Kodak ColorPlus 200 Review

Kodak ColorPlus 200 is the cheapest film offered by Kodak nowadays. ColorPlus 200 is the budget option in the ISO200 range, comparable to Fujicolor C200 or AgfaPhoto Vista plus 200.  “Quality-wise” is supposed to be below the Kodak Gold 200, however, I don’t believe that is complely true. In fact, ColorPlus 200 is a highly underrated film. Even being the cheapest film around, it will give great results.

ColorPlus 200 is a color negative 35mm film,  daylight balanced (5500K) with an ISO 200. Affordable, ideal for many applications. It is a less refined film that uses an older emulsion. The old emulsion used in this film allows for images with tones that remind a bygone era.

IMG_20170608_143613_HDR

Name Kodak ColorPlus 200
ISO 200
Developer C-41
Available formats 35mm
Exposures 24, 36
DX coding Yes
Availability ★★★★☆

One of the first things to notice is that there is very few information about the ColorPlus 200, nothing official from Kodak, no data sheet or a single mention in their official channels. I believe this film is not exported to every market, that could be the reason ColorPlus 200 is hard to find in the US, compared to Gold 200. In the places I lived, UK, Spain, and Taiwan. It is definitely easier to find than any other film.

IMG_20170502_123448_HDR

When I first bought this film, I had a bad experience with the development. With my second roll, my camera, a Nikon F100,  broke down on me, leaving me with a mushed roll and overlapping images. I decided to give it a go and buy a couple of rolls more during a trip to Spain and surprisingly it became one of my favorite (if not my favorite!) films.

In here, the developing mistakes that I mentioned before are more visible. There are waves all around the frame. ColorPlus 200 was the cheapest in the shelf and I attributed it to a bad film, but indeed it was a bad lab that I used in Spain.

[FILM] SPAIN daily life - OCT 2013 - Nikon F3 - Kodak ColorPlus 200 -014

[FILM] SPAIN daily life - OCT 2013 - Nikon F3 - Kodak ColorPlus 200 -011

Blues are really vibrant and pleasant. Unlike other films that also use an old emulsion and yield very bright greenish blues, in ColorPlus 200 blues are very natural and realistic. With a surprising good latitude, even exposing for the sky, we have details in the shadows of the lake and the branches of the trees.

SPAIN - Madrid - Retiro - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 Kodak Colorplus 200002

SPAIN - Madrid - Retiro - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 Kodak Colorplus 200029

Yellows tones are definitely my favorite part of this film. Through almost every frame of the film, there is a yellow/warm cast. It makes dark orange shadows that in real life were gray/black. Same with gray tones, they become more orange, like the stone steps in the temple, they shift to a tile color hue. It can be too yellow when shot under tungsten light, but it gives a really nice vintage feeling under dim light and dark skies that I particularly love.

SPAIN - Madrid - Retiro - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 Kodak Colorplus 200021

[FILM] TAIWAN friends visiting MAY2017 Nikon F100 Kodak Colorplus 200014

Warm colors are predominant in this film. Reds can turn a little bit orange sometimes, but generally, reds are true to color and vibrant.

[FILM] TAIWAN friends visiting MAY2017 Nikon F100 Kodak Colorplus 200005

Greens will also yield on the yellow side of the spectrum, slightly warmer than they were in real life. In the same way yellow tone become soft amber, darker green, like emerald tone, will become a dark lime.

SPAIN - Madrid - Retiro - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 Kodak Colorplus 200022

[FILM] TAIWAN friends visiting MAY2017 Nikon F100 Kodak Colorplus 200003

Finally, I tested this film in some portraits, with some friends with a lighter skin tone and darker skin tone under natural light and direct flash, to see how this film reacts to different situations. You can click to enlarge this gallery.

If I were in commission for a session of portraits, Colorplus 200 wouldn’t be my choice. However, the results are amazing for a cheap, multi-purpose film. The skin tones look great under natural light, again, slightly warm. The electronic flash blue light balances that yellow warm tone and gives really true to color and pleasant skin tones.


Color chart and measurement of the colors.

colorplus200colorchart.jpg

YELLOW Average Colour R:245.0 G:224.0 B:79.0

RED Average Colour R:240.0 G:172.0 B:100.0

BLUE Average Colour R:109.0 G:124.0 B:156.0

GREEN Average Colour R:197.0 G:198.0 B:89.0


 

SPAIN - Madrid - Retiro - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 Kodak Colorplus 200031

This film ticks all the boxes for me, cheap, mid-range ISO, easy to find, and nice warmish tones. So, for me is a no-brainer, Kodak Colorplus 200 is my favorite to-go film. If you are a street photographer, or just want to use it on vacation it will be great. Natural skin tones, moderate grain, and good for general use. If you need a little bit more of speed, go for the Kodak Ultramax 400, same price, similar characteristics but one stop more of speed in exchange for a bit more of grain.

The only drawback is, that a film that is good for everything is great for nothing. If you are into portraits, go for a specialized one, same for landscapes, Ektar 100 would give you better results. If you have something in mind, go for it and leave Colorplus 200 for your compact camera.

 

YES ⇑

  • For daily use, load it in any kind of camera and expect great results, harsh light, flash, it will resolve pretty well for its price.
  • If is easy to find in your area, go for it! The cheapest film you can find.
  • Great film for people starting that want nice warm colors, if you prefer colder tones, go for Fujicolor C200.

NO ⇓

  • If you can’t stand the warm tones, or if you are planning to use it under Tungsten light.
  • Not the best for landscape or portraits, It doesn’t retain much detail as professional films.
  • Night scenes, go for Ultramax 400, same feeling and double speed for the same price.

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

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One thought on “Kodak ColorPlus 200 Review

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