Kodak Gold is hands down the best color negative film that is only made in 35mm. It’s got a bit more grain than the Portra films. If overexposed, it’s light and airy while if shot at box speed outside of direct sunlight, it can get the punchy colors similar to that of Ektar. At the time of writing, it costs $13 for a 3-pack from B&H which is an absolute steal considering how much other 35mm films costs and just how good this film is.
Truth be told, I do struggle to really pin down a consistent color palette with Gold because of just how much the saturation changes depending on whether it’s shot at box speed or whether you’re shooting in direct sun. If it is at all shady or if you’re shooting at dusk, the colors are quite rich and very saturated, however, if you’re shooting at high noon the colors are quite muted and very lovely. It may well be my favorite color palette of all the 35mm color negative film stocks.
Because Gold is only offered in 35mm, it doesn’t get quite the heavy rotation for intentional shooting that other films get but because it is so cheap, I definitely go through it and have taken many photos of Dr H and friends here and there. It doesn’t really blow me away for skin tones but it does an alright job. In reference to the above statements, I don’t know that I’ve really given it a fair shake in all kinds of different lighting situations (at least not intentionally) which I suspect would play a large roll in how the colors come out.
I’ve not done any pushing or pulling with this film and I don’t know that I ever will. At the time of writing, my 35mm game has almost exclusively been my F100 with my Tamron 45mm and the flexibility of that lens to shoot at 1/20th of a second without even a bit of camera shake is practically a miracle. As such, I have no real need of pushing film and so long as I continue to lazily get my film processed at the local shop (which doesn’t do any pushing/pulling), it’s not something I really see myself doing anymore.
If this film was any more available (it’s often on back order) I would say that it would hands down the best 35mm film. It may well be so even with its limited availability… If you haven’t picked up a few rolls, you should definitely do so.
3 thoughts on “Review: Kodak Gold 200”
When I wrote my review of Gold 200 I came time many of the same conclusions. I still quite like it and the photos I take with it always remind me of warm summer afternoons spent barbequing by the lake.
When it comes to portraits, I actually think that Gold 200 performs quite admirably. It’s not a portrait film, but it’s warm gives skin tones a glow that I really appreciate.
I’m curious. What are you shooting with, and how are you metering?
I’d also be interested to know, how you are scanning your images? This can have a big impact on how the film turns out. When making prints, labs either apply a profile (digital C-types) or dial in the magenta, yellow and cyan filters to balance out the colors (Only really done in high-end professional darkrooms).
Glad to have found your blog!
All of the Gold I’ve shot was shot on my F100 with my Tamron 45mm lens. All the scanning was done on an Epson v600 and converted with NLP.
I’m glad you to hear there’s another person out there that enjoys Kodak Gold!
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I have heard good things about NLP and the F100. Personally I’m a Canon guy if I can’t get my hands on a Olympus. Nothing against Nikon. I spent a good bit of time with a Nikon D4 and loved every moment I just had access to a 1D Mark IV that I found more ergonomic — as ergonomic as a brick of sports camera can be. That said the D4 had a far better sensor. But know I’m rambling about digital which is another animal altogether. Best Tobias