Medium Format Film Tests

Posted on December 9, 2011


I have been testing out my new Fuji 670 medium format camera. This camera has a retro look with a collapsible bellows – a fixed lens of around 45mm (35mm equivalent). It is very light at around 1 kg and because it collapsed it is very compact. It shoots both 6×6 and 6×7 frames. I have been testing various speeds of Portra film with a view to deciding what to use for my I am an Ironman project. Below are three test photographs for Portra film rated at 160, 400 and 800 iso.

Portra 160 shot with window light/reflector no adjustment to colour balance

Portra 400 shot in late afternoon in the shade with neon light inside building – no adjustment made to colour balance

Portra 800 shot on cloudy day – no adjustment made to colour balance

All three films have pretty fine grain although the 800 is noticeably coarser but still acceptable. The colour balance is pretty good (if a little blue)  in all three situations which are similar to the conditions I anticipate for my shoot – I plan to use open shade and cloudy conditions for my portraits – I need to avoid the harsh sunshine! The film scans well and small changes to colour balance in post processing will be possible.  The conclusion of this is that I will probably use a combination of Portra 160 and 400 depending on light conditions. I would like to use a minimum aperture of F/8 and shutter speed of 1/125 if possible to give enough depth of field and no movement of the subjects.