The Vision3 50D, is a low speed motion picture film from Kodak. Motion picture film when enclosed in single-spool, light-tight cassette, can be used in normal photographic cameras. The Vision3 has a really low ISO, 50, therefore it would be recommended only for bright daylight scenes or situations in where you want to shoot portraits wide open in daylight without using ND filters. The “D” in the name means “Daylight”, this film is balanced for exposure with daylight illumination (5500K).
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:
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.
|Name||Kodak Vision3 50D|
Mostly on-line or specialized stores that also develop this kind of film.
*Depending on the re-spooling.
A thing to point out is that, for my reviews, as a way to standardize them, I always use the same cameras and lenses (Nikon F100 and FM2, paired with a 28, 50 and 135mm Ais) However, for this one I was testing an amazing Olympus OM-30 for a friend, the aperture in the 50mm was stuck at f1.8. That’s why I thought a really slow film, would be perfect to try the different speeds. Being stuck at f1.8 means that focusing was a bit harder with some purple fringing and softer images. But, overall the film, lens and camera, performed flawlessly.
If you read any of my other reviews, I normally mention that I’m a big fan of higher speed ISOS, with color negative, an iso 200-400 is the range I’m more comfortable with. Depending on the conditions of the day. In B&W I even like to go 800-1600 and enjoy the grain. I didn’t have much expectations to like this film even is quite praised online. Nevertheless, after I saw the first scanned images, I was amazed by the quality and colors of the Kodak Vision3 50D.
This motion film is supposed to be developed in ECN-2 giving and edited later digitally, so is meant to be modified and with a high dynamic-range. Even so, developed with C-41 (allegedly it gives less dynamic range) and without any retouching, just raw scans looked amazing!
Blues are a bit on the pastel side, not too punchy, but definitely giving a lot of room for editing.
Greens are beautiful, and really true to color. In the first picture we can see how every shade of green is different, instead of just having a “mushy” set of trees and bushes.
Yellows are in the same side as the blue tones, pastel, not too contrasty, but giving a lot of room for editing. Considering how gray and dim is the sky in Taipei, I believe the Kodak Vision3 50D did an amazing job rendering this colors.
Reds are vibrant and beautiful, they really mix well with that characteristic brownish tones from Kodak.
I noticed some yellow cast when underexposing the film, easy to correct in post-processing and not noticeable when exposed correctly. The second image is underexposed (Trying to shoot at f8 on a lens with stuck diaphragm)
Finally I tested the film with a couple of portraits, unfortunately I didn’t have the time to prepare a nice setup, slightly off colors in this photos, but really true to real life.
Due to lack an time and/or abilities, I couldn’t get any nice portrait that represents how good this film is for portraits. So, I decided to reach out for other talented photographers. Just take a look at this astonishing portraits from Matt Osborne .
Color chart and measurement of the colors.
*usually shot at f8, at f1.8 the purple fringe and softness of the lens can be distracting in this case
- RED Average Colour R:217.0 G:167.0 B:124.0
- YELLOW Average Colour R:234.0 G:224.0 B:129.0
- BLUE Average Colour R:76.0 G:135.0 B:188.0
- GREEN Average Colour R:160.0 G:209.0 B:142.0
You can take also a look on this article on How do I measure the colors?
To sum up, the Kodak Vision3 50D performed incredibly well. There is a slight brownish tone that I really enjoy. Since my camera (Nikon FM2) can go up to 1/4000, the speed doesn’t worry me that much, and I would go for an iso 100-200 film. However, for people looking to shoot portraits wide open is more than perfect.
The only problem that I find with this film, is that motion film can be troublesome to develop, and generally is not worth the trouble, considering other options, very similar in price to this film. The version from Cinestill, without the remjet (What is the remjet?) will avoid those headaches, but the tag price is quite high.
- Portraits wide open even with strong light, pleasant skin tones and low speed.
- Landscapes, it gives lot of room to edit, and is a good film to scan.
- Grain is almost inexistent.
- If you can find cheap developing for motion film, there are always good deals in this film.
- If you like to shoot something that requires speed.
- Compact cameras and their slow aperture will struggle with this film, even in daylight.
- If is difficult for you to find developers for this motion film, there are other less troublesome options.
Check out the gallery for more shots taken with this film!
*Thanks to Matt Osborne for participating with his picture in this review!
10 thoughts on “Kodak Vision3 50D Review”
Amazing greens ! But 50 iso really can’t be often used …
Well I shoot iso 1.6, 6, 12, 20 and 25 at least half the time. No problem hand held in the day time. Most kodachrome film for decades was asa/iso 25 and 64 and just about everything to include combat and birthday parties were shot on that. Except for quick moving subjects, 1/125 is a perfectly adequate shutter speed and anything over about 1/45th is manageable hand held with a bit of practice.
I shot 50D all over the beach in Cali I doubt I was ever below 1/60 possibly 1/30 which is perfectly useable. Most of the time you’re in 1/125 to 1/250 range. We shot the shit out of Kodachrome and that was usually ISO 25 or 40. Then it came in ISO 64. Give it a try, it’s beautiful film, esp in C-41.
Carlos great review of the film. Pretty balanced. Personally iso 50 is pretty easy to shoot hand held from dawn to dusk, tripods of course open up a huge range of subjects. I might really only disagree with the compact camera statement. I’ve seen (but not shot) quite a few pics of kodak 50d shot with hi matics and no problem. Again with some practice probably doable but not for everyone. Thanks!
Thanks for reviewing this film. For some reason the colors of 50D and more so 250D really come out well in C-41.
Hello, was it developed to C41?
It was developed in C41, but first I had to get rid of the remjet
Did you change the ISO from 50 to higher like 100? Or you shot those as it is?
For this review I shot with ISO set at 50. However, it would be no problemm to push a to a 100.