My Last roll of FUJICOLOR PRO 400H

Fujifilm discontinued the Fujicolor Pro 400H film in January 2021 due to raw material shortages, ending an era for this beloved film stock.

Fujifilm announced they were discontinuing the Fujicolor Pro 400H film in January 2021, citing difficulty sourcing the raw materials required to produce the film. Fujicolor Pro 400H was a professional-grade color-negative film produced by Fujifilm. It was highly regarded for its unique colour reproduction, wide exposure latitude, and fine grain. The discontinuation marked the end of a widely appreciated film stock, particularly among professional photographers specialising in portraits and weddings.

This decision led to a surge in demand as photographers and enthusiasts sought to stock up on the remaining supply. Fortunately, I snagged two film cartridges of this film stock before eBay scalpers bought up all the stock and started charging exorbitant prices for a single roll. I exposed the first roll in October 2020. This is the last of my two rolls. I exposed it in June 2023. It sat for a month before I developed it at Boutique Film Lab, and then it sat until mid-November before I finally scanned it using VueScan and my Epson Perfection V600.

Flounder Brewing · June 25, 2023 · Nikon N2020 · AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

Pro 400H is known for its distinctive colour palette, particularly its rendition of greens and skin tones, which made it popular among portrait and wedding photographers.

This film stock handles handle varying levels of exposure well, making it forgiving for photographers in challenging lighting conditions, like inside the brewery. It performs well in natural light.

Head Brewer, Doug Duschl (in pink) · June 25, 2023 · Nikon N2020 · AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

Despite its higher ISO of 400, Pro 400H maintains a relatively fine grain structure, contributing to its ability to produce high-quality images with a smooth texture. I've used Pro 400H only twice, and I regret that this was my last roll.

Flounder Brewing
Head Brewer, Doug Duschl (in pink) · June 25, 2023 · Nikon N2020 · AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Flounder Brewing
Flounder Brewing · June 25, 2023 · Nikon N2020 · AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Flounder Brewing
June 25, 2023 · Nikon N2020 · AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Flounder Brewing
Flounder Brewing · June 25, 2023 · Nikon N2020 · AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 · FUJICOLOR PRO 400H
Flounder Brewing
Flounder Brewing · June 25, 2023 · Nikon N2020 · AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Flounder Brewing
Bhavna · June 25, 2023 · Nikon N2020 · AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Flounder Brewing
Home · June 25, 2023 · Nikon N2020 · AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Flounder Brewing
Extra Sauce · June 25, 2023 · Nikon N2020 · AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Flounder Brewing
Flounder Brewing · June 25, 2023 · Nikon N2020 · AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

ORWO Wolfen NC 500

The heavy grain and muted colours disappointed.

ORWO, short for "Original Wolfen," is the trademark of ORWO Net GmbH, a company based in Wolfen. They're well-known for their black and white film products, crafted in Germany and sold under the ORWO brand.

ORWO recently introduced a color-negative film called Wolfen NC500, an ISO 400 film. This film lacks a remjet layer, which can be processed in any standard C-41 colour film processing lab and is available in 35mm canisters of 36 exposures.

I wish I'd come across James Tocchio's experience report on ORWO Wolfen NC 500 before I used it. Sadly, I stumbled upon James' post several months after I had already loaded this film stock into my Nikon N2020. James' thoughts on his ORWO Wolfen NC 500 experience closely align with mine, so I'll let his words do the talking.

... let’s look at the grain structure. It’s heavy and exaggerated, and it does tend to diminish some of the detail of the film. Color films from Kodak’s Pro line certainly render sharper and cleaner images, and even ORWO’s own Wolfen NC400 has finer grain. Recall, however, that sharpness and cleanliness are not the intended goals for Wolfen NC500. Wolfen NC500 is not a true-to-life film. Not even close.

The de-saturation is certainly a "vibe". Colors are muted across the range, but especially so in the blue tones. Believe me when I say that the skies of Florida and the waters of the Gulf are all far bluer than images from this film indicate. Plants are greener, too. For those seeking to simply document the colors of the world as it is, Kodak’s color films are much better in this regard.

I'm with James on this one. I scanned the negative myself. I thought I'd messed up somewhere when I first saw the scans. So, I went back to Vuescan to check my settings. I also tinkered with the white balance for the images I brought into Adobe Lightroom. The images were not to my liking.

But it finally hit me after I checked out some sample photographs on the Lomography website. I had had a bit of a misconception about how this film stock would turn out. Personally, I'm a fan of the fine grain and more true-to-life colours you get with the Kodak Porta 400 film stock. ORWO Wolfen NC 500 doesn't do it for me.

Lastly, ORWO’s new color film is not cheap. Pricing ranges from shop to shop, but NC500 typically costs in the area of $17 per 36 exposure roll. Compared with some other color films, ORWO is pricey.

I burnt through the whole roll in just one day. Most of the shots were taken outside at the local farmers' market on a sunny July day.

Over at Analogue.Cafe, Dimitri thinks that if you're willing to put in extra work, you can find a use for this 35mm film. ORWO Wolfen NC 500 is pricier than Kodak Portra 400 film stock, and honestly, it doesn't look as good. Why bother?

ORWO is gearing up to release a new 200-ISO color negative film called NC 200. Hopefully this will be better than ORWO Wolfen Color NC 500. I can't recommend the ORWO Wolfen Color NC 500. I have zero plans to use it again.

Saturday 22 July 2023 · Nikon N2020 · AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Saturday 22 July 2023 · Nikon N2020 · AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Saturday 22 July 2023 · Nikon N2020 · AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Saturday 22 July 2023 · Nikon N2020 · AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Saturday 22 July 2023 · Nikon N2020 · AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Saturday 22 July 2023 · Nikon N2020 · AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Saturday 22 July 2023 · Nikon N2020 · AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Saturday 22 July 2023 · Nikon N2020 · AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Saturday 22 July 2023 · Nikon N2020 · AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Saturday 22 July 2023 · Nikon N2020 · AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Saturday 22 July 2023 · Nikon N2020 · AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

Kodak Professional Portra 400BW - Expired

I exposed another expired 35mm roll of Kodak Portra 400 BW.

I'm unsure why or how it happened, but I exposed almost an entire cartridge of expired Kodak Professional Portra 400BW with pictures of my orange tabby, Alphonso Mango. I had written "snow day" in my notes, but when I looked at the scans, I realised that I had also written the same thing on the notes for the expired Ilford HP5 400 I had exposed the previous day. I intended to expose both cartridges from the box of expired 35mm film during the snow. But ... I didn't.

Kodak Professional Portra 400BW was a multi-purpose chromogenic black and white negative film designed to be processed in standard C-41 chemistry alongside rolls of colour negative film and printed on traditional colour paper. It was developed like a colour-negative film in the C-41 process and delivered monochrome images like a black-and-white film. The film was intended for exposure with daylight, electronic flash, and artificial illumination. Kodak Professional Portra 400BWW was a versatile film for 35mm and medium format cameras. It was made with a Kodak T-Grain emulsion and had a wide exposure latitude. Production of the Kodak Portra 400BW was discontinued and replaced with Kodak Professional BW400CN, which was also discontinued. This film incorporated Kodak T-GRAIN® emulsions, which provided wonderful grain and sharpness at a relatively high speed. This film was used for portrait and wedding applications and many commercial applications.

The first time I used Kodak Porta 400BW, I exposed it at box speed. I realised then that I needed to overexpose the expired film. I exposed this 35mm roll of Kodak Professional Portra 400BW at ISO 100. The results are much better. But I think ISO 160 may have produced better results.

The film cartridge was developed at Boutique Photo Lab and scanned on my Epson Perfection V600 with VueScan 9. I processed the negative scans using Negatvibe Lab Pro, adjusted the exposure by -1/3 EV in Adobe Lightroom and cropped out the film borders.

Name Kodak Professional Portra 400BW
Price FREE
Native ISO 400
Format 35mm
Features chromogenic black and white negative
Exposed ISO 100
Lab Boutique Film Lab
Process C41
Scanner Epson Perfection V600
Software VueScan 9, Negative Lab Pro, Adobe Lightroom
Alphonso Mango · Tuesday 7 March 2023 · Minolta XD-11 · MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2 · ISO 400
Tuesday 7 March 2023 · Minolta XD-11 · MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2 · ISO 400
Tuesday 7 March 2023 · Minolta XD-11 · MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2 · ISO 400
Tuesday 7 March 2023 · Minolta XD-11 · MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2 · ISO 400
Tuesday 7 March 2023 · Minolta XD-11 · MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2 · ISO 400
Alphonso Mango · Tuesday 7 March 2023 · Minolta XD-11 · MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2 · ISO 400
Alphonso Mango · Tuesday 7 March 2023 · Minolta XD-11 · MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2 · ISO 400
Alphonso Mango · Tuesday 7 March 2023 · Minolta XD-11 · MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2 · ISO 400
Alphonso Mango · Tuesday 7 March 2023 · Minolta XD-11 · MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2 · ISO 400
Alphonso Mango · Tuesday 7 March 2023 · Minolta XD-11 · MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2 · ISO 400