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Kodak Portra 800 Overview: Kodak Portra 800 gives nice, saturated colors and loves to be overexposed. Try rating around ISO 200 for beautiful colors and skin tones. If underexposed, it will have more of a muddy and grainy look. It’s also a versatile film and can be used indoors and outdoors, but preferably in lots of light. You can pick up some on Amazon here: Kodak Portra 800 in 35mm and Kodak Portra 800 in 120
Kodak Portra 800 Film Review by Jessica Love
For me, choosing a film stock is like when you first get a digital camera and the POSSIBILITIES of HOW TO EDIT your photos hits you like crazy. There are just so many different options! In my first few months of shooting film, I shot and shot and shot, experimenting with various film stocks looking for my favorites.
I tried Kodak Portra 800 pretty early on, and, to be honest, I hated the results. The images came out muddy and grainy. It’s a film that has a bit of a learning curve. After some fine tuning and learning to rate it between 200 and 400 ISO, I now love the results! Bright, punchy, beautiful colors!
What To Expect From Portra 800
Kodak Portra 800 will give you more saturated colors than either Portra 400 or Portra 160. It’s more similar to the vibrant colors of Kodak Ektar 100. It’s also a wonderful stock for skin tones. It’s difficult for a film with more vibrant, saturated colors to maintain skin tones, but Portra 800 walks that line perfectly!
Watch out for underexposure, though. If underexposed, it will lean towards those muddy colors and grain I mentioned early.
How To Shoot And Meter Portra 800
I like to meter Portra 800 around 200 ISO. This film loves light and handles overexposure really well. For those bright, vibrant colors, rating around 200 ISO consistently gives me good results.
I love it most on a sunny day and backlit. When shooting digital, white balance and color tone are often a struggle, but when I get my film back, I’m just amazed at how well this film does with light.
Where Portra 800 Performs Best and Where It Struggles
Portra 800 performs well when it has a lot of good quality light. I shoot it inside on a bright day, outside in the sun, and backlit. I love it all!
It does tend to struggle in low light, though. It isn’t as low light friendly as the 800 ISO might suggest. It needs to be overexposed quite a bit, which really limits it’s low light capabilities. Shooting it in lots of light will make you so happy with the results!
Thank you so much, Jessica! Please check out Jessica’s work on Instagram and her website, and if you have questions about Kodak Portra 800, leave them in the comments.
Click here to check out all of our film reviews, and if you want to pick up some Portra 800 for yourself, click here to buy it on Amazon!