I’ve shot with Kodak Gold and Colorplus for years and over that time I’ve discovered all the tiny differences between these film stocks.
Kodak Colorplus has a slightly yellow hue, a vintage feel and quite a bit of contrast, whereas, Kodak Gold is daylight balanced, with quite a yellow glow and quite fine grain.
If you want to find out more about how these film stocks differ and see pictures of comparisons then carry on reading!
A Tale Of Budget Camera Film
When I first started to shoot film, Kodak Colorplus was my go-to camera film. I didn’t even know what it was that I liked about it, it was just affordable and it looked okay.
In 2016-17, Kodak Colorplus cost about £3-4 a roll, so it was super convenient for me to buy a load of rolls and shoot street photographs all week.
At the time, I thought this is just what film photographs look like. I didn’t explore other film stocks, there weren’t really any big film photographers on Youtube like there are today, so I just kept shooting Colorplus.
To me, this would be the ideal situation for young photographers that are learning today. To be able to buy affordable film and shoot freely, without worrying about the fact that each picture costs them $1.
But this isn’t the case anymore, the once-budget film stock is now going to be the same price as Kodak Gold in Kodak’s next round of price rises.
This is why I think it’s more important than ever to ask, what’s the difference between Kodak Colorplus and Kodak Gold 200?
At the time of writing this (April 2023), you can get hold of Colorplus for £10 a roll. I say ‘Get hold of’ but it’s nearly never in stock. On the flip side, you can get Gold for £11.50.
This is set to change as I mentioned earlier, so these stocks should be the same price (that could be much more, no one really knows yet).
One Is Warmer Than The Other
One of the key differences between Kodak Colorplus and Kodak Gold 200 is the hue. Kodak Colorplus has a slightly warm hue whereas Gold has quite a noticeable warm/yellow hue.
The difference in hue is quite noticeable in the pictures above. Kodak Gold has a bright golden feel to it, whereas Colorplus has a more vintage feel.
One of the reasons for this difference in the way the film looks is that Kodak Colorplus is an older emulsion. It was first produced in 1972 so the quality of it isn’t quite as high as Kodak Gold (which was produced in 1997).
Although I haven’t shown it in these pictures, Kodak Gold 200 is a daylight-balanced camera film, so pictures taken indoors with artificial light could look really yellow. It’s a thing to keep in mind because it could result in your shots looking pretty bad.
Personally, I wouldn’t say that this makes one better than the other, it totally depends on what you prefer yourself. If you want something that feels quite vintage but doesn’t have an overbearing hue then go for Colorplus. If you want something that has a much warmer feel then try Gold.
Exposure latitude is an important factor, it means if you under or over-expose your film, you may or may not be able to bring down the highlights or bring up the shadows.
Stupidly, I didn’t take any pictures that demonstrate this but basically, Kodak Colorplus doesn’t have very good exposure latitude so you may only be able to over or underexpose by about 2 stops without your picture being blown out or underexposed.
Kodak Gold is slightly better with under/overexposure but neither of these film stocks are really designed to be pushed to their limits.
Due to Kodak Colorplus’ lack of exposure latitude, there tends to be more contrast from it than with Kodak Gold.
This is neither positive nor negative really. If you specifically want more contrasty pictures then Colorplus is a good option, however, you can, of course, edit pictures to have more contrast anyway and with Gold you’ll have slightly less risk of a poorly exposed picture.
I took these screenshots from my video where I compared the two film stocks and it’s fairly well known that Kodak Colorplus has a bit of a more harsh and noticeable grain. Whereas, Gold has a bit of a finer grain that’s less coarse.
Neither of these have super fine grain. In the 35mm world, you’d be far better off shooting Portra 400 than either of these if you want nice fine grain. Once you’re not shooting professional film, you’re far more likely to get some pretty harsh grain from your pictures.
What Are They Best For?
Both of these film stocks are good for travel, day-to-day, documenting life and maybe street photography too. That being said, I’ve taken great portraits and documentary photographs on both of these film stocks.
So these may be best for certain things but ultimately it’s about you, your understanding of the films capabilities and your own abilities.
The one thing that neither of these will be very good at is shooting in low light.
So Which One Is Better?
This isn’t really a fair question when it comes to these two stocks. Really, I’d say there isn’t a dramatic difference between these two, especially in broad daylight. I should have taken a wider variety of pictures to see what these were like indoors or in low light and perhaps then you might have seen a bit more of a difference.
If the original pricing structure was in place I would probably say you should shoot Colorplus, it’s reliable, it was cheap and it produced nice vintage-feeling pictures. But now that’s changed, I think that Kodak could be attempting to slowly get rid of Colorplus. Making it as expensive as Gold means that a lot of people will decide to just buy Gold.
I think, objectively Kodak Gold is a better-quality film stock but Colorplus has its own look and feel that some people may want to produce.
This is where your personal preference comes into play.
Do you want a daylight-balanced, fine-ish grain film stock with fair exposure latitude? Then you’ll want Kodak Gold 200. Nothing special, but a nice and identifiable feel.
Do you want a classic, vintage emulsion, with a slightly warm feel, slightly harsher grain and less leeway with exposure latitude? Then you want Kodak Colorplus.
Personally, I love Colorplus and in my experience, it’s been a reliable budget stock that’s never really let me down. Kodak Gold on the other hand has perhaps a bit too much of a warm glow for my liking. I don’t always like when a film stock completely takes over the image (for instance Cinestill 800T), and while that isn’t entirely the case with Kodak Gold, it still has a strong look and feel.
So basically, it’s completely up to you, there isn’t a huge amount that separates the two but Gold is the more recent and slightly higher quality of the two.
Thanks a lot for taking a look at this article, I always try my best to help you the reader, as much as I can. If you want to take a look around at my other articles, I have a lot of super valuable content for you.