I Shot a Roll of Kodak Portra 800 on Mamiya RB67 by Bas Schurink

Jan 22, 2020
4 min read

My name is Bas Schurink. I am an ICT specialist and I am living in The Netherlands. I’ve seen on Instagram the On Film Only Project which I would loved to participate. So I’ve signed up for a Roll of Kodak Portra 800.

As winter is coming in Holland, I decide to photograph windmills. I was hoping for some nice sunrise and a bit of fog but instead of that, I just got the fog part on that morning on December 1st. Actually so much fog that it reached the film’s surface and caused some moisture issues, but I’ll give you more details about later in this article.

That morning I woke up around 5:00 am and went the road for an 1.5 hour drive. As it was foggy, it took me a bit more time than normal. At home I’ve already spooled up my first ever roll of Portra 800.

Around 7:00 am I’ve arrived at the scene. Wow it was so foggy over there. I walked around a bit and waited till the sun start rising. Hoping for the fog to disappear a bit. But it never happened. So no fancy sunrise that morning. As December is a busy month for me, I’ve decided to shoot the roll any way.  So I took my Mamiya RB67 with the 90mm f/3.8 out of my back and placed it on a tripod.

To get a decent exposure, I measured the light at iso 800 with an aperture of f/16, which I used for all these shots.. First shot that morning was around 1 second. It was hard to focus as it was so foggy. Hopefully my shots where worth it.

Back home, I sent the roll to Spain, were the crew of Carmencita Film Labthe film developed and scanned. Then this experience took an unexpected turn when Albert, the founder of Carmencita, told me that my film got damaged by fog, and his team did their best to recover as much as they could from the negatives.

Fog can damage your film!

Humidity is one of the biggest enemies of photographic equipment in general, but even more so when it comes to lenses or film emulsion itself. In warm environment, there’s a tendency to have a lot more humidity in the air and drastic temperature changes to your equipment can lead to condensation on the surface of your lens.

Luckily, this is fairly uncommon, but over time this can lead to the appearance of fungus on the inner elements of your lens; this is even more likely to occur if they are stored for a long time.

This morning I’ve learned something that even if it is not raining and just humid, moisture can reach the film surface in such thick fog. This can damage the emulsion and will affect the final image.

To get to learn something else about this, we have asked to Carmencita some unedited images, to show you how the film looked liked straight out of the scanner. Below are some before/after examples showing us the damage cause by the fog and the work done the Carmencita team to reduce the fog’s effect..

They also gave us a little insight about the steps done to recover those scans:

On all the pictures you’ll see that the moisture it’s quite perceptible.To minimize the effect a color noise reduction was applied. Also the brightness and saturation was decreased because of that particular light situation I came across. This was more convenient for those kind of landscapes.

Just in case it helps I attached the Picture 1 (first below), there you’ll see that the moisture it’s quite perceptible. We proceeded there applying color noise reduction to minimize that effect.

Both images at the top are unedited scans and at the bottom the edited scans I got from Carmencita.

To be honest, the team of Carmencita Film Lab did really an impressive job. They care about your film and images, the team is very friendly to you and offcourse they deliver an outstanding service.

I am really impressed by their service and results. All photos in this article were developed, scanned and edited by them. I decided not to edit myself, except for straighten up some of them.

About the film. I loved the high speed and never shot it before.Will I buy it, I think so, to shoot some night scenes of Amsterdam. I think this is a good film to use for it. The only thing is the price, so I really will use it for a small project and make a plan.


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