I just got from the lab a Kodak 400 Portra film (the new version) which I shot with my Plaubel Makina 67 during a daily walk in the city. I deliberately chose to carry only this camera and just two rolls of film since i was together with friends and didn’t want to spend my time just shooting myriads of digitalis shots. (the second roll was a Fuji Provia 400X, a wonderful film for travel which I haven’t still send to the lab. I’ll have to wait to expose a few more slides since the lab is at another city and it involves send by mail which is not just worth the expense for only one roll).
Twenty frames proved to be more than enough to capture some specific scenes that draw my attention. I didn’t do any street photography since I was more interesting in capturing different kind of images while walking. The Makina 67 is capable of street photography but it’s a large camera and it sure draws the attention with its unique design (being a folder rangefinder camera). The Leica M is more suitable for candid shots while with the Plaubel I prefer to approach people and take a shot after a short talk so it’s not genuine street photography but more like staged street shots or environmental portraits.
Even with a 400 ISO film like the new Portra (which by the way I rate it at box speed while with the older NC and VC versions I used to shoot at ISO 250), the 6×7 format still on overcast days allows for manipulation of depth of field as you can see from the two images above.Combine that with the great tonality of medium format and the smooth character of the a Nikkor 80mm f2.8 lens and you get quite different images than my digital cameras of 35mm film gear. The Portra 400 is an excellent film with great color and smooth grain, and it’s also great for scanning.
Another one advantage of the color negative Portra is that you shoot in color but when you feel that a specific image would be better seen in black and white, you just convert it to monochrome.
Of course you will not get the great look of a TRI-X negative but the look of film is still there. Being able to choose later the color or black and white look of an image sure is convenient.
Enough with words, here are three more images from the same roll.
(c)2012 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved