on July 4, 2012
400H's gentle, neutral colors and exceptional skin tones make for *exceptional* daylight portraits. Much like Kodak's new "Portra" line of neutral-toned professional print films, 400H works that print-film-magic of letting especially vivid tones "pop" through an otherwise neutral scene; detail in your subject's eyes or wardrobe render with amazing clarity. 400H excels, particularly, in naturally pastel or verdant scenes: creamy mint green and baby-blue gorgeousness will ensue.
400H's tones and grain structure thrive on light: over-expose by a stop or more (up to three in flat light) to increase contrast and color dimension with little or no penalty in detail. As with all print film, you don't need to worry about blowing out highlights: the more light you give it, the more the film's response curve will compress. Latitude does not, however, extend to under-exposure. (This is, in my experience, very different than Portra--which can be pushed well by at least a stop but tones sickly yellow when over-exposed by more than half a stop.) Under-expose 400H and you can expect murky, muddy tones and, in 135 format, *terrible* grain. In fact, 400H can start to get muddy even in a bright scene's shadows--so shoot as bright as you can. These properties make 400H a fantastic way to tame stark, mid-day sun if you can't get your subjects into a more flattering scene. It's an incredible way to shoot back-lit subjects without fill flash. (Make sure you're metering for your subjects!) If you're shooting off-the-cuff in broad daylight and have a good sense of exposure, the look you'll get from this product is hard to beat, digital or otherwise.
In 135 format, grain can be an issue. It's deadly on underexposure at any print size. Digital scans will emphasize it, so have a good lab do it or proceed with caution yourself and go easy on any post sharpening. For common web-sized images (smaller than 1024 pixels on the longest edge @ 72 - 96 DPI), it won't be a problem; larger than 1024 pixels, you'll start to notice lacking detail. In print, you'll start to see it in 8" x 10", but 5" x 7" or 4" x 6" sizes will look smooth as silk.
If you need larger prints / display sizes and prefer the 135 format, consider Kodak Portra 160: the smaller grain will offer noticeably cleaner scans and prints larger than 8" x 10".
on October 22, 2013
This film is reliable in most shooting situations. I used it in the late afternoon on a trip to the country and captured some nice sunset and rural scenes, including some portrait shots. Colours are good, and I agree with the manufacturer's claim that it reproduces accurate skin tones.
on October 24, 2013
Recently started using my film camera again and this film was recommended to me to try. I know a lot of people rate this film at 200 ISO, but I love to use it at 100 ISO and then meter to over-expose it even more. I love the look and the colors that result from using this film! Will definitely continue to purchase.
on July 13, 2013
Great tonal range, beautiful skin tones in just about every lighting situation. It tends to be over warm in tungsten lighting situations, but a great, great film, nonetheless.