Kodak Portra 160 Colour Negative Film

Kodak Portra 160 Colour Negative Film

Analog Film Review

Kodak Portra 160 Colour Negative Film

Kodak Portra 160

Kodak Portra 160

Kodak Portra 160 is a film stock that has been a favourite among many photographers for its stunning natural-looking colours, making it an ideal choice for portrait and wedding photography. Its low ISO rating of 160 is a significant advantage when it comes to capturing skin tones, producing more subtle and natural-looking variations in colour. But what sets Portra 160 apart is its versatility, making it an excellent choice for landscape, nature, street photography, and other genres, producing classic and timeless images. My very first experience with Portra was at that time with Portra VC and NC. Then Kodak discontinued these two films and combined them into one “Portra”. The new Portra film tends to be more neutral-looking and less vivid, which can be an advantage in certain situations.

Kodak Portra 160, Makina 67, South Island NZ
Kodak Portra 160, Makina 67, Lake Tekapo NZ

Fine Grain and Warmth

Kodak Portra 160 boasts several remarkable features, such as its fine grain, warmth, and excellent exposure latitude. These features make it capable of handling overexposure well, producing images with a natural and authentic look. With medium contrast and low saturation, Portra 160 is an excellent alternative to more saturated films like Ektar 100. The film has no evident tint, making it ideal for portraiture, and it has an impressive dynamic range. However, when shooting in low light conditions, the film can produce muddy and pale shots. Therefore, it’s crucial to pay attention to your light source and ensure adequate sunlight for optimal results.

Kodak Portra 160, Makina 67, Alpaca farm NZ
Kodak Portra 160, Makina 67, Alpaca farm NZ
Kodak Portra 160, Makina 67, Alpaca Farm NZ
Kodak Portra 160, Makina 67, Wellington NZ

Colour and Look

While some may find the pastel look and low contrast of Portra 160 not to their taste, it’s an excellent film stock for photographers who prefer natural-looking colours and subtle variations in skin tones. With careful metering and good use of light, beautiful results can be achieved even in challenging shooting situations. I think Portra 160 gives me just little bit more authentic skintone than Portra 400, they are so close to come to a conclusion which one is better. So it is my go to film stock when I use it with my Makina 67 and Rolleiflex 2.8F. Some say the colour of the sky is more like “robin’s egg” than “royal” blue. And only good sunlight gives life to this film.

Kodak Portra 160, Rolleiflex 2.8F Planar, Hong Kong
Kodak Portra 160, Hasselblad 903cx, Hong Kong
Kodak Portra 160, Makina 67, Hong Kong
Kodak Portra 160, Makina 67, Hong Kong


With its ISO 160 rating, it can be carefully used even during overcast, evening, or early morning time. With the low ISO, it will enable you to use at a faster aperture to achieve swallow depth of field. The film’s image quality is impressive, with smooth grain, sharp images, and a certain softness that doesn’t take away from overall sharpness, giving a smooth edge opposed to a crisp one.

Kodak Portra 160, Makina 67, Wellington NZ
Kodak Portra 160, Makina 67, Hobbiton NZ

Kodak Portra 400

Kodak Portra 160 is often overlooked in favour of Portra 400, but it’s a different film altogether. It’s a combination of the two early films Portra 160NC and 160VC, primarily designed for portraits, presenting a low contrast, almost pastel look, and a clear departure from the vibrant colours of Ektar 100. Also Kodak Colorplus 200 is another good option.

Kodak Portra 160, Makina 67, Hobbiton NZ
Kodak Portra 160, Makina 67, Taupo NZ


In summary, Kodak Portra 160 is a film stock that every film photographer should consider trying, particularly those who value natural-looking colours and versatility. With its fine grain, warmth, and excellent exposure latitude, it’s an outstanding choice for various photographic genres. The film produces timeless and beautiful images with a classic look that never goes out of style. When choosing between Portra 160 and Portra 400, the decision should be based on the lighting situation and the desired outcome of the photographs. Choose the film stock that best suits your needs and the most comfortable ISO to work with.

More Samples

Kodak Portra 160, Makina 67, Hong Kong
Kodak Portra 160, Makina 67, Hong Konga
Kodak Portra 160, Leica MP, Hong Kong
Kodak Portra 160, Rolleiflex 2.8F Planar, Hong Kong
Kodak Portra 160, Hasselblad 903cx, Hong Konga
Kodak Portra 160, Makina 67, Wellington NZ
Kodak Portra 160, Makina 67, Lake Tekapo NZ
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