Kodak Supergold 400 (Japan Version)
This is my first ever contribution of a film review post on this blog and I’d want to dedicate this special piece to a very unique analog film which unfortunately had been discounted by Kodak last November.
Name: Kodak Supergold 400 (Japan version)
Film type: Colour Negative
Character: Warm tone, good dynamic range and gives off natural colour
I am sure every photographer is set on a journey to search for the “right film” to shoot at different occasions, and to no surprise, I have been doing so for my street photography work in the past 7 years. During my holiday at Tokyo last year, I was finally able to visit Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku, Japan, and got hold of a pack of Supergold 400 film .
Tone and Sharpness
It inherited the classic warm tone from the Kodak series and compared with its existing line-up, I would say its tone is somewhere between Kodak Portra 400 and Ektar 100. Portra 400 has really nice skin tone for portraits but the colours are too pale for landscape or documentary; for Ektar 100, the colours are so nice and eye-catching but the shadow part (darker areas) are prone to purple tints if you use it under a low light environment. Supergold 400 gives the right balance of colours, it also shows good details at dark areas and the overall mood is good for street shots in South East Asia. The only thing that I would pick on is its relatively high colour sharpness.
I used this film during my trips to Sri Lanka and Cambodia, and both results have really surprised me. The tone was exactly what I had been looking for, and though the sharpness and grain were not as fine and sharp as the Kodak Ektar 100, the grain was still acceptable (not too grainy) and it had better resolution than Kodak Ultramax 400.
Having tried a good variety of negative films in the market, I felt like I have finally found my “true love” for daily snapshots. However the sad news was, I soon found out that the film had been discontinued, leaving me totally devastated as I have to go through this search and testing journey all over again. Despite this slight emotional ride, I am still a true believer that any passionate photographer should aim at trying as many films as they could in order to really identify what is actually right for them. So for now, I tend to mostly go for Ektar 100, Fuji Superia Premium 400 and Portra 400 as alternatives. (Simply because I thought this is one of the low graded film and ignored it).
In case you are interested, I have indicated which lens I used in particular in the photo caption, and for those who wonder why I picked Supergold 400, the reason is simple: the vibrant colours that this film gives off are always a true reflection of the actual subject we shoot.
- Summilux 35mm f1.4 asph FLE 11663
- Summilux 35mm f1.4 pre-asph v2 infinity lock (made in canada)