Kodak Portra 400 VC 120


If you’re looking for soft yet vivid colors as well as moderate contrast, Kodak Portra 400 VC would be an excellent choice, especially for portraits. It also provides extremely fine grain at a moderately high ISO speed.

Kodak Portra 400 VC 120mm is a medium-format film that was “discontinued”, or rather, upgraded last year. It has been replaced by the new Kodak Portra 400 film, which promises finer film grain and better contrast. But as it was gradually phased out, it should still be on sale at some shops if you want to give it a try.

The ‘VC’ in its name stands for ‘Vivid Color’. It was one of Kodak’s professional portrait films, along with the ‘NC’ or ‘Neutral Color’ line. It was introduced after the NC line hit the market and photographers suggested Kodak bring in a more vibrant version of the lower-contrast/saturation film. VC, like its namesake, produces beautiful, vivid colors, but the lower-to-moderate saturation stays out of the extremely saturated land of colors dominated by slide film. The subtle yet vivid colors will draw you in, especially when it comes to portraits, macros and flowers. It shines when used for portraits as the color reproduction is excellent and the contrast is moderate.

A weakness however, could be landscapes, if you love them super saturated and drenched in vibrant hues. In that case it is still better to stick to slide films such as Fuji Velvia, unless you are going for a less in-your-face and more neutral feel.

This line of film (and NC) came in two ISO speeds – the slower 160 and 400 – providing photographers with an extra burst of speed especially on overcast days or indoors. Despite the moderately high ISO speed, It was known for its extremely fine film grain. Like most of its kind, this colour negative film can also retain details very well, even when slightly overexposed or underexposed, making it an excellent candidate for pushing or pulling by a few stops.

The photos uploaded in this post were shot at Pulau Ubin, an island near Singapore, on a hot and sunny day.

The Kodak Portra 400 VC 120 is a true professional`s choice. This portrait film yields great contrast and slamming colours, giving your shots a subtle x-pro look (without the x-pro)! See the whole range of colour negatives in our Shop.

written by cherieamour on 2011-07-18 #gear #medium-format #review #portrait #color-negative #square #vivid #professional #120-film #lomography #kodak-portra-400-vc #user-review #requested


  1. freyfrey
    freyfrey ·

    My first 5 rolls of film ever were kodak portra 400 VC 120 and I got really different results. It was the end of an Australian summer and my shots mostly came out super saturated and colourful with really deep blues and greens.
    Portraits weren't unflattering but I dont believe it replicated skin tones as well as claimed nor was it a poor choice for landscapes.
    I am however pretty new to this game so maybe I was doing something weird?
    Here's an example of the first roll:

  2. britterzb
    britterzb ·

    I just ordered this film! I'm excited to see what it can do!

  3. neja
    neja ·

    very helpful! thanks x

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