Kodak Gold - what to expect?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Andrey, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. Andrey

    Andrey Member

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    I've shot slide, I've shot BW film.

    For color, I've shot digital

    I've printed optically some point and shoot Kodak gold two years ago, just for fun.

    Now I got two rolls of kodak gold and don't know what to expect from it. How does it compare to digital, to slide and to BW?

    How do I meter?
    How much overexposure can it take?
    Where should I expect the shadows to fall?
     
  2. cotdt

    cotdt Member

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    it's grainier and not as contrasty as velvia or digital
     
  3. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Color negative film can take quite a bit of overexposure (Not just KOdak gold). Just meter as if for b/w.
     
  4. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    You should shot one roll as a test to learn first hand. Photograph a simple subject that is approximately 18% gray. Make a 'normal' exposure as per your meter, then widely bracket that exposure with exposures two and three stops to either side, with 1/3 stop increments. When the film is processed you'll see what the film can do far easier than what we will tell you.
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Almost all of the 35mm C41 colour I shoot is Kodak Gold 200. It is a bit grainer than the Portra 160 and probably has more saturation then Portra 160NC (I haven't tried the Portra VC in 35mm).

    It has wide latitude, and is probably better for most one hour minilabs then the Portra films, because it is designed for that market.

    When I consider older amateur colour films like Kodacolour it is fantastic in comparison.

    I am very happy with the results. I am also happy that it is reasonably easy to find, and if I venture down to Washington State, I can buy a package of five 24 exposure rolls from Walmart for $6.88.

    Matt
     
  6. Andrey

    Andrey Member

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    Cool. Thanks.

    I'll be processing at cotsco, so that should be interesting.
     
  7. sbelyaev

    sbelyaev Member

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    Good film.
    Easy to scan.
    Very nice bright colors, good skin tones. Somewhat grainy, but you won't see grain on 4x6 or 5x7 pictures.
    The film could be abused to some extent (heat, exposure error) w/o consequences.
     
  8. aparat

    aparat Member

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    I like it. As the other have said, it is a bit grainy but has very nice colors. It's tolerant of exposure variation and handles highlights and shadows quite well. Here's a snapshot I took on badly expired Kodak Gold 200. I think it exemplifies the film's characteristics well.

    aparat
     
  9. sbelyaev

    sbelyaev Member

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  10. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    If your results with gold 200 are "a little grainy" , it's being processed wrong...or, marginally so. The problem is, there are few places that'll do a decent job of D&P 35mm film anymore. I've found a lab in the next town that used to specialize in processing and printing for wedding photogs...now, he mostly does digital crap for soccer moms but can still do a really nice job with a roll of Kodak Gold 200 (or, Fuji Super HQ 200 for that matter!)

    Am thinking of trying A&I down in L.A....
     
  11. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Kodak Gold color films are very good products. They have higher color saturation than many color films, but the color is reasonably accurate. The "look" is bright and sunny. They have wide exposure latitude, particularly for overexposure. Meter as you would for black and white, at the rated ISO. The latitude for all these films is much greater than any slide film and even more than some black and white. They are quite foregiving about exposure, and they can be used effectively in pretty high contrast situations. Gold 100 has extremely fine grain - not as fine as Velvia, but extremely fine none the less. Gold 200 is the most generally available of these films. It has very fine grain that should give you no problems even with considerable enlargement. Gold 200 also has the widest latitude of this group, IMO. Gold 400 is grainier (I think about the same or a little more than Tri-X), but it performs very well in low light.
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    As part of the design team for the first Kodacolor Gold 400 film, I suggest that you meter at 320 rather than 400. This gives a bit less grain and a bit better color. The film is a true 400, but this little trick will improve results, as it will for all consumer color negative films. Rate Portra films at their box speeds.

    Gold has a contrast of about 0.63 to 0.65, a bit higher than the norm of 0.60 for the Portra films. This gives higher contrast in professional cameras, but "normal" contrast in the cheaper single use and consumer cameras due to lens flare.

    PE
     
  13. DanielOB

    DanielOB Member

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    "I've shot slide, I've shot BW film.
    For color, I've shot digital"

    That is correct and is all you should do. No film will change your status as color photographer. To many variables out of control to make color photos of any value. You can make it (color pic) and it is all, but you already do it.

    Daniel OB
    www.Leica-R.com
     
  14. Andrey

    Andrey Member

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    Interesting perspective.

    Just to make sure I understand... you're saying that it's only worth shooting color film for the sake of the medium?
     
  15. Kilgallb

    Kilgallb Subscriber

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    Interesting. I left colour behind when GOLD 100 came out. (I shot mostly Koda-colour X) When i came back using an automatic Canon EOS I got reasonable results but my Pentax K1000 was getting terrible results. Then I tried Porta 160 NC and seemed to get more normal results with the Pentax.

    I wonder if Canon and others adjusted the exposure sensors to work well with Kodacolor Gold. Meanwhile my old Pentax K1000 just doesn't get good results with Kodacolor but works great with PORTRA. I will have to try exposing at the lower EI and see if it improves things.
     
  16. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Well, an ISO of 400 on a meter is 400 in all cameras unless there is an error in calibration. OTOH, lens flare has a lot to do with image quality as well. It is hard to say and would take a thorough comparison to come to a reasonable conclusion.

    Shoot what you like at the rating you like. That works for me.

    PE
     
  17. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    I think Kodacolor-X was a bit less saturated than the Kodak Gold films, although the Golds seem to have better color accuracy and much finer grain. Portra 160NC (before the recent improvements), IMO, was probably the most accurate color film made at the time. It also had low contrast, normal saturation, and extremely fine grain. That may have influenced your preference. I think the Portra films are a quite a bit nicer than the Golds, But Gold is still a great film and may be preferable to some people.
     
  18. frotog

    frotog Member

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    I wish they made the gold 100 in sheet film sizes. In the recent past kodak has custom cut film for orders of $10k or more. I wonder if they'd entertain doing the same with the beautiful gold 100.
     
  19. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    With consumer films you really should overexpose 1/3 stop, dunno why. Don't overexpose it if you print it optically. The contrast will go all wacky, and you won't be able to correct it. Get it close, but it doesn't really care beyond that.

    Generally you can get something out of -2 stops to +5 with good being -1 to +3. That's if you're digitally contrast correcting, though.
     
  20. braxus

    braxus Member

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    I've tested both the new versions of Gold 100 and 200. See a previous posting of mine to read it. Anyway the new Golds are drastically different then previous version 6 of the 100 and 200. The new versions have better color, but the sharpness is now less. Grain is ever so slightly better. Im not sure I like the new versions over the old. The trade off of sharpness for better color throws me into a loop. The old films were definately more contrasty.
     
  21. Aurum

    Aurum Member

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    I'd agree with that. For standard C41 done at the local minilab, using the box rating, the colours are perfectly good, just a little "Flat" especially if you're used to the punch and contrast of slide film.
    An extra 1/3 - 1/2 stop (I just set the ASA setting a touch lower on the old 80's SLR I use for colour - Konica TC-X) and that gives images that are a lot more vivid and brighter and well, "Punchier" which I prefer for colour print work