Can you shoot Kodak Portra 400 at 3200 without pushing?

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Flannel-Synthesizer Mill Dam on Kodak New Portra 400 shot at 3200.

Why Kodak Portra 400 at 3200?

The other day I decided that instead of risking death by driving home during an ice storm, I would walk around town and shoot Kodak Portra 400 at 3200. I wanted to test the versatility of Kodak's flagship color film by deliberately underexposing it and shooting it under really awful artificial light.

All photos shot on Kodak New Portra 400 metered at 3200 and processed by Old School Photo Lab without pushing.

Pizza

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Staircase to pizza! Natural light and awful florescent light.

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More of the florescent horror. I love these walls and how the stone, brick and wood are layered on top of each other. Pushed Portra doesn't like the contrast between the light fixtures and the dark ceiling. I got my best results from the Portra shot at 3200 in situations with even light.

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Almost at pizza. The light here is awful, but I like this hallway because it has elements of the building's exterior without having to actually go outside.

I was horrified to learn that the pizza place closed years ago. :(

Coffee

It is possible this is the part of the story where I wander in and out of fancy building I don't have permission to be in with a latte.

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Outside in the snow architectural styles collided with my need to have caffeine. This is probably the best image from the entire roll, and I believe it is because the light reflecting off the snow helped to even out the overall brightness of the scene.

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This is probably my favorite ceiling of any building, ever. Natural light and incandescent bulbs. I dislike that piece of art in the background.

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Daylight coming from behind me, florescent light from above and some sort of fancy bright light shining upon the young people drinking coffee.

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Episcopalian incandescent bulbs and daylight. This room is really dark even with large south facing windows. It is hard to tell, but all the furniture in the room was piled up in the center and roped off with caution tape.

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Orozco and museum quality illumination.

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Orozco closeup with museum quality lighting.

Conclusion

Yes, you can shoot Kodak Portra 400 at 3200 without compensating for the underexposure and get usable results but pushing it at least one stop would be better.

Things To Know

  • All photos were taken on Kodak New Portra 400 in my cheap Minolta X370 with my even cheaper Gemini 28 f2.8 lens.
  • I sent the film to Old School Photo Lab and instructed them to process it normally.
  • OldSchoolLab.com is awesome.
  • It was fun to shoot Portra 400 at 3200 without pushing butI probably won't do it again.
  • Avoid contrasty scenes with lots of dynamic range because they will look awful.
  • I didn't really trespass.
  • I knew that the pizza place had closed but if you are somewhere you shouldn't be it is useful to have an excuse.