The VC version of Kodak's Portra films is slowly disappearing after being discontinued, but if you can find some, you're in for a treat.
The “VC” in Kodak Portra 400VC stands for “vivid color”, and it certainly delivers. I was given a roll as a gift from a friend, and intimidated by the name, I waited awhile to try it out. On the first warm day of spring, I decided I’d pop it in my Holga and take it for a spin.
As you would imagine, colors are saturated and “pop”. The grain is more subtle for a 400 ISO film, but it still adds sharpness to images in an acceptable amount. The color holds fairly well under a flash, but it tends to not look as saturated as in daylight, so try to be a fair distance from your subject, especially if there is a reflective surface like a wall behind them. I put some in my Holga 120FN to test it, and my pictures taken during low-light afternoon hours was very satisfactory. If I were to recommend a best time to use it in a Diana F+ or a Holga, afternoon or morning is definitely a good choice, and this would make a great choice for a great daytime film for landscapes with a Lubitel 166+ or similar medium format camera.
If you’ve thought about trying out this film, I’d say go for it, now is your chance. Stocks are running low, but it wouldn’t be too hard to pick up some somewhere. If you like saturated color, grab some Kodak Portra 400 VC!