My Fujifilm X-T30 Kodak Portra 400 Film Simulation Recipe


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.


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:


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


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


Jensen Pond – Syracuse, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


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


Paved Trail – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


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


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


Royal Lunch – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


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


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


Boy Sitting – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30


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


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

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

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My New Camera: Fujifilm X100V!


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.



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!


Sunlight Tree – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V


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


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


Fisher Beer – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V


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


Electric Yellow – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V


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

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


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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