Kodak Portra 160 | Minolta X-700 | MD Rokkor-X 50mm F:1.7

These images are from a 36 exposure roll of Kodak Professional Portra 160 35mm Color Negative Film that I shot on a recent beach trip. The first roll captured on my Minolta X-700 and MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 was Kodak Professional Ektachrome E100 35mm Color Transparency Film. I prefer the look of the image shot on Kodak Portra 160.

One of my concerns while shooting this roll was whether I had set the ISO correctly on the camera. The Minolta X-700 film-speed ring has marks between numbered ISO graduations, but no numbers are printed at the markings for ISO 125 and ISO 160. I didn’t bring my reading glasses with me, and while Bhavna tried to help, her eyes were not much better. I hoped I set the ISO correctly. I was also very nervous about loading the film, which I kept in my bag and under my seat until needed, in the bright sun.

I might have used the programmed auto-exposure (AE) mode – the “P” setting – for a few of the shots. With the camera set at ” P ” and the MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 lens at its minimum aperture of f/16, the X-700’s program selected the aperture and fastest practicable shutter speed giving audible beeps to warn against motion blur. I discovered that if the lens is not set at the minimum aperture, the “P” will blink as a warning. This bit of information is important. According to the manual, “although exposure will still be correct unless an over or under-range LED blinks, the program’s range will be limited so that it cannot accommodate brighter subjects.” I was at the beach on a bright sunny day. I didn’t have room for error.

While the X-700’s P mode is ideal for general picture-taking when all you want to do is compose, focus, and shoot, I felt comfortable using the aperture-priority auto-exposure (AE) mode. Many of the images were capture in aperture-priority AE mode with the lens set at f/8 most of the time. The Minolta X-700 automatically set the step-less shutter speed.

It’s interesting that when posting scans of film, I am always writing about events that happened weeks in the past. The turn around time for 35mm film developing and scanning from the Darkroom is about two weeks, and I think that is considered quick. I know that the quality and ease of use of 35mm film1 can’t match that of my Fuji X-T2, I admit to enjoying the overall process.

26 August, 2020 | Minolta X-700 | Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 f/8.0 | Kodak Portra 160 35mm Colour Negative Film
26 August, 2020 | Minolta X-700 | Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 f/8.0 | Kodak Portra 160 35mm Colour Negative Film
26 August, 2020 | Minolta X-700 | Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 f/8.0 | Kodak Portra 160 35mm Colour Negative Film
26 August, 2020 | Minolta X-700 | Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 f/8.0 | Kodak Portra 160 35mm Colour Negative Film
26 August, 2020 | Minolta X-700 | Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 f/8.0 | Kodak Portra 160 35mm Colour Negative Film
26 August, 2020 | Minolta X-700 | Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 f/8.0 | Kodak Portra 160 35mm Colour Negative Film
26 August, 2020 | Minolta X-700 | Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 f/8.0 | Kodak Portra 160 35mm Colour Negative Film
26 August, 2020 | Minolta X-700 | Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 f/8.0 | Kodak Portra 160 35mm Colour Negative Film
26 August, 2020 | Minolta X-700 | Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 f/8.0 | Kodak Portra 160 35mm Colour Negative Film
26 August, 2020 | Minolta X-700 | Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 f/8.0 | Kodak Portra 160 35mm Colour Negative Film
26 August, 2020 | Minolta X-700 | Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 f/8.0 | Kodak Portra 160 35mm Colour Negative Film

  1. For film to match or exceed the quality of modern 35mm format digital cameras, you need to shoot medium to large format film. 

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