As noted here in earlier articles, I expressed have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with Kodak Portra 160. Amazingly, I have overexposed it quite a bit, despite working with accurate metering. Overexpose a 160 speed color film? Happens to this photographer a lot. While Portra 400 continues to amaze with its wide latitude and crisp images. Yes, 160 is insanely sharp. But I have not been able to squash the tendency to overexpose it. And, not by choice.
Until now? The film seems to like lots of light, but not direct light. When I shoot a bright, high contrast scene, I can almost count on overexposure. However, don’t include a sky or a horizon, and the colors just pop.
For these scenes, taken on a brief midday photowalk downtown, I shot with the F3, yes, my “bread and butter” go-to film camera, and new 35mm Nikkor f/2.8 AiS. The gorgeous coating on this lens almost seems made for Portra 160. Finally, the emulsion I’ve been wanting to like all along, well, now, I love. No color adjustments here, a linear scanning curve, and slight levels and sharpness adjustments. That’s it, nothing more.