A couple of months ago I bought a few 35mm rolls of expired Fuji Pro 160c film. And when we had a family day coming up on a sunny Sunday, it was the perfect opportunity to test a roll in my trusted Minolta X-500 SLR. So read on for my results with this professional film!
Fujifilm introduced the Pro 160C film together with the Pro 160S as a replacement for the NPC 160 and NPS 160 films. Enhancements were made towards better scanning characteristics and a closer resemblance with the Pro 400H and Pro 800Z films for printing and color tonality. The latter two were renamed from the NPH 400 and NPZ 800 films, but did not change in its characteristics, as we can still read in this Fujicolor Pro brochure.
From this new professional series, the Pro 160S and Pro 400H have a lower contrast, especially for portraits and wedding photography. The Pro 160C and Pro 800Z have a higher contrast, for more colorful images. More recently the two 160 iso films merged into the Pro 160NS film and the Pro 800Z film seems to be discontinued. As most professional photographers have switched to digital now, the sales figures of these films are going down quickly, resulting in more and more consolidation of the remaining films. This is more or less the same for the professional Kodak Portra line also.
Because of my mother-in-law’s birthday, we visited the Zuiderzee museum in Enkhuizen, where you can experience the history of the villages around the former Zuiderzee, which has been transformed into the IJsselmeer since the building of the Afsluitdijk. So you can visit old fishermen’s houses, follow a writing lesson in an old elementary school, and children can make their own ropes and dress like in the old days.
While my roll of Fuji Pro 160C expired in June 2009, it was stored cold as professional film should be. The colors still look very nice, and on standard size prints there is no visible grain. In shaded areas the colors look pretty natural and even, while in the full sun you will get more harsh results as expected, but not oversaturated.
For outdoor portraits in the sun this film might not be the most logical choice, as its sister film the Pro 160S might give more natural skin tones and a more subtle look. However I have not tested the Pro 160S yet, and I am not disappointed with the results of the Pro 160C.
For architecture and travel photography the color representation is very nice, with vivid but not unnatural colors. And due to its relatively low iso rating of 160, you are able to choose a large aperture (low diaphragm number) for a short Depth of Field (DoF), combined with a short shutter time to prevent camera shake. At least, when you are capable to determine these yourself on your camera, like with an SLR…
The week after I shot the last photos of the roll of Pro 160C at an old printing house and rubber stamp factory. And while I used a bounced flash for a good exposure on some of the photos, these photos give a nice representation of the situation. All together I can recommend this professional film for general use, when you can buy it for a reasonable price.
When you want to try some (expired) Fuji Professional film, check out the following links for the availability in your country: