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Kodak Portra 400 Film Made Exclusively for Scanning -- Not Printing

kodak portra film
We always thought that the rise of digital photography would, at one point or another, render film obsolete. According to Kodak, however, we (and virtually everyone else) were all wrong.

As Wired reports, the iconic film company is enjoying something of a counterintuitive renaissance in this digital age, as sales of color film remain strong, and black-and-white film sales are actually seeing an increase. With this surprisingly steady revenue, the company is even launching a newly updated line of film, the Portra Portra 400, which Kodak's U.S. marketing manager of pro film Scott DiSabato heralds as "the best film Kodak has ever made." Unlike most traditional film, however, the Portra 400 is made exclusively for scanning -- not printing.

After Kodak technicians realized that most photos today will likely be scanned at some point, they decided to create the kind of extremely fine-grain emulsion that would translate well through a scanner. In an interview with the British Journal of Photography, DiSabato explained that the Portra 400's lower contrast allows scanners to capture a wider range of tones, while the film's color spectrum "is not pumped up so much that it begins to compete with some of that tonal information." The team of engineers behind the Portra 400 also collaborated with Kodak's motion-picture department, in order to incorporate some of the company's Vision3 technology into its latest film.

Clearly, Kodak is confident that the world of photography is in the midst of what DiSabato calls "a very real resurgence for film" -- especially, as it turns out, with today's youth. "Once they do get a hold of film in a university, they just seem to fall in love with it," DiSabato explains. Enamored as we are with the latest developments in the world of digital photography, we always found the specter of a completely film-free world to be somewhat unsettling.

Tags: camera, digital, DigitalCamera, emulsion, film, Kodak, kodak portra 400, KodakPortra400, photography, portra, Portra 400, Portra400, printer, scanner, top