5 Frames - Grainfully Old

  • Where: At a lake in Bavaria.
  • Camera:  Yashica Mat 124G
  • Lens: Yashinon 80mm f/3.5
  • Film: Kodak Portra 400 VC

I got myself a box of Kodak Portra 400 VC that expired in 2007. To see what is what, I got out with the Yashica Mat 124G on an overcast day after some snowfall. Sticking with the one stop per decade roll, I added two stops of exposure (it is the end of 2021 and 1.5 stops should have been appropriate) to compensate for the age of the film. After development, the negatives looked okay-ish. I still have a hard time telling if something is correctly exposed or not (especially for color negatives) just by looking at the film strip. After scanning and initial inversion of colors, the film looked like a mess: The colors were all completely off and the grain was excessive. I did my best to get everything lined up in the histogram and to deal with the color cast. I even added some noise reduction. Something I usually avoid. I had mixed feelings about the results: The grain was bothering me. The colors were not what I expected from Portra at all. But if you looked from far enough away, the results weren’t actually bad, either. So I did the only logical thing and ordered four more boxes from the seller.

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