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.

IMG_20170402_160800_HDR

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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Film Never Die IRO 200 Review

Film Never Die is a store based in Melbourne, Australia. They have a great selection of films, cameras (35mm, 120mm and Instant), laboratory with developing and scanning and also offer classes and workshops. Not only the physical store but an on-line store too. Film Never Die is really active in the film community and have a good amount of devoted customers and followers that interact frequently with their social media. Never visited the store myself, but If I travel to Australia, I’d definitely would arrange a visit to my itinerary and join one of their cool photo walks!

Through a Kickstarter campaign, they released IRO in 2017. They don’t have a constant stock, but rather work in batches. I got a few rolls in the second batch they produced during the pre-order, just had to wait a few weeks to get it.

DSC_0232

IRO 200 色  is a day-balanced color negative film, C41 development with an ISO of 200. The name comes from the Japanese word “色” IRO, that literally means “Color”. There is not much technical information on the real manufacturer of the film or the technical conditions of the film, but that data is not relevant as long as we can see some real-life examples. Something cool about this film is that they had a designer (Rizki Wibisono) creating the packaging, something that many manufacturers neglect, but I think it makes your product way more appealing and shows that you care about it -independently of the product you are selling-. The design is simple but really cool:

DSC_0227

Name FilmNeverDie IRO 200
ISO 200
Developer C-41
Available formats 35mm
Exposures 36 Exposure

27 Exposures *First batch

DX coding Yes (*First batch didn’t)
Availability ★★☆☆☆

Orders through their website.

My rolls of film arrived right before a couple of big trips, Hawaii and Bali, perfect locations for a low ISO film. I shot both of them with my Nikon FM2n and my two favorite focal lenghts, 28mm and 50mm.

IMG_20180205_103407_HDR

The first thing to notice, is that IRO200 is a colorful film. The colors are really vivid, especially yellows, blues and reds. It is a quite warm colored film, and shows a slight yellow cast over most images, you either love it or hate. I definitely love it!

BALI water temple APR2018 Nikon FM2n IRO200025

Yellow colors are amazing, normally when reviewing other films like Superia X-TRA 400 or even Ultramax 400, I feel that yellow is the most “neglected” color being more muted than others. But in IRO, that is not the case, yellows are vivid and punchy.

BALI water temple APR2018 Nikon FM2n IRO200005

USA Hawaii FEB2018 Nikon FM2 FND IRO 200-003

Reds tend to become more “crimson” than just pure red, maybe they are not 100% true-to-color, however that different feeling is one of the reasons why we choose film over digital. These tones, definitely give a great and somehow vintage atmosphere to the scene.

USA Hawaii FEB2018 Nikon FM2 FND IRO 200-018

USA Hawaii FEB2018 Nikon FM2 FND IRO 200-013

Skies are great, this film has a really high latitude (like dynamic range in digital), so it captures a great range of blue tones. They tend to be slightly yellow, particularly when underexposed. In the second picture, I was trying to capture the rain from the distant cloud, underexposing the sky. I can feel it really tinted the scene more yellow. Overexposing the film a bit, this yellow tint disappears on the blue tones, not the case on greens.

USA Hawaii FEB2018 Nikon FM2 FND IRO 200-007

BALI water temple APR2018 Nikon FM2n IRO200018

USA Hawaii FEB2018 Nikon FM2 FND IRO 200-006

Different days, tones and exposures, but greens always show a yellow cast all over it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the feeling of this film. However, if you are looking for a landscape film, you’d do better with a film like Ektar and use IRO in your day by day or on a trip to the beach.

I also shot a few portraits, with natural light and direct flash. Portraits of friends with different skin tones to see how IRO200 would react to different skin tones and flash.

Considering that IRO 200 is not a film oriented to portraits, the skin tones are surprisingly pleasant. I don’t mind the yellow tones as much as red ones that I see in other films (Every film in the Superia line or Ektar). Using flash it helps you to get rid of that cast and creates vivid and detailed images.


Color chart and measurement of the colors.

USA Hawaii FEB2018 Nikon FM2 FND IRO 200-001

RED Average Colour R:209.0 G:142.0 B:84.0

YELLOW Average Colour R:229.0 G:210.0 B:52.0

BLUE Average Colour R:83.0 G:149.0 B:183.0

GREEN Average Colour R:190.0 G:205.0 B:117.0

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


I’m always excited to see people committed to the film industry. Honoring their name, they developed a new film. Something cool is, not just an old Fuji emulsion re-branded, this film has its own character. It has really warm colors, really punchy red and yellows. Controlled grain, slightly high for an ISO 200 film, but I always consider that nowadays grain is a matter of taste more than a decisive factor when choosing a film.

One of the troubles I find with this film is the price. If you are really on a budget, is not the cheapest film around. For example:

*Update: August 2018, the new batch of IRO 200 now comes with 36 exposures

A roll of 27 exposures costs: 7.35USD, that is 0.27USD per frame. As of today, a roll of Kodak Portra 400 or Kodak Ektar with 36 exposures each costs 7.49USD that is 0.21USD per frame.

The fact that this film can be only ordered online, also sums up. For Taiwan, when I ordered this film, the shipping costs were 8,50USD and it makes the total purchase more expensive, especially since I just bought a few rolls of IRO and a few of Hillvale’s Sunny 16.  Definitely upgrading the exposures to 36 would help to solve this problem. The shipping cost is not much that can be done about it. Maybe instead of buying film every month, I should buy it every 6 months to make the shipping costs less of a deal.

BALI water temple APR2018 Nikon FM2n IRO200022

Would I buy it again? DEFINITELY! I love the colors, the rich palette and the vintage feeling is amazing. Would I buy it often? If I was living in Australia, or I order something from them yes. For me, unfortunately, the high shipping costs and cost per frame make IRO 200 a rare treat. I can walk into a store in Taipei and buy professional film for cheaper, or three rolls of my beloved Colorplus 200.

YES ⇑

  • Sunny days, warm colors, great results.
  • Looking for a particular and different feeling in your pictures? this is your film.
  • FilmNeverDie cares about the film community and this is a way to support them.

NO ⇓

  • If you dislike warm colors or looking for a “cool” palette.
  • Not the best value per shot.
  • The irregular availability makes it difficult to become your day by day film, especially if you are looking for uniformity in your work.

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


Fujicolor Superia X-Tra 400 Review

The Fujicolor Superia X-Tra 400 is one of the last remaining consumer series offered by Fujifilm. It is a really versatile ISO400 film, balanced for daylight and widely available everywhere. Most of the other consumer films offered by Fujifilm have been discontinued like Reala and Superia 100 in 2009. After that, in 2017  Superia 200 and X-tra 800 (both reviewed in the past) were also discontinued outside Japan. Leaving the Fujicolor C200 and X-TRA 400 as their only consumer films worldwide.

IMG_20180510_114100

Fujifilm in Japan is a complete different story. Worldwide we see less and less films from them (leaving aside their INSTAX series). But, for the Japanese market, apart of the Superia X-tra 400, Fujifilm Japan launched in 2009 the Superia PREMIUM 400  with improved exposure latitude and optimized for Japanese skin tones (definition from their voucher) and without the 4th color layer. Alongside with the PREMIUM 400 and only for the Japanese market there is the Superia VENUS 800, different to the Superia X-TRA 800 and the amazing Fujicolor 100. Luckily, on a recent trip to Japan I could test them all, but they are quite hard to find outside the Japanese market.  This review is for the worldwide available Superia X-Tra 400.

Name Superia X-TRA 400
ISO 400
Developer C-41
Available formats 35mm
Exposures 24, 36
DX Coding Yes
Availability ★★★★★

IMG_20180510_114531

It is a very tempting film because of its price, as of today, is the cheapest 400ISO color film in B&H. Agfacolor Vista 400 is gone and the Kodak Ultramax 400 is slightly more expensive, it is a great option for shooter on a tight budget. Price and availability made this film my top choice many times, that’s why I shot so many rolls of this film. For this review, I will include some rolls that I shot with multiple cameras, Nikon FM, F3, F4, F90x and a FM2n (My current and favorite camera). Always paired with a 28mm or a 50mm. I was able shoot it in different locations: Taiwan, Spain, Ireland in different times and lights.

[Film] SPAIN TAIWAN - boat sanxia - AUG2016 -Nikon FM S - Fujifilm XTRA 400 -026

IRELAND - Cork - Guiness AUG2016 Nikon FM Fujifilm Xtra 400 -019

[FILM] TAIWAN yuanshan street MAR2017 Nikon F4 Fujicolor X-TRA 400017

Reds are simply amazing in this film! Really punchy and saturated.  When using it for street photography, reds completely pop.  Reds can even be distracting sometimes, and they will affect some lighter skin tones (more on that later).

[FILM] IRELAND TAIWAN maria ireland taipei NIKON FM(S) Fujifilm XTRA400-004

[FILM] TAIWAN yuanshan street MAR2017 Nikon F4 Fujicolor X-TRA 400015

[FILM] TAIWAN yuanshan street MAR2017 Nikon F4 Fujicolor X-TRA 400012

Along with the red tones, greens are also really high in contrast. I really love the green in nature landscapes. Foliage looks great, even is not a great film for landscapes (lack of detail retention and grain) , is definitely a great film for a day out at the park or hiking. Shadows also tend to adopt a greenish tone, really characteristic of Fujifilm films, you either love it or hate it.

IRELAND - Cork - Guiness AUG2016 Nikon FM Fujifilm Xtra 400 -003

[Film] SPAIN TAIWAN - boat sanxia - AUG2016 -Nikon FM S - Fujifilm XTRA 400 -002

Although, not as striking as greens or reds. Blues are really beautiful and balanced. Particularly with warm light, blues are really true to color.

[FILM] TAIWAN yuanshan street MAR2017 Nikon F4 Fujicolor X-TRA 400021

IRELAND - Cork - Guiness AUG2016 Nikon FM Fujifilm Xtra 400 -015

Same as blues, yellows are really balanced and pleasing. They can come up a little bit dark sometimes. It really remind me to other Fujifilm series, the industrial 業務記錄用 , only for sale in Japan.

In addition, I shot some portraits in different lights, with and without flash.

The biggest problem that I see in this film, the ruddy skin tones. Although I praised the red tones before, I believe they are not really flattering when dealing with skin tones. Darker skin tones become slightly red, but people with lighter skin tones will become straight up pink! Since I like to include people in my pictures, this factor become decisive when choosing film. I found the same problem before with Kodak Ektar 100, great film for landscapes, but definitely not the best for portraits. This can be solved overexposing one or two stops the film, I will talk a little bit more about this onwards.


Color chart and measurement of the colors.

TAIWAN Mary Pingxi MAY2018 Nikon FM2 Fuji Xtra 400023

RED Average Colour R:217.0 G:135.0 B:89.0

BLUE Average Colour R:92.0 G:163.0 B:196.0

YELLOW Average Colour R:233.0 G:203.0 B:55.0

GREEN Average Colour R:197.0 G:211.0 B:131.0

See also: How do I measure the colors?


[FILM] TAIWAN Jorge Taipei center DEC2015 Nikon F3 Fujifilm X-TRA 400025

I really enjoyed shooting this film. It cover all the bases, easy to find in stores and on-line, a cheap quality option. I like ISO400 films, it is really functional and not too grainy considering the speed. You can always have one in your bag, experiment with it, since is DX coded, you can also put it in your compact camera and good to go.

It is definitely not my favorite film, I don’t hate the green cast that some of the photos have. However, I can’t stand the ruddy (red) skin tones. I want to like this film more, but I like to include subjects in my pictures and I hate that everyone looks so red. Looking for information on how to solve this problem I found out this blog on How to shoot Superia X-Tra 400 , It strongly recommend to shoot two stops over exposed “Most consumer films do better with about two stops of overexposure and Fuji Superia 400 Xtra is no exception. You want to rate it around ISO 100 (metering from the shadows) if you” have enough light, which is 2 stops over box speed.” So I decided to try it myself, and shot a film overexposing 1 stop and underexposing 1 stop.

Underexposing X-TRA 400 

Setting 800ASA in your camera will underexpose by one stop. It will accentuate the green-red tones, that can give a really cool effect if you are playing with the shadows as elements, but definitely not my favorite when dealing with skin tones or detail.

[FILM] TAIWAN Jorge Taipei center DEC2015 Nikon F3 Fujifilm X-TRA 400006

TAIWAN Mary Pingxi MAY2018 Nikon FM2 Fuji Xtra 400020

Overexposing X-TRA 400

Setting your camera at 200ISO will overexpose your film by one stop. It will mute a little bit the red and green tones and will give you a more pleasant pastel tones. And Bingo! better skin tones. After this last overexposed frames, I started to like more X-tra 400.

TAIWAN Mary Pingxi MAY2018 Nikon FM2 Fuji Xtra 400033

TAIWAN Mary Pingxi MAY2018 Nikon FM2 Fuji Xtra 400 -001

In conclusion, a great all-around film that, in my opinion really needs to be overexposed for at least one stop to get the best of it. I personally would choose first Kodak Ultramax 400 or the recently discontinued Agfacolor Vista 400. But you can’t go wrong with this film. I saw some people on-line that do amazing work with this film.

YES ⇑

  • Daily use, versatile, high speed, load it in your camera and ready to go.
  • Great price! If you are on a budget, you will not be disappointed.
  • Great for wildlife and macro, greens and reds just pop!

NO ⇓

  • If you don’t like red skin tones.
  • I find the colors more pleasant when shooting at ISO100-200, so if you really need a high speed film, think about it twice.
  • It doesn’t pull well, it gets too grainy. Go better for the Superia X-tra 800.

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


Fujicolor 100 (Japan Only) Review

Over the past years, Fujifilm has been discontinuing films of all kinds, Astia and Fortia for professionals, the iconic black and white Neopan 400 and 1600 and even the consumer Superia 200. However, the Japanese market is a completely different story,  Fujifilm has a complete line of films, widely available not only in specialized stores but also in convenience stores. One of them is the Fujicolor 100. Do not be confused with this film, is not the discontinued Superia 100 [CN] or the Fujicolor Industrial 100 業務記錄用, is a totally different film, only available in Japan. Without getting too technical, a quick look at the data sheet will show us the differences between these films

charts

Name Fujicolor 100
ISO 100
Developer CN-16, C41
Available formats 35mm
Exposures 36, 27, 24

Single roll or three packs.

DX coding Yes
Availability ★☆☆☆☆

Only in Japan

IMG_20180214_114052_HDR

I was lucky enough to be able to visit Japan in 2018. Even though I brought several rolls of film, I was planning to go “film hunting” in the famous Yodobashi camera store. However, during the film morning in Kyoto, I was able to find some of the films  I wanted in a small store by the Fushimi Inari temple, so I just went for it. Although that day I was already loaded and decided to keep the Fujicolor 100 for another day trip.  I loaded it into my FM2 and paired with my 28mm f2.8 -50mm f1.8 traveling combo.

IMG_20180214_114240_HDR

The first thing to notices is that reds are not as bright as with other reviewed Fujifilm films, instead of bright red the color obtained is more crimson. Slightly darker but really intense, I would say that is less distracting than bright reds.

JAPAN Osaka Shitennoji Market FEB2018 Nikon FM2 Fujicolor 100 (Japan Only)-022

JAPAN Osaka Shitennoji Market FEB2018 Nikon FM2 Fujicolor 100 (Japan Only)-011

Same with the blue hues, I would say they are slightly less bright than in real life, the statue was quite bright blue, and in the picture I feel is more teal looking. But, that looks great on skies, even under harsh light, the Fujicolor 100 keeps so much of the blue tone in the sky.

JAPAN Osaka Shitennoji Market FEB2018 Nikon FM2 Fujicolor 100 (Japan Only)-012

JAPAN Osaka Shitennoji Market FEB2018 Nikon FM2 Fujicolor 100 (Japan Only)-009

Greens have a yellow tonality, same like I found in cheaper Kodak emulsions. Definitely not a bad thing, I love the brownish Kodak palette, but it definitely looks different from the classic greenish ting found in other Fujifilm films.  Same with yellows, they are less bright yellow and more ocher.

JAPAN Osaka Shitennoji Market FEB2018 Nikon FM2 Fujicolor 100 (Japan Only)-004

JAPAN Osaka Shitennoji Market FEB2018 Nikon FM2 Fujicolor 100 (Japan Only)-023

I also shot a few portraits, with natural light and also with direct flash. Surprisingly, the film was great. I tend to not like Fujifilm films for portraits, since they tend to create a red tone in fair skin tones. Not only in the results I obtained, but also other photos that I found on-line, show a slight low contrast, that works well with portraits. With both, lighter skin tones and darker skin tones, there is a slight yellow cast, that could be also easily removed in post-production.


Color chart and measurement of the colors.

JAPAN Osaka Shitennoji Market FEB2018 Nikon FM2 Fujicolor 100 (Japan Only)-024

RED: Average Colour R:212.0 G:150.0 B:76.0

BLUE: Average Colour R:76.0 G:149.0 B:175.0

YELLOW: Average Colour R:230.0 G:210.0 B:13.0

GREEN: Average Colour R:192.0 G:209.0 B:96.0

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


JAPAN Osaka Shitennoji Market FEB2018 Nikon FM2 Fujicolor 100 (Japan Only)-029

I was really hesitant when I first bought this film, I tried similar films before like the Industrial 100 or Superia 200. Both of them were marketed equally to the Japanese Fujicolor 100, same customer target and “good rendition” of colors. But, I was fairly disappointed with the results of those films. However I was taken aback by the results, the color rendition is not great, it really does not reflect the colors from the scene as it happened. Nevertheless, the film has character, it has an amazing color palette, really characteristic, a little bit yellowish, undersaturated but that stills retain lots of detail with a minimum amount of grain.

Personally, the biggest drawbacks of this film for me are availability and low ISO. The low ISO factor is definitely subjective, I tend to prefer the 200-400 range, so I would go for the brother of this film the Superia PREMIUM 400, similar emulsion. It’s also available only in Japan, but with a couple of stops more of sensitivity. The other drawback would be availability, I’m currently based in Taiwan, so for me is just slightly more expensive than other films. It can be easy to find on Rakuten (the Japanese Amazon) in 27 and 36 exposures. For around the price of a roll of Kodak Ektar or Portra 160. However for people in Europe or America, the price of a three pack, can skyrocket to more than double of a pro film.  Even I loved this film, I don’t think is worth the price tag including the shipping.

YES ⇑

  • With good light conditions is a great, balanced film for every situation
  • I like it for portraits, low contrast,  low grain but retains high detail.
  • If you like its own character and color palette.

NO ⇓

  • If you have to pay a massive extra for shipping, there are other options as good as this film.
  • If you look for high fidelity and true to life colors, I would choose another film for product or landscape photography

Check out the gallery for more shots taken with the Fujicolor 100


AgfaPhoto CT Precisa 100 Review

The Agfaphoto CT Precisa 100 is a 35mm slide film, daylight balanced and rated as ISO 100. This film rivals directly with the Fujifilm Provia 100 F, but depending on the store, but generally presents a higher price tag.

First, a little bit of background, this film is not just “Agfa” is “AgfaPhoto”. Agfa film and cameras were once prominent consumer products. However, in 2004, the consumer imaging division was sold to a company founded via management buyout. AgfaPhoto GmbH, as the new company was called, filed for bankruptcy after just one year. Nowadays, Lupus Imaging & Media has the exclusive global rights to manufacture and sell films, single-use cameras and analog cameras under the AgfaPhoto brand.

agfa-logo-300x300

So, the iconic rhomboid logo found in old cameras like the “Optima” and film like the Chrome RSX was substituted by the new round logo of “Agfaphoto”.

AGFA_Photo_Logo

In the same way, this film is the “Agfaphoto CT Precisa 100” not the old “Agfa CT Precisa” discontinued in 2005. Manufactured initially by Ferrania, and nowadays by FujiFilm.

Name AgfaPhoto CT Precisa 100
ISO 100
Developer E-6, AP-44
Available formats 35mm
Exposures 36
DX coding Yes
Availability ★★★☆☆

In “Lomography” stores and online.

IMG_20170819_145941_HDR

The Afgaphoto CT 100 precisa is a slide film, that means we will get a positive colorful strip, instead of the common negative film.

negativevsslide

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.

My idea for this film was to shoot landscapes, so I took it through a trip around Spain.  The Nikon FM2 paired with a 28mm and a 50mm was the perfect setup to capture the vivid colors and blue skies that I found in the south of Spain and the Pyrenees.

IMG_20170806_175058_HDR-01

IMG_20170819_145855_HDR

The first thing to notice is that the AgfaPhoto CT Precisa 100 gives amazing and saturated colors, especially blues. But, the overall images lacks in contrast. Is actually not a flaw, the scanning is flat, but retains a lot of information, even in the shadows with minimum grain. That means that with a 30 second edit, you will obtain a crisp image with lots of detail. In this review all images are unedited.

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -008-2

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -008
Before and after doing a basic tune of the image

As mentioned before, the blue tones in AgfaPhoto CT Precisa 100 are amazing, they are really vivid and deep.  In the first picture of the fisherman, we can see that from the very top of the sky to the seashore, the picture retains all the shades of blue. Simply exceptional.

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -014

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -024

Greens are more bleached than blues, they lose vibrancy compared to the blues. Like I mentioned before, we a few edits, it will provide a great image but just the scan without any edit shows a muted green tone. I added a comparison with Ektar 100. We can see that Ektar has more latitude (like digital dynamic range) but definitely is less sharp than the CT 100.

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -005-2

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -029

Film - Pyrenees hiking - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Kodak Ektar 100 -030
Same time, place, camera and lens but shot with Ektar 100.

The whole warm palette, although is not well represented in this pictures is a medium point in between the vibrant blues and the washed out greens. IT can be more accentuated through editing, but is really balanced and true to color. Reds a little bit more than yellow. But, in any case really pleasant.

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -038

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -034

I also decided to use this film for a series of portraits, as I keep mentioning during the article, it just needs a little bit of editing, with an extra “pop” to look great, here is an example:

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -010-3

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -010-2
Above, unedited scan. Below, re-framing and changing a bit shadows, blacks and contrast.

Other portraits with and without flash in different skin tones. I’m not a fan of slide film,because it is very easy to completely blow up or darken the background, wasting an opportunity for a nice portrait. The film is great, the skin tones are really natural and look really true to color, with natural light and direct flash. Under controlled lighting, I’m sure it can deliver excellent results. Just using the light-meter in my camera I got tricked with the reflected light and under-exposed this portraits for at least one step. One of the reasons I prefer negative over slide, it is much more forgiving.


Color chart and measurement of the colors.

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -013

  • RED: Average Colour R:195.0 G:105.0 B:105.0
  • GREEN: Average Colour R:92.0 G:108.0 B:101.0
  • YELLOW: Average Colour R:148.0 G:121.0 B:107.0
  • BLUE: Average Colour R:54.0 G:60.0 B:88.0

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


In conclusion, the AgfaPhoto CT Precisa 100 is an excellent performer. The film here in Asian can be only found in Lomography stores. Therefore, I was really surprised since many of the examples that I found on-line are shot with “Lomography” cameras or developed in cross-process, all the pictures I found were kind of blurry or with funky colors. Nevertheless, the AgfaPhoto CT Precisa 100 was great, really sharp, retaining a lot of detail and with a surprising latitude for a slide film.

This film would be amazing for landscapes, portraits, macro or product photography. All the kinds of photography that need extra time in the darkroom or Photoshop if you have a more hybrid flow and you edit on your computer. It’s a shame that this film is not available in 120mm. Those massive slides would be amazing!

SPAIN - Alicante Beach Escorial - JUL2017 - Nikon FM2 - Agphaphoto CT precisa 100 -023

This film is definitely not for me, one of the reasons why I shoot film is to spend less time editing pictures. Shooting negative film I always obtain great pictures without the need of any editing other than occasional cropping and some scratch removal (in older negatives). That’s why I wouldn’t love to use this film as my standard. I also prefer negative films in the ISO range of 200-400, faster and more forgiving, but definitely far away from the quality offered by the AgfaPhoto CT Precisa 100.

YES ⇑

  • Landscape, product photography, portrait.
  • If you plan to work with those negatives after shooting.
  • Clean, grainless, extremely detailed image.

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. You might consider Ektar 100 or Portra 160, easier to find and to develop.

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

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

See also: How do I measure the colors?


 

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 slightly 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!