Pentax 645N Color test roll | The FIND Lab vs. Richard Photo Lab | Annie

Portra 400 backlit

This is basically just a ramble. You have been warned.

Overall I'm mostly pleased with the Pentax 645n's performance on these test rolls. However, when I received my scans, I was not super thrilled with the color. I've shot Portra 400 many of times before, and never had results that were quite so pink straight from the lab, and I even got "premium" scans this time around. I have fiddled with them a bit to get the colors looking better. I remember the first time I ever shot medium format, I was in Italy for a month and took no more than 4 frames a day because I was saving my film only for the very best shots. I really had no idea what I was doing, but I printed out my camera manual, used my in camera meter, and had a jolly good time. When I returned home, I sent the rolls to Richard Photo Lab in LA and was overwhelmed with how beautiful they were. I was surprised that I had even taken them. There were several foul ups that were most definitely user error, and my Mamiya 645 had a shutter issue, but the frames that turned out were really gorgeous. You can see some of these frames here and here. I have been very happy with my FIND lab scans until now, but wonder if it was just a new technician with less experience. There were some frames that were overexposed, so it makes sense that it would introduce more contrast and saturation (vivid pink skin tones), but how did my first rolls ever from 4 years ago on the same film stock turn out so much better color-wise than these? Was my metering really that off? Should I pay $19 instead of $15 per roll to get the famed Richard Photo Lab results? There are so many variables in the workflow of shooting, developing, and scanning that it makes it very difficult to tell exactly where the issue is, especially if you didn't do the developing and scanning yourself. I guess with any lab, it takes time to get the results you want. Also, I probably just need more practice with this particular camera set up.

If you are struggling finding the right lab as well, click HERE for an article about Richard Photo Lab that was extremely informative and helpful to me. Thanks again to Annie for being such a lovely model.