It’s time to put two of the most popular affordable film stocks head to head. Fujicolor C200 vs Kodak Gold 200: which one of these 35mm films is right for you and the subject matter you most enjoy capturing? Let’s break down their similarities and differences to get to the bottom of this topic, once and for all.
When you’re ready to try some slightly more expensive film stock, we can highly recommend taking a few rolls of Portra 400 and Ultramax 400 for your next analogue adventure. If you would like to learn more about the differences between these two film stocks, check out the blog post we created comparing them side-by-side.
FUJICOLOR C200 VS KODAK GOLD 200: WHAT DO THEY HAVE IN COMMON?
Fujicolor C200 and Kodak Gold 200 are both consumer-grade film stocks, meaning that they’re ideally positioned for your everyday shooter rather than a professional shooting environment. They are both 35mm film stocks and as is pretty standard for 35mm film stock, you can get about 36 shots a roll (maybe 38, if you’re kind of pushing it and living life on the edge a little bit).
They are also both daylight balanced to 5500K. This means that they are perfectly suited to any natural light shooting environment, whether that is indoors or outdoors. Finally, they have an equivalent ISO sensitivity of 200, and this means that they don’t perform the greatest in low light shooting scenarios. So, make sure that your lighting is popping!
FUJICOLOR C200 VS KODAK GOLD 200: ALL THINGS GOLD 200
Let’s dive in with Kodak Gold. This is considered to be quintessential summer holiday film stock. It performs really well in indirect or overcast shooting conditions. You can definitely use it when the lighting is a little bit harsher or there’s direct sunlight involved, but just be aware that your warm tones are going to become quite aggressive. It has a very high level of saturation and contrast, meaning that your colours are really going to pop. They’re incredibly vibrant and rich. This is also true of its contrast levels, referring to the fact that there is a big difference between how dark your shadows are and how bright your highlights are.
Your exposure latitude with Kodak Gold is a little bit narrower than some other film types. So if you want the best-looking image, we really recommend nailing your exposure settings. As is very typical of consumer-grade film stocks, Kodak Gold does have a relatively chunky and noticeable grain. So if that’s not your preferred aesthetic, we suggest looking at something a little smoother, a little more fine grain, like Portra and Ektar.
As previously mentioned, Kodak Gold is very warm. It doesn’t really do the best job of picking up those pink and red tones. So environments like sunsets, for example, will come across as much more yellow gold. If those aren’t tones that you’d like in your image, definitely try a film stock like Ektar rather than Kodak Gold.
Also, note that your skin tone reproduction will not be as nuanced or subtle as something like Portra, which is a more professional film stock. Your skin tones will generally come out with a sort of yellowed tone to them, very similar to something like Ultramax. That being said, with perfect exposure, Kodak Gold can achieve a Portra-esque feel on a budget. However, the grain will not be as fine and the colours will be a bit more vibrant.
Kodak Gold 200 is readily accessible and pretty affordable, which means it is an absolutely amazing choice for those who are kind of getting started in film and really need to shoot through a lot of rolls to get comfortable with this shooting style. You can pick it up for about R125 a roll at various different retailers.
FUJICOLOR C200 VS KODAK GOLD 200: ALL THINGS FUJICOLOR C200
It’s absolutely no secret that this is one of the most beloved affordable film stocks on the market. We personally love it for that old family photo aesthetic it possesses.
C200 is renowned for its wide exposure latitude and is really forgiving in difficult lighting conditions, so don’t shy away from those high contrast shooting scenarios. You can produce some really cool-looking images with this film stock.
As with Kodak Gold 200, Fujicolor C200 is very saturated, but it does definitely steer away from those warmer tones and swings towards your cooler colours. Think jewel greens, vibrant blues, that sort of thing. Your skin tones will take on more of a pinky, magenta hue. This means that C200 works amazingly in nature-based environments: mountains, forests, fields, anything where there are blue bodies of water, where those cooler tones can really be shown off to the maximum.
However, it’s not the greatest for shooting sunsets or shooting a golden hour. If you’re looking for that very traditional kind of sun-kissed vibe, when compared to Kodak Gold, its grain is a little finer, a little bit smoother, but still much more robust than something like a more professional film stock.
Exactly like the previous film stock, Fujicolor C200 is widely available and pretty affordable. It generally retails for about R85 a roll. This means it’s another great option for beginners who need to shoot through a lot of film kind of at the start of their analogue journey.
If this particular film stock is really intriguing to you, we actually have a fully-fledged video that deals just with Fujicolor 200, which you can also explore in a blog post format.