Kodak Portra 400 with Minolta X-700 and MD Rokkor-X 50mm F:1.7

With 35mm film, you develop, scan and post your images weeks after the photographs were made.

NOTE: I'll begin this experience report with a brief disclaimer. It's been less than three years since I returned to shooting 35mm film after switching to digital photography over 20 years ago. I've inundated myself with as much film education as possible between web articles and advice from experienced film shooters. But, since my prior experience with film is decades old, this review is from a rather novice point of view.

Kiran, Bhavna and I walked in the Gulick Farm Preserve a few weeks ago. I brought my Fuji X-T2 and XF27mmF2.8 lens, my Minolta X-700, MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 lens, and a fresh 35 exposure catridge of Kodak Portra 400. Kodak Portra 400 is a fine-grain high-speed colour-negative film. I had never used Kodak Portra 400 before, but based on my experience with a roll of Kodak Portra 160 at Avalon Beach, I expected good results.

Bhavna and Kiran | Gulick Farm Preserve | Minolta X-700 | Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 | Kodak Portra 400 Colour Film
Gulick Farm Preserve | Minolta X-700 | Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 | Kodak Portra 400 Colour Film

The Gulick Farm Preserve walk was shorter than expected, so we dropped in at Barbara Smoyer Park. The light here was much brighter as we didn't have the forest to provide shade. The Kodak Portra 400 and the Minolta X-700 performed well.

Barbara Smoyer Park | Minolta X-700 | Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 | Kodak Portra 400 Colour Film
Barbara Smoyer Park | Minolta X-700 | Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 | Kodak Portra 400 Colour Film

Later that week, Bhavna and I were at Brick Fram Tavern for our regular weekly "dinner and chat". At this time of the year, the sun sets sooner. I was interested to see how the Kodak Portra 400 would perform in changing lighting conditions as the sun went down.

Brick Farm Taveren | Minolta X-700 | Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 | Kodak Portra 400 Colour Film
Minolta X-700 | Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 | Kodak Portra 400 Colour Film
Minolta X-700 | Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 | Kodak Portra 400 Colour Film
Minolta X-700 | Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 | Kodak Portra 400 Colour Film
Minolta X-700 | Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 | Kodak Portra 400 Colour Film

Earlier in the week, I had stopped at the Princeton Fire Department on Witherspoon Street to make some images for the Lens Artist challenge.

Minolta X-700 | Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 | Kodak Portra 400 Colour Film
Minolta X-700 | Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 | Kodak Portra 400 Colour Film

Author: Khürt Williams

I work in application security architecture and I live in Montgomery Township, New Jersey with my wife Bhavna. Passionate about photography, you’ll find me writing about cybersecurity, tropical aquariums, terrariums, hiking, craft breweries, and capturing birds on camera. My prose is like a caffeinated squirrel—fast, unpredictable, and occasionally insightful.