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Kodak Portra 800 (120, 800 iso) User-Review

Everyone says your Holga loves the sun, but with this 800 iso film, it's time to take it indoors and take some low light lovelies. Love that grain!

I live in grim and grey Bradford where the chance of a sunny day is pretty slim. My first experiments with my Holga where pretty poor with a carefree approach to using the bundled electrical tape and a misunderstanding of the wind on mechanism and bafflement at those little numbers in the counter window, I got back an underexposed and overlapped waste of film from the processors. Couple of wasted rolls later and still no prints to speak off, I re-read the instructions and came across a pack of expired Kodak Portra 800 and thought I’d give it a try and take down a roll to my friends’ band last gig.

The first roll was a bit better, but still unfortunately no prints as the definition between shots was not strong enough for the digital scanner/printer to pick up at the lab and I’d forgotten to take the lens cap off a couple of times, but then I realised that electrical tape is not to be sniffed at, and indeed is your Holga’s best friend. Light leaks could wait, and indeed, literally, the lens cap could get lost too. I taped up my Holga, went to an all day gig with some Portra 800 and have been content with my Holga ever since.

And oh it’s prints galore now! I’ve shot a fair few rolls of it and it’s easily my favourite film, and I almost load my Holga with some when going to a gig now. Though it’s a 800 iso film, the combination I think of 120’s high definition and the professional emulsion, leave a pretty usable grain. The stock I’ve used is a couple of years out of date, so I can’t be completely accurate but I find it a very lowly saturated, but with a nice strong contrast film. The low saturation might be almost rude in Lomography terms, but here it leaves a lovely vintage washed out, almost Polaroid-esque feel. I’ve only got 5 rolls left in my fridge and it’s pretty scary, so perhaps now isn’t the time for me to be singing its praises.

It’s all mine, MWHAHAHAAHA!

written by nicolas_noir


  1. dazb


    Oooh cool shots. I just finished a roll in my LC-A and hope itcomes out this well.

    almost 5 years ago · report as spam
  2. herbert-4


    Excellent!! It's one of my favorite films, also.

    almost 5 years ago · report as spam
  3. dogma


    Great concert shots! are the playing punk rock?

    almost 5 years ago · report as spam
  4. Sam-Davies

    Coool shots.. I am gonna pick some 800 up to use with a Rolleiflex Automat this weekend! I really like the grain in the gig shots....
    over 4 years ago · report as spam