Film stock review: Comparing Kodak ColorPlus 200 and Fuji Fujicolor C200

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The two most popular consumer films used today are Kodak’s ColorPlus 200 and Fujifilm’s Fujicolor C200. For someone new to the film photography world, these are two good films for new starters and often overlooked and underused by experienced amateurs because of their price. Speaking of which, they happen to be in the same price range, and are among the least expensive color negatives readily available, if you look in the right direction.

Considering all this I decided to comparing Kodak ColorPlus 200 and Fuji Fujicolor C200 myself by way of a head-to-head to see how they perform. Although they may not be the “professional choice”, for you professionals out there, I’m still happy if my little project entertained you.


The film and methodology

I ordered the film online and it cost me RMB15 and RMB17.90 per roll for the Kodak ColorPlus 200 and Fujicolor C200, respectively (roughly USD2.20 and USD2.62) plus shipping.

I used two Nikon F3 bodies, one with a Nikkor 50mm f/ 1.8 E Series lens and the other with a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D. I also had a Nikkor 20mm f/2.8 AF in my test kit, which I used for one comparative shot.

A quick word on those ’50s; I’ve noticed differences between the two lenses, as the design of the E series makes it prone to flare under direct or harsh light. The optical design of the lenses is similar (6 elements in 5 groups) and the Nikkor 50mm AF-D has an updated multi-coating, which may affect the result under certain lighting conditions. For my test, I tried to shoot in a way that the differences would be minimised.

Since I prefer consistent and reliable results, I used a Sekonic L-358 incident light meter to measure exposure.

The film was developed and scanned in a lab with the same scanner (Noritsu HS-1800) on the same afternoon on the second day after exposure.

Let’s jump straight into the results.


Results

Below you will find ten frames shot on each film shown side-by-side. To view the images in fullscreen, click or tap an image and move/swipe left/right.

Each gallery shows Kodak ColorPlus 200 on the left and Fujifilm Fujicolor C200 on the right.

My thoughts on Kodak ColorPlus

Under the testing conditions, Kodak ColorPlus 200 offers vivid yet restrained and realistic colors.

With subjects or frames that have prominent green or red areas, the photographs rendered by ColorPlus 200 looked mellow and firm to my personal taste. For these subjects, the colors are not as bold as other films in the same league, so it may not provide a very appealing first impression.

My thoughts on Fujicolor C200

Fujicolor C200 provides rich colors and yields beautiful green tones. This extends to any shady and underexposed areas.

With well-lit subjects, C200 offers a crisp and clear result. The colors look cool and clean on a MacBook Pro Retina display, maybe the Noritsu HS-1800 also has something to do with it. The colors don’t go overboard and I’m curious about how they may look when scanned with a Fuji Frontier SP-3000.

Shot at the same time, the film shows almost the same dynamic range as the Colorplus.

Final thoughts and conclusions

Well, it looks like my Nikon 50 f/1.8 Series E needs a hood 😉


The two films yield different color tones on subjects in shade, as we see in this test. The Kodak film appears to be slightly warmer, while Fuji has extended greens. Under well-lit conditions, the difference is not as obvious as long as the results are not directly compared side by side.

In my opinion, these features can contribute to intentionally creating different results. Allow me to explain: let’s say I happen to have these films on hand and choose to shoot portraiture in a forest on a foggy morning, I may want to balance the mood with Kodak Colorplus 200. If I want to lead it in a different direction and focus on the greenery/vegetation, I may use the Fujicolor C200…

…or maybe I’d just shoot every frame twice as I did in this article.

You know what? Wandering around with two loaded cameras, you feel alive!

~ Howard

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17 thoughts on “Film stock review: Comparing Kodak ColorPlus 200 and Fuji Fujicolor C200”

  1. Thanks for posting this, Howard. I agree with Daniel Morris. I just loaded a roll of ColorPlus 200 into my camera today — first time shooting it — so I now have you helpful comparison in-hand. Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  2. Good work with the comparison!. I agree with you that the colors rendition taken with the ColorPlus are warmer and slightly more “Pastel” Like in some situation.

    Reply
  3. The bottom line is that without the other one to compare it to, both are great and no one would know the difference.

    Fuji has a long standing reputation for liking greens.

    Reply
  4. Seems like an apples to oranges comparison given the tendency of the 50mm Series E lens to flare at the slightest provocation.

    Reply
  5. The Kodak seems to deliver better detail in shadow areas. The Fuji is so dark in some shadow areas that there is no detail in the shadows. I use both films but they can’t compare with a Kodak Ektar 100, which of course is much more expensive.

    Reply
  6. Yeah, I loved this test, very interesting and I always appreciate the effort put in. The big variable is the different lenses which makes the test not totally true. I’d love to see them both with the same lens, especially the 50mm F1.8D.

    Reply
  7. Thanks for the test – exactly what I’ve always found over decades of use. Kodak warmer, yellower. Fuji colder, greener. Both brilliant, both worth shooting, and IMHO, neither is quite as good as GC Ultramax 400 – which costs round about the same and is just plain phenomenal.

    Reply
  8. Excellent comparison. It’s nice to see these emulsions get some love. I shot Kodak Color Plus for a short stint and I got some very pleasing results with portraits in the shade. It kept the skin tones nice and warm while other emulsions tended to become too cold for my taste. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  9. Funny that my short experience with fuji f200 and superia, both gave too much green which I didn’t like much. So for color I usually shoot kodak.
    I think these kind of basic tests help a bit the beginner on the general look of a film stock.

    Reply
  10. I am sorry to say, that -in my humble opinión- the test is flawed. Reason Is, if you want to put films to the test, you cannot use different lenses. You should use the same, switching between camera bodies. If possible, tripod is recommended, et.
    Best. V.

    Reply
  11. Interesting comparison, I’ve shot both myself (although a lot more C200 than Colorplus) and always liked the results. I think some people still don’t realise the results you can get from a cheaper film.

    Reply

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