comparing films: Kodak Ektar and Kodak Portra 400

With Fuji Reala no longer being made, I am trying to find a new favorite film. I thought it would be fun to shoot two different films at the same time. I loaded my Yashica LM with Kodak Portra 400 and my Hasselblad 500CM with Kodak Ektar and took a walk around a local botanical garden.  Here are the results.  The Portra is on the left and the Ektar is on the right.

 

fence

fern

path

bridge

flower

feild

 

I love the vibrance of the Ektar.  I am excited to use it again.  I also like the Portra.  The color feels soft and gentle. I enjoyed this little experiment.  I may do it again with some black and white films.

What side to you like, the left or the right?  Do you have a favorite film?

19 thoughts on “comparing films: Kodak Ektar and Kodak Portra 400

  1. what a cool comparison. i’ve been wondering about the ektar and this answers a few of my questions. i’m going to have to break out a roll of this in
    Palouse.

  2. I am amazed. the Ektar got me, each and every time. I think I love the crispness and clarity. It probably will encourage me to try Ektar…I have used Portra and I like the softness but each time, my eye jumped to the right…

    Good informative post!

  3. I like the right, the Ektar. I love the depth of colour. I have only developed one film from my Hasselbad so far and used the Portra that time round. I really liked it but as I was only getting use to the camera I only really got about half a roll of shots. :/ There is a B&W Reala roll in it at the moment which is nearly finished. I think I will try to the Ektar next. 🙂 Thanks Staci. This is awesome.

  4. Thank You for very good comparison. It corresponds to my observation with those films. The Portra is really nice for portraits, When I try to overexpose it the colours of objects in focus becomes saturated and still good looking, while the objects out of the focus look very light. and washed out.

  5. Thank you soooo much for this!! I’d been looking for this information for days and could’nt find any relevant comparison. I am planning to order a bunch of b&w films but I wanted to start colour and couldn’t decide decide wether to chose portra or ektar. Now I am sure: ektar!

  6. wow ektar is really way more colorful. okay sweet this was a big help i couldn’t for the life of me remember which roll of film i did was with ektar or portra but noticed that one was considerably more colorful and bright. must be the ektar! the only thing is i find 100 iso film to be more finicky than 400 am i wrong about this?

    1. Hello Dale! I find that the Ektar is more finicky than the Portra. Portra is much more forgiving. If you look at the negative, the name and ISO is printed on the edge of the negative. Happy shooting!

  7. Interesting comparison. I like the Ektar more for it’s vibrance for general shooting but also like the Portra for certain themes.

    Not trying to water down on your effort here but the test would be more conclusive if the same camera/lens were used for the two film stocks. We all know how different a picture can look with different lenses. Yes it’s not practical to do but that is the only way to draw an accurate conclusion.

    1. You are right that it would be a better comparison if I had the same camera and lens when comparing the films. If you would like to send me a Hasselblad so that I can do that, I’d happily accept! 😉

  8. Do you think the increase in the contrast on the ektar side might be thanks to the Hasselblad’s superior optics? I’m just started shooting ektar on my Yeshica 635 right now but have yet to develop the roll haha

    1. The Hasselblad adds a little of the sharpness, but the Ektar will consistently give you more vibrant color. Ektar is sensitive to how you expose it, so it isn’t as reliable as the Portra. I have grown to love the consistency of Portra. It is more forgiving when it comes to exposure and it stays true to color.

      All that to say, I love my Yashica. It is light and easy to carry. Ektar comes out beautifully, but I think I love black and white film best out of the Yashica. Try a roll of Portra 400. You will have more play with the 1/500 shutter speed.

      Enjoy your camera. Let me know if you have any other questions. Our Yashicas were released the same year, so they are similar.

Thank you for your kind words.

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