How is Portra "optimised for scanning"

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by tomfrh, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. tomfrh

    tomfrh Member

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    Portra marketing blurb boasts that it's optimised for scanning. Optimised in what way? Is is the grain pattern? The colours?
     
  2. Arbitrarium

    Arbitrarium Member

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    I've only scanned one roll of Portra 160 and the colour correcting was a nightmare. But I'm fairly sure I underdeveloped the roll which may have been the root of the problem.
     
  3. Ted Baker

    Ted Baker Member

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    Good question! My guess is the less shoulder and/ or a higher Dmax, or at least a more pleasing result when more density(exposure) on the negative is used, i,e. something to do with shoulder
     
  4. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Member

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    Probably the grain pattern, but I dont know. Portra 160 scans beautifully.
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    It could very well relate to factors that barely affect optical printing.
    Things like grain aliasing, flatness of film, response to LED light sources.
     
  6. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I'm curious about that too.
     
  7. jawarden

    jawarden Subscriber

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    Does Kodak have someone on Photrio to field questions? Film Ferrania does and it's been very interesting taking a peek into their projects.
     
  8. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Member

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    <insane amount of hilarious laughter deleted>

    No, they don't.
     
  9. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    It sounds like Portra was designed to square the circle of good optical printing and scanning if the marketing blurb is to be believed. I take it this is the Kodak marketing blurb? If so, did they say this from the inception of the latest Portra or is this a new piece of marketing-speak. Does the marketing-speak state that this "made for scanning " is a design aim anywhere?

    Does Portra in fact precede the scanning era?

    pentaxuser
     
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Yes - at least it precedes the era when almost all commercial processing included a scanning step.
    Kodak has been talking about "scan-ability" for quite a while.
    Films have always been "tweaked" as the processing technology advanced.
    The "optimized for scanning" may merely mean that Kodak tried out the film in a number of different commercial scanning options, and then adjusted the film slightly to make sure it worked easily in the most common lab scanners.
    I expect all Kodak 35mm films were well matched to the Kodak Pakon scanners and software when those machines were current.
     
  11. Chris Livsey

    Chris Livsey Member

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    In the Press release when "new" Portra 400 was launched (2008) Kodak said on this specific point:
    Outstanding scanning results
    With finer grain and an emulsion overcoat specially designed for scanners, Portra 400 films reproduce beautifully, with either optical or digital output.

    So the two optimisations were finer grain and an overcoat.
    Of course Kodak archives don't have the releases, not that I can find anyway, so my source:
    https://www.ephotozine.com/article/kodak-professional-portra-400-speed-colour-negative-film-8331

    Interestingly though a previous press release of the prior generation made the same claim on the "older" Portra family:
    Sept. 11, 2006
    http://www.cameratown.com/news/news.cfm?id=3035
     
  12. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    Yes, perfect transparency.
     
  13. jawarden

    jawarden Subscriber

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    If any other manufacturers do I'd appreciate a heads up. I know PE is here, and Ferrania, and once upon a time someone from Ilford but I don't see that now. (sorry for the thread hijack)
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
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  15. jawarden

    jawarden Subscriber

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    I'm happy they're here, and don't need or want a deep dive into their every move. I'm enjoying watching new film(s) hopefully make their way to my cameras.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  16. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Member

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    Ilford used to be here on a near daily basis. Those were good times. Now, not so much.
     
  17. Richard Man

    Richard Man Subscriber

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    I have shot over 700+ sheet of Portra 4x5, and hundreds of 120 and 135mm rolls.

    Yes, they scan beautifully. This is Portra 160 in 120 F2 at 1/30. I didn't get the memo that you are not suppose to shoot that low speed on an SLR (Hasselblad 203FE) ~_o
     

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  18. lantau

    lantau Subscriber

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    Did labs for consumer prints still use optical enlargement in 1998??
     
  19. Yes. The ones I used. At the time Samys and there was a local optical only shop near me that recently shut down.
     
  20. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

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    They did where I am in Australia. A lot of pro-level labs (which also provided consumer film processing) stopped optical printing from 2000 to 2003.
     
  21. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Prof Pixel is ex-Kodak, and probably has a fair amount of insight into scanning.
     
  22. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    One more question regarding this thread. Did Kodak introduce this film because most labs that print color negs have phased out optical printing? They choose instead to scan the negative then print digitally rather than printing optically to photographic paper?
     
  23. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    No.
    Portra was/is the natural evolution from Vericolour.
    Portra arrived in 1998. The scan and print from scan workflow may very well have been in the plans at that time, and may have been in some labs, but it certainly wasn't everywhere.
     
  24. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    It's also optimized for optical enlargement ! These newer Kodak films (including Ektar) have a subtle overcoating which presumably allows more efficient scanning. I noticed how, on sheet films, this seems to minimize Newton's rings much like the retouching surface on certain older b&w sheet films, but is completely different in other ways. I print current Kodak roll films too, but can't comment on other aspects of this question.
     
  25. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

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    Is there a custom profile from Kodak available for specifically scanning Portra?
    Or a profile that is customised for Portra by the user/lab?
     
  26. sperera

    sperera Subscriber

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    I know what you mean as depending on your scanner software it can go all over the place but if you want to hit neutral grey just shoot a frame with a colour chart in the image and the hit the neutral grey and it works great!