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Shooting Long Exposures on 20 year old Kodak Portra 160 NC

A simple test which ended up being a (very successful) mutli-level experiment for me.

First, using the widely accepted "rule" of overexposing by 1 stop per decade past expiration date, I set my light meter to ISO 40.

Secondly I wanted to shoot at night, including some strong light sources directly into the lens,  so needed to stop down to 𝑓/16 to control the light diffusion.  

Those things combined (ISO 40, 𝑓/16, shooting at night) meant some kinda long exposures were in order. When exposures get kinda long, you need to start compensating for reciprocity failure (there are a number of great resources online like this article, so I won't go into it here). 

I set my light meter at 40, but still used the compensation chart for Portra 160. The results definitely show that even when expired, the film reacts and fails in a very similar way.

For easier understanding, I've put the original light meter reading followed by the actual exposure time I used, with every photo.

You can watch the full video on YouTube here, or simply scroll down to see the photos. Enjoy!


13s = 29s @ 𝑓/16

8s = 16s @ 𝑓/16

43s = 2m39s @ 𝑓/16

1m58s = 9m29s @ 𝑓/16

46s = 2m39s @ 𝑓/16

46s = 2m39s @ 𝑓/16

20s = 54s @ 𝑓/16

13s = 29s @ 𝑓/16

20s = 54s @ 𝑓/8

16s = 38s @ 𝑓/8

58s = 3m47s @ 𝑓/16

1m55s = 9m12s @ 𝑓/16

16s = 38s @ 𝑓/8

1m14s = 5m18s @ 𝑓/16


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