A while ago I posted that I had purchased a 5-roll package of Kodak ColorPlus 200 film.
At the time I had never seen it before and from what I could learn from Google, this film is mainly found in Europe and Asia. Since then, I have seen this email announcement from the Film Photography Project:
Apparently the world’s best kept inexpensive, yet still very good, film secret is now available in the United States of America.
It has been an extremely long time since I shot any Kodak film at all. The last Kodak film I ever shot was in the late 1990’s (Kodak Gold). I’ve always loved and used Fuji film because the color was always better and it was nearly always cheaper than Kodak. It’s a shame that Fuji had to go and announce that they were hiking their prices on film recently.
On to the burning question though – is this film good? To start with, it’s worth mentioning that I am doing my own developing and scanning here. I am using Unicolor chemistry. For really reviewing film for initial impressions it may perhaps be better to send it to a commercial lab. But then again, you don’t know anything about the chemistry in the lab. This way we know the chemistry is fresh.
The two rolls I have developed so far look very nice. I will share some images. For our purposes the color was not modified at all. Only exposure brightness, which has to be adjusted with any negative film. The primary advantage of using any negative film is that this is adjustable.
As can be seen the negative is nicely developed and the scan is down a bit farther.
This rose bush on the side of our house shows off the strong reds it’s capable of producing. And note the greens as well, also very accurate.
I work in a very industrial neighborhood with several garages and machine shops, so talking a walk on your lunch break and finding an engine sitting on a tire actually isn’t terribly unusual. There’s not a lot of graininess on this film, but there is enough to make it distinguishable from digital. I love the feel of this film because even when run through a film scanner it retains this grainy “retro quality” that is impossible to really measure.
This shot of the emblem of a rusted out Fiat on a trailer shows off the film’s ability to record the reds and blues well.
All of those above came from the same roll that was done using a Canon Rebel 2000. This shot came from the second roll, which was done with a Pentax ME Super with an SMC Pentax 50mm f2.0 lens. This is a Mercedes RV that cost a lot more than my house.
The one thing I was not pleased with was the tape used to attach the film to the spool. As a matter of habit when doing my own developing I uncoil it and detach it from the spool, then load the reels. In most cases it’s some kind of masking tape, so it’s an easy rip. In the case of this film it’s some kind of very durable plastic so it was rather difficult having forgotten to put scissors in the changing bag.
I have no problem giving this film a 5-star rating for general purpose photography. Here’s a nice brain twister – my film scanner does 18 megapixel images. Since I am scanning a 35mm film frame, does this mean that I am technically posting “full-frame” digital photographs? Let the debate begin. Regardless of your opinion, I think everybody can agree that it’s best to shoot photos, not each other.