recipe has a lot of contrast, perhaps too much, but if you get that custom white balance right, which it sounds like you did, it can be very nice. The new recipe has probably more correct contrast, but it’s not fully compatible with the X-T2. Try this, though: on the new version set the WB shift to +3R & -5B. See if you like it better.
Hi Ritchie, will you try to give another shot on creating an updated Portra 400 recipe for X100F?
I’ll look into it, but try this one:
It’s not fully compatible with the X100F, but give it a try and see what you think.
Thanks for an amazing recipe. A cup of coffee on me!
Thank you so much! I appreciate it!
Thanks so much! It’s greatly appreciated!
Very interesting. Based on my observation, apart from being less contrasty and more vibrant, the new Portra seems to be warmer. Not sure it’s because of WB set to Daylight or the upped color level.
As an X-T30 owner, I haven’t tried the new one yet. The old one — I renamed it “Portra 400 OG” after adding “Portra 400 Nu” to my custom settings — was so cool that it made me shoot JPEGs for the first time. Curiously, I will definitely experiment with both of them.
Thank you so much, good sir. You are truly a godsend.
The “OG” recipe requires that custom WB, which if you get right (sounds like you did!) is just wonderful. Let me know what you think of the “Nu” recipe once you’ve had a chance to use it. I appreciate the comment!