I got a deal on a five-pack of Kodak Portra 160 recently — less per roll than what I pay for my usual color film, Fujicolor 200. I’d never shot this film before and was eager to try it.
I dropped and damaged my Pentax IQZoom 170SL on our vacation in Germany earlier this year. I bought another one on eBay and put a roll of the Portra through it to test it. I just expected it to work flawlessly, but was disappointed when a few images showed light leaks and about half the roll was out of focus, often badly so.
I’ve got a roll of expired Tri-X in the camera now and am shooting it carefully in case the focus issues were due to operator error. If this roll comes out all in focus, I’ll see about replacing the seals. If this roll reveals focus problems, I’ll pitch the camera (as I’m past the return window on eBay) and try again. I like this camera an awful lot and it would be a shame not to have one available
Meanwhile, the Portra 160 performed well. I didn’t expect any less; I’ve seen so many other photo bloggers get lovely results from it. I know Portra is marketed as a portrait film, but I don’t make many of those. I just used it to shoot the stuff I normally shoot. I especially like how Portra rendered the colors of these old houses in pastel.
These cars’ colors are candylike.
I especially enjoyed how Portra warmed up in early- and late-day sun.
It also stands up well in direct noontime sun.
I took a flyer and shot a Sunset Over the Toyota Dealer with it. I have a pretty steady hand and can sometimes get away with shooting handheld at slow shutter speeds. But that daggone light leak showed up here.
Despite the problems with the camera, I like this film and am glad to have four more rolls to play with.
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