ETERNA Vivid 250D Review

The Fujicolor ETERNA Vivid 250D, is a motion picture film from Fujifilm. Motion picture film when enclosed in single-spool, light-tight cassette, can be used in normal photographic cameras.

First thing to consider when choosing this film, other than the ISO and color balance, is its Rem-jet layer. If you never heard that word before, I recommend you to read this article first:

What is the Rem-jet layer?

The ETERNA Vivid 250D is a film with a 250 ISO but with a very wide latitude, being able to be shot easily at 400-800 ISO. The “D” in 250D stands for Daylight, it is a daylight balanced (5500K) color negative motion picture film. Most 35mm films are also daylight balanced.

Since the film has to be re-spooled. Every store or manufacturer can have a different “sticker” or appearance in the outside, so when buying this film, look for the specifications and name, more than the color or style of the film. Mine were bought in “Bokkeh” in Taipei. If not mistaken, they also have an on-line store.

IMG_20161120_143626_HDRedit

Name Fujicolor ETERNA Vivid 250D
ISO 250
Developer C-41, ECN-2.
Available formats 35mm
Exposures 36*
DX coding No*
Availability ★★☆☆☆

Mostly on-line or specialized stores that also develop this kind of film.

*Depending on the re-spooling.

I had a small problem with this film, one of the rolls got a little bit messed up, my Nikon FM was starting to fail, and I got several unintended double exposures. Luckily enough, the other roll in the F100 during the trip to Vietnam came out perfectly, both shot at ISO 250. When I started scanning the film, I was really expecting “Vivid” colors, some over-saturated stuff, kind of like the old Fujifilm “Fortia” However, the image is contrasty but with a little bit washed off colors, with a pastel blue tone all around. Especially in the shade areas.

[FILM] VIETNAM TAIWAN tamsui ho chi minh city FEB2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor ETERNA VIVID 250D-009

Red is the color that most stands out, the red tones are vibrant and differentiate from the rest of the scene. The film is day balanced, however the slight blue tint that I found seems to work great in night scenes too.

[FILM] VIETNAM TAIWAN tamsui ho chi minh city FEB2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor ETERNA VIVID 250D-029

[FILM] TAIWAN FQ - sanxia - walkaround - Nikon FM B - Fujicolor ETERNA VIVID 250D013

Blues are amazing, there is plenty of detail and tonalities in the transition. The skies look really vibrant and dark, same for the water. Although the blue tint also affects the black tones and make them kind of really dark blue, instead of black. Like the buildings or the mountains in these two pictures, I believe it gives a god cool, cinematic effect.

[FILM] VIETNAM TAIWAN tamsui ho chi minh city FEB2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor ETERNA VIVID 250D-034

[FILM] VIETNAM TAIWAN tamsui ho chi minh city FEB2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor ETERNA VIVID 250D-020

Reds are great, blues too, affordable film, there’s something fishy going on here. What about greens and yellows… And that is the drawback of this film. Greens and yellows, are totally washed off. Really flat colors, without any “pop out” feeling. Especially the green tones. Yellows are a bit better, but not by much.

[FILM] VIETNAM TAIWAN tamsui ho chi minh city FEB2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor ETERNA VIVID 250D-011

[FILM] VIETNAM TAIWAN tamsui ho chi minh city FEB2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor ETERNA VIVID 250D-007

In this picture we can feel how the yellow in the wall is a little bit better, but i think is just related to the high contrast of the situation. Still not very vibrant.

[FILM] VIETNAM TAIWAN tamsui ho chi minh city FEB2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor ETERNA VIVID 250D-003


Color chart and measurement of the colors.

[FILM] VIETNAM TAIWAN tamsui ho chi minh city FEB2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor ETERNA VIVID 250D-004

  • RED Average Colour R:199.0 G:140.0 B:111.0
  • GREEN Average Colour R:126.0 G:179.0 B:115.0
  • BLUE Average Colour R:53.0 G:93.0 B:146.0
  • YELLOW Average Colour R:222.0 G:217.0 B:114.0

You can take also a look on this article on How do I measure the colors?


 

Finally, I tested this film in some portraits, with some friends with a lighter skin tone (Maggie) and darker skin tones (Ailton and Michelle) under natural light and direct flash, to see how this film reacts to different situations. As you can see, I forgot that my Nikon FM doesn’t sync over 125, and in one of the pictures, I messed up with the flash. You can click to enlarge this gallery.

 

Even giving a cold tone palette, I surprisingly like this film for portraits. It balances the natural warm color of the skin giving a really natural feeling. Again, for a film labeled as “vivid” I was expecting more saturated colors instead of these pastel tones.

 

Wrapping up, it is a very interesting film. It has a really good latitude, even I only shot it at 250, it can be pushed a couple of steps with no problem. It retains quite a lot of detail, and most importantly those pastel, blue, pinkish tones are a really nice add to a film in the price range. Equivalents like Superia 200 (green tones) or Kodacolor 200 (warmish tones) look quite different to this one.  I wouldn’t choose this film for the only reason that is a pain in the ass  quite inconvenient for me to ride an hour of subway to have it developed. But if its convenient for you, or you have to send it anyway. I would definitely go for it.

YES ⇑

  • For daily use, good speed and easy to push if needed.
  • Purple/ blue tones looks great if you plan to shoot at dusk (tungsten lights) or in the blue hour.
  • If you can develop it easily, it can be found on-line at a good price.
  • I surprisingly liked this film for portraits, even is no Portra or H400 it really does a great job.

NO ⇓

  • If you can’t stand light blue cast in your photos. Or you are looking for a warmer feeling.
  • If you have to spend extra money developing, I would choose any other film of that range (price/ISO).
  • Nature landscapes, always depending on your style of course, I just don’t find appealing those muted greens in landscape photography.

Check out the gallery for more shots taken with this film!

 

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2 thoughts on “ETERNA Vivid 250D Review

  1. About the muted colors: this has to do with the fact that the cinema film has to be processed with ECN-2. Also, beware! Motion color negative film processed in C41 might not be suitable for archiving… potentially you could lose your photos in few years. It is not impossible to recreate ECN-2 chemistry at home, by the way

    1. Hi Alberto! You are right, film made to be developed in ECN-2 will have a slight different colors in C-41. Thank you for the note on archiving, I will research which is the best way to store these negatives.

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