Porta 400 and the LensBaby

Some months ago—April, actually—before I went down the Raw Convertor rabbit hole, I burned a roll of Kodak Porta 400 testing out some of the toy/art/fun lenses in my stable.

I loaded the film first, likely in late March or so, but forgot what was in the camera when I decided to test these lenses… had I remembered, I probably would’ve run these tests with a somewhat cheaper film.* But since I didn’t know anything about the Porta, a week or two with three different lenses was as good a workout as any.First up: the LensBaby Muse with the Plastic optic. LensBaby don’t sell the Muse any more, and they stopped selling ones with plastic optics long ago. All in all, it’s a fun toy, and I’m happy enough to have one.

I shot some with it over the years—always on the crop-sensor D7000—and wanted to see how it would do on film. I wasn’t disappointed:

It did pretty much what the Plastic Optic Muse does, more or less…

I forgot about the LensBaby Bubble effect, so I might have to try again, but the bokeh is much creamier on film than on the D7000, so that’s a win, even if the rest of it’s a wash.

I didn’t like many pictures on this roll initially, but time changes perspective, and some of them look a bit better to me now. I’m not sure if it’s Capture One Pro or time, or maybe my standards have sunk, but I kinda like this one:

If I shoot with it seriously, I should probably avail myself of some of the drop-in aperture plates, I guess.

But even wide open, a steady hand can make for some nice shots.

I guess that’s true with any lens, but it’s especially true with the Muse.

So that’s the LensBaby Muse on Porta 400. I had a tough time with the color (and a tough time with the film itself, but I’ll go into that later this week, InshaAllah), so it’s a bit off. But I think it works, more or less.

Your thoughts are, as always, welcome!

*Porta 400 goes for more than $7.00/roll, vs. $10.50 for 3 rolls of Lomography Color 400.

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