I Shot a Roll of Kodak Portra 400 on Yashica Mat-124 by Vytautas Ambrazas

Since majority of my photography is done on black & white film, I’ve decided to try something different and gave a shot to the opportunity presented, for a roll of Kodak Portra 400 120 film. From the beginning, I wanted to photograph something different with it, something that it is not really meant for. The idea of photographing iconic New Jersey diners and other locally known eateries came to mind.

Kodak Portra 400 film is mostly known to have accurate skin colors with medium contrast, making it perfect for a portrait, wedding photography. ASA of 400 makes it pretty versatile. But how versatile is it? Is it up there for night photography with high contrast colorful neon light scenes? I decided to take it up for  a “night photography“ challenge at box speed.

All photos where taken using a tripod with Yashica Mat-124 and Pocket Light Meter app. Film was developed at Unique Camera lab and scanned using Epson V600 at home with minimal adjustments in post processing. 

 Looking at the photographs, colors in the darkness of the night look pleasing to my eye, mostly accurate, vivid, but not oversaturated, more on the warmer side. Shadow details are limited, but that is a true representation of the scenes to the naked eye.

Overall, resulting photographs are very consistent with a good retention of the details in highlight areas, considering the high contrast scenes of the dark skies and the bright neon lights. Kodak advertises it as finest grain 400 film and I should add that grain looks great, even taking into the account my barely average scanning technique.  

To conclude, I should say that even though this film is not really meant to be used at night and under challenging lighting conditions, it certainly would not let one down.

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One Reply to “I Shot a Roll of Kodak Portra 400 on Yashica Mat-124 by Vytautas Ambrazas”

  1. Always loved neon, it gives kind of magic feeling and somehow we do not appreciate much its colors and live it gives until we see images like these.
    Great work, I’m always trying to find moments like the ones you captured.

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