When using film you’re confronted with plenty of choices, one of the main ones being how much you’re willing to spend on each roll. While for specific projects or purposes certain films may be needed – for example the overexposed Fuji Pro 400H look that’s become so in demand for weddings, as is the timeless quality of Portra and its colour palette. But for day to day shooting its just as important to have a good range of cheaper everyday films that you can rely on – those reliable workhorse films that give results that are good enough without breaking the bank and making you rethink using much film. I’ve recently used a few rolls of Kodak Color Plus 200, a cheaper budget option from Kodak for which little official information is available.
Being a 200 speed film, its a good compromise between 100 which can be a bit too slow sometimes, and 400 which can not always be needed if mainly shooting outside. I rated this roll at 240 asa to get just a touch more speed and had it exposed at box speed. It’s got a nice wide exposure latitude so there was no difference in the results, it just meant I got to use slightly faster shutter speeds, which can be quite handy when taking pics of waves and children!
This film handled the sunny conditions and somewhat harsh lighting with no problems at all, capturing the tones of the sand and water with a pleasant tone. When shooting towards the sky more, the shot of the Norfolk pine trees contrasted nicely against a bright blue sky which this film captured with a nice richness to both the green and blue colours. Skin tones on people are rather flattering, with a slightly warm tendency, though its not in any way over the top. It also showed itself to be good for shots of food and drink with its forgiving palette bringing a nice touch and gentle colours, especially considering these shots were taken indoors where the lighting tends to be less than optimal. When the film is once again used under brighter lighting, such as in the shots of our family picnic, really nice rich greens and blues once again come through combined with the same warm skin tones as above. Overall I’ve been very happy with this film and have got another roll in the AE1 at the moment. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it as a great, versatile film to use and if you do need a hint more speed, just bump it up a 1/3 stop. All these shots were also taken with the FD 35mm 2.8 lens which is absolutely fantastic, I’ll be doing a review soon of this hugely versatile and very sharp lens.