Kodak ColorPlus 200 – Cheap 35mm Film for Color Shooters (Review & Sample Photos).
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Kodak Colorplus 200 is a consumer grade, color film available in 35mm format. After being constantly affected by availability issues, you can finally find Kodak Colorplus on the shelves of your favorite photo lab.
We’ve seen some confusion surrounding Colorplus and Kodak Gold 200 – despite a lot of similarities, these are two entirely different films.
If you like to shoot color and you’re looking for a cheap 35mm film, it’s definitely worth trying out a roll of Kodak Color Plus. Keep reading for all of our thoughts on this film and plenty of sample photos.
(All of the images featured in this article were taken on Kodak Colorplus 200).
Table of Contents
Kodak Colorplus 200
Kodak Colorplus 200 Quick Background
Many photographers think of Kodak as the most important manufacturer of film, especially when talking about color.
It’s easy to see why – no other company produces anywhere near as many options of C-41 color film as Kodak. With a total of eight (8) different 35mm color films currently available, Color Plus is a great fit within the lineup.
Colorplus 200 is arguably the oldest color film offered by Kodak, descending from a line of films called “Kodacolor” that was released in the 1970s. Kodacolor was offered in a variety of sizes and film speeds.
One particular version from the 1980s called “Kodacolor VR 200” would later be repackaged and sold as Kodak ColorPlus 200. For this reason, you may see a roll of film marked as Colorplus on the box, but Kodacolor on the film cartridge itself.
For as long as it’s been available, Kodak Color Plus has been marketed as a budget-friendly option. In years past, Colorplus was the cheapest color film you could buy, although these days the price is about the same as Gold 200.
Attributes and Features of Kodak Color Plus
As the cost of film continues to rise, most photographers are more price-conscious than ever before. Which makes the price of Colorplus its biggest selling point.
It may cost over twice as much as it did a few decades ago, but the bottom line is that Kodak Colorplus 200 is one of the cheapest 35mm color film available.
Aside from the budget-friendly price tag, here’s some of the most noteworthy features and attributes we’ve found from shooting Kodak Color Plus.
Daylight Balance and Warm Tones
Similar to most C-41 color films, Kodak Color Plus 200 offers a daylight color balance. This means that the film is intended for use in – you guessed it – daylight.
You may think of this as a “regular” color film, whereas options with a different color balance might be considered “specialty” or “special effect” film.
For example, the very popular Cinestill 800T features a “tungsten” color balance, intended for use in artificial light. As a result, the colors and tones of the photos will look significantly different than those taken with a daylight balanced film.
Every one of the Kodak color films available today features a daylight color balance. Kodak films are also known for their warm tones that many people associate with “the film look”.
Colorplus 200 is no different – images have that classic Kodak warmth, looking somewhat “vintage” and sun-kissed. And while the overall palette is warm, it is a bit more balanced than some other Kodak films, like Gold 200.
The warmth of Kodak films is noteworthy when you consider the alternatives. For all intents and purposes, there are only two big names in the color film game – Kodak and Fujifilm.
Where Kodak is known for its warm, yellow-orange tones, Fujifilm is known for the opposite – cooler tones leaning more towards greens.
Quick Summary: Kodak ColorPlus 200 features a daylight color balance. While it still has the classic Kodak warmth, the overall palette is slightly cooler and more balanced than other Kodak films.
Moderate Contrast and Saturation
Kodak Color Plus is often considered an alternative to Gold 200. Some of the biggest differences between the two films comes down to the levels of saturation and contrast.
Overall, we’d consider Colorplus 200 to have moderate levels of saturation and contrast with less than Gold 200. It’s important to remember that the scanning process also has a significant effect on these attributes.
We’ve even heard people compare Kodak Color Plus 200 to the ever-popular Portra 400. While this might be a bit of a stretch, we can see where they’re coming from.
Compared to the rest of the Kodak color films available, Portra and Colorplus both present more subtle saturation and contrast. Photos are still attractive looking, but they may lack the same level of POP that you’d find with a different film.
The lighting conditions and accuracy of your exposure also significantly affect the saturation and contrast when shooting Kodak Color Plus.
A perfect exposure in bright, warm daylight should produce moderate contrast and saturation. On the other hand, images taken in cloudy conditions can come back quite flat and dull.
For this reason, we usually reserve Kodak Colorplus 200 for shooting on bright, sunny days. If you need an all-purpose film that can handle a variety of lighting situations, there are better options, like Kodak Ultramax 400.
Quick Summary: Kodak Colorplus 200 offers less contrast and saturation than other Kodak films. It is best suited for bright, sunny days.
Decent Exposure Latitude
One of the most important factors when evaluating a film is the amount of “exposure latitude”. In the simplest terms, exposure latitude means the amount that a film can be over or under exposed while still producing an acceptable image.
Kodak Colorplus 200 has what we would consider a decent amount of exposure latitude – there are films with more and there are films with less.
You should still be able to get acceptable results if your exposure is off by a stop or two. Just like other color films, Colorplus usually has a bit more flexibility with overexposure than underexposure.
While the latitude is there, we’ve found that we usually prefer Kodak Colorplus 200 when exposed as accurately as possible.
Some films like Kodak Portra have really high exposure latitudes that can handle four or five stops of over exposure while still producing a great looking image. This just isn’t the case with Color Plus – we try not to over or under expose by more than one or two stops.
Quick Summary: The exposure latitude for Kodak Colorplus 200 is moderate. It can handle a few stops of overexposure or underexposure, but performs best when exposed accurately.
Relatively Fine Grain
Once again, the humble Kodak Color Plus falls in the middle of the road – this time in terms of grain.
No matter what type of film you’re using, lower speeds have finer grain. So, the relatively slow speed of 200 ISO means Colorplus is on the finer side.
It’s worth noting that the grain is nowhere near as fine as other low-speed, color films that are considered “professional-grade”.
While their slightly slower speeds also contribute, Kodak Portra 160 and Kodak Ektar 100 both offer buttery-smooth, incredibly fine grain that is particularly good for blowing up at larger sizes. Colorplus 200 is definitely not on this same level.
That said, we don’t have any real complaints about the grain when shooting Kodak Colorplus 200. Especially with an accurate exposure and good scans, we don’t really think anything about the grain on most shots.
If you’re doing some sort of high-end, professional work that requires the finest grain possible or images to be blown up to huge sizes, then you may want to consider a professional, low speed film.
But for the average film photographer taking mostly snapshots, it’s probably not worth worrying much about the grain on Colorplus, or any other film, for that matter.
Quick Summary: Kodak Colorplus 200 offers a relatively fine grain, which is not quite as fine as professional options.
After years of not having access to it, we’re happy to see Kodak Colorplus 200 for sale again. It may not be the most exciting film that exists, but the more options we have to shoot, the better.
It’s hard not to compare Color Plus 200 vs Gold 200. There really aren’t too many color films being produced, so the fact that there are two consumer-grade, 200-speed films from Kodak sets the stage for a rivalry.
While you could argue about the differences of every little detail, we think it comes down to a simple distinction.
Kodak Colorplus 200 features a slightly cooler, more neutral palette with a bit less contrast and saturation than Kodak Gold 200.
It’s also important to remember that the way you scan your film can have just as much of an impact on your final images.
And as with every other type of film, taste is completely subjective. This was proven to be true when a recent Reddit thread asked a similar question: if you had to choose between Colorplus 200 and Gold 200 to regularly shoot, which would you choose?
Of the 35 users that answered definitively, the results were quite close, with 19 users (54%) choosing Kodak Gold 200 and 16 users (46%) choosing Colorplus 200.
Bottom line? There isn’t one film that’s “better” than the other. You should try both types of film and see which one you like the best. Or better yet, keep both types of film in your arsenal and choose situations that each particular film will be best suited for.
Kodak Colorplus 200
If you’re looking for even more info on Kodak Color Plus 200, Flickr and Lomography are great resources. Both sites have plenty of user-submitted images taken on this particular film.
The Flickr Group also has a forum – while it doesn’t appear to have been active for a few years, the archives are still available and may contain some helpful information.
Kodak Colorplus 200 Sample Photos
There wouldn’t be much point to a film review without plenty of sample photos.
As we’ve mentioned a few times, your method of scanning can drastically change the look of your film photos. Things like camera, lens, and lighting conditions will also have an effect.
That’s why we make sure to share a wide variety of photos from different photographers. This should give you a good idea what Kodak Colorplus 200 photos look like.