Film Photography

Shooting Kodak ColorPlus

This post is sponsored by Analogue Wonderland, who offer more than 200 films from around the world!

Retention pond

I shoot a lot of Fujicolor 200, a snapshot film. I like its look — well saturated color, good sharpness, managed grain. I also like the look of its main US competitor, Kodak Gold 200 — warmer, slightly less saturated, barely noticeable grain. But it’s more expensive. I’m a frugal dude, so I shoot Fuji.

West Park Christian Church

Elsewhere in the world Kodak offers another ISO 200 color negative film, ColorPlus. Anywhere I find it for sale online, it costs less than Fujicolor 200. If you want to try it, you can order it from Analogue Wonderland here. As of this writing, it’s the least expensive color film they offer.

Mail building

If you shot Kodacolor 200 film in the 1990s, as I did, you’ll recognize the canister inside the ColorPlus box — it says “Kodacolor 200” on it and has the same design as that film of yore. Is it the same film? It must be, yet these aren’t the same well-saturated colors on the prints I still have from those days.

Fence

Is it me or do these colors just seem off? Muted? Is that a blue caste I detect? I suppose I could have Photoshopped it away. I shot this roll of ColorPlus in my Olympus Trip 35, by the way — a snapshot film in a (very good) snapshot camera.

Tree

These colors are more muted than I like, but the sharpness and contrast are good. It’s not fair to draw conclusions about any film after just one roll because so many variables are at play: lens, exposure, processing, scanning. I’ll shoot my other roll of ColorPlus in a different camera to see if it behaves differently.

Walker Theatre through the car window

It’s not like the whole roll was a bust, either. I really like this shot I made through my car’s window.

Edith

Others have said that this film doesn’t do well in the shade or on an overcast day, but I didn’t find that to be true. Bracing myself against a wall I even made this photo inside my church, and it turned out fine. These are the best colors I got on the whole roll. (Our stained-glass windows are all marked with names in this way — original members of our congregation from the early 1900s.)

Morris Minor

Just for fun, I’ll end with this photo of a Morris Minor I found improbably parked in Zionsville, Indiana. The ColorPlus captured its hue nicely.

If I were in some foreign country, needed a roll of film, and ColorPlus were my only choice, I’d buy it and not regret it. If Fujicolor 200 were also available, even for more money, I’d buy it instead — and almost certainly be slightly happier with my photographs.

If you’d like to try ColorPlus, order it from Analogue Wonderland here.

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19 thoughts on “Shooting Kodak ColorPlus

  1. It really is impossible sometimes to sort out all the variables that contribute to the results from any given film trial, and sticking with a known brand is likely the best answer to the problem.
    I shot Fuji 200 for all my color work for a long time as it gave me fine results at a good price. The price started climbing and then the film suddenly became unavailable locally. Coincidentally, I was given a roll of ColorPlus 200 about a year and a half ago. The results prompted me to order some on line as it was even cheaper than my favorite Fuji. I’ve relied on the Kodak film ever since for all my color work.

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    • As much as I enjoy trying new things and experimenting, I’m starting to home in on the films I reach for when the shots matter. Because I’ve shot so, so much Fuji 200 it is the film I know best, and therefore the color film I reach for first. If supply were to dry up I’d switch to Kodak Gold 200 because I know it second best.

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  2. Jim,

    Thanks for the article. I shots about thirty rolls of ColorPlus for the 2018-19 yearbook of the elementary school where I teach music, and I really like the vintage look of it. One of my favorite things about it it how flat it lies in my scanner. Cheers!

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  3. Erica C says:

    I know this post is sponsored by Analogue Wonderland, but for fans of Fuji C200, the cheapest I’ve found per frame lately is the 3 roll pack of 36 exp. at BHphoto (8.99). I haven’t found colorplus cheaper than that.

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  4. I’ve been bouncing back and forth between ColorPlus and ProImage 100, both are less expensive than my favorite (Portra 400). I think I like ProImage just a bit more.

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    • I’m wondering if I should have shot this roll in something like my Pentax ME with my 50/2, a combo I know extremely well. I’m just not sure I got the most from this film in the Trip.

      I’ll keep ProImage in mind. I prefer the slight speed boost of ISO 200 films over ISO 100, but then, I just shot a roll of the Fuji Industrial 100, part of it indoors, and it worked out okay.

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  5. analogphotobug says:

    Just catching up with this post…..I’m using Kodak ColorPlus 200 for my Frugal Film Project (https://rr1photography.com/2019/01/11/frugal-film-project/) The goal being to use a cheap camera and a the cheapest film, proving that the image is made by the photographer, not the equipment. I’m a warm film person and have gotten used to the muted colors or Portra 400………so ColorPlus 200 is working for me.

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    • I have one more roll of this – gonna shoot it in my Pentax ME soon and see if I get better results. The photographer makes the image, but some gear lets you make images other gear doesn’t.

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