After exposing a roll of Portra 160 to maybe too much light, while walking downtown Fitchburg, MA for a bit, I came across some very cool window displays at Shack’s Department Store. They really were the perfect experiment for Portra 160’s rich color palette. While digital photography is now known as a medium that offers a very wide offering of colors, looking at these closely really makes one wonder if there is a viable alternative. The film scans beautifully, and honestly, there are some colors I see here that I have never been able to capture digitally.
I have used 160 NC and VC, the old emulsions, mostly in 120 on the Hasselblad. This new emulsion seems to take the best of both. The colors are certainly rich and vivid, but not in a wonky, over the top fashion, such as in VC, or the previously blogged about Ektar. That is also a beautiful film, but Portra 160, one may argue, is a more realistic one. While it is doubtful that it has the wide latitude of Portra 400, nor the versatility, this film has breathtaking color and sharpness. Yet, it seems almost ideal for portraiture, where Ektar may produce tomato-like skin tones.
Once again, shot with the F3HP, and 50mm f/1.4Ai, these shots really make me want to get out there again soon, and shoot more rolls. Needless to say, thrilled with the results. Kodak, if you are listening, keep pumping out this gorgeous film, please!