Cameron Davidson


A blog by Washington DC photographer Cameron Davidson.

Shooting Portra 120 film

I’ve been working on a couple of personal landscape projects shooting with my Rolleiflex TLR.

I thought about buying a film back for my Alpa, but decided to approach these new projects with my Rollei and use Kodak’s amazing Portra film.

The beauty of Portra 120 is its ability to hold detail in highlights and shadows. Depending upon how you expose it, it can give you creamy smooth highlights with low contrast.

The look is different than my Credo 60 back and I enjoy shooting and composing within a square.

I like the long tonal range of Portra and its ability to hold details in the shadows while holding the highlights.

The biggest obstacle for me for shooting film was to find a lab I could trust for processing and scanning.  I could have my film processed locally and scan the images in the office, but I prefer to keep my workflow simple.

These are three USA based labs that have excellent reputations.

All three labs provide high-end scans of your film with links via email to download them.




I just sent them a bunch of 120 – heard good things about them and scans – pretty decent turnaround times.  Like all good C-41 labs, they have a heaver load in the summer from all the wedding photogs.  They offer Noritsu or Frontier scans.  The largest 120 6x6cm scans come in at a bit over 4824×4824 pixels per side.  (48 megs)








Folks rave about this group in Utah.  My next batch of film is going to them. (Update - I sent a batch of film to them and love these folks!  They are my new lab.)

Scan sizes up to 16 inches by 16 inches for 120 6x6cm.  (4800 pixels)

Finally – best known is Richard Lab






I’ve used them and was very happy with processing and scans.

They also use the Fujitsu and Frontier scanners.  Scans sizes should be close to Indie Film Lab and theFINDLab.

For our friends to the North

Canadian Film Lab is a newish lab that is an off-shoot of a famous UK lab.

My friend Julian Calverley told me about this lab in British Columbia.

Cameron Davidson