One of the best things happening in photography is the resurgence of film. Of course, digital is excellent and meets the immediate demands of today’s world. But, digital also sucks the joy out of photography in many instances. The romance of the art is alive and well in film photography. The process is therapeutic and invigorating. There’s nothing like slowing down, taking in the scene, and pressing the shutter at the perfect moment. Plus, the beautiful tones in color film are what inspire many actions, presets, and styles. Kodak Gold 200 120 is no exception to this mantra.
Kodak Gold 200 costs about $15 per roll, which is on par with most medium format offerings. It’s slightly warmer than daylight color balance and creates warm, vibrant colors. Shoot in flat light and play up the muted tones for a retro feel. Is the added cost of shooting Kodak Gold 200 in medium format worth the vintage feel and sense of nostalgia? Absolutely! Keep reading to find out why.
A huge thank you goes out to Blue Moon Camera for developing the film for us.
The Big Picture
Kodak has another hit on its hands with the newest Kodak Gold 200 120 film. It produces warm, vibrant images with excellent sharpness, noticeable grain, and sufficient contrast. Images have a vintage flair that evokes a sense of nostalgia. Shoot with plenty of sunlight to get the most out of its color tones, or opt for overcast days to achieve a subtle muted tone. The film will make portrait, landscape, commercial, and street photographers happy.
- Beautiful colors
- Plenty of detail
- Minimal grain
- Suitable for a variety of applications
- I’d prefer a bit more contrast, and that’s being picky
I tested Kodak Gold 200 film with my Hasselblad 501cm, Hasselblad 80mm f2.8 CFE lens, and Sekonic L608-C light meter. We sent the film to Blue Moon Camera in Portland, Oregon for developing and scanning. If you are looking for a new lab, check them out. They do great work.
Ease of Use
We shot the Kodak Gold 200 120 film at box speed. The film is excellent to work with and easy to use. Its 200 film speed makes for simple Sunny 16 conversions and excellent exposures. It also provides a little more versatility for overcast days.
If you’re not familiar with exposure compensation, or if it’s been a while since you’ve worked with film, have no fear. A basic light meter or spot meter works wonderfully. You can also set your digital camera to 200 ISO and check the exposure. Then set that same exposure to your manual camera.
Kodak Gold 200 120 produces the best color tones when sunlight is available. It shines on bright sunny days and during golden hour. The absence of the sun results in cooler, subtly muted tones. Additionally, there is a shift in colors without a direct light source, but the results are still beautiful. This film is ideal for portraiture, landscape, cityscape, travel, commercial, and street photographers.
We sent our film to Blue Moon Camera for developing and scanning. They do a fantastic job processing film and the film scans are great.
This Kodak 200 film stock lives up to the Gold in its name. It produces warm, vibrant colors with plenty of sharpness and noticeable grain. It has a slight vintage feel which evokes a sense of nostalgia. This film is slightly warmer than daylight, so it does an excellent job preserving skin tone in dreary weather. Although the skin tones are more rosy than orange, the added warmth keeps the body from resembling a corpse and can quickly resemble after-market Fujifilm presets in certain light temperatures.
Kodak Gold 200 120 creates the best images with sufficient sunlight and plenty of contrast. The greens and golds are especially vibrant. Landscapes and cityscapes have beautiful, well-balanced shadows with plenty of details. Lighter blues, purples, and pinks make for delicate pastel hues with this film during blue hour. It also creates lovely tones for shooting portraits.
Extra Image Samples
From day one, The Phoblographer has been huge on transparency. Nothing from this review is sponsored. Further, lots of folks will post reviews and show lots of editing in the photos. The problem then becomes that anyone and everyone can do the same thing. They’re not showing what the product can do. These photos are completely unedited.
Who Should Buy Kodak Gold 200 120 Film?
Kodak’s Gold 200 120 film is sure to be a fan favorite among photographers. Anyone with a medium format camera should pick it up and try it out. We are sure you’ll enjoy it. Plus, it’s easy to use and creates stunning photographs. I plan on adding a few 5-packs to the vegetable drawer in my fridge.
Abbreviated tech specs are from the manufacturer’s website.
- Film type: Color negative film
- Film process: C-41
- Film size: 120mm
- Film Speed: 200
- Characteristics: Saturated colors, fine grain and high sharpness