An in-depth look at the 35mm Kodak Portra film family

An in-depth look at the 35mm Kodak Portra film family

Mastering C-41 film photography: the three Kodak Portra films in both scanning and printing workflows


  • Ideally you have an understanding of Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe Photoshop
  • You need a functioning 35mm film camera and some rolls of Kodak Portra to make your own tests, but you can still enjoy the lessons without that!


Ever wondered: how does Portra 160 at box speed compare to Portra 400 exposed at ISO 200? If you’re that type of photographer, you’ve come to the right place!

The three Kodak Portra films are without a doubt the most popular choice for analog photographers working in color. Coming in the speeds of ISO 160, 400 and 800, these films offer a professional level of image quality for even the most demanding applications. While conceived as portrait films, they are also widely used in fashion, commercial, lifestyle and fine-art landscape photography. If you see a high quality editorial shot on film today in 2022, the likelihood that it was shot on Portra is high.

However, beyond Kodak’s data sheets (which are somewhat of a riddle in themselves…), the information on Portra found online seems rather unreliable. Results vary greatly – because everyone has their own workflow, and because the many variables at play make comparisons difficult to carry out. This is where this course comes in: offering a detailed, in-depth analysis of the three films and how they respond to under- and overexposure using a color checker and gray card as a reference point. There’s a portrait setup as well as a landscape one, to really evaluate the film’s performances. As a bonus, there’s a comparison to digital and we also look at some analog C-prints of all three films to compare them with the findings from the scans.

Who this course is for:

  • Professional and beginning photographers aspiring to get started in film photography
  • Filmmakers, DPs, Producers and Directors looking to shoot on film
  • Analog photography enthusiasts and professionals looking to master the Kodak Portra films

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