Crossing Kodak Portra 400

What would it be like to cross the most popular negative mediumformat film on the market?

I asked myself that question after having a crossing run-in with Fuji 160Pro - a film that I normally avoid. The photos where out of this world and I wondered what would happen to Kodak Portra 400.

First up I have to explain that basically there are two kinds of films: Colour Negative and Positive. Negatives are the filmstrips that you cannot really look at as they are inverted and orange. Positives are also called slides and you can hold them against the light and directly see the image. Both use their respective developing process - C41 for Negatives and E6 for Positives. To develop a film in the other developing process is called "Crossing" or "Xpro". 

Kodak New Portra 400 medium format film roll ready to be loaded into my Pentax 6x7

Kodak New Portra 400 medium format film roll ready to be loaded into my Pentax 6x7

So I loaded up my Pentax 6x7 medium format film camera with Portra 400 and headed out the door into windy Munich. I measured the light with the internal light meter set to 160 ISO to overexpose the film.

I shared the story on Instagram taking the viewer on an adventure with me. Each of the ten frames I shot, was replicated on my iphone to show some degree of normal perceived reality.

Later that week I sent the film to my favourite photolab FT Trenkle and got the advice that years ago crossed films would get a +2 push in development on top of the overexposure. The film came back as a complete slide. That is to say there were no parts of the image that were a "negative". The slides themselves have a strong yellow colour cast which I will present below. However to get a look that I prefer I used the Epson scan option "colour restoration" on my Epson V700 scanner.

Portra 400 cross processed in E6 direct scan. Exposed at 160 and pushed +2.

Same Image scanned with "colour restoration" on Epson V700.

Now I want to present the instagram posts side by side with the final crossed photos - Enjoy!

Frame 1

Instagram Story Photo Frame 1

Old meets new

Frame 2

Instagram Story Photo Frame 2

Exchanging stories in the Subway

Frame 3

Instagram Story Photo Frame 3


Frame 4

Instagram Story Photo Frame 4

Dramatic Sky

Frame 5

Instagram Story Photo Frame 5

Roadkill in the junkiebushes

Frame 6

Instagram Story Photo Frame 6

Faun and Nymph

Frame 7

Instagram Story Photo Frame 7

King Kaiser

Frame 8

Instagram Story Photo Frame 8

Kaisers Shoes "Vapor max plus" by Nike

Frame 9

Instagram Story Photo Frame 2

Birds at main station Munich

Frame 10

Instagram Story Photo Frame 10

Pidgeon Lamp

As always when crossing films the results are never forseeable. I guess everybody will have their own opinion on wether they like the images or not. For myself I can say that I like the dreamlike and Lynchian feel of these visions.


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