Portra 400 excessive Grain - What am I doing wrong?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Thomas Keidan, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. Ste_S

    Ste_S Member

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    I had the same problem with filmdev. They admitted responsibility.
     
  2. trendland

    trendland Member
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    Ste_S - that is the damned best question of the month ¡!!!!!!!

    How can we know? We can't because we have no reference any more. With experience the reference is our own standing : "lab is served by lousing guys"!

    with greetings

    PS : I remember prints (some name it lay out prints) in 3x4 inch with visible grain (35mm) -" wow - what a realy bad workflow I did via exposure of ISO800 color.....:sick:"
    The next was grain in (sorry I have to give it in cm) 30 x 40 it look's "normal" but in 20 x 30 it was the same????????
    The day came with realy realy bad results from bw (that was my lousing day) I made some interims printed 10 x 15 from lab (no time for darkroom that week) and it was max grainy:pinch:....!
    It was ISO 800 with some Agfa I don't remember jet. In bw ! In 120 Format ! With grain ?
    AT 10 x 15 cm ??????

    It is with 89% allways scanner resolution! All my prints have had no grain (exeption 30 x 40).
    And what I saw in bw (from 120film) is no grain at all = that's allways DIGITAL ARTEFAKTS :kissing:

    Notice : The more poor the own workflow on film (ok my workflow is indeed sometimes poor but most others say :excellent:whistling:......:D:happy::D! )The more poor the result on film - the harder the job of
    data compression and labs are using standard compression
     
  3. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber
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    Get used to analyzing your negatives carefully.
    I know, when you are relatively new to this, that is easier said then done. But if you pay close attention, and mark for reference and comparison negatives that gave you really good results, you will soon be much more able to make these determinations.
    I may have shared this resource with you earlier, but consider looking at this Assessing negatives article which, at the least, helps give you access to the vocabulary: https://www.ephotozine.com/article/assessing-negatives-4682
    I know that that article deals with black and white negatives, but the same considerations do apply to colour.
     
  4. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    It is a good link for B&W, Matt, but I do wonder if a newcomer dealing with colour negative will be able to use the article and sample photos into being able to draw useful conclusions. In a book that I may have or did have there are some examples of colour negs underexposed/overexposed etc but the chances of my finding it would be like searching for the Holy Grail

    Anyone know of a similar article and photos for colour neg film?

    pentaxuser
     
  5. GLS

    GLS Member

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    I would never regard a good spot meter as a waste of money.
     
  6. trendland

    trendland Member
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    GLS .....:D...pls. slow down ! Read again from above and notice " at this time " :wink: !

    But seriously GLS to you it is possible the same as to me : No waste of money.
    (to me it might be too late perhaps - I can explain...:whistling:)

    Listen : This here is a very good Spotmeter I remember from my first job - our company owned a couple of it I remember 8 Pentax at all.
    pentax1.jpg

    ...after around 2 years just 3 Pentax Spotmeter survived...:pinch: (many colleguages may had same thought as my today's recomandation to our OP = waste of money to buy this type - "the companie
    may order New Ones, now this one is my own I take it home.....:outlaw:????"

    BTW I never owned a stolen Spotmeter ! (realy not - seriously - I can't remember)

    Because I bought this seconic some years later :
    SEE1399.detail.c.jpg

    and so as the OP refered about Seconic - my thoughts are still "not at this time" :getlost:?

    To explain "It is to late for me" = I haven't used it since years (this seconic above) !

    So GLS :wink: you now may say " Trendland I remember some heavily overexposure you have posted here - better you'll come up with your seconic again ?!"
    You might be right but that is wrong english - because you remember that heavently overexposure from Trendland - right :wink::wink::wink: !
    4c7dac8323373c5f.jpg

    To me the OP is on the best way to become an expert in photography in regard of his age and experience so he might not so far mind in technical details.

    Because of : Technical correctness is often a need - but here at Photrio it is going to often about
    the last 7% of the exitential splitting hairs (for example about exposure and Films).

    I for myself have no need for proving my ability to correct exposure (I wasted years for that).
    One day long time ago I was throwing some rules over board and soon I came to better results.

    Like this here : IMG_20181108_192850_428.jpg
    :whistling: 1) wrong dynamic range 2) bad dmax 3) overexposed highlights 4) wrong film (expired EPY) 5) wrong color temperature.....a.s.o.

    So we may learn - no Seconic is able to tell you what is a picture of own intention.

    with regards - and never mind in details:smile:

    PS : How was the lighting (to the Girl above) ? In short "No lighting" - it is a good example of a case you will find no E.V. scala on a light meter and you will find nothing (from messuring on each light meter).
    There was no light - total darkness ! The light in her face came from a laterrn light 20 meters away.
    AS I done this shot I can't find the girl (standing in front of her) it was a "shadow area from the tree beside her in deep darkness" and exposure was a series of 1 sec./2 sec/3 sec/5sec and this here is with 3sec. E.I. 800 ISO F 2.0

    PPS : She is still alive because I told her not to move and to hold her breath for a while:sick:
     
  7. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber
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    I having been finding a good spot meter continuing to become more important in a monotonically increasing manner on a daily basis. I now have a Pentax Digital Spot Meter with the Zone Scale.
     
  8. blockend

    blockend Member
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    Phone app meters get exposure in the ball park, and used carefully match Nikon Matrix metering. Way better than a wild guess for a beginner, and capable of accurate metering with care. Metered my last ten rolls of Fujichrome by a phone app, and exposure was all good.
     
  9. Agulliver

    Agulliver Member
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    With the caveat that we haven't seen the negatives yet....

    I'm going to say it looks like a combination of non-catastrophic over exposure and the lab scanner. I often send C41 film to Photo Hippo for dev&scan, and I find that while their service is very good....the grain is accentuated by their scanner. The scans I get are fine and save time, but if I take the time to scan the best frames on my Epson at 4800dpi or better....the grain shows a lot less.

    Your photos don't look bad. I've not used any Portra for a long time but I recall the old Portra NC 400 did have very fine grain. Good exposure, good processing and good printing (or scanning) are needed to demonstrate this, however.
     
  10. thornhill

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    Thomas,
    Are you eyeballing the exposure or using the meter on the 35 RC? The meter circuitry is designed for mercury cells. You'd need Wein cells or a circuit overhaul to get consistent metering.
    Also, have you had good exposures from this camera before? That's a 40 year old leaf shutter. Your shutter speeds might need checking.
     
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