WPPI 2011: Kodak Introduces New Professional Portra 160 Color Film

February 21, 2011

By Dan Havlik

Digital might rule the photography world these days but Kodak is still betting on film. The company released a follow-up film to its venerable Portra line today at the WPPI show in Las Vegas with Kodak Professional Portra 160 color film.

The new film, which will be available in 35mm, 120/220, 4×5 and 8×10 formats starting in March 2011, does away with the NC (Natural Color) and VC (Vivid Color) delineations of Portra films from the past.

The new Kodak Professional Portra 160 will produce color saturation more like the previous NC version than the VC, we were told by Kodak, making the film suited, as its name suggests, for portrait photography sessions.

Kodak also got rid of the NC/VC designations when it released Kodak Portra Professional 400 film at photokina last September.

“The biggest change a photographer will notice is in the film structure,” Kodak’s Scott DiSabato told us about Kodak Professional Portra 160. “There’s less grain but now, as a portrait film, there’s a level of sharpness that’s not always expected.”

DiSabato noted that photographers looking for a more heavily saturated color film, aka VC, might want to explore Kodak Ecktar 100 instead of the new version of Portra.

“With 99% of all the film being scanned, having a palette like the NC with better grain, moderate contrast and shadow details means you can boost the saturation (in Photoshop),” he said about the new Portra 160.

More details in the press release below.



Kodak Continues to Bring New Professional Films to Market with KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA 160 Film

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Feb. 21, 2011 – Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE:EK) today introduced the new KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA 160 Film, featuring a significantly finer grain structure in a 160-speed color negative film.  The new KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA 160 Film incorporates Kodak’s Advanced Cubic Emulsions to achieve this finer grain. Like the new KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA 400 Film, KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA 160 Film also employs KODAK VISION Film technology and Antenna Dye Sensitization in the magenta emulsion layers. Photographers can trust the new KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA 160 Film to deliver exceptional skin tones, the hallmark of the KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA Film family.  Kodak showcased the new film today at the annual WPPI trade show in Las Vegas, NV.

“As filmmaking technology evolves, we continue to seek ways to improve our films to better serve the professional film shooter,” said Dennis Olbrich, General Manager, Film, Paper and Output Systems, and Vice President, Film, Photofinishing and Entertainment Group, Eastman Kodak Company. “Kodak is leading the way, delivering innovative product improvements designed to optimize scanning and enlargement in today’s workflow.”  

With the new KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA 160 Film, photographers looking for ultimate quality now have an unmatched portfolio from which to select, including the recently announced KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA 400 Film and the award winning KODAK PROFESSIONAL EKTAR 100 Film. Together, this new family of KODAK Color Negative Films offers an extraordinary palette of color, speed, latitude and unmatched fine grain for superior performance in every shooting situation.

“I found the versatility of the new PORTRA 160 film simply astounding. So many elements of it make my job easier. The latitude has freed me up to approach each shoot uniquely,” Ryan Muirhead, a professional photographer based in the United States.  “The new PORTRA 160 is also a dream to scan. Everything I love about photography takes place behind a camera; everything I hate about photography takes place behind a computer. With this new film, using the proper exposure, I often find myself cutting Photoshop out of my workflow. As a result, I spend more time shooting and less time editing – priceless.”

The new KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA 160 Film will be available in 35 mm, 120/220, 4×5 and 8×10 sheet format, beginning March 2011. It replaces the existing KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA 160NC and 160VC Film offerings on a stock turnover basis.

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