Shooting film can get expensive, but when you are just starting out with film photography and still trying to get a hang of it all, consumer grade film stocks are a great go-to film for beginners because of their price point, availability and versatility.
Today we are shining the spotlight on one of our favourites - the Kodak Gold 200! We'll be sharing a bunch of sample images from our recent roll and also give our tips on how to make the most out of your roll when shooting with this film.
Taken straight from Kodak's official website - the Kodak Gold 200 35mm film stock is a low-speed colour negative film that offers "an outstanding combination of colour saturation, fine grain, and high sharpness." This film was created for general/everyday situations during daylights hours or with an electronic flash.
This film stock also features wide exposure latitude – from two stops under the recommended exposure and three stops above. Basically meaning it's really hard to mess up when shooting with this film!
Without further adieu, let's get into our 5 tips for shooting with Kodak Gold 200!
1. Shoot in settings with sufficient (natural) lighting.
This is a low-speed ISO 200 film, the best results for your images will come when there is sufficient and good lighting, particularly works best under natural day light as this is a day-light balanced film. Even under direct noon sun in Sydney, Kodak gold will still maintain details in the highlights for your images. Kodak Gold shoots beautifully in open shade and during golden hour. Try it!
2. Try rating it at ISO100 / overexposing it by 1 stop.
This tip applies to cameras that can manually set film speed and does not apply to fully automatic point and shoots.
Colour negative film has a lot of latitude and is very forgiving of overexposure, in fact, by overexposing it slightly by shooting it at a slower speed (allowing more light in) actually gives for a cleaner exposure and a nice muted/vintage colour aesthetic. This is definitely the case with Kodak Gold 200.
Many film photographers generally overexpose slightly to give themselves a little cushion because underexposure on film just looks like a muddy mess. So go ahead and overexpose your colour film by a stop and see how you like it.
3. Shoot portraits.
The warm and rich colour tones of Kodak Gold renders skin tone beautifully. It does tend to render more on the orangey red side, so although this is not the most colour-accurate film out there for skin, I still find the colour effect/aesthetic to be very pleasing to the eyes. So if you ever shoot Kodak Gold, try shooting some portraits!
4. When in doubt, meter for shadows or mid-tones.
This again applies to manual cameras with metering capability. Have you ever been in those situations where the light is not particularly bright and there is a good amount of shadow contrast in your subject? As this tip suggest - when in doubt, meter for the shadows or mid-tones of your subject. This again goes back to allowing more light in rather than the potential of underexposing your shot.
Another general tip for metering if you are ever in doubt is to use the "bracketing" technique - shoot 3 images of the same subject/composition: +1 stop, normal, -1 stop. Once you get a hang of your personal style through experimenting, you'll get more and more confident with your photography and eventually won't need to "bracket"!
5. Fine grain and high sharpness.
A final tip and signature of this film is the fine grain and high sharpness that is offered. Kodak designed this film to be excellent for enlargement and scanning. Most budget film stock scans often turn out fuzzy or hazy, but Kodak Gold 200 offers impressive sharpness capabilities for a relatively low price. So if you ever want to shoot something for print and not wanting to break your wallet with a pro film, try this film out!
We hope this blog post was helpful in offering some tips for this great film, let us know which film you want us to write about next!