My Fujifilm X-T30 Kodak Portra 160 Film Simulation Recipe

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Summer Waves Hello – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Kodak Portra 160”

This is the film simulation recipe that you’ve been waiting for! One of the top films that I’ve been asked to create a film simulation recipe for is Portra 160. I’ve tried many times, and I felt that I got close a couple of times, but I was never able to get it quite right. Fuji X Weekly reader Piotr Skrzypek recently created a Portra 160 film simulation recipe for his Fujifilm X-E2, which he gave me permission to share. I modified his settings very slightly, and published that Portra 160 recipe for X-Trans II cameras last week. Using those settings as a starting point, and understanding how X-Trans II is different than the newer sensors, I was able to make a Portra 160 film simulation recipe that is compatible with X-Trans III & IV cameras.

Portra is a line of films that Kodak introduced in 1998. As the name implies, it was designed for portrait photography, although it has been used for many different genres, as it’s good for more than just portraits. Kodak made Portra in three different ISOs: 160, 400 and 800. The ISO 160 and 400 versions originally had two options: Neutral Color (NC) and Vivid Color (VC). In 2011 Kodak redesigned Portra, and they did away with the Neutral and Vivid versions, making instead only one option in each ISO. Portra has been a popular film since its introduction.

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Horizontal Ladder – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 “Kodak Portra 160”

This recipe looks great when you turn the exposure compensation dial up. You don’t want to clip highlights, but if you keep the highlights just below clipping you can get excellent results. This recipe is especially good for high-contrast scenes. Really, this is a good all-around recipe that you’ll want to keep programmed in your camera’s Q Menu. I imagine that for some of you, this will be the top film simulation recipe that you use most of the time. Don’t be afraid to use Auto-White-Balance instead of Daylight, or to adjust Color up to +2 or down to 0, depending on your tastes.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR-Auto
Highlight: -2
Shadow: -2
Color: +1
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -2
Grain Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Off
White Balance: Daylight, +4 Red & -5 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 to +1 1/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Kodak Portra 160 film simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Last Light Roofline – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Yellow House – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Rooflines – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Garages – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Blue Dumpster – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Stop – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Elevator Trucks – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Bird Over Grain Elevator – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Autumn Leftovers – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Sky Reed – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Boy in Thought – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Blue Wall Boy – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Girl by the Fence – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Bike Seat – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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First Pear Bloom – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Goosenecks – Goosenecks SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Satellite Dish – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Grey Sky Over Roof – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Red Barn Day – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Sky Blooms – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: Film Simulation Recipes

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36 Exposures of Portra 160

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Last month I loaded a 36 exposure roll of Portra 160 film into my Asahi Pentax S1 SLR, and attached a Super-Takumar 28mm f/3.5 lens to it. I walked along a trail that borders a ranch and leads to Farmington Bay, which is a wetland near the shore of the Great Salt Lake in Utah, and I snapped a bunch of pictures. I hadn’t shot Portra for a number of years, so I was excited to get the film back from the lab.

Portra is a line of films that Kodak introduced in 1998. As the name implies, it was designed for portrait photography, although it has been used for many different genres, as it’s good for more than just portraits. Kodak made Portra in three different ISOs: 160, 400 and 800. The ISO 160 and 400 versions originally had two options: Neutral Color (NC) and Vivid Color (VC). In 2011 Kodak redesigned Portra, and they did away with the Neutral and Vivid versions, making instead only one option in each ISO. Portra has been a popular film since its introduction.

My 36 exposures of Portra came back from the lab yesterday. I was excited to see the results! As I viewed the scans on my computer, I couldn’t help but recall my great appreciation for this film and film photography. Portra 160 is wonderful! It makes me want to ditch digital and go back to my analog roots, as there’s something special about film that you just can’t replicate with modern cameras. Below are some of those 36 exposures of Portra 160 that I shot last month. Enjoy!

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You might notice that the date of this article is April 1st, which is April Fools Day. I did not, in fact, shoot these pictures on Portra film. They were captured on my iPhone. Just kidding! Yesterday I shot 36 exposures of a new film simulation recipe that will be called “Portra 160” on my Fujifilm X-T30. I did, in fact, use the 28mm Super-Takumar lens. This new film simulation recipe, which is what I used for these pictures, is compatible with all X-Trans III & IV cameras. I hope to publish the recipe later this week, so stay tuned!

[Not] My Fujifilm X-T1 (X-Trans II) Kodak Portra 160 Film Simulation Recipe

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Mitchell Mesa – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T1 “Kodak Portra 160”

Kodak introduced Portra film in 1998. As the name implies, this film was designed for portrait photography, as it produces pleasing skin tones. It came in three ISO options: 160, 400 and 800. The ISO 160 and 400 versions came in two varieties: Neutral Color (NC), which was less saturated, and Vivid Color (VC), which was more saturated. In 2011 Kodak did away with the Neutral Color and Vivid Color options, making a new version that was more-or-less in-between the two.

One of the top films that I’ve been asked to create a film simulation recipe for is Portra 160. I’ve tried many times, and I felt that I got close a couple of times, but I was never able to get it quite right. Fuji X Weekly reader Piotr Skrzypek recently created a Portra 160 film simulation recipe for his Fujifilm X-E2, and he gave me permission to share his settings with you! When I first looked at his pictures, I immediately thought that they resembled Portra, and I continued to think so as I used his recipe on my X-T1. Piotr has a lot of experience shooting film, and the main film that he uses is Portra 160. I’ve shot Portra before, but it’s been many years. How the film is shot, developed, and printed or scanned effects the way that it looks, so results can vary, but this recipe is overall an excellent facsimile of actual Portra 160 film. Great job, Piotr Skrzypek!

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Portra – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 “Kodak Portra 160”

I did alter Piotr’s recipe a little. I have Color set to +1, but he has Color set to +2, which I think more mimics Portra 160VC. Whether you set Color to +1 or +2, you are still getting a Portra look, and you can try it both ways and decide which you like better for your photographs. You can even try setting color to 0 to get a Portra 160NC look. The other change I made is to white balance, which I set to Daylight, while Piotr uses auto-white-balance. In many outdoor circumstances Daylight and AWB will produce identical results, so for the most part it doesn’t matter which you choose. I like Daylight a little more than AWB, but you can decide which you prefer for yourself. This recipe is intended for X-Trans II cameras, but there will be a Portra 160 recipe for X-Trans III and IV cameras coming soon!

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR-Auto
Highlight: -2 (Low)
Shadow: -2 (Low)
Color: +1 (Medium-High)
Sharpness: -2 (Low)
Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
White Balance: Daylight, +3 Red & -4 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 3200

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this Kodak Portra 160 recipe on my Fujifilm X-T1:

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Snow on the Roofs – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Roof Snow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm  X-T1

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Faux Green – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Beside the Window – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Silver & Green – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Green Stems – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Bright Blossoms – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Future Fujifilm Photographer – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T1

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Girl, Horse & Books – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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The Peg Game – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Girl & Game – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Wood Ladder – Edge of the Cedars SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Monumental Crosswalk – Monument Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Four Desert Horses – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T1

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Mittens Evening – Monument Valley, AZ – Fujifilm X-T1

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Rural Grass – Farmington Bay, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

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Reeds & Mountain – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1

See also:
Fujifilm X-T1 Kodacolor Recipe
Fujifilm X-T1 Kodachrome II Recipe
Fujifilm X-T1 Kodachrome 64 Recipe
Fujifilm X-T1 Ektachrome 100SW Recipe
Fujifilm X-T1 Agfa Optima Recipe

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