Fujicolor C200 Review

Fujicolor C200 is a daylight balanced, ISO 200 film offered by Fujifilm, currently is one of the few films remaining in the Fujifilm consumer series after the discontinuation of Superia 200. Along with Fujicolor C200 the other option is the Fujicolor X-TRA 400, a similar film in the ISO400 range.

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When searching for more information about this film, many people wonder if this film is a re-packed Superia 200 others affirm that is Agfa Vista Plus 200. I can confirm that is not any of those, it looks similar to the Agfa, but it is quite different from the Superia 200. I believe the Fujicolor C200 is a different and low-cost Fujifilm emulsion that is cheaply produced, in order to reduce costs and keep a consumer film in the market. The main difference probably is the lack of the famous 4th layer included in Superia 200. Although C200 is introduced as the cheapest option available, I was quite pleased with the results, much more than with the Superia 200. Without getting too technical, here is how the structure of both films looks side by side.

c200 vs superia 200

Name Fujifilm Fujicolor C200
ISO 200
Developer C-41, CN-16
Available formats 35mm
Exposures 24, 36
DX coding Yes
Availability ★★★★★

IMG_20170318_161758_HDR

The advantage of reviewing a cheap film is that I don’t need to break the piggy bank to buy it, I was able to buy several rolls to try them in different lights and situations. With this film, I used my -now defunct- Nikon F100 with the 24-120mm f3.5-5.6D when hiking and camping in Taiwan. A F90x / 50mm f1.8D for the beach trips, along with the Nikon FM2 with a 28mm and a 50mm f1.8 Ais for my daily life shots, trips to the US and a trip in the French Pyrenees.

[FILM] TAIWAN camping KTV MAR2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor C200007

US Des Moines Halloween OCT2018 Nikon FM2 Fujicolor C200029

The Fujicolor C200 is a really balanced film, rendering a quite balanced palette. As with many Fujifilm films, greens are one of its strongest points. Not so vivid as the Superia line, and it always rendered slightly warm green tones. Not as warm as Kodak Colorplus 200, but warmer than I remember them in the real scene.

FRANCE - Pyrenees Ariegeoises - Jul 2017 - Nikon FM2 Fujicolor C200018

FRANCE - Pyrenees Ariegeoises - Jul 2017 - Nikon FM2 Fujicolor C200028

Shooting at box speed gives you very natural and pleasant blue tones, really wide tonality and surprisingly this film is quite forgiving in the highlights considering its price.

FRANCE - Pyrenees Ariegeoises - Jul 2017 - Nikon FM2 Fujicolor C200008

US Des Moines Halloween OCT2018 Nikon FM2 Fujicolor C200034

Reds are more muted than other Fujifilm films, films like Superia 200, or the Industrial 100 are much more vivid and intense. Definitely I prefer this muted red tones, a little bit more “red firebrick” than bright red.

FRANCE - Pyrenees Ariegeoises - Jul 2017 - Nikon FM2 Fujicolor C200007

FRANCE - Pyrenees Ariegeoises - Jul 2017 - Nikon FM2 Fujicolor C200004

Same as blue tones, yellow tones are natural, balanced and true to color.

[FILM] TAIWAN tamsui summer JUL2017 Nikon F100 (Problem) Fujicolor C200 -007

In addition, I tested this film in some portraits, with some friends withd ifferent skin tones under natural light and direct flash, to see how this film reacts to different situations. You can click to enlarge this gallery.

Is not a film designed for portraits, but still does a really good job. Natural skin tones, slightly more warm or magenta than they were in real life, but it can be easily solved in post (none of these pictures was edited). In my opinion, is MUCH better than the discontinued Superia 200, and better than Superia 400 shot at box speed (overexposing will solve the magenta skin tone). It wouldn’t be my top choice for a portrait session, but it definitely has the potential to be an excellent balanced walk-around film.


Color chart and measurement of the colors.

[FILM] TAIWAN tamsui summer JUL2017 Nikon F100 (Problem) Fujicolor C200 -014

YELLOW Average Colour R:240.0 G:210.0 B:56.0

RED Average Colour R:210.0 G:110.0 B:60.0

BLUE Average Colour R:68.0 G:121.0 B:158.0

GREEN Average Colour  R:158.0 G:195.0 B:76.0

See also: How do I measure the colors?


[FILM] TAIWAN camping KTV MAR2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor C200014

FRANCE - Pyrenees Ariegeoises - Jul 2017 - Nikon FM2 Fujicolor C200001

[FILM] TAIWAN camping KTV MAR2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor C200017

Overexposing the C200 one stop (Shot at 100 ISO) 

There is a small yellow cast over the picture, in the green tones it gets more accented than in other tones, blues are more pastel than at box speed.

Underexposing C200 one stop (shot at 400 ISO)

Blues become strong and more vibrant. However, greens become muddier and they start to fade in the shadows. Shadows become slightly greenish, really typical feeling of other Fujifilm films. I’m not a fan of this green shadows, but I saw people doing a great job doing low-key portraits and work with this technique and they look amazing. I’d rather go for a similarly-priced 400 ISO if you really need the extra speed.


Fujicolor C200 is a film that I really like. It is widely available, it is cheap, you can buy 24 and 36 exposures and the latitude is amazing, you can easily underexpose without worrying too much on burning the highlights. Grain is quite controlled for such a cheap film. With a good scanner and a few minutes of editing you can get amazing results with it. It wouldn’t be my top choice in the range of cheap films, I’d rather shoot Superia X-TRA 400 at ISO200, or Kodak Colorplus at 200 as well. But, you can’t go wrong with this film, for almost any situation.

YES

  • Daily use, load it in your camera and ready to go. It will respond correctly to any situation.
  • Experiment with it, overexpose, underexpose, all the results came out great from every camera I used it.
  • Widely available, cheap and good, what else do you need?

NO

  • If you are looking for a sharp, clean image. I felt that it can be quite muddy sometimes.
  • I wouldn’t overexpose it too much, better go for the Superia X-TRA 400 for almost the same price.

 

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


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Adox Color Implosion Review

The ‘Color Implosion’ is the only color film in from the German manufacturer Adox. Nowadays, Adox produces a small range of specialized films, mostly B&W, as well as photographic paper and chemistry. Generally, I take a look at the manufacturer’s web and they will describe their film with statements such as “lowest grain!” or “natural tone skins!”, just normal marketing stuff. However, Adox is really realistic about their film characteristics, I really admire that, that’s why I will use their own description because is the best one to introduce this particular film:

“Color implosion fears the grain of an 800 ISO film combined with the effective speed of a 100 ASA film.
On top, we pre-treated it so the color coupling system partially collapsed.
With this grain and these light desaturated colors, no one will think that you are still shooting digital.
Welcome to the world of unpredictable truly analog results!
Color Implosion is an experimental film designed to give you unpredictable truly analog image experiences.
This film is not intended to be a “proper” print film.
If your results are dissatisfying please check your negatives first and do not judge by a print or scan.”

ADOX_150_50-Kopie-1024x585

Name Adox Color Implosion 100
ISO 100 (Rated 100, but meant to be shot from 100 to 400)
Developer C-41
Available formats 35mm
Exposures 36
DX coding No (Careful if you plan to use it with your compact camera)
Availability ★★☆☆☆

On-line and specialized distributors

 

As we read in the own manufacturer’s description, this is not a normal negative film, do not expect true colors and a natural palette. That sounds at least interesting to play with. After testing a couple of rolls of this film, the results and the feeling that it gave can be summarized in three sentences

  • Bursting reds
  • Overall yellow cast giving a vintage feeling.
  • Blues are an unpredictable outcome, mostly resulting in turquoise.

[FILM] TAIWAN Beach Taipei APR2017 Nikon FM(B) Adox Color Implosion 100 @200034

[FILM] TAIWAN Beach Taipei APR2017 Nikon FM(B) Adox Color Implosion 100 @200020

I recognize that I was not really aware of this “bright and explosive reds” before I shot these films, otherwise, I would have created some compositions with red as the main element, I’ve seen some really cool examples online like this one of flickr-logo Mackee_Lee:

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Reds look a little bit brownish, but that doesn’t make them off. They actually really pop in the picture. Films like the Superia line or the Industrial 100 業務記錄用 (Reviewed here) give really bright and nice reds too, however, I found that sometimes can be a little bit distracting and take the attention from your main subject. The Color Implosion matches the palette and reds look great in every picture.

[FILM] TAIWAN Beach Taipei APR2017 Nikon FM(B) Adox Color Implosion 100 @200016

[FILM] TAIWAN Beach Taipei APR2017 Nikon FM(B) Adox Color Implosion 100 @200031

Yellows are not especially bright, and greens blend with that yellow creating a yellow cast all over it. However, I’m not saying that in a bad way, this film is not meant to be a landscape or portrait film. As the manufacturer states, it will aim for a 70’s summer style. The yellow cast really gives a good feeling in the pictures, the man walking in the path could be easily an old photo from a 70s magazine. Same for this picture taken at baishawan (白沙灣) beach in Taipei.

[FILM] TAIWAN Beach Taipei APR2017 Nikon FM(B) Adox Color Implosion 100 @200011

Surprisingly, my favorite part of this film was the rendition of the blue colors. The next two photos, were taken in the same place (Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall in Taipei) at the exact same time. Trusting the meter of my Nikon FM, and a Nikkor 28mm f2.8 Ai. we can see how different those two photos are. It will give a range from dark turquoise to yellowish-blue. Unpredictability was one of the words that I used to describe this film and certainly is one of the characteristics that makes this film interesting to play with, or awful if you really expect even and easy to foretell results.

[FILM] TAIWAN Beach Taipei APR2017 Nikon FM(B) Adox Color Implosion 100 @200024

[FILM] TAIWAN Beach Taipei APR2017 Nikon FM(B) Adox Color Implosion 100 @200025

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

 

Not much that we can conclude from this samples, the skin looks too yellow and unrealistic but… that is the point of this film, isn’t? The yellow cast affects the whole picture. That’s why, even the colors in the picture don’t match the real ones, in its own way they look great, natural and with a really cool retro vibe. Only issue… the grain, say goodbye to any details, the ‘extra large’ grain will devour them.

Talking about the grain, Adox does not try to hide the large grain in the film”The grain of an 800 ISO film combined with the effective speed of a 100 ASA film”. Well, isn’t that like saying the fuel consumption of a truck and the speed of a moped. After all, There’s no such thing as a free lunch. The drawback of large grain also helps for that organic and retro feeling that looks great, so, the point here is using the right film for the right occasion and enjoy the particular hues and color shifts.

[FILM] TAIWAN Beach Taipei APR2017 Nikon FM(B) Adox Color Implosion 100 @200010

Testing this film at different ISOS

ISO 100:

[FILM] TAIWAN Beach Taipei APR2017 Nikon FM(B) Adox Color Implosion 100 @200030

ISO 200:

[FILM] TAIWAN Beach Taipei APR2017 Nikon FM(B) Adox Color Implosion 100 @200029

ISO 400:

[FILM] TAIWAN Beach Taipei APR2017 Nikon FM(B) Adox Color Implosion 100 @200028

This film is to be shot at different ISOs and we can see why the difference on only one stop is massive in the outcome of the image. ISO 100 will give us the most balanced of them, giving soft and pleasant yellow mid-tones. ISO 200 is my personal favorite (I shot most pictures at ISO 200) bringing the turquoise blue and fading a little bit the yellow. At ISO 400 everything shift backs to YELLOW the blue tone disappear and green become lighter. If you see the pictures I took at the beach, you can feel that they are tremendously yellow, it was a sunny day and I overexposed the ISO 200, that’s why everything has this cast all over.


Color chart and measurement of the colors.

[FILM] TAIWAN Beach Taipei APR2017 Nikon FM(B) Adox Color Implosion 100 @200002

  • RED Average Colour R:207.0 G:133.0 B:85.0
  • GREEN Average Colour R:144.0 G:194.0 B:100.0
  • BLUE Average Colour R:70.0 G:133.0 B:159.0
  • YELLOW Average Colour R:235.0 G:211.0 B:96.0

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


 

Summarizing, go for it if you want to experiment with film. It is really fun to play with, even though it sounds hipster, this film definitely gives an organic feeling and color shifts that can not be achieved with digital. Even the camera is not DX coded, you can load it on your compact and it will have ISO 100 by default (quite often).

In my opinion, like with many other films, it is a bit difficult for me to get them to Asia. If I were in Europe, it definitely worths the try 6-7 Euro, but considering the shipping cost, it is expensive for me. To experiment I often use 10years+ expired Solaris or Kodak Gold film. But, if it’s accessible to you, definitely is worth the try.

CAREFUL when you bring it to your local developer or scan it, let them know that the weird colors are on purpose.

YES ⇑

  • If you want to experiment with film, something fun, different
  • For a vintage feeling, at any ISO the retro vibe is all over it.
  • Even for a pro shoot, or some fashion or cool style clothing shoot. It will give you an outstanding different feeling. Just be aware of the unpredictability of this film.

NO ⇓

  • If you don’t like grain or you are looking for the highest detail
  • It will difficult to have two rolls that look the same, so if you look for uniformity, this film is not for you
  • Landscape or portrait. (Really subjective this one, it depends on what you are looking for)

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

Kodak Gold 200 Review

Before I started doing these reviews, I had trouble identifying the different series of film, particularly with the economic series offered in ISO 200. If we talk about cheap color negative films in that range from the two bigger manufacturers, Fuji and Kodak, we will notice that there are two lines:

Agfa only has one option the Agfacolor vista 200, allegedly to be manufactured with a cheap Fujifilm emulsion.  Rollei has the  CR200 but is a reversal film (positive). Lomography has the Lomography X-Pro 200, but I think is more an artistic or special film, more than a normal one. Also to mention the Cine series, with the Kodak Vision 3, 250D and 250T or Fujifilm with the Eterna 250D.

So, before starting the review of the Kodak Gold 200, I think it was quite important to place it in its correspondent line, that is the best way to value the relation quality/price.

IMG_20161218_140421_AO_HDR

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

I have troubles to find it in Asia, but plenty on-line and other markets.

IMG_20170122_131315_HDR

The first cool thing about this film is that you can still find these 3-rolls pack with 24 exposures each that will make you feel like a dad in the 90’s ready for a Disneyland trip, forget about those boring bulk-pro packagings. Load the old school design roll, and good to go!

[FILM] USA christmas DEC2016 - Nikon FM (s) - Kodak Gold 200 -038

          I’m a little bit biased with this film, in particular, I love the way it renders the colors. Maybe it reminds me of childhood memories, or is just the feeling of “this is how film should look”. But as I said, this is a totally subjective point of view. I will try to write this review as unbiased as possible. I have been really lucky,  I have been able to review this film shooting daily scenes in Taiwan, but also during a winter trip to Des Moines (Iowa). For the winter colors, it looked great! carmine toned browns, and soft yellow all over, I love it!

In these two pictures, we can appreciate that reds are quite off, they don’t pop up like other films do. The Superia line from Fujifilm has brighter reds, or even in Kodak, Ektar, for example, has more punchy and saturated colors, at a different starting price though. Depending on the use for this film, that can be an advantage or a disadvantage, for daily life pictures, with plenty of skin tones and trees or street scenes, I personally like the carmine red tones, a little bit off, fading with the brown palette. However, the temple picture could use more intensity, if reds and greens were more contrasty the photo will be much more attractive, easy to fix in post-processing, however, for these reviews, the photos are exactly as they come out from the scanner.

[FILM] USA TAIWAN christmas finals JAN2017 Nikon FM(s) Kodak Gold 200 -003

[FILM] TAIWAN US portraits makiko test Nikon FM(S) Kodak Gold 200 011

Greens, behave exactly in the same way as reds, muted tones, closer to “grass green” than to “lime green”. It also fades a little bit with the brown, but again, do not think this is a disadvantage, the way colors interact with each other creates its own interesting color palette.

[FILM] TAIWAN US portraits makiko test Nikon FM(S) Kodak Gold 200 013

Blues are really neutral, and very true to color. Both the top picture of the temple (淡水天元宮 in North Taipei, really worth the visit!)  and the bottom picture of a sunset in Des Moines really captured the image showing the blue tones as real as I remember.

[FILM] USA TAIWAN christmas finals JAN2017 Nikon FM(s) Kodak Gold 200 -012

Yellows are vibrant in pictures taken with natural light. If any complaint about the yellow tones, I found out that all the photos taken between 10 am to 5 pm, with harsh light, the frames would have a subtle yellow tint. I did a little bit more of research and find out that yellow is the most sensitive layer, this review is not a scientific test, and maybe is just a choice of style, but this might explain why under harsh light (midday sun or snow)  we obtain that yellow cast.

Capturelayerssensitivity

[FILM] TAIWAN US portraits makiko test Nikon FM(S) Kodak Gold 200 006

[FILM] USA TAIWAN christmas finals JAN2017 Nikon FM(s) Kodak Gold 200 -015

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

The colors with natural light, shows a little bit of the mentioned yellow cast, especially in Makiko’s portrait, the fact that is underexposed with a pink background definitely do not benefit the skin tone. In another situation, this film would be more advantageous for a portrait. With the direct flash, it perfectly balanced the yellow cast and made amazing, contrasty pictures for such a cheap film.

Grain is very subtle, especially in the portraits. Correct for an ISO 200 film of its range. This crop of Makiko’s portrait shows no grain at all, I was really impressed by that! The dog’s fur is also quite clear of grain.

[FILM] TAIWAN US portraits makiko test Nikon FM(S) Kodak Gold 200 003
Lighter skin tone with direct flash

[FILM] TAIWAN US portraits makiko test Nikon FM(S) Kodak Gold 200 003-2

[FILM] TAIWAN US portraits makiko test Nikon FM(S) Kodak Gold 200 010

[FILM] USA christmas DEC2016 - Nikon FM (s) - Kodak Gold 200 -017


Color chart and measurement of the colors.

[FILM] TAIWAN US portraits makiko test Nikon FM(S) Kodak Gold 200 017

RED Average Colour R:188.0 G:141.0 B:78.0

YELLOW Average Colour R:201.0 G:200.0 B:56.0

BLUE Average Colour R:56.0 G:128.0 B:170.0

GREEN Average Colour R:125.0 G:184.0 B:73.0

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


[FILM] USA TAIWAN christmas finals JAN2017 Nikon FM(s) Kodak Gold 200 -024

As a rule of thumb, I tend to like more warm colors than cold ones,  that’s why I quite like this film: cheap and with a beautiful palette of colors. After testing a few different kind of rolls, I could firmly say that this is one of my favorites, my favorite in the ISO 200 range. Pictures don’t pop up like other films, but it creates a really vintage atmosphere, with the tones a little bit washed off and a light yellow cast. I can understand that many people will not like it, but I love it!

If any drawback, this film is not easy to find in the Asian market, There is plenty of the cheaper version, the Kodak Colorplus 200, but is not exactly the same emulsion of film. Very similar whatsoever. Nevertheless, soon I will also prepare a comparison in between its direct rival in price and technical conditions (Fujicolor Superia 200) and with its cheaper brother (Kodak Colorplus 200)

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
  • Looking for a vintage feeling without falling into any forced “lomo” effect.
  • If you like to play with negatives in post-processing, being so neutral, with a little bit of tweak it can create great images.

NO ⇓

  • If you can’t stand light yellow cast in your photos. Or you are looking for a colder feeling.
  • Landscape photography, I would go for other color that would pop more the colors individually.
  • If you need a fast film you will obtain similar results with the Ultramax 400 for the same price (or even cheaper!), but with a higher ISO number.

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