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