Fujicolor Superia 200 Review

*Note to the reader: Generally, I will only review films that are not expired and still in production. However, during the time that I was shooting this film, prior to the review, Fujifilm announced that the Superia 200 (among other lines from Fujifilm) would be discontinued. Leaving only the Fujicolor C200 and Superia X-TRA 400.

Many people wonder why Fujifilm is discontinuing so many films recently, I think the explanation is quite simple, two equal products “35mm film”, to the same target “nonprofessional film user”, at a similar price range in the same market. It is called Cannibalization “In marketing strategy, cannibalization refers to a reduction in sales volume, sales revenue, or market share of one product as a result of the introduction of a new product by the same producer.

Fuji_Film_Logo_alt.svg
After introducing the Fujicolor C200, the Superia 200 sales were reduced for a very similar product. Maintaining two lines of production, distribution, and marketing is not cheap. I think Fujifilm decided to go for the product that will bring them more revenue. The Fujicolor C200. For what I know, C200 is cheaper to produce than the Superia line.
Most target customers will not even realize that Superia 200 has been discontinued because it is a perfect substitute “Perfect Substitute is a good that functions just the same as the good it is being compared to. An example would be Coke or Pepsi, BP petroleum or Exxon petroleum etc…

Sad but understandable, with fresh stock remaining in the market, let’s see how the Superia 200 behaves.

Fujifilm has two different consumer films in ISO 200. The Fujicolor C200, the budget-friendly option and Superia 200, the “Premium” consumer option. The Superia 200 rivals directly in price and range with the Kodak Gold 200, while the C200 competes with the Kodak Colorplus 200. The professional option in this ISO range of color negative would be the Fujicolor Pro 160NS (also recently discontinued).

The Superia 200 is a daylight balanced film, sold in single rolls of 24-36 exposures or packs of 3 rolls. Originally Superia 200 was also offered in “110” cartridges. Although all these “110” films are already expired, eventually we can see some popping up on eBay.

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

Widely available but discontinued since 2017.

IMG_20160829_122228_HDR

I bought 5-6 rolls of Superia 200 and shot it in the span of 15 months. I shot most of them with my trusty Nikon FM and the -now defunct- 50mm f1.4 Ai-s that I dropped while reviewing this film in Spain. Even with different cameras and lenses, it gave consistent results with vivid colors. Saturated colors, resulting in saturated skin colors, with a slight blueish-green tone in the shadows.

SPAIN - Sevilla Far West AUG2016 Nikon FM Fujicolor Superia 200-004

[FILM] SPAIN holidays summer AUG2016 Nikon FM(s) Fujicolor Superia 200028

Reds and greens are very intense, it makes red tones and especially brown tones like the clay tiles  or the facade in the picture turn into a darker crimson tone. It definitely gives an interesting tonality to warm colors, however, it also gives a pinkish tone to skin tones that I don’t find pleasant. In almost every picture, except in those too overexposed, people in it look like if they just finished a 5K run, pink cheeks, and red shadows.

SPAIN TAIWAN - Tamsui Madrid JUL2017 Nikon FM2 - Fujicolor Superia 200 -006

[FILM] SPAIN holidays summer AUG2016 Nikon FM(s) Fujicolor Superia 200023

[FILM] SPAIN holidays summer AUG2016 Nikon FM(s) Fujicolor Superia 200027

Blues are also very intense. Pictures with a blue sky or water will definitely benefit from it, tones look very deep and that helps to create really cool images. Again, in this clay tile floor, we can see the “pink” feeling that I mentioned before.

SPAIN - Sevilla Far West AUG2016 Nikon FM Fujicolor Superia 200-030

SPAIN - Sevilla Far West AUG2016 Nikon FM Fujicolor Superia 200-035

Yellows look really neutral. In this case the, cathedral was under tungsten light, and it really represents the real color. Not too bright, really appropriate and correct hues.

Ultimately, I used this film for some portraits, some under natural light, others with a direct flash. On subjects with different types of skin tone.

Like I mentioned before, in different lights it gives pinkish tones that generally are quite unpleasant. Only when the film was overexposed the red tone disappears, but at that point, we were starting to lose detail in the subject’s features. With flash is slightly better, I think this film really pairs with cheap compact cameras, with that tiny flash included.

Compared to Fujicolor C200

[FILM] TAIWAN camping KTV MAR2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor C200016
Shot on Fujicolor C200

Fujicolor C200 renders much better skin tones hand down, with or without flash the tones are much more pleasant (always in my opinion) than Superia 200.


Color chart and measurement of the colors.

SPAIN TAIWAN - Tamsui Madrid JUL2017 Nikon FM2 - Fujicolor Superia 200 -018

RED Average Colour R:219.0 G:127.0 B:88.0

GREEN Average Colour R:170.0 G:201.0 B:92.0

YELLOW Average Colour R:248.0 G:225.0 B:85.0

BLUE  Average Colour R:68.0 G:120.0 B:166.0

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


SPAIN TAIWAN - Tamsui Madrid JUL2017 Nikon FM2 - Fujicolor Superia 200 -012

SPAIN TAIWAN - Tamsui Madrid JUL2017 Nikon FM2 - Fujicolor Superia 200 -011

Summing up, Superia is a well balanced film. Vivid colors, very intense reds. It really reminds me to the Fujicolor Industrial 100. It pairs very well with compact cameras, you can use the bright colors and a high depth of field as a part of your composition. It pairs greatly with an electronic flash.

The Superia 200 would never be my first choice in almost any situation. I can’t stand the pink skin tones and green shadows. Is not the cheapest, is not a high ISO film, and currently discontinued, will just make prices go higher. I would definitely go for Kodak Gold 200 in that price range. If you really like the Fujifilm color palette, I would opt for C200 instead. Fujicolor C200 is cheaper, more available and better reproduction of colors. I believe, that was part of Fujifilm’s decission to choose C200 to stay over the Superia 200.

[FILM] SPAIN summer vacation with my parents - AUG2016 - Nikon FM (S) - Fujifilm Superia 200 -018

Like I always mention, this reviews are completely subjective, based on my own taste and impressions. I’ve seen several great photos with Superia 200 online, but definitely is not my piece of cake. It’s a pity that Superia 200 is discontinued, but I will definitely not miss it.

YES ⇑

  • For daily use, daylight balanced, medium ISO, really average priced.
  • If you want a cheap film with saturated colors.
  • If you like the characteristic Fujifilm  color palette.

NO ⇓

  • I wouldn’t use for portraits, it will give pink skin tones and, do not dare to underexposed, it will turn bright red.
  • Pushing it to 400. Superia 400 stills in production and will cost you less than this one.
  • If you plan a long term project. Go for a film that stills in production, otherwise the consistency of your job will be compromised.

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


Kodak Vision3 50D Review

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:

What is the Rem-jet layer?

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.

IMG_20170628_151419_HDR

Name Kodak Vision3 50D
ISO 50
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.

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.

Capture


[FILM] TAIWAN tamkang tamsui JUN2017 Olympus OM-30 Kodak Vision3 50D018

[FILM] TAIWAN tamkang tamsui JUN2017 Olympus OM-30 Kodak Vision3 50D031

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!

[FILM] TAIWAN tamkang tamsui JUN2017 Olympus OM-30 Kodak Vision3 50D030

[FILM] TAIWAN tamkang tamsui JUN2017 Olympus OM-30 Kodak Vision3 50D003

Blues are a bit on the pastel side, not too punchy, but definitely giving a lot of room for editing.

[FILM] TAIWAN tamkang tamsui JUN2017 Olympus OM-30 Kodak Vision3 50D012

[FILM] TAIWAN tamkang tamsui JUN2017 Olympus OM-30 Kodak Vision3 50D011

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.

[FILM] TAIWAN tamkang tamsui JUN2017 Olympus OM-30 Kodak Vision3 50D007

[FILM] TAIWAN tamkang tamsui JUN2017 Olympus OM-30 Kodak Vision3 50D008

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.

[FILM] TAIWAN tamkang tamsui JUN2017 Olympus OM-30 Kodak Vision3 50D005

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)

[FILM] TAIWAN tamkang tamsui JUN2017 Olympus OM-30 Kodak Vision3 50D003[FILM] TAIWAN tamkang tamsui JUN2017 Olympus OM-30 Kodak Vision3 50D002

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 .

Kodak Vision3 50D

Kodak Vision3 50D / Cinestill 50D

Kodak Vision3 50D 5203


Color chart and measurement of the colors.

[FILM] TAIWAN tamkang tamsui JUN2017 Olympus OM-30 Kodak Vision3 50D014

*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.

YES ⇑

  • 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.

NO ⇓

  • 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! 

flickr-logo  Matt Osborne


Fujifilm Fujichrome Provia 100F Review

Fujichrome is the Fujifilm product line that carries the color reversal films (also known as positive film, transparencies or slides). A few years ago there was an extensive line of Fujifilm slide film, however, after the discontinuity of the Astia, Sensia and Fortia, only two remaining series hold the fort, Provia and Velvia.

Unlike with other films, there are several reviews on-line for the Provia 100F, especially from the early 2000’s. These are professional films, with a professional niche of customers that do research in advance and share their opinions. Therefore, it will be some reviews comparing it with Astia and Velvia and praising how good was this film when converting it to digital. This review will be more informal, less technical and just clarifying some points of this film.

Provia100FRDPIIIBoxFront

Name FUJIFILM – FUJICHROME PROVIA 100F
ISO 100
Developer E-6
Available formats 35mm, 120mm
Exposures 36 in 35mm, Depends on the format for 120mm
DX coding Yes
Availability ★★★☆☆

The first thing to notice is that is a slide film, that means it’s positive, not negative, what is the difference? A negative stripe of film will look something like that:

Filmstrip

While slide, or positive film looks like this :

[FILM] TAIWAN friends sakura APR2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor ProviaF 100029-2

The benefit of slide film is that we can get a clear image of the colors capture and we will be able to correct the scanned image,  and we can also use it in a slide projector (not so useful nowadays…). It will give us the correct tone that we captured that day, and we will be able to adjust or editing accordingly, a problem often found is that we will archive this slides and then forget how was the light or situation that day. The biggest inconvenience is  that slides are less forgiving then negatives.  A slight over or underexposure will give you a too dark or bright image. Negatives have a much more wider latitude, something similar to the digital dynamic range, it will give us much more room for error.

Personally I also found harder to find a place that develop slides (or E-6 development process) properly. While with negatives (C-41 most commonly) there is no problem at all.

In conclusion, either because you really know what you are shooting with, or because you randomly or accidentally bought some of this film to try it out, without getting too technical, in a more informal way, let’s see how this film responds.

[FILM] TAIWAN friends sakura APR2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor ProviaF 100005

Greens  and reds are the most true to color, balanced and natural that I’ve ever seen in a film. Very consistent and not excessively contrasty. Red tended to lean more on a brownish tone than on bright red, but that makes it even better as a portrait film, giving a really pleasant skin tone. That make it great to play with editing, slightly flat images give lot of room to add a personal touch.

[FILM] TAIWAN friends sakura APR2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor ProviaF 100025

Blues are little bit particular, giving a pastel tone specially under bright light conditions. Most of this films were shot in overcast days (Taipei’s weather…), but the days that the sky opened, it really gave beautiful pastel tones. I understand why this slide film is one of the favorites for landscape photographers.

[FILM] TAIWAN friends sakura APR2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor ProviaF 100022

[FILM] TAIWAN friends sakura APR2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor ProviaF 100013

Grain is almost inexistent, This picture was taken with strong backlight and even so, no grain or weird color shifting, it gave a really great image. You can see how much detail was retained even in a 200% crop.  Making the film great for portrait, landscape or product. The only problem found was a really strong glow (or halo) but I believe that was during development, First I thought that it was the scanner, however after looking carefully the film, I can feel it in the film itself, therefore, I believe it was a mistake or old chemicals used in the development. Not related to the film itself or the camera/lens/scanner combo.

noise bee

[FILM] TAIWAN friends sakura APR2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor ProviaF 100006

I decided to use this film to for a set of portraits, with light skin tone and a darker skin tone. The film is great, giving really natural skin tones for both of them. It would behave even better in a controlled-light situation, like a studio, or using a couple of reflectors. I’m not a fan of slide film, because as you can see, for a couple of casual portraits, not taking much care of the background lighting, or the general light, it was very easy to completely blow up or darken the background, wasting an opportunity for a nice portrait.

 


Color chart and measurement of the colors.

[FILM] TAIWAN friends sakura APR2017 Nikon F100 Fujicolor ProviaF 100017

  • RED: Average Colour R:153.0 G:107.0 B:74.0
  • GREEN: Average Colour R:97.0 G:119.0 B:78.0
  • YELLOW: Average Colour R:166.0 G:168.0 B:86.0
  • BLUE: Average Colour R:65.0 G:69.0 B:106.

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


 

In Conclusion, Provia 100F is an excellent film. Compared to the other Fujichrome series, Velvia seems to be more contrasty and with more vivid and saturated colors. Provia 100F is a perfect flat film, for a natural look, in the blue/golden hour you will obtain beautiful blue/golden tones. I would definitely use it for a controlled situation, like a portrait, or product photography. If you are in the mood for grabbing your backpack, tripod, set of gradient filters and your shutter release cable, you will enjoy this film so much.

However, this film is NOT for me, for two big reasons:

It doesn’t make any sense to me to use this film in 35 mm, If you go through the struggle of using slide, measuring the light, paying more for developing, more expensive than negative, etc. Why stop in 35 mm? Shooting it in 120 mm, giving you a massive slide that you can scan with tons of detail makes more sense to me. It is a shame that other slide film  like the AgfaPhoto CT Precisa 100 does not offer other formats.

I really don’t like positive film, it gives you an amazing slides to work with and admire in the light table. I prefer negative film, cheaper, it gives you much more room for mistake. I don’t really mind the grain, in fact, I love it! I would rather load a 200-400 ISO negative film, close the aperture, and enjoy more the shooting without worrying too much about the exposure. If I had to shoot on assignment with film, I would go for Portra, Ektar or 400H, excellent films, easier to shoot and cheaper too.

YES ⇑

  • If you need maximum color fidelity  and great detail.
  • Landscape, product photography, portrait.
  • If you are a control freak and plan every shoot carefully.
  • If you plan to show the slides, slides are easier to read than negatives.

NO ⇓

  • If you don’t have the time to shoot carefully, you can’t just load the film and shoot.
  • Portraits or situations with strong light contrast.
  • It can be hard to find someone to develop this film, ask your local developer before invest in buying this film.

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

 

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:

14776199527_9de614a299_z

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!

Fujicolor SUPERIA X-TRA 800 Review

Nowadays, Fujifilm offers in its consumer film series four different ISOs 200, 400, 800 and 1600. The Fujicolor SUPERIA X-TRA 800, is the middle brother, resting between the balanced 200-400, and the super-grainy 1600. In the Asian market is quite difficult to find, I had to buy it from America, making it way more expensive than it should be. I love the idea of having a high ISO film in my camera, however, the relation price-grain-quality… is not really favorable in this one.

There are two different options ins the ISO 800 range, the SUPERIA X-TRA 800, the one I will review now, and there is also the SUPERIA VENUS 800. Originally I thought that, both of them were the same, but actually, if we compare both datasheets we can see that they are not the same film:

datasheetxtra800
Datasheet Superia X-TRA 800

 

datasheetvenus800
Datasheet Venus 800

Not getting to technical, just to mention it, the Japanese line of Fujifilm is different to other countries, I will try to review also that line of films if I can get some of these films.

Name Fujicolor SUPERIA X-TRA 800
ISO 800
Developer C-41, CN-16
Available formats 35mm, Disposable cameras.
Exposures 24, 36
DX Coding Yes
Availability ★★☆☆☆

 

IMG_20161224_154319_AO_HDR

I’m used to shoot 200-400 film, so when I loaded the ISO 800 and a 50mm f1.4, I was really really happy that even in low light I was getting high speeds, no more blurry pictures. For example this first picture, was took in the shade, in between two buildings, soft morning light and a 50mm at f2.8, and I happily remember being able to shoot at 1/250s. Usually with film, I have to go down to f1.4 and cross my fingers expecting to be in focus, or go down to 1/30s and wish that my hand is steady enough. It’s nice to get that feeling every so often.

[FILM] US TAIWAN makiko iowa Nikon FM(B) Fujifilm Superia 800-020

After developing, the first thing I noticed is that the film has good colors for an 800 ISO film, the colors are a little bit flat, but acceptable. They can be easily fixed with 10 minutes of Photoshop, however for this review the pictures are as they come from the scanner.

Greens are beautiful! As always with Fujifilm films, the greens give a really vibrant feeling, saturated and true to real life. Definitely not a landscape lens, however, I used this film for some macro shots hand-held, with a Nikon FM and a 135mm f2.8 combined with an extension macro tube. The high speed of the film let me hold the camera without the need of a tripod, and considering how beautiful this greens are, don’t discard this film to use it when going for a nature-macro shot.

[FILM] US TAIWAN makiko iowa Nikon FM(B) Fujifilm Superia 800-023

[FILM] US TAIWAN makiko iowa Nikon FM(B) Fujifilm Superia 800-022

Blues… are quite off, really plain. Nothing really special, however, that can be taken as an advantage. If shooting wildlife or sports, the subject will pop up more, considering that blues will tend to be quite neutral. The picture of the playground is a little bit blurry and colors are quite off, but it was completely dark! Just a couple of street lights. I was testing how dark could I go with this film. We could have the same consideration for yellow, as we can see in the stamen of the flower or the playground, very dull yellows, really flat, not special but at the same time not too off. Not only in the rolls I shot but also the examples that I saw online, yellow tones are a bit “yolkish”.

[FILM] US TAIWAN makiko iowa Nikon FM(B) Fujifilm Superia 800-014

[FILM] US TAIWAN makiko iowa Nikon FM(B) Fujifilm Superia 800-015

As always with the Superia line, reds are vibrant and punchy. In the hockey match picture, we can see how even with artificial illumination,  and big contrast between the audience and the ice, red stands out over any other color.

[FILM] US TAIWAN makiko iowa Nikon FM(B) Fujifilm Superia 800-010

[FILM] US TAIWAN makiko iowa Nikon FM(B) Fujifilm Superia 800-021

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.

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room, cheap(ish) color negative film with ISO 800 should have also a quite large grain… Unsurprisingly… YES it does.  However, judging if this grain gives a really organic feeling or destroys your image, is really up to you. Let’s do an unfair comparison with an ISO 200 Film of the same price range (Kodak Gold 200, review also here Kodak Gold 200 )

Kodak Gold 200:

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

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA 800:

[FILM] US TAIWAN makiko iowa Nikon FM(B) Fujifilm Superia 800-007-2

Same day, same setup, same lighting, even same camera and lens (Nikon FM with a 50mm f1.8D) gave me really different results. Independently of the hue and color, grain is way more visible in the second picture. We lose all the definition in the shadows, the transition of colors in the hair is lost, and the skin is much more gritty and undefined. This lens is not meant for portraits or landscape, but it really does an acceptable job considering the high ISO. Nowadays, with so many different formats in the market the decision on grainy pictures or not is up to you and your style. Just don’t expect smooth grainless pictures with this film.


Color chart and measurement of the colors.

[FILM] US TAIWAN makiko iowa Nikon FM(B) Fujifilm Superia 800-018

RED Average Colour R:167.0 G:141.0 B:105.0

GREEN Average Colour R:136.0 G:190.0 B:103.0

BLUE Average Colour R:73.0 G:109.0 B:134.0

YELLOW Average Colour R:211.0 G:204.0 B:104.0

Check: How do I measure the colors?


[FILM] US TAIWAN makiko iowa Nikon FM(B) Fujifilm Superia 800-009

[FILM] US TAIWAN makiko iowa Nikon FM(B) Fujifilm Superia 800-001

Summarizing, the Fujifilm Superia X-TRA 800 is a balanced film. If found at a good price it can be a good investment if you really need a high speed ISO film. However, there s a big drawback that I haven’t mention during the review, the price. In Taiwan, where I’m based nowadays, it is a very difficult to find film. I couldn’t find a single roll in here and I had to order it on-line, in B&H was something around 9 US$ for a 24 exposures roll! not including shipping. I consider this film WAY overpriced considering the results. 9 Dollars is the price of a roll of Kodak Portra 800 or, if you really want the Fujifilm color pattern, almost the price of a roll of Fujifilm 400H, that can be easily pushed one stop, probably giving better results than this X-TRA 800.

YES ⇑

  • If you are looking for a fast film and don’t care much about the grain.
  • If you are looking to shoot macro hand-held
  • For a compact camera with a very narrow aperture (Even I believe X-TRA 400 pushed one stop would be equally good at a third of the price.)
  • If you are able to find it at a good price (4~5 US$)

NO ⇓

  • If you need vibrant colors
  • If you need a clean and detailed image without grain
  • Portraits. There are better options at the same speed like Portra or Cinestill. If you really need to take a series of portraits in low light, get a flash or a continuous light. Your colors will be more true to reality and punchy.
  • Landscape. In my opinion, the grain is too thick, it loses too much detail. Better carrying a tiny tripod and a lower ISO film.

Extra:

Fujifilm Quicksnap 800

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Even I never buy disposable cameras, I admit that they are so fun to use. The Fujifilm Quicksnap 800, and the Marine version (underwater) come loaded with the Fujifilm Superia X-TRA 800. With a 35mm lens and a really narrow aperture (f5.6 I believe) this camera really matches up with this film. I never used this combination, but checking more information in Flickr I noticed that people take great photos with this combo. With the small flash and emphasizing in composition it gives GREAT results. Really fun to use, really is really worth the try.

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

flickr-logo Thanks to Cletus Awreetus  , alice estrêla and  Fabio Venni

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!

Fujicolor Industrial 100 業務記錄用 Review

          Fujicolor 業務記錄用 translated from Japanese literally as “For business use” or known also as “industrial 100”. Is a daylight color negative film with ISO 100/21°. This particular film is only for sale in bulk in Japan.  You can feel the industrial feeling in the package, lacking any fancy color but the classic Fujifilm green and some Japanese characters. It is actually a commercial film designed for professional work. Although some claim it may be a re-branding of the discontinued Fujicolor Superia 100(CN) is actually the lowest ISO color negative film produced by Fujifilm nowadays.

20161008-DSC_5073

Name Fujicolor Industrial 100 業務記錄用
ISO 100
Developer C-41, CN-16
Available formats 35mm
Exposures 36
DX coding Yes
Availability ★★☆☆☆

Only in the Japanese market, but also on-line.

IMG_20161016_170659_HDR
The two Nikon FM used to review this film, with a 28mm f2.8 and a 50mm f1.4

I’m usually not a big fan of low ISO film, I prefer the 200-400 range and shoot from f5.6 to make focusing easier. However, this Fujicolor Industrial caught my eye since I first saw it in a Taiwanese store, freshly imported from Japan.

After giving the first roll a try, I noticed how amazing the reds are. Even in a foggy and gray day here in Taipei, you can see how the characters in the food stand pop out over any other color, and the motorbike, even parked in the shade we can appreciate the rich dark red color that shows here.

[[FILM] TAIWAN FQ - street - Nikon FM - Fuji Industrial 100 -018

[[FILM] TAIWAN FQ - street - Nikon FM - Fuji Industrial 100 -022

[[FILM] TAIWAN FQ - street - Nikon FM - Fuji Industrial 100 -009
How gray can be Taipei sometimes!

The green looks also AMAZING! Really vivid and bright, in fact, some of the pictures it looks too much artificial for my own taste, but it would definitely will give contrast to scenes with trees and sky, or general landscape. However, I think it would distract the view in a portrait with a green background.

[[FILM] TAIWAN FQ - street - Nikon FM - Fuji Industrial 100 -023

[[FILM] TAIWAN FQ - street - Nikon FM - Fuji Industrial 100 -007

The yellow is really balanced, nothing special, Fujifilm tend to give green hues in my photos, but it did not affect the yellow or blues, giving neutral and balanced results.

Really unnoticeable grain, even in the shadows I couldn’t notice any more grain than any other film of a similar price range.

[[FILM] TAIWAN FQ - street - Nikon FM - Fuji Industrial 100 -017

[[FILM] TAIWAN FQ - street - Nikon FM - Fuji Industrial 100 -020

I used in different portrait situations, with a lighter skin tone subject (Maggie), darker skin tone (Michelle), with and without direct flash.

 

 

The first thing that I noticed is that, I underexposed all the pictures… Even following the light-meter on my camera, I guess the white background tricked the light-meter. However, even without the perfect exposition, we can notice a couple of things. It really pops out the red tones of the skin, I particularly don’t like this, because in Maggie’s portrait we can see how her skin becomes totally red, If I had the perfect exposure or overexpose, like I normally like, the skin would have blended with the background, but the red would still be there.

In Michelle’s portrait, we can feel more the underexposure, however with Lightroom or Photoshop I could have recover some of the light in exchange for some digital grain. (These pictures are straight out from the scanner, without any retouching but cropping).

With the direct flash light, it gives really contrasty results, surprisingly nice considering how off are the colors without flash. I would definitely use this film for portraits with direct flash involved.

[[FILM] TAIWAN FQ - street - Nikon FM - Fuji Industrial 100 -008

[[FILM] TAIWAN FQ - street - Nikon FM - Fuji Industrial 100 -006


Color chart and measurement of the colors.

[[FILM] TAIWAN FQ - street - Nikon FM - Fuji Industrial 100 -003

RED Average Colour R:219.0 G:133.0 B:90.0

YELLOW Average Colour R:242.0 G:214.0 B:74.0

BLUE Average Colour R:71.0 G:138.0 B:179.0

GREEN Average Colour R:172.0 G:212.0 B:100.0

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


          Summing up, The film is balanced and gives really good results for the price. If you have access to this film, for example, if you are traveling to Japan or your local seller is able to import it, I would give it a try. But don’t let the cool Industrial packaging with the Japanese characters fool you, In my opinion, the results are very close to the Fujifilm Superia 200 more than any other film (Even on-line, I saw reviews comparing it to the 400H)

YES

  • Use this film for Landscape, especially with greens and reds.
  • Use it in gray days  trying to rescue some off red and green colors
  • Use it to create contrasty portraits with direct flash.

NO

  • Don’t use it for street-photography, there are cheaper and faster options around (Like the Industrial 400)
  • Don’t break the bank importing it from Japan, buy any other more accessible film instead.
  • Don’t use it for portraits, it has given me poor results, especially with lighter skin tones, too reddish!

 

Check out the Gallery for more shots of this film!