Kodak Portra 400 might easily be the most popular color film in the world of photography. It certainly doesn’t hurt that its one true contender, Fujifilm Pro 400H, gracefully (or not so gracefully depending on your feelings about that film stock) bowed out in January of 2021. Portra 400 is so popular that not even a significant price increase in January of 2022 could knock the champ from its throne.
But why is it so popular? Sure, it’s the only remaining true professional 400-speed color film. But what about other 400-speed color films with lesser price tags? Wouldn’t these do just fine? Well, If Portra 400's elusive nature and committed fanbase are any indication, one can assume there is no substitute for this iconic film stock. Let’s pick apart why everyone desires that 400 ISO film inside the purple and yellow box.