As of December, 2021, Fujifilm might have started sourcing an existing film from Kodak and labeling it Fujicolor 200 (article here). This is a review of classic Fujicolor 200.
Since I returned to film photography in 2006, I’ve shot one more film than any other: Fujifilm Fujicolor 200. I started with this film because it was the least expensive option I could get easily. I’ve stuck with it because it works in so many situations and always looks good.
Fujicolor 200 (or C200) is a 35mm color film available in three packs of 36-exposure rolls. It used to be offered in single packs and in 24-exposure rolls, too, but Fujifilm cut those a few years ago. Fujifilm has discontinued a whole bunch of films since I returned to this hobby — including, possibly, this one in the United States, replacing it with a film sourced from Kodak but given the same name.
This is a consumer film rather than professional film. It’s meant to perform acceptably after having sat on a store shelf for who knows how long. I’ve shot rolls of this stuff that I left at room temperature for years and got good results.
It has a very wide exposure latitude so that even the simplest old camera will return usable images. I’ve shot it successfully at EI 100, 200, and 400 with no loss of quality that I could discern. I’ve seen others shoot it at EI 800 and get acceptable results.
It also has a well-saturated color palette, leading to bright and bold colors. This seems to be the biggest criticism of this film. Fortunately, shooting it at EI 100 tones the saturation down a little. But after having shot miles of this film, to me, this is what color film is supposed to look like.
Fujicolor 200 could be the best bargain in film today. I buy this stuff in my nearby big-box store in three packs for $13, which works out to 12 cents a frame. That’s less expensive per frame than in 2006, when I started using this stuff. Then I paid ten bucks for a three pack of 24-exposure rolls, which is 14 cents a frame. This film defies inflation!
I’m lucky to have this inexpensive source. The usual places online sell that same three pack for $15 to $19 plus shipping (as of January, 2022, when I’m writing this).
These images show that saturation Fujicolor 200 is known for. At snapshot sizes, grain is hard to discern. It becomes noticeable as you enlarge your images, but it’s somewhere between unobtrusive and pleasing.
There are sharper color films than Fujicolor 200. But this film is plenty capable of getting good detail.
Fujicolor 200 often renders white skin tones a little ruddier than real life, but not so much as to be unrealistic. I’ve never shot a person of color with this film, so unfortunately I can’t comment on how it handles nonwhite skin tones.
I’ve made some of my most satisfying images on Fujicolor 200.
Now that I’ve heaped praise onto this inexpensive color film, I’m going to tell you that I prefer this film’s slightly slower brother, Fujicolor 100! (I’ve reviewed it twice, here and here.) But that film is hard to come by (it’s officially only available in Japan) and expensive when you do find it. For pennies a frame, it’s hard to beat Fujicolor 200!