Some explain this to me..

Ok, I'm probably going to start a flame war here, but can a fan of Fuji film (I'm talking C41 color here, not the instant stuff) explain to me why it's good?

I remember a few years ago I shot a few rolls of NPH on the recommendation of a photo finishing place.  She had said she had a customer who swore by NPH.  Shooting it and getting it developed within hours (apparently that was the trick).

Well in the intervening few years, as I've gotten more into photography, I've become a fan of the Kodak Portra films.  On both 35mm and 120, I shoot usually the 160NC, 400NC, or 800 and I've found it to be very consistent, fine grained, pushable, etc.   Maybe I've become spoiled.

A few weeks ago I was at Calumet (it was a Sat, so I couldn't go to any of the usual photo stores in NYC) and they were sold out of the 400NC I was looking for.  So I asked about the Fuji Pro 400H, and the guy behind the counter said, it was OK, but most people preferred the Kodak.  Since they didn't have what I wanted but I needed some film, I said, "Ok, give me a couple rolls and I'll try it out".

Now, this isn't an ad for Kodak or anything, but I've shot both of the rolls in my Leica and I've got to tell you, I'm very underwhelmed.  The colors are washed out, the contrast is "eh", and it's really grainy.  Well lit stuff shot at f/11 and 1/250 look soft and with grain that looks as if the film has been pushed a stop or two.  Look at the photo of the lamp in the next post down.  Look at the amount of grain near the lightbulb.  And this was a well exposed, correctly scanned picture shot in the middle of the day.

When it comes to chrome, I've been shooting Kodak lately too, I like the 100G stock, especially in my hasselblad when I travel. I have however had good experiences with Provia (and occasionally Velvia when I'm feeling saucy) on medium format, and Provia on the 4x5 comes out gorgeous.

So I feel like I'm missing something with their normal color film.  Let me know if I'm wrong or I got a bad batch, but from what I've seen both literally and figuratively, I don't get it.