Kodak Gold 200 120 Colour Negative Film

Kodak Gold 200 120 Colour Negative Film

Analog Film Review

Kodak Gold 200 120 Colour Negative Film

Kodak Gold 200 120 Colour Negative Film
Plaubel Makina 67, Christchurch New Zealand

Kodak Gold 200

As a film enthusiast, I know the feeling of anticipation that comes with the release of a new film stock. In March 2022, Kodak announced the release of Kodak Gold 200 in 120 format. Reflecting on my past experiences, I recall the vast array of film options available, and how I would often find myself standing in front of the counter, examining the appearance of various film boxes and relying on the advice of store staff to determine which one to try. Back then, there wasn’t a lot of information available online, and Instagram wasn’t yet widely used.

Plaubel Makina 67, Christchurch New Zealand

The moment of anticipation mixed with curiosity, wondering whether the new film would be a game-changer or fall short of our expectations, was thrilling. Price was always a consideration, with expensive films becoming more and more exclusive, while cheap films may not deliver the quality we were looking for. As a result, many beginners who were scared off by recent film prices have turned to CCD sensor DC cameras, paying a premium for the look of film.

Despite this, for those of us who are passionate about film photography, the desire to try new things and find the perfect film to document our moments is always there. And when we do find that perfect film, the satisfaction is unparalleled.

For me, Kodak Gold 200 120 was one such film. The warm, vibrant colours it produced were perfect for evoking a vintage feel, while the sharpness and noticeable grain added a unique touch. It’s a great option for those who enjoy a slightly grainy look in their photos.

Plaubel Makina 67, Hong Kong
Plaubel Makina 67, Hong Kong

Colour and Vintage Feel

It’s important to note that Kodak Gold 200 behaves differently in various lighting conditions. As a daylight-balanced film, it’s designed to be used in natural light. In bright sunlight, the colours truly shine, with greens and golds appearing especially vibrant. In overcast or flat light, the colours may appear muted, but this can also create a beautiful retro feel. As such, it’s essential to consider lighting conditions when shooting with this film.

Plaubel Makina 67, Hong Kong

In my experience, Kodak Gold 200 is a versatile film that’s perfect for casual shooting with my medium format camera. While it may not excel in any particular area, it doesn’t fall short either. Skin tones and greens are okay, and red tones come across as a bit subdued. Yellow is surprisingly sharp and eye catching. However, the blues offer a pleasing “pastel” appearance, and the skies are often stunning. I still remember a photo I took in Wah Fu where the sky was somewhere between cyan and baby blue.

For those of us who have been put off by the recent price increases of films like Portra, Gold 200 offers a more budget-friendly alternative. While not exactly cheap, it’s priced in a range that allows us to capture memories and moments without worrying too much about the cost.

Rolleiflex 2.8F Planar, Hong Kong
Rolleiflex 2.8F Planar with Rolleinar 2, Hong Kong
Rolleiflex 2.8F Planar, Hong Kong

ISO Speed of 200

It’s worth noting the ISO200 speed of Kodak Gold 200 film, which is versatile and works well with medium format cameras that often have a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or f/4. This allows for flexibility in different lighting conditions and makes it easy to achieve excellent exposures.

In comparison to Kodak Portra 160, the grain size of Kodak Gold 200 is noticeably larger. This can create a unique, slightly grainy look in photos, which is particularly appealing to those who enjoy a more vintage feel. Overall, the larger grain size of Kodak Gold 200 can be seen as both a positive and a negative, depending on the desired look and feel of the final photographs.

Plaubel Makina 67, Hong Kong
Plaubel Makina 67, Hong Kong
Plaubel Makina 67, Queenstown New Zealand

Gold Versus Portra

When comparing Kodak’s Gold and Portra films, it’s worth noting that Gold 200 is most similar to Portra’s lower ISO 160 film. While it may not offer the same level of exposure latitude as Portra, Gold 200 shines in its ability to produce warm, vibrant colours and create dramatic, eye-catching shadows. If these qualities are what you’re looking for in a film stock, then Kodak Gold 200 is definitely worth considering.

Plaubel Makina 67, Queenstown New Zealand
Plaubel Makina 67, Christchurch New Zealand


While Kodak Gold 200 120 has many desirable qualities, it’s worth noting that it can produce muted colour shots in low light conditions, which some may find to be a minor downside. However, this issue can be easily overcome by finding extra light sources or using exposure compensation techniques. Additionally, the grain size of this film is noticeably larger than that of Kodak Portra 160 and Fuji 160NS, which may be a consideration for those who prioritise finer grain in their photos. If that’s the case, Kodak Portra 160 could be a better option to explore.

Plaubel Makina 67, Queenstown New Zealand
Plaubel Makina 67, Queenstown New Zealand


I highly recommend Kodak Gold 200 120 to urban landscape, and street photographers who are looking for a film that produces warm, vibrant colours with excellent sharpness. The slight vintage feel of this film is perfect for evoking a sense of nostalgia, and the ISO200 speed makes it a versatile option for a variety of shooting conditions.

However, given the recent increase in film prices, I would choose Kodak Portra 160 over Kodak Gold 200 for traveling purposes. For daily documentary shots, I would still prefer Kodak Gold 200. When it comes to portraiture, I personally prefer Kodak Portra 160 for its finer grain and exceptional skin tones. However, for special occasions and more demanding portraiture work, Kodak Portra 160 may be a better choice due to its finer grain and superior skin tone reproduction.

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