Did you hear!? Kodak Alaris has recently released the new Kodak Gold 200 film for 120mm Format, and it’s been all the rave. The Kodak Gold 200 film is famous for its wondrously warm color aesthetic, especially in natural lighting, making for some iconic-looking photoshoots in the sun. This is the first time the Gold 200 color negative film stock has been available for medium format since it was discontinued in 1997. But enough about the past, Kodak Gold brings a new wave of potential to future film photography with its latest qualities and features we explore in this post.
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We’re sure you’re just as excited as us to hit the shelves and get your hands on some of that fine film. However, like with any buying decision, you always want to make sure you’re making the right decisions before your purchase. An excellent way to do so is to weigh out the pros and cons of questions like:
- How good is the film quality?
- How expensive is Kodak Gold 200?
- How well does the film stock perform in specific lighting?
- How’s Gold 200 color tones? Grain? Temperature?
- And ultimately, is the film worth buying?
We couldn’t keep our mitts off the merchandise, so we grabbed a brand-new film pack for a special Kodak Gold 200 review. Our photography experts tested out all the above questions— just for you. No need to thank us, we had plenty of fun doing it (and would gladly do it again)! We also reviewed the Kodak Professional Portra 800 for a side-by-side comparison for better results. This piece will cover any questions you might have on Kodak 200 Gold film performance and whether it’s worth the buy, plus how it contrasts with Portra 800 film.
Kodak Portra 800 vs. Kodak Gold 200 Review
First things first, let’s – talk – about – the price. One of the most important questions you’ll ask in the buying process is, “how much is this product?”. You want to know if it’s in your ideal budget range and if the purchase is worth it or not.
Kodak Portra 800 Film Review
- Portra800 is representative of a professional-grade film. It is a bit pricier than your consumer-grade stocks; in addition to this, the general cost value has risen in recent years.
- A 5 pack, 120 format ranges from about $64-$88
- An individual roll can range from $12-$18
Kodak Gold 200 Film Review
- Kodak Gold is a more budget-friendly consumer-grade film.
- A 5 pack, 120 format ranges from $44-$55
- A single roll is around $10
Overall, Portra is slightly more expensive than Gold film, whether bought individually or by the pack. Nevertheless, Portras sharp quality and excellent underexposure latitude are a few reasons why retailers have priced this film much higher than its counterpart.
It’s essential to note that a higher price does not always equal better film. As a photographer, it depends on what you plan on shooting and the look you want to achieve. Gold has unique properties that Portra cannot replicate, such as its warmer tones and ability to perform even in overexposed shots (which we’ll cover further).
Quality & Performance
Kodak Porta 800 Film
The Portra 800 photo image details are pristine and can easily produce high-resolution photos. It has an excellent dynamic range for various casted shadows and captures more photo details than Gold.
Portra’s high ISO capabilities (800 ISO) make it a versatile camera for ideal photoshoot sessions in lowlight. As mentioned prior, Porta has one of the widest exposure latitudes, especially in contrast to Gold. This film is made to shoot in lowlight scenarios or capture quick-moving subjects such as action during sporting events. It can correct for lack of light by bringing out the definition in the shadows and darker, less exposed parts of a photo.
On the other hand, you’ll need to be conscious when shooting in very bright or artificially lit areas due to its high exposure capacity. Different from Gold 200, overexposure for Portra may cause the images to blur highlights, lose sharpness, or add noise.
The film grain is a fine texture; when comparing it to films such as a Gold 200 or Portra 400, you’ll see a more noticeable grain consistency. However, many photographers like the ample amount of texture that adds a natural photographic feel to your pictures.
Kodak Gold 200 Film
Kodak 200 Gold also has excellent quality and sharpness, although not as high-res as Portra. However, factoring in price comparisons between the two films, Gold offers a better bang for your buck without dropping too low in quality.
Kodak Gold isn’t as well-versed in exposure latitude and isn’t as performative in darker scenes as Portra. It helps if you shoot in well-lit indoor areas or in bright natural lighting. Nevertheless, shooting in cooler tones or during “blue hour” can add some exciting flavor to your photos. Due to Gold’s warm tones, you can emphasize specific colors in cool dark blue scenes, adding more saturation and high contrast, more than you’d see in Portra.
The exposure and dynamic latitude may not be as flexible as Porta 800. However, Gold still has a wide range of forgiveness for over and underexposed corrections. Shooting in ample natural lighting and during the “golden hour” are guaranteed ways to make sure your Gold 200 photos beautifully pop.
There is a lot more color saturation than the Portra 800, yet less quality when you punch into specific areas of your photo—having a wide variety of hues in your frame can result in diverse colors. However, the overall color tone for Gold is warm yellowish, orange, and brown, accentuating nicely with natural lighting.
Essentially, this film stock does exceptionally well with sunny scenes and colorful scenarios because of the warm tent it provides. Photoshoot ideas that accommodate well to Gold 200 film are beach scenes, sunny hikes, luscious greenery, and other well-lit landscapes for photography.
Both Portra and Gold have a fine grain structure; however, Portras is slightly more embedded throughout the photo. The Kodak 200 Gold grain structure meshes well with vibrant warm colors giving each print a nostalgic feel. In addition, its widespread use back in the day only adds to the aura of the throwback style.
Portra takes the crown when it comes to an intensely clean image. This is also true when observing color tone accuracy and high exposure latitude. Otherwise, know its increased capabilities to work in low and high light settings. Nevertheless, don’t count out Gold either, particularly when looking at its ideal capture of warm color tones. Nothing rivals Gold when put in a setting of the right natural lights. The film gives its subjects a dynamic feel and expresses a richer palette of color to explore. The grain is nostalgic yet sharp in quality giving vibrancy and life to its subjects.
Kodak Porta 800 Film
When you mention a classic film, Portra easily comes into the conversation. It has been the industry standard for many professional photographers due to impeccable image quality and consistency in all types of lighting. The lowlight versatility and capability to define shadows and capture fast movement make it a go-to film. However, because it’s pricier, it can be justifiable to go for a less expensive film such as Gold 200 or Portra 400.
Kodak Gold 200 Film
From the 1980s to the early 2000s, Gold was a household name and common among consumers. If your picture was taken in this era, a Gold 200 film stock most likely was the film. Now that this film has resurfaced in medium format, it will undoubtedly grow in usage over the next few years.
Kodak Portra has been a long-running standard; however, Gold will open more opportunities to new and old photographers alike due to higher accessibility. It’s a fun film that gives photographers a fresh look and a warm color scheme to play with.
Is It Worth Purchasing? Who Should Buy This Film?
Kodak Portra 800 Film
The quality of this film stock is of very high caliber, but it also comes with a price to match, being about 25% more expensive than Kodak 200 Gold. Therefore, it comes down to what you typically photograph and how often you film/shoot? Would you consider yourself a very strict professional photographer or a hobbyist?
General, Kodak Portra 800 is a better fit for professional and freelance photographers in fashion, weddings, and portrait photography. It requires more financial investing but performs well in multiple unideal situations for efficiency and accuracy.
Kodak Gold 200 Film
Gold is less expensive yet still gives you sharp images not too far off from Portra. As mentioned, it is easier to find and less costly compared to Kodak Portra 800. This film best suits beginners, hobbyists, or leisurely photographers; however, pros should not count this stock out. Many expert photographers love to use Kodak 200 Gold to create golden-hued masterpieces of mouth-dropping landscape views, beaches, and mountain ranges.
The Takeaway: Kodak Portra 800 vs. Kodak Gold 200 Film Review
Conclusively, both film stocks are exceptional in their unique ways. Your photography practices will determine which film better suits you; however, exploring both or multiple film stocks never hurts. The more films you can use and compare, the more you’ll understand which film stocks are best in specific scenarios.
Portra does well in the professional and freelance setting when you factor in its adaptability and high-performance features. It is meant for fashion shoots, weddings, and portrait photography. If you are constantly shooting around “blue hour” or not in the ideal lighting, Kodak Potra is your best bet. Furthermore, it has no issue confidently capturing high-velocity subjects, highlighting their details in the shadows, and cleaning-up motion.
The Kodak Gold 200 does best when you look at “bang for your buck” it is an excellent introduction to beginning photographers. Nevertheless, it can also perform wonders for professional photographers, some preferring its aesthetic over Kodak Portra. Its lovely warm tent, color saturation, delicate touch of grain, and summery effect tell a story of nostalgia. It’s excellent for capturing everyday moments, family and friends’ holiday gatherings, and fun travel trips. Either way, it’s hard to go wrong with Kodak Gold 200, and whether you’ve used it before or for the first time, it’s great.
Which film will you use in your next photoshoot? And what do you think of Kodak Gold 200 film?