Never felt the ‘Portra’s magic’ prior to trying Portra 160. A 160 ISO film will obviously bring about low grain tabulation where photographs are oftentimes confused to be taken by a digital camera, in a good way. Even so, enough has been retained to bring about warmth to its audience.
The amount of detail being recorded into every 35 mm is certainly Portra 160’s greatest strength. Saturation is fairly low where one colour wouldn’t stand out too much from another. I am more at ease working with this than say a 100 speed film as that extra half a stop provides a greater safety net when needed.
Shot on Canon AE1-P paired to a Canon FD 50mm f/1.4
Little to no grain
Narrower exposure latitude
First thing you’ll ask is where’s the grain, as they are almost non-existent. Landscape images carry incredible detail while portraitures are sharp. Unlike many 35mm film, a healthy dose of light is required to produce photographs with that added something but Portra 160 does not.
Downside? Metering has to be done quite accurately as this Portra family member can transition into over exposure quite easily resulting in blown highlights which happens more often than expected.
For that there is almost no 35mm professional grade contender at this speed, it is a great alternative to what everyone is shooting, the Portra 400.
Shot on Canon 500N paired to a Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS