My Fujifilm X-T30 Kodak Portra 400 Film Simulation Recipe

49836241267_a13aee27e1_c

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.

49839225103_03baccba57_c

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:

49845738078_566374f3e2_c

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

49837851111_ccb502874d_c

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

49839733486_9d9a57c25a_c

Jensen Pond – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49835936441_ccc227b5d1_c

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

49835936671_349cc65f80_c

Paved Trail – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49836240517_1a20cff8af_c

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

49839193168_9c462e5c93_c

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

49834802131_285ccf7cac_c

Royal Lunch – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49839194168_b9bb07190f_c

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

49839735121_11b30dbc87_c

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

49839192068_47b176bf08_c

Boy Sitting – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

49835450181_e1d3540955_c

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

49835450321_5090722863_c

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

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There's a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

$2.00

My New Camera: Fujifilm X100V!

49875480478_d29bd785e4_c

Today is my 40th birthday! I wasn’t going to say anything about it, but something happened that changed my mind. I had a different article that I had planned to publish today, but it will have to wait until tomorrow.

My wonderful wife, Amanda, gave me an amazing surprise. Her gift to me this morning for turning the big 4-0 was a Fujifilm X100V. I couldn’t believe it! A Fujifilm X100V! Wow! This is the camera that I wanted even before it had been announced back in early February.

The Fuji X Weekly blog began as my Fujifilm X100F journal. Almost all of the early articles are about the fourth model of the X100 camera. I happily sold that X100F, not because I didn’t like it (I loved it), but because I used the proceeds to buy my wife a Fujifilm X-T20. A couple years ago she wanted a camera for her birthday, so I sold my X100F to buy her one. I’d do it again without thinking twice about it. Now, things have come full circle, and she bought me an X100V for my birthday.

49876016241_cb734680ee_c

49876323632_3fea922151_c

I had a battery already charged, so I was able to quickly set up the camera, but just barely. There are a number of new features that I’ll have to spend some time playing with. I like what I see so far. The X100F is a great camera; it’s clear that the X100V is even better. You can expect many articles about this camera and the new features in the coming weeks and months.

I made a handful of exposures with the X100V this afternoon, which are the pictures below. They are all camera-made JPEGs using the new Classic Negative film simulation. I’ll likely create many new recipes from Classic Negative. The little that I’ve seen from this film simulation has left me very impressed. I can tell already that it’s a great film simulation, and I look forward to seeing what I’ll do with it. I hope you’ll come along for the ride. It’ll be a fun journey, and it’s all because my wife gave me a wonderful gift for my 40th birthday. Thank you, Amanda, for such an amazing surprise!

49876303467_645f3f7b74_c

Sunlight Tree – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

49875460553_82300f57d2_c

Singular Flower Blossom – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

49875461043_04a48a05ff_c

Deep Blue Sky & Blooms – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

49876307607_fb2c9229fa_c

Fisher Beer – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

49875460683_0992c093cc_c

Two Yellow Hooks – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

49876303192_02e80c4df5_c

Electric Yellow – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

49876302697_4ce31fcfd6_c

Hanging In There – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V

Film Simulation Review: Walk in the Park, Part 2: Kodak Portra 160

49831735058_b7e8449425_c

Pathway Through the Trees – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

Part 1: Kodak Ektar 100

In Part 1, I hiked a path in a local park using my Ektar recipe. Part 2, which is what you are reading now, are the pictures from my stroll back down the trail using my Kodak Portra 160 film simulation recipe. As before, the gear I used was a Fujifilm X-T30 with a Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens attached to it. The only thing that I did differently was select my Portra 160 recipe instead of Ektar. I mentioned in the previous article that my Ektar film simulation has high contrast and perhaps is not ideal because of that. Since my Portra 160 recipe has very low contrast, would it be a better option?

Actual Portra 160 is a low contrast, low saturation film intended for portrait photography. It wasn’t made for landscape photography, but sometimes a low contrast, low saturation film is what’s needed. The same is true for this film simulation recipe. It might be too dull for landscape photography, but sometimes it might fit the scene well. In this case, it balances the high contrast landscapes quite well. If what you are photographing has bright highlights and deep shadows, Portra 160 might be a good option to combat that. However, if it’s low contrast, a film simulation recipe like Ektar could be a better choice.

The day of the hike was a beautiful blue-sky spring day with lots of sunshine. There are an abundance of those type of days in Utah during this time of year. It’s perfect for a walk in the park with a camera in hand. Choosing a film simulation for such an outing can be a difficult choice because you have so many options. It’s important to judge the light and subject to determine what might serve it best. The photographs in this article are all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs using my Kodak Portra 160 film simulation recipe.

49831718743_87423ed3f9_c

Finally Spring – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

49832259056_25d034d801_c

Mountain Behind The Trees – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

49831732788_9782cf0af2_c

Sunlight Through The Branches – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

49831718963_8c6cbfffa5_c

Lake Peek – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

49832577752_30bfbbd71d_c

Can’t See the Lake for the Trees – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

49832567457_2f6d8b2e3c_c

White Trees & Fingernail Moon – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

49832568372_aeeae0e8e8_c

Oh, Deer – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

49831734593_04a2e24700_c

Rock & Log – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

49832586432_104a59a96c_c

Trees & Creek – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

49831733818_176a93ef5f_c

Forest Creek – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

See also: Film Simulation Reviews

Film Simulation Review: Walk in the Park, Part 1: Kodak Ektar 100

49832643172_7561eef254_c

April Forest – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

Last week I went for a walk in a local park here in Utah. This park has trails that pass through forests. There’s a stream and a small lake. The snow-capped peaks are visible to the east. It’s a beautiful place, especially in the spring when the green is fresh and the flowers are blossomed. On this hike I brought along my Fujifilm X-T30 with a Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens attached to it, which is one of my absolute favorite lenses. It’s sharp, small, and plenty fast, plus it’s a versatile focal length. On the way up the trail I used my Kodak Ektar 100 film simulation recipe, which are the pictures that you see here in Part 1, and on the way back down I used my Portra 160 recipe, which you’ll find in Part 2.

Ektar is a color negative film made by Kodak. It’s known for vibrant colors, high contrast and fine grain. It’s the closest negative film to reversal film. In fact, when Kodak discontinued Ektachrome 100VS, they recommended Ektar 100 as the best alternative. It’s a great film for landscape photography, which is why I chose it for this walk in the park.

Ektar film, and especially this Ektar film simulation, can be difficult to use because of the contrast. With the film, there are things that can be done in development and/or printing to reduce the contrast if it’s too much. With these settings, one could use +2 Shadow instead of +3, which is what the recipe calls for, if they wanted less contrast. These pictures are straight-out-of-camera (with the exception of some minor cropping) with the  settings exactly as the recipe states.

My opinion is that my Ektar recipe is best suited for low-contrast landscapes, where a boost in contrast and vibrancy is needed. But it can do well in other situations, as well. I thought it served this photographic outing well, although it was borderline too contrasty for the scene. Ektar was a good choice for a walk in the park, but was it the best choice? How does it compare to Portra 160? We’ll take a look at that in Part 2.

49831797643_a86d3bc427_c

Sunlight Through The Leaves – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

49831759703_66a11037ba_c

Old Log – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

49831759693_576288ea0e_c

Forest Stream – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

49831755158_caa7133446_c

Stream & Yellow Flower – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

49831771188_dc961c9e23_c

Single Tree Blossom – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

49832617177_58700270bf_c

Green Tree, White Tree – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

49831800563_04247ea9e8_c

Blossoming Branches – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm

Walk in the Park, Part 2: Portra 160
See also: Film Simulation Reviews