Film Is Dead. Long Live Film.

It’s not exactly breaking news to hear that film is dead. I barely know anyone who uses film anymore and the few people who do hardly use giant amounts of it to justify any company investing money into new or existing film ranges. Just one year ago I was saddened by the news that Fuji decided to cease production on what had become one of my favourite films – the Fuji 800Z. Taking photos with a handheld medium-format film camera is not easy at the best of times, using one in my area of the world where sunshine is nothing but some obscure illusion for 9 months of the year (okay fine, September last year wasn’t that bad! Make it 8 months then) is challenging. An 800 speed film helps. Or helped.

Then Kodak announced that they had come up with a new film – not breathtakingly new, but new enough, the Kodak Portra 400.Two years ago they already came out with the ever so nice Ektar. I have used and loved Kodak Portra ever since the photographer I worked for sold all his film gear and I inherited two giant and seemingly bottomless boxes of Portra 400NC and 160NC.

A few weeks ago I asked my lab if they were stocking any of the new film yet and they gave me a roll to try. It took me a while to get these developed and I only shot a few photos at the airport and in the plane – but I’m in love. I really like this film. In my view it brilliantly captures the best of both the NC and the VC line and the outcome is a smooth, fine grained look with incredible but realistic colours. I cannot wait to shoot some portraits with it and luckily I already ordered a whole bunch more. It makes me happy to see a big company like Kodak still coming up with new ideas for film. Now excuse me while I go and use up some of that freshly arrived film – it’s been sitting on my desk and staring at me accusingly for a whole day already. It lives!

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5 Comments. Leave new

Thanks for this! I have a whole drawer of exposed film but no idea what’s on it… Need to find somewhere that I can develop it before it’s too late. Or ask my dad to finally clear his photo lab of all the junk and learn to develop colour!


I have a huge crush on Portra. These looks great! Can’t wait to try it myself.


I like your pictures very much. The colors are beautiful strong. I used a lot of shooting with film, but am a little away from it.


I love the new Portra! I’ve got about 6 rolls in my bag at the mo to use on holidays – starting tomorrow!!


I like those colours. Might be time to ask my lab the same question…


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