Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Canon EOS 3 - Portra 160

I've been meaning to make a camera film guide for a while but I wasn't too sure how to approach it, so I'm just going to dive in and share what I've learnt so far :)

I'm starting off with my digital equivalent film camera, my Canon EOS 3 - you can read about how it came into my possession, over here! Anyway it's a great camera and lately I've been trying to get myself to use it instead of my digital (a hard process for me - I'm still a huge digital fan). The great thing about the EOS 3 is that it fits all my digital canon lenses (which I'll make sure to profile as well) and is a really simple camera to use, especially if you already use manual mode on your digital :).

The thing that makes this guide tricky is that not only do I like playing with cameras I like playing with film so I've decided to profile the camera with the film to show you the results :) First up is probably the mac daddy of film, the kodak portra 160, designed to deliver those impressive skin quality tones. 

Now I was expecting a lot from the film and it gave me a lot but I was expecting crazy lots. It's quite a jump up on price in comparison to other film which maybe set my expectations way up high. What I guess I must remember when I get back my 4x6 prints is that 160 means very fine grain so essentially a more expensive film with a low ASA like 160 is going to be great for enlargements which I'll admit I haven't tested out yet. I guess for me unless I know I want enlargements from what I'm shooting I wouldn't fork out the extra coin for portra though I'll definitely rock it for future weddings or special occasions just to get that special extra edge :)

29 keeps 7 fails (from a 36 roll of film)

Fail reasons: Not in focus. Boring Shots

Things to remember: Don't trust autofocus on the Canon EOS 3! This film is super reliable, though won't produce amazingly bright or special colours. The lesson I learnt here was that this film won't save a boring shot that a toy camera might but it is much more predictable than a toy camera. 7 failed shots (I'm pretty picky) might seem like a lot but in my film experience it's been one of my best returns yet :P


  1. Interesting that the Portra film seems to have a slight pink cast. I tended to prefer Fuji as Kodak tended to trend too yellow for Asian skin tones (most of my family) ;)

  2. So nice you are sharing this! It would be great if you share more tips about different kind of film in the future. You made me want to get back to film too and use more my old minolta

  3. We have several analog cameras (lca+, polaroid, etc..) but never tried to shot a reflex, I think it's a good idea to get a Canon one (for 3$ amazing deal!!!!!) and use it with your excellents lents (I'm in love with the 35L). To shot with a 50mm at 1.4 with the canon 3d autofocus must be like playing the Russian roulette! xD

  4. I've bought Portra film a few days ago, really eager to try it! it wont arrive until next week pft. great photos.

    glad you are doing something like this, it is something that interests me! although I swear by Nikon

    Katrina Sophia Blog

  5. I've never been much of a photography person but I've been meaning to get into film coz I have an old camera of my dads. I Just don't know where to buy the film? And where can you get film developed?

  6. Mariko: I get worried talking about the colour of film just because I can never be sure if that's just the way my scanner processes the colours or the lighting of the shot. I think if you notice a difference between companies I'd definitely stick with the one that gives more reliable results :)

    Barbara: You should use your old minolta!! I think film is super fun. I've only just got seriously back into it, so I promise I'll share what I've learnt so far :)

    Dani: Ahh you know what focusing issues are such my problem, I'm glad you pointed out the obvious to me, I tend to shot at 1.4 all the time. I'm going to remember to up my aperture if I'm worried about focus in the future!

    Katrina: yay for portra, I'd love to hear what you think about it! I also think Nikons are great too. I guess people tend to go with either or and as soon as you start buying lenses and equipment you tend to stick with one!

    Thimble: I buy my film off the lomography site and also from ebay :) I use to just get my film developed at BIG W but my shop no longer does it anymore, which is super sad! Lomography will do it online, so I think I'll wait till I have a few rolls and send them off!

  7. I never tried portra on 35 mm only on medium format,it is indeed very expensive!

  8. Ah you medium format kid :) Yeah I wish "good" film was a little less expensive!


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